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Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


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  • Writer Login


    the decades astonish and steal

    Saving Trinity, Part III

    by Front of historic Trinity Episcopal Church in Abbeville

    A notice on the front door warns that you look at the church at your own risk. The church stands empty. Closed. Nothing new. Trinity Episcopal closed during the Great Depression. “When my mother and aunt came back here to live in retirement, they tried other churches and it just didn’t work,” said May. “So, they got some friends who had grown up in the church with them and reopened the church. The first service was on November 1, 1948.”

    candidate ga psc

    John Noel Is Running with the Sun

    by PSC candidate John Noel wants Georgia’s energy future to be solar-powered

    Republican victories in Georgia Public Service Commission races have been so predictable in recent years that Democrats haven’t bothered to field a candidate in three of the past five elections. Next year is shaping up to be quite different for the state’s asleep-at-the-wheel all GOP regulatory agency, however.

    Here’s why…

    corporate criminals

    Testimony to the Georgia Public Service Commission

    by Testimony to the Georgia Public Service Commission

    Nov. 6, 2017. My name is Stephen Wingeier. Wouldn’t it be great if all Georgia citizens had the day off to participate in their democracy today? Luckily for me, Monday is my day off. But by holding this so-called “public hearing” during the workday, you are excluding the vast majority of Georgians.

    Long after Monsanto Corporations’s own secret studies revealed the toxicity of DDT, they kept right on selling it. Long after the tobacco industry did secret studies proving that cigarettes are carcinogenic, it kept on pretending cigarettes were safe. And long after the plastics industry secretly knew it was poisoning its workers, it kept right on poisoning them. None of these corporate crimes was halted until government regulators stepped in.

    reviews: lehane, taibbi, clavin, tolle

    Text Addict

    by Drawing/Cartoon of police spokesperson: “Ok, our new human rights policy - make sure there are no video cameras around when assaulting civilians” was created by © Tom Ferguson.

    So I ran across Dennis LeHane’s latest in the new book shelf at the Atlanta Ponce library. His Mystic River was first rate – so says James Lee Burke. But he wrote one where I felt so suckered I vowed not to read him again. But this one drew me in, thought I’d give it a chance. The first hundred pages read like a book club book: serious, smart writing, psychologically insightful, lot of research to make the world he’s portraying credible.

    we cannot forget

    KSU Cheerleaders Kneeling in the Stream of History

    by The public lynching of Samuel "Tom" Wilkes in 189

    A few weeks ago, just before a football game against the visiting Crusaders from North Greenville University, five Kennesaw State University cheerleaders knelt during the playing of the National Anthem to protest police brutality against African Americans. KSU officials promptly banned the cheerleaders from the football field at future games until after the national anthem had been played.

    On Wednesday, in a letter to the KSU community, President Sam Olens announced that “I have decided that at Kennesaw State University’s next home game on November 11, the pre-game program will be restored to its original format, with the cheerleaders taking the field before the singing of the National Anthem.”

    the decades astonish and steal

    Saving Trinity, Part II

    by Trinity's interior in better times. Photo by Bill Fitzpatrick.

    Owing to the need to save money for their daughters’ college tuition, it took May and her husband fifteen years to move to Abbeville After her mother died. That was in 1977. “We came and never looked back,” she said. Her husband took early retirement and she quit teaching first grade. “No more,” she said, but more was in store. A school in the country urgently needed a teacher. “I pitched in and ended up teaching four more years, but that gave me four more years of retirement money.”

    finding self

    Why We Build

    by Why We Build

    I built my first coffin as an eight-year-old in 1952, a time when dogs still trotted freely in the street in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio. They had full reign of the neighborhood. Sawdust and Timber, my two young beagles, slept in my bed with me. We had to jockey for space. At that age, I didn’t mind rolling over on a wet and slimy shard of chewed bone. One summer afternoon Sawdust ran under a speeding Buick Roadmaster. Trailing a few steps behind, Timber only heard the thump.

    think, remember, reflect

    Who do you hate?

    by Exhibit - Center for Civil and Human Rights - Atlanta by Albert Vecerka-Esto

    I grew up in the segregated South. In my seven years of elementary school, four years of high school, and four years of college, there was never a black student in my school.

    I was there on the Sunday morning in 1960 when the leaders of my Methodist church gathered nervously on the front steps fearful that a black family was going to come to worship. When I asked my Dad what everybody was afraid of, he said, “you don’t understand.”

     

    the decades astonish and steal

    Saving Trinity, Part I

    by Saving Trinity, Part I

    August 31. Rain from Harvey’s remnants made the driving tough along Highway 34. The wipers met out a metronome-like beat as log truck after log truck slung sheets of water across my windshield, a clattering collision of water against glass. My destination? Abbeville, South Carolina to meet photographer-writer-historian Bill “Big Sky” Fitzpatrick. A gusty, gray rain seemed fitting for a mission to see who and what might halt the crumbling of historic Trinity Episcopal Church.

    hiking the at

    Song of Hiawatha

    by Appalachian Trail Rock Tunnel

    Since my early teens, I have loved the out-of-doors and spent many a good moment there, sometimes in the company of others, often in blissful solitude.

    At the age of forty, beset by an unexpected urge to solo trek, I strapped on a JanSport backpack large enough for a bathtub, filled it with fifty-four pounds of gear and sustenance, and hiked north on the Appalachian Trail (AT) out of Damascus, Virginia, bound for the high country of Mt. Rogers and Grayson Highlands. After a schlep of nine miles on day one, mostly uphill, I collapsed and camped right beside the trail, too exhausted to search for a better spot. Each day thereafter, however, I grew stronger…

    there is a bigger deal out there

    The Chase for Amazon

    by he rendering of the Amazon building in the Denny Regrade neighborhood of Seattle by NBBJ

    It has been hard to ignore the buzz created by the chase for Amazon’s second headquarters. Five billion dollars in construction costs and 50,000 “high-paying” jobs. 238 proposals have been submitted to Amazon from all across North America. Of course there were.

    While all the proposals were made in secret, it is safe to assume that no incentive was left out.

    southern blood

    Valhalla

    by Valhalla

    Without fanfare the bass player, Bob Keller, stepped to a microphone and introduced the first song.

    Here’s something by Bob Dylan.”

    The wall of sound unleashed from those speakers was unlike anything we’d ever heard. Maybe like a two by four upside the head. I swear the wind from their opening notes blew my hair.

    reading list

    Meandering Mind Stream

    by Meandering Mind Stream

    Caught without my emergency notebooks, not even a book, I found myself with 45 minutes to kill before the East Atlanta library opened. Fortunately Joe’s Coffee Shop is nearby.

    Browsing their little book shelf I found a John le Carré novel. With coffee I read ten or fifteen pages, marveling at his superb writing. Coincidentally the hold books I was there to pick up included a le Carré memoir, a collection of magazine articles he published over the years, a unique form of memoir…

    that the best he's got

    Donny O’Trump and the Liddle People

    by Donny O'Trump and the Liddle People

    Randy Newman caused an uproar years ago when he released a catchy pop ditty in which he declared that “short people got no reason to live.” The singer-songwriter insisted “Short People”was a metaphorical, anti-bigotry joke, as was his bent, but that didn’t stop a lot of short people and their families and friends from wanting to cut him off at the knees. I wonder why we haven’t heard a similar outcry over Donald Trump’s fondness for belittling “liddle” people. He’s not joking, much less engaging in metaphor.

    aging

    Nothing’s Gonna Touch You in These Golden Years

    by lifecyle of a dandelion blossom

    My right eye is doing the heavy lifting; my left, just along for the ride for now.

    Six months ago, I had a detached and torn retina in my left eye. Thanks to micro- and laser-surgery techniques, they can fix that. Not that long ago, I would’ve lost the sight in the eye. The cause? Old age, my friend, old age. While detached and/or torn retinas can happen as the result of an injury, in folks my age, they’re caused by 1) a misshapen eye (mine are extremely myopic; I had worn glasses for distance since third grade until I had LASIK a decade ago) …

    painting barns

    See Rock City

    by See Rock City

    In my mom’s back yard stands a red and black birdhouse on a white pole. Its roof holds iconic words. “See Rock City.” If it had not been for Garnet Carter and Clark Byers, that birdhouse wouldn’t exist. Times were, you could drive along a back road and sooner or later you’d see a barn with its roof turned into an advertisement.

    You’ll be hard pressed today to find a barn’s roof declaring “See 7 States from Rock City.” In case you’ve never heard of it, Rock City is a roadside attraction in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. Gigantic rock formations, a Lovers Leap, and caverns with black lights I recall. I remember, too, Ruby Falls but that’s an attraction inside Lookout Mountain.

    education by tv

    Irish Famine

    by Queen Victoria transforms to TV Queen Victoria

    Popular on British and American TV screens, the series ”Victoria” about the reign of Queen Victoria, starring Jenna Coleman, is a great way to become familiar with the history of England without reading books. Only a small percentage of the population reads history books, and even there, some issues are not fully covered. For many British viewers it was the first they had learned about the horrors of the 1840s Irish Famine… 

    protecting class privilege

    Vietnam in the Air

    by Vietnam in the Air

    Timely to have happened on the book, Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam by Mark Bowden, at the library just as the Ken Burns’ Vietnam: A Television History began on PBS. I was curious to see what perspective was brought to both the book and documentary. The factoid that especially interested me: Vietnam was one country, temporarily divided by the Geneva Accords …

    a deeper observation

    Taking A Knee for the National Anthem

    by Taking A Knee for the National Anthem

    It is obvious there is anger throughout the league from world renown athletes to the general managers of those professional teams. Professional athletes such as LeBron James, professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, have spoken out about racial injustices throughout our nation and have exemplified their frustration for our current president, Donald Trump. LeBron does not stand alone …

    faux patriotism

    Respecting the Constitution

    by Respecting the Constitution

    So let me get this straight; the primary way for Americans to properly respect our country, flag and all those soldiers who died for our right to say what we want, act the way we want, and worship in the manner we see fit is to attend a sporting event and reverently stand while an ode to a night of bombardment during a war we didn’t win, set to the tune of a British drinking song, is sung by some diva trying to sing it completely apart from what it was intended.

    southern queer vs. yankee cop

    A time to be silent or a time to speak?

    by Rainbow colored golden retriever

    I enjoy the diversity of the waiting room when I go for a routine checkup to my miracle worker, Dr. Lobiondo, Director of the Wound Center at Clara Maass Hospital in Newark, NJ. More than five years ago his rigorous routines completely cured a large open wound on my left leg, a result of lymphedema. For 2 years I had been sleeping in a chair with my legs elevated, but no noticeable improvement. Then I discovered Dr. Lobiondo…

    in the past

    A Sunday Drive

    by Noble SC Governors Grave

    Used to be customary for folks to take Sunday drives. I don’t think people today tend to do that as much as the older folks did but they should. It’s enjoyable and revealing. Of course we still use “Sunday driver” to describe a driver who dawdles, and dawdling is in order when the drive itself is the destination.

    Sunday, September 17 my sister, Deb and family friend Teresa took me to an old cemetery I’d never seen. Across the Savannah …

     

    just won't die

    The “Heritage, Not Hate” Dodge

    by zombie confederates

    Yet again, over 150 years after Appomattox, we’re still at one another’s throats about the meaning of the horrendous bloodletting that ended with a half-page of surrender terms and a handshake. The proximate trigger for the recent mayhem in Charlottesville was the city’s plan to remove a monument to Robert E. Lee. Now the air is thick with denunciations of similar monuments for valorizing traitors …

    getting to the whole truth

    The CIA’s Tortured Amnesia

    by CIA TORTURE REPORT by Paresh Nath

    It’s too bad the trial of two CIA contract psychologists who created the “torture” interrogation program in the wake of 9/11 was canceled and the case settled out of court. The trial, scheduled for September 5th, might have provided publicity that could help prevent future abuses in the name of national security. Such publicity could also call attention to the need for creating a stronger institutional memory …

    fantastic meal #90

    Blue-Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

    by Blue-Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

    We were not big potato eaters when I was growing up. My mom was a stay-at-home housewife and did most of the cooking, and baked or mashed potatoes weren’t high on her list of dinnertime sides. Rice and black-eyed peas, however, were. And as much as my dad loved black-eyed peas and rice, he did not fail to let us all know that he sure missed an occasional side of mashed potatoes, rolls, and gravy. I think the sore point here was the gravy, but it could have been the rolls.

    kegger stories

    Ground Ball Back To You, I Got The Throw

    by Pi Lambda Phi House at the University of Virginia

    “Jimmy Joe, ground ball back to you, I got the throw at second.”

    I joined a Greek fraternity at the University of Virginia in the fall of 1976. Like most large schools with dozens of different houses, an incoming freshman had a lot to choose from. There were old Southern houses that dated back to the Civil War. There were heavy drinking houses. Other houses preferred…

  • DewTubes


  • The Very Forgetful Attorney General

    The Trump Presidency:
    Last Week Tonight with
    John Oliver (HBO)

    Paul Manafort's House Cold Open
    SNL

    Press Conference - SNL

    OUTRAGE in Paradise

    Thoughts and Prayers and
    Literally Anything
    November 8, 2017 Act 1
    Full Frontal on TBS

    Russian Bots and Trolls
    November 8, 2017 Act 2
    Full Frontal on TBS

    Schneider-Man
    November 8, 2017 Act 3
    Full Frontal on TBS

    Health Care: U.S. vs. Canada

    "The Shady Bunch"
    a Roy Zimmerman song parody

    The Muellerman - The President Show

    Kellywise - SNL

    Nonsensical Rifle Addiction

    Equal Means Equal

    Saving Miley from Costco

    Love Has No Labels
    Diversity & Inclusion

    A Practical Guide for Resisting
    the Trump Agenda
    BRAVE NEW FILMS

    "The Elections Are Rigged"
    Arnold Schwarzenegger On
    Trump, Congress, Gerrymandering

    A Penis PSA
    October 11, 2017
    Full Frontal on TBS



  • random stories from our past

    Dead Dads Dinner Keeps Memories Lively

    by Susan Soper

    Dead Dads Dinner Keeps Memories Lively

    My friend Jane Kimbrell and I just celebrated another Dead Dads Dinner. We’ve done it just about every year since 1997. Don’t get me wrong. We’re not celebrating because they’re dead…but because of the lives they led and what they meant to us. Jane’s dad, Bob Kimbrell, died on her ...

    [ read more ]

    Silent nights, traditions and goats

    by Mark Johnson

    Silent nights, traditions and goats

    It’s Christmas. It’s the time of year when retailers try to convince you that every visible structure and open patch of ground must have lights, inflatable snow globes or gaudy trees that pulse to electronic renditions of “Blue Christmas.” Sure, Christmas is too commercial. We all know...

    [ read more ]

    Know Nukes

    by Tom Ferguson

    Know Nukes

    In 1952 the Paley Commission, appointed by the Truman Administration to study the energy situation, recommended that the U.S. build itself a solar future, predicting 15 million sun-heated homes by 1975. The Commission specifically warned against going nuclear, asserting the promise of renewable ener...

    [ read more ]

    Summer's Bounty

    by David Evans

    Summer's Bounty

    My wife Jody just excitedly charged into my “command post” beaming with pride and waving two lovely yellow summer squash in my face. These beauties had volunteered in her compost pile that this time of year is a smoldering mound of leaf mould and “black gold” from our local farmer’s cow pa...

    [ read more ]

    "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" And Trayvon Martin's

    by Jeff Cochran

    A recent conversation with Bruce Hampton, a pretty good picker himself, touched on Atlanta's best-ever guitar players. In the back and forth, there was speculation on how much Joe South had listened to Blind Willie McTell's recordings. Within ten minutes, I played McTell's "Kill It Kid" and South's ...

    [ read more ]

    Concerned About Where Our Nation Is Heading?

    by Andy Schmookler

    Concerned About Where Our Nation Is Heading?

    Summary: Americans think the nation is heading in the wrong direction. My biggest worries are 1) that our democracy is increasingly being transformed by the influence of big money into a plutocracy, and 2) we are failing to act vigorously to address the pressing emergency of global climate change....

    [ read more ]

    On Strong Links, Chain Reactions and Mashed Potatoes

    by Will Cantrell

    On Strong Links, Chain Reactions and Mashed Potatoes

    Note to the reader: This is the second in a series of occasional articles chronicling real life encounters with intriguing people, places, and events across the New South. There are many everyday heroes pulsing just below the radar. The most terrifying and heartless aspect of cancer is that you c...

    [ read more ]

    The Myth of Exponential Growth

    by Dave Pruett

    The Myth of Exponential Growth

    In the last post, I came out of the closet. I'm an Occupier. For most of the past two years of my affiliation with Occupy Harrisonburg (#OHB), I've participated in its small but vibrant Economics Working Group (EWG). I've never before had any interest in economics, nor have I any expertise. So wha...

    [ read more ]

    At Lincoln's death, 12-day rail procession took body to Springfield

    by Elliott Brack

    At Lincoln's death, 12-day rail procession took body to Springfield

    Last week Americans saw heavy media coverage of the death 50 years ago of President John F. Kennedy. I couldn't help but compare the aftermath and funeral of JFK with that of Abraham Lincoln, both victims of assassins. One reason this came to mind is because I had just finished a year-long projec...

    [ read more ]

    Sweet Potato Pie and Shut My Mouth

    by Mandy Richburg Rivers

    Sweet Potato Pie and Shut My Mouth

    Southerners are superior cooks.  There, I've said it.  I’m not so verbose as to claim that we are masters at French or California-chic cuisine but as per straight-up American cooking, we reign righteously. This being illustrated by the fact that my Canadian in-laws think I’m a culinary godd...

    [ read more ]

    Betting on a ride home from the racetrack

    by Piney Woods Pete

    Betting on a ride home from the racetrack

    Preakness Day is my anniversary of serendipity. I make a special point to watch the race every year and remember the day I had the good fortune to learn how dependent we all are on each other. I was a student at UGA, visiting my brother in Washington. I’d misestimated my expenses and on the ...

    [ read more ]

    Writing Off A Generation

    by John Hickman

    Writing Off A Generation

    Politicians from both parties might perform public anguish about the student loan problem but it is painfully obvious that they just don’t get how serious it is. The most recent Congressional legislation tying interest rates on student loans to the several points beyond the interest rates on t...

    [ read more ]

    Do Lord, Oh Do Lord

    by Mary Willis Cantrell

    Do Lord, Oh Do Lord

    Woodlawn Presbyterian Church is between air conditioners, but it wasn’t in our long-term plans. Several weeks ago a gang of miscreants apparently recognized that we struggle each month to pay our Georgia Power bill, so decided to help us. They wanted to show us that something we thought was essent...

    [ read more ]

    BFF

    by Billy Howard

    BFF

    Jesse McElveen and Lamar Morse were the original BFF’s. Partners in an Atlanta drug store they bought in the 1920’s, they remained friends until they reached 100. Lamar went first, then Jesse and I am sure they are together again, laughing and telling tales. I met them at Wesley Woods, a ...

    [ read more ]

    Words of Farewell

    by David Evans

    Words of Farewell

    Most of us wonder from time to time about the day we will die. What time of year will the end come and where will we be? Since it’s going to happen to all of us eventually, let’s at least hope it’s not behind the wheel watching a big truck coming at us left of center. Even worse would be in a ...

    [ read more ]

    Holes in the cultural fabric

    by Frank Povah

    Holes in the cultural fabric

    [caption id="attachment_10059" align="alignleft" width="360" caption="A landscape almost as old as time—Povah"][/caption] Australia’s an old place, so ancient that mountain ranges once as high as the Himalaya have been worn to nubs. At just under 7310 feet, Kosciuszko, the highest mainland pe...

    [ read more ]

    Charleston shooting brings sadness, shock, anger, frustration

    by Andy Brack

    Charleston shooting brings sadness, shock, anger, frustration

    As I headed to bed Wednesday night, a white gunman shot and killed nine people in an historic black church in the center of town just four blocks from where I used to live. Unaware of the evil, sleep came quickly. But in the wee hours, the ping of a text from an Australian colleague woke me. I di...

    [ read more ]

    Not too long ago, muddy hills were obstacles for church-going

    by Elliott Brack

    Not too long ago, muddy hills were obstacles for church-going

    My-my-my, how times have changed in your and my lifetime! Back when I was young, our home was in a tiny, small town. To drive to our church on Sunday, about eight miles, we were riding in a model 1940 automobile, and past a grist mill. Most of the time, the drive was easy with no complication...

    [ read more ]

    Historic win for voting rights in Virginia

    by Sue Sturgis

    Historic win for voting rights in Virginia

    Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) unveiled a plan this week to automatically restore voting rights to people convicted of nonviolent felonies. The move won praise from civil rights advocates who have long called for reform in the state, one of several with unusually harsh felon disenfranchisement l...

    [ read more ]

    More early childhood education will pay off

    by Andy Brack

    More early childhood education will pay off

    Education. Education. Education. It's the mantra you hear from just about anybody who talks about the key to South Carolina's future success. They suggest more, that it be better and that it be innovative. And despite wags who say you can't throw money at our education system to fix it, there's a...

    [ read more ]



  • Submitted by Readers

    Quotes & Stuff


    https://my.ofa.us/Defend-Our-Climate-Progress

    0601_cc_potusquote_email2

    https://my.ofa.us/Defend-Our-Climate-Progress

    Go to https://www.ofa.us/

    Organizing for Action

    Go to Organizing for Action

    A sign by Kristin Joiner, on a neighbor's lawn (Photo by Mike Licht)

    A sign by Kristin Joiner

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/32066779640/in/dateposted/

    Scott Pruitt Is Not Up For The Job

    The Climate Reality Project

    Gideons Promise

    Gideon’s Promise

    PenceWatchdotUS

    PenceWatch.us

    Women_March_Report_opt22

    Everytown For Gun Safety

    Tom Price

    UltraViolet

    Occupy Democrats

    http://occupydemocrats.com

    https://www.barackobama.com/push-forward-with-ofa/

    We have work to do

    https://www.barackobama.com/push-forward-with-ofa/

    We Can't Trust Big Oil Insiders

    ClimateRealityProject.org

    Canaries in the Coal Mine

    Southern Poverty Law Center https://www.facebook.com/SPLCenter/

    Listen to FDR

    (DonkeyHotey/flickr/CC)

    Grant - Quote

    (DonkeyHotey/flickr/CC)

  • hidden beauty

    The Long Way Home

    by A vintage rural scene come summer. A farmer’s crops and a dirt road just off Highway 34 between Silverstreet and Chappells. Blue, green, white and beige, the colors of the Earth.

    Labor Day I labored. I wrote the photo captions for my new book due out next spring about lesser-traveled road, a familiar refrain. By now you readers surely can tell what I’m working on by the columns I write. I’ve often written about my expeditions into the countryside. I drove over 10,000 miles deliberately avoiding interstates. I chose to take the long way home as Supertramp famously sang.

    values in caricature

    The Big Board Game, Capitalism

    by The Big Board Game, Capitalism

    In terms of articulating what’s going on, who runs things for whose benefit in the country, hell, the world, we are gifted with two stand-out analysts; Noam Chomsky and Michael Parenti. I’ve been reading Chomsky’s first book on the subject, American Power and the New Mandarins and an early book of Parenti’s, The Sword and the Dollar… 

    a sooty middle finger

    What the truck! Should monster pickups be outlawed?

    by Big red monster truck

    I was stopped for a red light while on my way to the grocery store when it pulled up in the lane next to me. I heard its rumble and felt its shadow fall like a partial eclipse before I actually saw it. When I glanced left from the window of my medium-sized sedan, I was eye level with its underbelly – the pristine wheel wells, the giant tires, the gleaming chassis, a concentration of chrome like a buck-toothed teenager’s orthodontics. The reflections of my car and the car just ahead of me in its side panels didn’t even reach as high as its door handles…

    climate change is real

    And now for the hard work

    by And now for the hard work

    Hurricane Harvey has brought death, unfathomable destruction, loss of homes and a deeply distraught community of caring people throughout the world.  How can we help? What do we do now?

    We will reach out, and offer whatever we can.  I particularly love the #cajunnavy and all the out-of-state volunteers from California and New York rushing to our side.

    fight them at every turn

    Understanding Racism

    by Trump Rally Asheville by Will Thomas

    I can’t really help myself. It just happens. Whenever I see images of Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, or reasonable facsimiles, I think of Groucho Marx. The comedian from my dad’s generation famously stated that he would never want to join an exclusive club that was willing to accept him as a member.

    While viewing photos from KKK members, Confederate sympathizers’ mug shots, or watching the footage from places like Charlottesville, I can’t help but think: This is supposed to be an example of a superior race? Really?

    staring at the sun

    Today we were animals

    by Preparing for the eclipse

    For one brief, shining moment, we gathered near strangers, didn’t fear for our lives, and watched the moon blot out the sun.  The moon & sun were gliding all over fly-by land, giving us a quick peek at our natural selves; amazed, amused and/or otherwise distracted from the chaos of our own creation. We thought about our place in the universe, among the other animals making noises and clustering together.

    doing stupid stuff

    I Peed On That

    by St Louis night by Daniel Schwen

    I started my career in information technology in September 1983 at the Wilmington, DE office of Digital Equipment Corporation [DEC]. The Wilmington office serviced the E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co account. Better known as DuPont, they were the largest chemical company in the United States and No. 6 on the Fortune 500. They were huge and impossible to please…

    context is not pc

    The Burden of Being a Southern, Part II

    by Sigbee drive cemetary

    Henry Kidd, who identified himself as a former national officer of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, objected to adding context. “Every tourist who comes to Richmond wants to see Monument Avenue; they don’t want to see a politically correct Monument Avenue,” Kidd said. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

    I will give Levar Stoney’s credit for appointing the Monument Avenue Commission to determine the fate of Lost Cause monuments …

    who will it be?

    The Honorable Senator from Alabama

    by Jeff Sessions, Roy Moore, Luther Strong

    The good folks in my home state of Alabama aren’t too sophisticated when it comes to voting excellent people into office. Consider that Jeff Sessions has been our senator for a long time, mostly running unopposed, or infrequently against some poor Democrat with no idea what he’s about to get involved in.

    Sessions perfected the religious fervor that doesn’t quite slip over into craziness …

    #charlottesville

    Playing With Fire

    by Charlottesville Unite The Right Rally photo taken by Rodney Dunning

    “Promise me, son, not to do the things I’ve done
    Walk away from trouble if you can
    It won’t mean you’re weak if you turn the other cheek
    I hope you’re old enough to understand
    Son, you don’t have to fight to be a man”

    As we read our Sunday newspapers or listen to the news, we hear the same story over and over again, the violence in Charlottesville Virginia.  I was afraid this was going to happen.

    fantastic meal #91

    Summertime Soup

    by Summertime Soup

    When August drifts around every year, there is little to celebrate here in the Deep South. It’s hot and humid one day, hotter and more humid the next. A day or so ago he humidity was at 99%. I thought we had to be under water to get a 99% reading. There is one good thing about August in the South, however, and that’s the proliferation of summer vegetables. Tomatoes, peppers, okra, squash, and cucumbers will grow like weeds if there’s enough rain…

    so easy to steal here

    New Wave Mobsters

    by Mafiya by © Tom Ferguson

    Mobsters tend to evolve out of inner city poverty. The young look around and notice the people in the neighborhood with flashy lifestyles, who don’t go hungry, who lord it over ordinary citizens. They resemble the intimidating bullies in their own circles who ham-fistedly appropriate their lunch money and humiliate them in other ways. The limited options visible on their horizon tempt the young and some inevitably are drawn into criminal apprenticeship.

    southern places

    A Country Club Like No Other

    by Harold's Signage -photo by Tom Poland

    Down near Yemassee, South Carolina, is a country club like no other. Harold’s Country Club proclaims that it is “in the middle of nowhere but close to everywhere.” That’s true. You’ll find it off Highway 21 at 97 Highway, 17A. I did when I pulled up in front of a faded sign that’s seen its share of Lowcountry sunlight. Nonetheless it’s colorful. A grill full of ribs, chicken, and a huge steak fill one side, a frosty mug of beer …

    fight like hell for the living

    100 Years Ago, Frank Little Died for Our Rights. Today, the Struggle Continues.

    by Jaz Brisack

    I stepped in an anthill at 4:17 yesterday morning, as I pounded a yellow “Union Yes” sign into the dewy ground outside the mile-long Nissan factory in Canton, Mississippi.

    Later in the day, on my way to visit workers and discuss the upcoming vote, I saw someone removing the signs along the highway exit ramp, as a MDOT truck blinked idly nearby. Looking closer, I noticed that the man yanking up our morning’s work was wearing striped trousers beneath his neon vest.

    more a direction

    Plumnelly: A Road Mark

    by Cheaha State Park by Andrea Wright

    On July 17, 1936, five months before I was born, an area of 393 acres of wilderness in Alabama’s Talladega County was established as a U.S. National Forest. One of its many glories is Cheaha Mountain, Alabama highest point, visible from our front porch. Dad and I camped out at many different spots in the park throughout most summers while I was growing up, and often we encountered no other human being.

    in the war on science

    Revenge of the Nerds

    by March for Science, Washington, DC by Becker1999 (Paul and Cathy)

    Earlier this month, the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a damning report: Sidelining Science Since Day One—How the Trump Administration Has Harmed Public Health and Safety in Its First Six Months.

    The value of science to policy making has been recognized in the United States at least since 1863, when President Lincoln, at the height of the Civil War, signed into law a bill establishing the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), charging it with the task of “providing independent, objective advice…

    southern addiction

    Football Sex and Old Time Religion

    by Football Sex and Old Time Religion

    The recent stunning downfall of the Ole Miss football coach has all the elements of a Southern Gothic tale. I’m surprised this wasn’t based on a Faulkner novel. Hugh Freeze resigned abruptly after being caught with incriminating evidence of sexual hanky-panky. The story had all the true elements of a southern tragedy; sex, religion, and football. What better way to spend an Autumn Saturday afternoon.

    abstraction distraction

    In a Word, Authentic

    by Scar-Moochi (aka: Anthony Scaramucci) by © Trevor Irvin

    The word “authentic” is being tossed around a lot these days … another empty-calorie, tasteless ingredient in today’s word salad. The kale of the word world.

    The other day, a leaking pustule of a man, Anthony Scaramucci, took over the job of White House Communications Director from the former dripping abscess, Sean Spicer. During one of his attempts at deceiving the press and the public, Scaramucci, started rambling on about just how great Sarah Huckabee was, saying,

    people need to know

    Clinton Tried to Win Election

    by he Ties That Bind was created by © Trevor Irvin

    Breaking Newz: A quickly unfolding scandal has revealed that Hillary Clinton colluded with millions of democrats nationwide to vote against Donald Trump during the 2016 elections.

    In a statement today, Satan’s BedBug, Kellyanne Conway, said “We hope it is clear to America now how unfairly Donald Trump was treated. When Donald Trump ran for president, Hillary purposely tried to win. We see this as proof she colluded with American Democrats…

    it all comes down to this

    Goosing Adrenaline

    by Goosing Adrenaline

    I swear, I don’t know what gets into people.

    This latest head scratcher starts when the morning’s news feed flashes a headline about an American from Virginia Beach, Virginia who gets ‘run through’ – i.e.: seriously gored – by a bull last weekend as he ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

    shoe already dropped

    The Smoking Gun

    by The Smoking Gun

    For months, there has been smoke; thick, black smoke that cannot be seen through. It certainly seemed like the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, something seemed suspicious, but there was never any proof. But no smoking gun

    For weeks, there has been a very warm gun. Meetings between Flynn, Sessions, Page, Kushner, etc…with Russian officials that had conveniently been forgotten. But no smoking gun.

    we must dissent

    Salute This Flag

    by John Beecher in 1976 by © Rob Amberg for the Asheville arts monthly, “The Arts Journal”.

    Several friends found it difficult to celebrate the Fourth of July this year. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

    I strive not to let these forces win the biggest gift I could give them, namely to shut up and wait out their dominion. Instead, we must wrestle; we must dissent.

    100 million

    From Butter Churns To Baseball Bats

    by Louiville Slugger by Tom Poland

    She kept the old churn in the kitchen. I see it vividly, even now. I watched my Grandmother Poland churn butter, a memory that sure seems old-fashioned in this digital age. I have no idea who made that churn. It vanished with the years, nowhere to be found, but I can tell you this much: baseball bats and butter churns share a connection.

    For me, this story begins in Apex, North Carolina where I was visiting my daughter and her family the weekend of June 10. The occasion was my grandson’s graduation from high school…

    and then i knew

    Dancing with Wolves

    by Dancing with Wolves

    I worshipped the man.

    Like a puppy, I waited expectantly his daily homecoming, ever eager to ask a child’s question: “What kind of day did you have?” “Oh, I had a good day,” he might say. Other times his face and his words told a different story: “It was a rough day.” If it had been a “rough day,” sometimes I’d ask why, but he never divulged much.

    remembering

    The Boy Who Stoned Cats

    by The Boy Who Stoned Cats

    Late in the afternoon a strange noise came from the vegetable garden beside the house, it was the sound of a bird in distress. The bird was squeaking, flapping its injured wing and hopping frantically around to escape from two large black birds attacking it. The boy grabbed a straw broom and waved it at the black birds until they flew away.

    The little bird continued to squeak and hop around as the boy tried to catch it…

    throwback to another era

    The Old Hand Pump

    by 76 station hand water pump by Tom Poland

    “The pump don’t work ’cause the vandals took the handles,” wrote Bob Dylan as he closed out “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” Vandals have yet to get the handle of the pump you see here, but I don’t know if it works. I didn’t try it. Wish I had. Let’s just say that it works and that’s why it didn’t end up in the scrap metal pile. Let’s add that if you work the handle enough, your reward will be gurgling, spurts of water.

    like before fox news

    Make America Great Again

    by Celebrate Freedom Rally

    Make America Great Again

    Make America great again[1]
    Make America great again[2]
    Lift the torch of freedom[3] all across the land[4]
    Step into the future joining hand in hand
    And make America great again…[5]

    even uncle sam has bad days

    Barbecue and Patriotism Both Have a Price

    by Barbecue and Patriotism Both Have a Price

    On the Fourth of July, we naturally think of Uncle Sam, our nation’s favorite icon. While I try to keep a positive attitude about Uncle Sam in July, I can’t forget the day the old man hurt my feelings in October.

    Let me explain: Back in the day, Fairfax (AL) Cotton Mill chartered a bus to take the mill-village Boy Scouts to the Southeastern Fair in Atlanta. As a proud member of Fairfax Troop 10, I was thrilled at the prospect of such a magical journey. Going to the Southeastern Fair was like a trip to Mars…

    self-indulgent con man

    The Trump We Know

    by Trump Adolf by Viengchanh

    Any additional reassurance that Donald Trump is not an American Adolf Hitler was provided by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) last Tuesday. That is the same North Korean government entity that previously announced that North Korea had invented not only the hamburger but also a drug that cures AIDS, Ebola and cancer. So if the KCNA likens POTUS 45 to Der Fuehrer, you know it is almost certainly untrue. What is interesting is that plenty of smart people outside the information bubble…

    bona fide bbq

    That Tantalizing Smoke

    by Seatman's BBQ

    A bona fide barbecue joint should be way out in the country. It’s best if it isn’t open seven days a week. People need to wait on it. They need to anticipate the approaching banquet. Moreover, a bona fide barbecue joint needs to sit where you can see the smoke rising off hog drippings and coals as red as magma. It needs to have ample parking because patrons will pilgrimage to their preferred porcine shrine as faithfully as the rising sun.

    may we be enlightened

    The Burden of Being a Southerner

    by “United Stereotypes of America” by Haley Nahman

    This is going to be a long and rather convoluted essay. I will be long, because as a Southerner and a quasi-historian I can’t do with one word what twenty would do; it will be convoluted as my feelings on the issue I am writing about are convoluted.

    While not a huge fan of William Faulkner, I have longed admired his ability to put the South and the past in perspective. So here is the obligatory Faulkner quote, which at the end of this essay you reader can judge whether I put it all in perspective.

    nature’s magic

    The Season Of Wings

    by The Season Of Wings

    The songs of birds, cicadas, and katydids really make Southern summers special. Quickly, can you tell me the difference between a cicada and a katydid? Which sings by day, and which sings by night … Ponder that.

    Unlike past summers, this one brings rain. So far, at least. And with the rain comes life. Lawns are lush and for whatever reason I’ve noticed that fireflies seem more abundant. Come dusk, they float over and around my deck, something they’ve never done before.

     

    keeping care affordable

    Dickering with the Nation’s Health Care

    by Louie Clay's Medical Insurance Costs 1985-2017

    While Congress dickers with health care, I am taking a close look at my own costs.

    I retired on December 31, 2001. In the 15½ years since, my health costs have averaged $4,842.02 per year and have been more than $2,000 for all but one of those years.

    In the 17 years before retirement, my medical costs never reached $2,000 a year.

    political partiality

    U.S. Supreme Court Appeases Donald Trump and His Islamophobic Base

    by U.S. Supreme Court Appeases Donald Trump and His Islamophobic Base

    Splitting the difference is sometimes the closest approximation to justice achievable when judges rule in contract and family disputes. When the liberty protections in the U.S. Constitution are involved, however, splitting the difference is an evasion of judicial responsibility. Consider the Supreme Court’s June 26th decision on the Muslim Ban in Donald J. Trump v. International Refugee Assistance and Donald J. Trump v. Hawaii.

    guaranteed profit

    Welfare Queen: The State of Georgia Power

    by Welfare Queen: The State of Georgia Power

    Everyone knows how free-market capitalism works: corporations invest money to make and market a product, then keep the profits. But what if you could persuade someone else to invest that money, while still pocketing the profits? Welcome to Georgia Power’s so-called “Nuclear Renaissance.” In 2009, Georgia’s General Assembly passed the Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing Act, allowing Georgia Power and its partners to charge ratepayers in advance for the construction of two new reactors at Plant Vogtle

    name 12 people

    Leroy of Barnwell and other Southern gothic characters

    by Leroy of Barnwell and other Southern gothic characters

    Hand over my heart, this is a true story.

    The South is known for its unusual characters, right? They populate the stories of Southern writers like Erskine Caldwell, Harper Lee, Flannery O’Connor, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Carson McCullers, etc. and et al.

    But we Southerners know, don’t we, that you don’t have to crack one of these authors’ famous books to find such a fictional character’s prototype?