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Friday, October 31, 2014
Southern Weather Radar


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    part 10

    Ideas that Can Make Liberal America Stronger: Value is at the Heart of Our Humanity

    by | Oct 30, 2014
    Ideas that Can Make Liberal America Stronger: Value is at the Heart of Our Humanity

    In order to regain its moral and spiritual passions, Liberal America does not have to to embrace the forms traditional religion has used to represent the issues of good and evil. That reconnection can be achieved, by moving further forward along the path of rational, empirically-based scientific knowledge.

    In other words, the path of evidence and reason can provide us good answers to those vital questions of value — answers that can connect us to those deep parts of our human core from which comes the passionate intensity required for this urgent battle.

    another dark wood

    Promises To Keep

    by | Oct 28, 2014
    Promises To Keep

    In a class on Dante I’m currently enrolled in, Professor Frank Ambrosio of Georgetown University quoted the nineteenth century philosopher Friedric Nietzsche that human beings, as far as we know, are the only animals that make promises. I only add that humans are also the sole ones who break them.

    According to Ambrosio, Nietzsche puts the significance of human promising and its place with regard to freedom this way: “In man, nature set itself the task to breed an animal worthy of making promises.”

    finley, dylan and the beatles

    The Beatles: Workin’ On Mr. Finley’s Farm

    by | Oct 28, 2014
    Charles Finley and Charlie O. Mule

    John Lennon and Charlie Finley arguing over money and how many songs the Beatles would play at a concert Finley was promoting? It was a moment worthy of what the great satirist, Edward Sorel, might have dreamed up for one of his great Atlantic Monthly illustrations. As John Lennon often said, “You had to be there.”

    are we so gullible

    The GOP Simultaneously Cries ‘Wolf’ and ‘The Sky Is Falling’

    by | Oct 26, 2014
    Big Senate Race 2014 by DonkeyHotey
    Despicable. That's the only word for it. I refer to the recent official email "Responding to the Ebola Crisis" of October 17 from my congressional representative, Bob Goodlatte, of Virginia's 6th District. It begins by stating that "Ebola ... Read on →

    good company

    Frankly But Faintly Malicious

    by | Oct 23, 2014
    Frankly But Faintly Malicious
    She told her joke by asking, “What is black and yellow and goes zub, zub, zub?” Of course, the answer is a bee going in reverse. Thus we rode this joke off into another round of high-energy ... Read on →

    shop elsewhere

    A Guns and Butter Gambit

    by | Oct 22, 2014
    A Guns and Butter Gambit
    One wryly fascinating aspect of achieving "seniority" is that my senses have become more adept at finding free entertainment.  Locating alternative sources of amusement  has become almost a necessity these days.  Daytime television remains abominable, cable ... Read on →

    honest v. integrity

    What Is Art, Anyway?

    by | Oct 21, 2014
    What Is Art, Anyway?
    When you get interested in painting you naturally look around to see what others who got this bug have done. Finding out what painters are doing in the U.S. today is like listening to rock on ... Read on →

    faith-based politics

    When Bad Politics Are Supported by Good People

    by | Oct 28, 2014
    When Bad Politics Are Supported by Good People
    Recently my wife and I attended a reunion of her first cousins (and their spouses). These cousins are the children of the children of a couple of Swedish immigrants who settled in Iowa to farm ... Read on →

    o’reilly/stewart brouhaha

    Denial is a River in the Right-Wing Mind

    by | Oct 26, 2014
    Denial is a River in the Right-Wing Mind
    People like Bill O'Reilly call upon people to raise themselves up while helping keep a foot on their necks. Conservatives like O'Reilly do have some kernels of truth on their side. They rightly think people should ... Read on →

    down the drain

    The Ethical Man Lusts in His Heart

    by | Oct 25, 2014
    The Ethical Man Lusts in His Heart
    The ethical man keeps his hands to himself and does not destroy what he admires and loves. The ethical man does not subscribe to the excuse that “you always hurt the one you love. The ... Read on →

    insults to nature

    The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

    by | Oct 22, 2014
    The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions
    How does that happen? Mostly, it's the result of a mixture of hubris and inadvertence. Humans, stuck on themselves, think they know it all. Others are convinced "all it takes is the idea" (the ExxonMobil ... Read on →

    part 9

    Concerned About Where Our Nation Is Heading?

    by | Oct 23, 2014
    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) ... Read on →

    part 8

    Beliefs that Make Liberal America Weak: Barriers to the Source of Moral and Spiritual Passions

    by | Oct 19, 2014
    Beliefs that Make Liberal America Weak: Barriers to the Source of Moral and Spiritual Passions
    Summary: Why does that the line from Yeats apply to America in our times? "The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are filled with a passionate intensity." One important reason is that the ... Read on →

    ritual

    Yahrzeit—Remembering What We Have Lost

    by | Oct 15, 2014
    Yahrzeit—Remembering What We Have Lost
    It is the morning of October 3rd. As I have for the past more than forty October 3rds, I take from the cupboard a special kind of candle and light it. As I do ... Read on →

    reading between the lines

    The Very Last Word

    by | Oct 13, 2014
    The Very Last Word
    I read the obituaries. But I no longer read a printed newspaper every day and the obits just are not the same in on line versions of newspapers. So I am forced to catch ... Read on →

    stretch

    One Human Instinct – Always in Our Service

    by | Oct 13, 2014
    One Human Instinct - Always in Our Service
    Some are born lucky. Others are born rich or marry into money. Still others create endless streams of opportunity. And perhaps when we can’t answer yes to the aforementioned, we can easily feel entitled. But ... Read on →

    part 7

    Dispirited Liberal America

    by | Oct 13, 2014
    Dispirited Liberal America
    Summary: In Liberal America these days, one encounters a good deal of hopelessness about the future of our country. Why the hopelessness? The difficult circumstances certainly play a part. But they are not answer ... Read on →

    dreams

    A Hard Day’s Night

    by | Oct 12, 2014
    Dreams Don't Turn to Dust by Alex Timlinson aka: hootalex from Devianart.com.
    The tiny old man wheezed and warned me to leave him alone since he was just looking for a wall to lean against. He was an examination of human frailty, revealed in blurred and ... Read on →

    the natural world

    Georgia, the state of things left out

    by | Oct 11, 2014
    No BMPs by road to new subdivision with obvious souring of the bottom during rain event.
    My spouse of fifty years has a quirky brain. It looks for things that aren't there. Which is probably why one of his favorite poems is Antigonish or "The man who wasn't there," by ... Read on →

    part 6

    The Force Is Not With Us: We Identify with Our Fantasy Heroes — Why Don’t We Emulate Them?

    by | Oct 11, 2014
    The Force Is Not With Us: We Identify with Our Fantasy Heroes -- Why Don't We Emulate Them?
    Summary: We all know how to respond to evil. Again and again, our popular stories and mythology take us vicariously and gratifyingly through the process -- e.g. in films like "Avatar," "Star Wars," ... Read on →

    part 5

    Liberal America, You Don’t See What We’re Up Against, and It Matters

    by | Oct 7, 2014
    Liberal America, You Don't See What We're Up Against, and It Matters
    Summary: Liberal America does not perceive well the nature of the force that's taken over the right. Not perceiving what we're up against has enormous consequences, because understanding one's foe - its nature, ... Read on →

    150 years later

    Mr. R.E. Lee, Without the Flags

    by | Oct 6, 2014
    Mr. R.E. Lee, Without the Flags
    The Confederate flags are now gone from around the incumbent marble Robert E. Lee, at eternal rest with his riding boots on in the innermost sanctuary of Lee Chapel in Lexington, Va. That is ... Read on →

    controlling the present

    History as Mystery, Michael Parenti, a review

    by | Oct 6, 2014
    History as Mystery, Michael Parenti, a review
    After stating in his introduction that “history is written and marketed... to enforce existing political orthodoxy” and that “Those who control the present take great pains to control our understanding of the past.” Michael ... Read on →

    Golden Isles

    Road to Nowhere and Nowhere Roads

    by | Oct 4, 2014
    Road to Nowhere and Nowhere Roads
    Let it not be said that our far Northwest state, Alaska, has a monopoly on Nowhere. While their "Bridge to Nowhere" garnered much national attention on the political and comedy circuit, here in Southeast ... Read on →

    chronic v. infectious

    Ebola & Health Inequities

    by | Oct 3, 2014
    Ebola reaching American soil, is this a wake call to look at our approach to health care?
    This is a very short opinion piece because I don’t think it need must explanation. I want you to think the recent events in Dallas regarding the transmission of Ebola on to American soil. ... Read on →

    damned facts

    Toward a Post-Materialistic Science

    by | Oct 2, 2014
    "Eye of God:" Hubble Telescope image of Helix Nebulaby NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
    "Eye of God:" Hubble Telescope image of Helix Nebula The latest issue of Explore -- the Journal of Science and Healing -- contains a bombshell of an essay. It's titled "Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science," ... Read on →

    get up

    Stretch, move, walk around … instead of sitting at work all day

    by | Oct 2, 2014
    Stretch, move, walk around ... instead of sitting at work all day
    The realities and consequences of our sitting all day become obvious… yet overlooked… except to our bodies. Actually, our bodies emerge as the brave soldiers here, now doing what they were never designed to do: ... Read on →
  • The Dew’s Tumblr

    • Five questions the Georgia state ethics investigation of Governor Nathan Deal’s 2010 campaign never answered - Atlanta Magazine

      Jim Walls reports:

      The state ethics commission is a mess, its organization and reputation in shambles. It’s forked over $3 million to four fired employees who blamed a cover-up in an investigation of Governor Nathan Deal’s 2010 campaign, then fired its most recent director last month after a judge said she’d been “dishonest and nontransparent.”

      Even now, on the eve of Deal’s re-election bid, questions about the ethics allegations from four years ago have only grown stronger. His opponent, Jason Carter, returns to them almost daily. “Imagine,” he said in the first debate between the candidates, “a world where the governor comes on the radio and he’s not talking about an ethics scandal.” Common Cause Georgia says a jury’s $1.1 million award to former ethics commission director Stacey Kalberman underscores the need to reopen the investigation; Sam Olens, the state attorney general, dismissed Democrats’ earlier call to revive the probe as politically motivated.

      Technically speaking, all the complaints against Deal were resolved in 2012, when he paid $3,350 in administrative fees for filing defective campaign and personal finance disclosures.

      But a review of the commission’s files shows the investigation leading to that settlement was never really completed. Ethics commission staffers abandoned inquiries into tens of thousands of dollars spent on air travel and credit card charges, and questioned no one but lawyers for the campaign accused of wrongdoing.

    • David Perdue Has Up To $1 Million Managed By Swiss Private Bank Fund

      Christina Wilkie reports:

      "Republican David Perdue, the Georgia businessman running for U.S. Senate, has as much as $1 million invested in an exclusive fund managed by a Swiss private bank — a rarefied investment strategy that has earned him between $100,000 and $1 million since 2012.

      "The fund, Vontobel Non-U.S. Equity LLC, is managed by a subsidiary of the Zurich-based private bank Vontobel to invest in companies that operate primarily outside the United States. Registered as a Delaware corporation, the fund includes shares of mortgage companies in India, global tobacco corporations, and European consumer goods manufacturers."

    • Why anyone in the South would continue to vote Republican after seeing this Map defies logic

    • Both parties face a blue-collar imperative - The Washington Post

      E.J. Dionne writes:

      "[Georgia Republican Senate candidate David] Perdue’s problems on outsourcing, like Mitt Romney’s 2012 troubles related to his own business background, reveal the major soft spot in the GOP’s white-working-class armor: Many blue-collar Americans combine a mistrust of Democrats with a deep skepticism about the corporate world.

      "Anna Greenberg, a Democratic pollster, says this points the way toward arguments that progressives need to make in the future. ‘We have to expose the unholy alliance between money and politics,’ she says. ‘Concern about inequality is unifying, it’s cross-partisan and it’s not ideological.’

      "This will play some this year but may loom larger in 2016."

    • Once Again, a Carter Aims to Govern in Georgia - NYTimes.com

      Richard Fausset reports:

      The most famous name in the Georgia governor’s race belongs to the challenger, State Senator Jason Carter, grandson of Jimmy Carter, the former president who served as Georgia governor from 1971 to 1975. But rather than a referendum on the Carter legacy, the race remains focused to a large extent on the record of Nathan Deal, the former congressman and current occupant of the governor’s mansion.

      Mr. Deal, 72, a polished Republican who has spent more than three decades in public office, has been fighting for a second term amid sustained trouble at the state ethics commission stemming from his previous campaign for governor; chronic public school funding shortfalls; and an 8.1 percent statewide unemployment rate, the highest in the nation.

      Not surprisingly, his Democratic rival, Mr. Carter, appears to have decided that he has better options than playing the famous grandfather card.

      Instead, Mr. Carter, 39, has incessantly pummeled Mr. Deal on ethics issues and criticized the governor for Georgia’s underfunded education system — which, Mr. Carter argues, helps explain the state’s poor jobs numbers.

      “Governor Deal has brought us to the bottom,” Mr. Carter said at an Atlanta candidates forum last month. “And we’re beginning to reap what we’ve sown.”

  • random dew stories from the past

    The 99 Percent Spring

    The 99 Percent Spring

    The people aren't powerless in the face of extreme inequality. In the coming weeks, millions of Americans will take to the streets as part of the "99 percent spring," echoing last year's "Arab Spring." At the root of this discontent are the extreme inequalities of income, wealth, and opportuni...

    Read on →

    The Artificial Flannery O'Connor

    The Artificial Flannery O'Connor

    Flannery O’Connor appeared on "'Galley Proof," a program about books, broadcast by WRCA-TV Workshop, the week before the publication in 1955 of her collection of short stories, A Good Man is Hard To Find and Other Stories. The television program dramatized scenes from one of the stories, "The Life...

    Read on →

    At sea

    At sea

    The last time I was on board a boat out of Miami, it was a 12-foot Sunfish, property of a fellow Miami Herald employee named Dave Finley. It was my first adventure on a sailboat, and it ended with the Sunfish on its side in the Atlantic off Key Biscayne and Finley and I thrashing around trying to ri...

    Read on →

    Double biopsy

    Double biopsy

    Bruised and bleary eyed after a double biopsy with two doctors, two nurses, another trip to the MRI machine, Adavan to keep me from hauling ass of out of there and one nurse to rub my back and whisper sweet nothings. It was our seventh wedding anniversary. Author Note: A Stroll Down Mam...

    Read on →

    'Hall Pass' is a raunchy romp you may want to pass on

    'Hall Pass' is a raunchy romp you may want to pass on

    Excrement gags, male genitalia jokes, and other raunchy slap stick fills the screen in the Farrelly brothers' latest film, Hall Pass. Male mid-life crisis has never been so funny and gross. Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis play two domesticated husbands who get a reprieve from being monogamous in ...

    Read on →

    Why Breast Cancer?

    Why Breast Cancer?

    Why make curing breast cancer a priority when only 1% of the cases affect men? Fair question. Irony. Cancer of the most beautiful and natural symbol of unconditional love, the source of mother’s milk, is caused by the chemical pollution man dumped on mother earth during the last century. That’...

    Read on →

    Help me, information

    Help me, information

    Privacy rules, well-intended though they may be, sometimes result in silliness. My cousin, a lady of a certain age, flew to Atlanta from San Francisco for my daughter's wedding. Back in the day Betty was well-travelled. She thought I'd meet her in the waiting area at her landing gate. That's how ...

    Read on →

    More News From Pleasant Street

    More News From Pleasant Street

    Pleasant Street Historic Society is an all-volunteer 501.c.3 organization which just celebrated it's 25th anniversary last year. Our intrepid engine, Melanie Barr writes: I have been corresponding with the grandson of the Mr. Julius Rosenwald who helped fund over 5,000 schools for African American...

    Read on →

    Can't go home again

    Can't go home again

    I don't wanna get married. Never have, never will. OK, I know. Never say never. How 'bout this: I seriously doubt I'll ever want to get married. That work? Good. I tell you this because I'm about to talk about marriage, specifically same-sex marriage or (in the fine tradition of making sure you d...

    Read on →

    Occupy Atlanta, General Assembly Draft Demands

    Occupy Atlanta, General Assembly Draft Demands

    The General Assembly passed out their draft of demands and read their preamble: We hold this truth to be self-evident that the 99% deserve equal rights, equal protections, equal access and equal opportunity as the 1% who benefit disproportionately from the current system.  We therefore freely assem...

    Read on →

    Outbreak of Affluenza Strikes Down Teen

    Outbreak of Affluenza Strikes Down Teen

    A 16-year-old is avoiding all jail time for killing four people and injuring nine in a drunk-driving accident after his lawyer successfully argued the teen suffers from "affluenza." Affluenza, you say? You aren’t familiar with that disease? Well, you should be. It is a deadly affliction spreadi...

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    Lincoln & Obama: Same Basic Challenge, Very Different Responses

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    10 Things to Expect If Republicans Win the Senate

     

    Washington, D.C. -- For at least two years, Republicans have viewed 2014 as their opportunity to win back control of the U.S. Senate, allowing them to push a conservative agenda that hurts working families, women, communities of color, and others. While Democrats remain competitive in key races, several that are still too close to call could decide the balance of the Senate. Today, the Center for American Progress Action Fund released an issue brief, "Things to Expect Next Year If Republicans Win the Senate," showing the stakes in this election by detailing, at a policy level, the consequences of a Republican Senate.

    Congressional Republicans have spent the last several years attempting to force the country toward conservative policies. Especially on the economy, these policies often work only for the wealthy few and no one else. As the final week of the election season approaches, it is important to look beyond the horse-race aspect of the election to the impact the next Congress could have.

    "Over the past few years, we have seen Republican obstruction block dozens of judicial nominees, attempt to stop public health standards before they could even be finalized, and obviously shut down the government, said Tony Carrk, Vice President for Policy and Research at CAP Action and author of the analysis. "But a Republican-led Senate would likely take the next step, including efforts to cut taxes on the wealthy and slash spending on programs that help low- and middle-income families, votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and possibly efforts to block progress on LGBT rights."

    While billions of dollars were lost and millions of Americans were hit by the government shutdown, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has promised more of the same brinksmanship under his leadership. Republicans would likely continue to push the Ryan budget, which provides tax cuts for millionaires but slashes $3.3 trillion from programs that help low- and middle-income families in the form of cuts to Medicaid and Pell Grants.

    Republicans have used the filibuster to block judicial nominees, a move that has long-term consequences for issues such as voting rights, marriage equality, and health care. That obstruction is likely to continue, along with the tried and failed strategy of voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, even as millions have gained access to health insurance.

    "These candidates and current conservative senators have made it clear that their priority is still to thwart policies that help middle-class families wherever they can," Carrk said. "Instead of addressing issues facing the country, they delay and obstruct, which has led to a government shutdown, debilitating budget fights, and slower economic growth. The stakes in this election are clear, and Americans need look no further than today's U.S House of Representatives to see what a Republican Senate would do."

    The top 10 things to expect next year if Republicans win the Senate are:

    1. Additional attempts to use the budget process to advance a conservative ideological agenda

    2. More tax cuts for the wealthy and further spending cuts for middle- and working-class families

    3. Obstruction of well-qualified judicial nominees, leaving vacancies on federal courts

    4. A vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act

    5. Attempts to roll back women's health gains

    6. Use of the Congressional Review Act to weaken environmental rules, jeopardizing public health

    7. Action to dramatically expand people's ability to carry concealed, loaded guns

    8. Legislation that adversely affects the LGBT community

    9 Legislation to deport DREAMers

    10. New cuts to programs and rules that increase college access, affordability, and readiness

    ###

    The Center for American Progress Action Fund is the sister advocacy organization of the Center for American Progress. The Action Fund transforms progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world. The Action Fund is also the home of The Progress Report.

     
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