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Monday, December 22, 2014
Southern Weather Radar


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    counting blessings

    Christmas Letter to an Old Friend

    by | 5 mins ago
    Christmas Letter to an Old Friend

    Bob!

    Wow, it was great to get your card, man. Years been slipping by, right?

    Anyhooby, we’re all good here. Ruthie pulled a twofer this summer—finished school and married Ben, pretty much on the same day. You’ll be happy to hear that Ben has accepted the responsibility of keeping music at the center of our little family. What about Jakob? Looked like the Wallflowers’ reunion album did well. And touring with Clapton? Helloooo. Of course, none of that changes the fact that you have a child who’s 45 years old.

    says it all

    Santa and Jesus

    by | 55 mins ago
    Santa and Jesus

    Each December, about a week before Christmas Day, I rummage through my electronic junk box and find my Christmas CD. I’m fussy about Christmas music. Don’t like anything too corny or elevator music-ish, nothing from Russian winter tales or other “traditional” Christmas events, and I don’t like to start more than a week before the actual day we celebrate. I’ll take my homemade Christmas CD of rock and roll Christmas songs from the Sixties until Christmas music started sucking and play it while I’m driving through the minefield of harried, distracted moms and elderly grandparents who only venture out this time of year…

    window into a national past

    You Should Have Read the Book First : What Was Lost in the Translation of “GWTW”

    by | Dec 20, 2014
    You Should Have Read the Book First : What Was Lost in the Translation of "GWTW"

    The excitement and acclaim that greeted both the Peachtree and the Broadway premieres of producer David O. Selznick’s adaptation of Gone With the Wind seventy-five years ago this week seems genuinely cringe-worthy today, after multiple indictments over recent years of Margaret Mitchell’s novel as racist and historically distorted. Mitchell is clearly culpable on the first count, although by no means uniquely so, but latter-day critics who charge her with distorting history would be well advised to consider the history she had to work with and, in some aspects, even undertook to revise.

    Photo of the Week

    A Gift For You

    by | Dec 17, 2014
    A Gift For You
    My friend and co-author, Robert Clark, and I long planned to give readers a look at the Southland and its abundant beauty, unusual charms, and fascinating stories. We came up with “Closed Wednesdays” but never got it off the ground. Too much traveling, too many book-related events, and ... Read on →

    begins with halloween

    It’s That Time of Year Again

    by | Dec 16, 2014
    It’s That Time of Year Again
    It’s that time of year again. Ya’ll know what I’m talking about … the holidays. Some see it as the song claims “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” … But others among us are just left wondering. First it’s the sugary shock of Halloween. Then it’s surviving ... Read on →

    children of the enlightenment

    A Winter’s Tale

    by | Dec 16, 2014
    Jesus crucifiction as enhanced interrogation
    When he gasped to take a breath and to stop swearing in his fractured English, he told her he had a “fucking shit life” and that she was a filthy whore who would die a horrid death. Spitting out more vitriol with each breath, he finished his rant ... Read on →

    sights & sounds

    Paul McCartney, The Druggist And The Devil On “The Funky Side Of Town”

    by | Dec 15, 2014
    Paul McCartney, The Druggist And The Devil On "The Funky Side Of Town"
    It's the second week of January 1999 and the McCartneys are visiting Atlanta. But not for a concert. On this trip, Heather McCartney is unveiling her line of houseware items at the America's Mart, and Paul is there to guarantee his daughter ample media play. After helping to ... Read on →

    a stain on values

    Outrage! Anger! Disgust! Horror! Shame! on our nation

    by | Dec 20, 2014
    The Torture Team: Yoo, Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld by DonkeyHotey
    Those are some of the emotions I feel after hearing of the way the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States has treated people in detention in the War on Terror. For this to be happening in a nation that says that all individuals have certain human rights, ... Read on →

    caveat emptor

    What Kind of Idiots?

    by | Dec 17, 2014
    What Kind of Idiots?
    What kind of idiots shell out, or commit themselves to borrow, two hundred thousand dollars for a row house and then sign on to a "warranty" that warrants nothing other than their responsibilities as buyers and owners? Rubes from the hinterlands of Georgia, mostly, but also a bloke in ... Read on →

    beijing

    The Democracy Wall

    by | Dec 17, 2014
    Democracy Wall, Wangfujing: Beijing
    I arrived in Beijing on an old Boeing 707 China Air flight in November 1978 after a week in Japan. The entry formalities at Beijing Airport were slow but considerably quicker than the Shenzhen Railway Station where I had previously entered China from Hong Kong. I caught a ... Read on →

    demand an end to excuses

    What Have We Become?

    by | Dec 15, 2014
    CIA floor via HumanRightsFirst.org
    "A good end cannot sanctify evil means; nor must we ever do evil that good may come of it." -- William Penn The iconic images of recent protests in Ferguson, Missouri -- after the police shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen -- have left Americans of ... Read on →

    georgia clay

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

    by | Dec 20, 2014
    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 ... Read on →

    rational, regulated, justifiable

    A Brief Treatise on Hating

    by | Dec 15, 2014
    A Brief Treatise on Hating
    Sure, it can be fun. Dede, for instance, is a terrific hater. Her favorite verb is “hate.” I hate winter. I hate the Falcons (not just this year). I hate this sink. I hate ... Read on →

    the banks of the li river

    The Forest of Sweet Osmanthus

    by | Dec 14, 2014
    The Forest of Sweet Osmanthus
    We left Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport for Guangzhou where we spent three days before flying on a small CAAC Ilyushin 14 aircraft to Guilin in the Guanxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The airplane was noisy, basic ... Read on →

    sustain me

    What’s on the Menu?

    by | Dec 9, 2014
    What's on the menu by Trevor Irvin
    Have you noticed lately that menus aren’t just menus anymore? They are adjective-laden exercises in literary carnage. Pretentious descriptions of food so florid I’m not sure what I’m ordering. It seems the goal of a restaurant, aside from ... Read on →

    bias in our justice system

    Perception is Reality Whether Real or Not

    by | Dec 9, 2014
    Perception is Reality Whether Real or Not
    It is not just the criminal justice system that needs fixing. Over two decades ago I first wrote an Op Ed piece on the value of a human life. The focus was that in this ... Read on →

    living the dream

    All Kneel!

    by | Dec 9, 2014
    All Kneel!
    Early Sunday I walked outside to dump the compost and ran smack dab into one of those perfect December mornings—the world awash in new yellow light, deep blue sky through leafless branches. My anxious ... Read on →

    giving

    Wealth through private foundations makes communities better

    by | Dec 9, 2014
    Wealth through private foundations makes communities better
    How do you enrich any community in its arts and culture and transform it into a vibrant and caring area? Traditionally in this country, with its tax laws, it's been some individual making a lot ... Read on →

    cramping our style

    The Humble Administrator’s Revenge

    by | Dec 9, 2014
    The Humble Administrator’s Revenge
    Suzhou: 1978 Our hosts arranged for a visit to Suzhou and Wuxi in Jiangsu Province to see two cities relatively untouched by the Cultural Revolution and experience the countryside. We left Shanghai late on Friday ... Read on →

    you are the enemy

    What Ferguson Says About America

    by | Dec 8, 2014
    Michael Brown Sr. with Rev. Al Sharpton as Attorney Benjamin Crump leads a call and response of "Hands up, don't shoot," at the St. Louis Peace Fest.
    Michael Brown Sr. with Rev. Al Sharpton as Attorney Benjamin Crump leads a call and response of "Hands up, don't shoot," at the St. Louis Peace Fest. (Brett Myers/Youth Radio) "Those who make peaceful revolution ... Read on →

    america goes pitch black

    Just As The Switch Flips

    by | Dec 8, 2014
    Just As The Switch Flips
    Over the last few months I’ve been in a lot of book signings. Most are fun and you meet interesting people but sometimes you sit for hours with little to do. Such was the ... Read on →

    book review

    Dirty Wars by Jeremy Scahill

    by | Dec 8, 2014
    Dirty Wars by Jeremy Scahill
    Jeremy Scahill begins his book, Dirty Wars, by confirming that Bush-Cheney-Rumsfield cherry-picked intelligence to justify their disastrous invasion of Iraq, an intention formed well before 9/11. The infamous attack served only as an excuse ... Read on →

    rising from the muck

    Watching the Rocket

    by | Dec 7, 2014
    Watching the Rocket
    I’m reasonably sure that I was sitting in front of a television set in Mrs. Reed’s fifth grade class on Friday May 5, 1961, watching Alan Shepard blast into outer space to defend America’s ... Read on →

    racial injustice

    Long Way To Go

    by | Dec 7, 2014
    Eric Garner Protest - Rockefeller Center by Tina Leggio (TinaLeggioPhotography.com) via flickr and used a Creative Commons license
    One of my black friends confided in me this week that he was really demoralized by all of the events surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. He was so devastated that ... Read on →

    visit too short

    A White Knuckle Flight to Shanghai

    by | Dec 7, 2014
    Waibaidu Bridge & Pudong across the river by Ken Peacock
    We left Beijing on an old Boeing 707 aircraft operated by CAAC (the Civil Aviation Administration of China) Airline, which we soon renamed “CACK” for its reliability, cabin service, food and old aircraft. Unfortunately, ... Read on →

    hear the crowing

    Sacrificing The Rooster

    by | Dec 7, 2014
    Rooster crowing at sunrise
    The word “frustraneous” grabbed me by the back of the neck a while ago and hasn’t let go since. In case you don’t know (which I didn’t), it means “useless” or “unprofitable.” Derived from ... Read on →

    shanghai mansions

    The Last Bottle of Gin in China

    by | Dec 5, 2014
    The Last Bottle of Gin in China
    When we arrived back in Shanghai and walked into the lobby of the Shanghai Mansions, I noticed it looked different to when we left two days before. The lobby seemed much bigger and where ... Read on →
  • The Dew’s Tumblr

    • photo from Tumblr

      huffpostcomedy:

      Sorry not sorry, Florida.

    • photo from Tumblr

      thirteenny:

      On this day in 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white passenger, leading to her arrest and sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Learn more in this clip from The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross: http://bit.ly/1vKyJRQ

    • Deep South justice in Ferguson - The Washington Post

      Colbert King writes:

      My 102-year-old mother-in-law, Henryne Walker Stewart Goode, whom we buried a week ago at the Walker family cemetery in Okolona, Miss., often told an unforgettable story at our kitchen table.

      She attended Okolona College, where she was taught English and public speaking by James Raspberry, the father of my late Post colleague, William Raspberry. At one time, in my mother-in-law’s telling, animals on the school’s farm were falling victim to some invading marauder. A school employee discovered the culprit — a dog — and shot it. But the white farmer who owned the dog retaliated, turning up at the school to shoot the employee to death and threaten the school’s president. The school’s president was forced to flee, my mother-in-law said, but nothing happened to the white farmer. That said all we needed to know about Deep South justice of her youth.

      An account in the July 4, 1931, edition of the Afro American flushed out the details of this tale, and over 90 years it deviated remarkably little from the facts. The dog that was shot by school employee Ulysses Baskin was part of a pack that attacked the school’s sheep. On May 30, 1925, Baskin was in fact shot by the dog’s owner eight times. School president Wallace A. Battle demanded the arrest of the culprit, but the local grand jury freed him. Battle didn’t flee, though; he resigned in protest when the school’s white trustees would not demand justice for the murder.

      That was Mississippi in the 1920s — a time when white men were justified in taking the law into their own hands in matters involving black men.

    • Remembering the South in the City

      Joseph Mitchell was born in 1908 into a prosperous family of North Carolina cotton and tobacco growers. At the age of twenty-one, he came to New York City to pursue a career as a writer, and he started contributing to [The New Yorker] four years later. In the late sixties and the early seventies, he began writing a memoir. What follows was planned as the second chapter but was never finished.

      Memories from the great Joseph Mitchell about growing up in Robeson County, North Carolina.

    • U.S. veteran leads clean-up of Vietnam War's lethal remnants

      An excellent report on the work of Chuck Searcy, an Athens, Georgia, native who is organizing efforts to remove unexploded ordnance still threatening the lives of Vietnamese civilians. More than 100,000 Vietnamese have been killed or maimed by unexploded ordnance, called UXOs, since the end of the war in 1975.



  • “What
     
  • random dew stories from the past

    You Should Have Read the Book First : What Was Lost in the Translation of "GWTW"

    You Should Have Read the Book First : What Was Lost in the Translation of

    The excitement and acclaim that greeted both the Peachtree and the Broadway premieres of producer David O. Selznick’s adaptation of Gone With the Wind seventy-five years ago this week seems genuinely cringe-worthy today, after multiple indictments over recent years of Margaret Mitchell’s novel a...

    Read on →

    Short order cooks tap dance as they work

    Short order cooks tap dance as they work

    I was returning from the airport not too long ago. I drove a friend of mine there and after dropping him off, on the way back home I stopped off at Subway and got me a turkey sandwich. There was a young woman working behind the counter and as I watched her work and deal with those customers who were...

    Read on →

    'It's Alright Ma' (Rockin' The White House, part 2)

    'It's Alright Ma' (Rockin' The White House, part 2)

    Analyzing the songs of Bob Dylan is not for the timid. Few do it well. Michael Gray, Clinton Heylin, John Hinchey, Greil Marcus, Tim Riley and Robert Shelton are among those who've succeeded.  Their insights may not be in line with Dylan's, but they enlighten and entertain. "It's Alright Ma...

    Read on →

    'You Better Move On' -- Arthur Alexander/The Rolling Stones

    'You Better Move On' -- Arthur Alexander/The Rolling Stones

    Some guy was crashing the gates. He was meddling in a couple's love life. The guy was boastful. It was obvious he had not studied the situation. The advice to the intruder was calm and direct. No chest-thumping. No lecturing. Four words rang true in the protagonist's  measured response to the in...

    Read on →

    Haley Hires Boehner’s $520/Hr Lawyer To Defend Voter ID Law

    Haley Hires Boehner’s $520/Hr Lawyer To Defend Voter ID Law

    Former Solicitor General Paul Clement is the high-priced lawyer of choice for conservative lawmakers eager to mangle the law and the Constitution at taxpayers’ expense. Clement will defend Arizona’s unconstitutional SB 1070 law before the Supreme Court, he is spearheading the challenge to the Af...

    Read on →

    Dew Drops: Bad Dog Days for dogs

    Dew Drops:  Bad Dog Days for dogs

    JoJo, a lab mix, was tied to a pickup trailer hitch and dragged.   Katie, a lab, and Petey, a Boston terrier, were stung to death by honey bees.  Grace, an Australian sheperd, was pumped full of pellets from a 12-gauge shotgun.  Fox, a sheriff's department canine officer, died of heat stroke. ...

    Read on →

    Ignorance is bliss

    Ignorance is bliss

    In the mid-1970’s when the US inflation rate was double-digits, an unnamed administration source1 in the post-Nixon Ford administration explained it simply, “The reason we have inflation is that we measure it. If we didn’t track it, there would be no inflation.” I’ve always admired that id...

    Read on →

    The Last Hurrah

    The Last Hurrah

    OK, excellent outcome. Not a mandate, but clearly a rebuke to Republicans’ misguided belief that hate and division can again pass for vision. Their pundits employed “selection bias,” the phenomenon where you pick the information that suits your argument (Karl Rove, Peggy Newnan, Rasmussen Poll...

    Read on →

    Review: Olive Kitteridge

    Review:  Olive Kitteridge

    A few months ago, a good friend dropped off a book, saying, “Here, you’ll love this. It’s a collection of short stories.” What she handed me was, Olive Kitteridge, the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction by Elizabeth Strout. I thanked her a little too politely, all the while thinking, OK,...

    Read on →

    For My Many Moms

    For My Many Moms

    My mother would have been 95 this year, and this month will be my 50th chance to tell her on Mother's Day just how much she means to me. Even though I have never sent a card or flowers, I have always stated out loud: "Happy Mother's Day, mom." I have to think she is happy with that. You see, my mom ...

    Read on →

    Panetta: Military Spending Is Going Up

    Panetta: Military Spending Is Going Up

    On Thursday, Leon Panetta held a press conference announcing what he called "cuts" to military spending.  The first question following his remarks pointed out that the "cuts" are to dream budgets, while the actual spending will be increased over Panetta's 10-year plan.  Is there any year, the repo...

    Read on →

    On This Day

    On This Day

    I sit and read some of the thousands of comments that are posted on FaceBook, online forums and after each news item… and I cringe. I watch the televised scenes of jubilant rejoicing, flag-waving and back-slapping… and it all feels, somehow, primitive and wrong. Today I simply feel pensive. T...

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    Take my stuff ... please!

    Take my stuff ... please!

    I went to a party last night and came home with a cookbook, a DVD, a dictionary, a box of maps ... and a new bed. It was a "Take My Stuff" party, a clever and necessary concept in Abu Dhabi, where people come and go all the time and the cost of shipping your things back home, wherever that mig...

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    Will We Continue to Remain Silent About Things That Matter?

    Will We Continue to Remain Silent About Things That Matter?

    Houston is the fourth largest city in this nation. It has the largest medical complex in the WORLD, not just in the USA. The Texas Medical Center (TMC) is one of the largest employers in the city. Everyday there are more than 200,000 - 250,000 people who come in and out of the TMC. Yet it still show...

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    A Sincere Christmas Suggestion

    A Sincere Christmas Suggestion

    Here’s a sincere and hopeful Christmas suggestion designed to reduce stress and improve holiday festivities for all of us this year. To: All of you who feel the need to shop for everyone you know, used to know, or might know in the future, whether you start purchasing gifts in April from a care...

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    A Strategy for Democrats in Very Red Districts

    A Strategy for Democrats in Very Red Districts

    There are many congressional districts where Democrats have nearly zero chance of winning anytime soon. The recent victory of the disgraced Mark Sanford in a South Carolina congressional race shows how safe a Republican seat can be. The difficulty of winning these seats, paradoxically, presents a...

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    America Is Better Than This

    America Is Better Than This

    Will someone answer this question for me?  What is wrong with being a Muslim?  There are Muslim doctors, lawyers, teachers, policemen and policewomen.  There is a Muslim congressman from the great state of Minnesota named Keith Ellison.  We encounter Muslim Americans in every facet of American...

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    Neil Young to Listeners: 'Make Friends in Alabama'

    Neil Young to Listeners: 'Make Friends in Alabama'

    Neil Young was on the rock and roll career path. And he was making tracks. Upon leaving Buffalo Springfield, he launched a solo career and still found time to start an on again, off again partnership with Crosby Stills and Nash. The super group glow of that association brought more attention to his ...

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    Mammon and 3D Lit

    Mammon and 3D Lit

    The other day I wrote an article about the potential for an emerging three dimensional literature, 3D Lit. I have since begun a novel, Einstein is a Pussy, about a young physics genius, a bisexual graduate history student at the University of South Carolina who financed her and her siblings' educati...

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    Head Trip

    Head Trip

    I just remembered this morning that phrase, haven’t heard or thought it in years. Someone on a head trip might be someone who is out of touch, distant, insensitive to others, preoccupied with ideas. Under the influence of psychedelics people in the timeframe I’m thinking of were subject to vi...

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