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Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Southern Weather Radar


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    colors against the shadows

    Light In October

    by | Oct 8, 2013
    Light In October

    The American marten’s body this morning had lost its lustrous sheen my wife Jody and I had marveled at yesterday when our dogs found it in the woods just off our drive. In the eighteen years I have lived here, this is only the second marten I’ve seen. I only got a glimpse of the first one years ago as he darted down off a rock and disappeared alongside the stream. We have no idea what killed this one, although we have coyotes and fox here who are natural predators.

     

     

    it's out there

    Just Tell the Truth, Why Don’t Ya?

    by | Oct 5, 2013
    Just Tell the Truth, Why Don't Ya?

    I’ve had enough. Really. Enough. I’ve tried so hard not to write about this shutdown thing, not to even think about it. But it’s not working. Every day, it’s some new idiocy. The latest, Florida Republican Congressman Dennis Ross, telling us the GOP can’t back down now because of “pride.”

     

     

    enough

    When will moderate Republicans decide “enough is enough?”

    by | Oct 4, 2013
    When will moderate Republicans decide "enough is enough?"

    At what point will the rank-and-file of the Republican Party determine that the extreme right wing of their party is about to take their party down? The “don’t compromise at any price” GOP element seems intent to getting their way, no matter what, though this may seriously harm any effort by the mainstream Republican Party to move toward the center on any issue. It may blow the Republicans out of the water in the next election.

     

     

    health insurance marketplace

    October First

    by | Sep 27, 2013
    October First

    As we creep ever closer to the day that 48,600,000 uninsured Americans have been waiting so long for… October first. The day the national insurance exchanges will open. The day that Teapuglicans have fought so tirelessly to prevent. It is time we were reminded of just how ruthlessly stupid our state leaders are. Perhaps, that isn’t fair. Maybe they are not stupid, just uninformed. Or perhaps, they are betting we are.

     

     

    uneducated extremists

    Pair trot out that old saw, nullification, to cost Georgians

    by | Sep 17, 2013
    Pair trot out that old saw, nullification, to cost Georgians

    Perhaps Governor Nathan Deal and his insurance commissioner, Ralph Hudgens, have as their heroes the likes of Thomas Jefferson, John C. Calhoun, George Wallace and Strom Thurmond.

    History recalls all of these prominent figures hell-bent on insisting that their individual states could “nullify” acts of Congress, and not pay attention to the laws of the United States. They saw nullification as a remedy when they felt the Federal Government as reaching too far and absorbing the powers of the individual states.

     

     

    man of peace

    A Brief Open Letter to Vladimir Putin

    by | Sep 13, 2013
    A Brief Open Letter to Vladimir Putin

    I read your op-ed in The New York Times yesterday, and your decision to push your message through America’s most widely read news source still baffles me. I can only assume you were attempting to reach the American people. But why? Americans do not support military action in Syria in the first place. Do you even read The New York Times?

     

     

    anyone notice?

    Issuing a Metaphor

    by | Sep 12, 2013
    Issuing a Metaphor

    Hard as it is to believe, we almost went to war because our president “issued” a metaphor. And how exactly do you “issue” a metaphor anyway? Our president knew it wasn’t an actual red line since he said it and didn’t draw it, but had it been real, couldn’t we have just gotten an eraser out, or just started with a clean slate? Oops, a clean slate is a metaphor – not something real. Fortunately for us and especially fortunate for those in Syria who would have been blown to paradise for being inside the metaphorical red line… damn, there I go again.

     

     

    punitive bombing

    Obama Should Listen

    by | Sep 9, 2013
    Obama Should Listen

    Failure is written all over the Joint Statement on Syria issued on September 6th meeting of the Group of 20 in St. Petersburg. Only 11 of the 20 leaders present – the U.S., Britain, France, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, Spain, and Saudi Arabia –  signed on to the condemnation of Damascus. Thus the opposite of the international moral consensus that is supposed to be the foundation of international law.

    Worse from the standpoint of the Obama administration, the text of the statement does not endorse military action.

     

     

    long, long way to go

    Time to Dream Again

    by | Aug 29, 2013
    Time to Dream Again

    One thousand and fifty eight words and not a single one was “dream.” That’s how far Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was into his famous 1963 speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before he gave voice to the phrase that would crystallize a movement, personify his too-short time on earth, and cast his legacy that would endure long past the final echoes of an assassin’s gunshot disappeared into the Memphis night.

     

     

    stinginess of the working class

    Wall Street Journal: Better Never Than Late

    by | Aug 26, 2013
    Wall Street Journal: Better Never Than Late

    Although it is years late to the party, the Wall Street Journal is finally acknowledging the negative impact that low wages have on the American economy, albeit in a twisted, delusional manner. A front page graph from Monday’s WSJ shows the decline in employee wages since 2010. The caption underneath the graph reads:

    “Economists fret that stagnant wages are hampering growth in the U.S. as consumers, the biggest driver of the economy, are reluctant to spend more unless their pay grows. Workers think they can’t push for raises because they feel they have limited bargaining power.”

     

     

    raging hormones

    Sex and politics

    by | Aug 25, 2013
    Sex and politics

    Once upon a time, almost no women held any kind of political office unless it had to do with children or schools.  Even then, the higher up and top offices were always held by men.  If you are young, you may wonder why this was so.  Why was our country  – on every level of government and business — not using half of the adult population to run things?  Why waste all that brain power?

     

     

    newfangledness

    Why don’t Cumming city officials use e-mail?

    by | Aug 24, 2013
    Why don't Cumming city officials use e-mail?

    Why don’t Cumming city officials use e-mail?

    A bunch of old white men run Cumming, the Forsyth County seat. Last year, Mayor H. Ford Gravitt created a controversy by ejecting a citizen who was videotaping a City Council meeting–in clear violation of Georgia’s open meetings act. Politifact even weighed in on the case.

    Fortunately, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens has gotten involved to enforce the law, but old ways die hard up in the hills…

     

     

    in good we trust

    We’re all hyperbolists

    by | Aug 19, 2013
    We're all hyperbolists

    I have been completely unable to write since July 20. OK, really July 16 because July 20 was just me moping because Helen Thomas died. That’s more than a month. I’ve taken a vacation since that time. Spent a week at the beach, watching birds. Sun, sand, salt water and seafood. Driving with the top down. Friends. Still, nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I look inside, and I am completely empty. I see something outrageous and the best I can muster is a decidedly un-outrageous “Meh.”

     

     

    it's a rip

    Quit CWIP

    by | Aug 12, 2013
    Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) was passed as the Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing Act

    The Georgia legislature, in its great (yawn) wisdom, saw fit to grant Georgia Power the power to charge us ratepayers in advance for two nuclear reactors. The 16 billion dollar plus reactors are under construction at Plant Vogtle on the Savannah River just south of Augusta. CWIP (Construction Work in Progress) was passed as the Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing Act.

    In testifying at the committee level many citizens argued against the proposal brought by a legislator, known technically as a lapdog.

     

     

    making change

    The Crazy True Story Of How A Handful Of Climate Advocates Painted A Red Town Green

    by | Aug 1, 2013
    The Crazy True Story Of How A Handful Of Climate Advocates Painted A Red Town Green

    Tennessee’s third largest city is quite conservative, as larger cities go. That’s to be expected for a town in the most conservative part of one of the country’s most conservative states. But something a little different has taken place in Knoxville, and now a city once known for its coal-produced gray haze has dramatically reduced its carbon footprint and become one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country for green jobs. And it all started on the watch of an oilman mayor’s watch. This is the story of how that came about, and how it’s still happening.

     

     

    start talking

    Let’s Have that Debate on Surveillance, Mr. President

    by | Jul 31, 2013
    Let’s Have that Debate on Surveillance, Mr. President

    Profound technological changes have compelled us to rethink the proper boundaries of privacy. Email, internet and other technology changed the ways ordinary Americans communicate with each other and their world. Technology, such as the government’s Prism program, has enlarged the government’s means of surveillance. It’s a new game. We need new rules.

     

     

    the news

    Life in the Key of Stupid – July 2013

    by | Jul 30, 2013
    Life in the Key of Stupid – July 2013

    Just plain ignorant: House Speaker John Boehner issued a second scathing rebuke of fellow republican Rep. Steve King after the Iowa Republican stood by his idiotic comments characterizing most young undocumented immigrants as “drug mules.” Boehner blowtificated “I want to be clear, (after years of making incredibly stupid comments himself) there’s no place in this debate for hateful or ignorant comments from elected officials.

     

     

    right to privacy

    NSA and TSA, a worthwhile two-fer

    by | Jul 29, 2013
    NSA and TSA, a worthwhile two-fer

    All of a sudden, Congress is having second thoughts. The New York Times reports that the strategy of letting the National Spy Agencies build haystacks to look for needles is going to be reconsidered by Congress. This is good news.

    Backers of sweeping surveillance powers now say they recognize that changes are likely, and they are taking steps to make sure they maintain control over the extent of any revisions…

     

     

    imperfect hero

    Good-bye to a legend

    by | Jul 20, 2013
    Good-bye to a legend

    Helen Thomas will always be a hero to me. None of that “shero” stuff. You’re either a hero or you’re not, no special designation if you’re a woman. Helen was a reporter, not a reportrix or a reportress. A reporter, a journalist. A real journalist. She covered 10 — count ‘em — 10 presidents. She questioned John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, all with the same sharp, penetrating style that made presidents and press secretaries alike uncomfortable because an honest answer might seem very impolitic.

     

     

    who's screwing you?

    Reflections on Detroit declaring bankruptcy.

    by | Jul 19, 2013
    Reflections on Detroit declaring bankruptcy.

    The thinning of the cities was no more a happenstance than the thinning of the electoral herd is now. After the civil rights era and the rioting in the cities, the powers that be took fright and embarked on an agenda to distribute the population — build suburbs and roads and sell people cages on wheels to get there. Disinvestment in the cities and the reduction of services was part of the agenda to promote “urban removal” and replace people with commercial structures and parking lots.

     

     

    just not that simple

    In a black and white world, there is no color

    by | Jul 16, 2013
    In a black and white world, there is no color

    George Zimmerman was found not guilty by a jury of his peers, our American justice system at work. The jury of six women — now that’s a travesty of justice, not that they were women but they were only six in number — looked at the preponderance of the evidence and found that the prosecution came up short. They were right. The prosecution presented one lousy case for second degree murder and upon realizing at the end of the trial it had presented a lousy case, said, oh yeah, you can consider manslaughter, too.

     

     

    deep in the heart

    Watch Texas Turn Blue

    by | Jun 29, 2013
    Watch Texas Turn Blue

    Republican dominance in Texas is no longer assured.  Last week we saw the representatives of a previously dominant party morph into poisonous vestigial organs.  The abortion bills which couldn’t pass the two-thirds test during the regular session were presented again during a “special session” when bills only need a majority vote.  Thanks to the cunning and hardworking efforts of our Democratic delegation, Planned Parenthood, and other key interest groups, SB5 never reached a vote on Tuesday night.

     

     

    subject revolts

    Her Majesty, Queen Paula Deen

    by | Jun 27, 2013
    Her Majesty, Queen Paula Deen

    I hate Paula Deen. I despise her. I loathe her. My thesaurus runneth dry with enough verbs to describe my acrimony, antipathy, and animosity toward the woman. I have hated Paula Deen since long before her recent imbroglio. For almost five years, in fact.

     

     

    ineffable reality

    We report; you decide

    by | Jun 27, 2013
    We report; you decide

    That little flourish, “we preport, you decide,” with which FOX radio announcers conclude their segments is actually an accurate representation of their operation. It would also be applicable to FOX TV, which is really nothing but radio with pictures and a written scroll, just in case the talking heads get boring, but I don’t know that they use it.

    “We report; you decide” fits perfectly with the binary model of the world in which instinct-driven people reside.

     

     

    indefensible

    Now it’s Zimmerman who is defenseless

    by | Jun 25, 2013
    Now it's Zimmerman who is defenseless

    Lawyers gave opening statements yesterday in the trial of George Zimmerman, the Florida man accused of murdering teenager Trayvon Martin. After prosecutors characterized Zimmerman as a “grown man with a gun,” in contrast to the unarmed Martin, the defense issued what may be one of the weakest rebuttals in the history of high profile court cases:

    “Trayvon Martin armed himself with a sidewalk and used it to smash George Zimmerman’s head.”

     

     

    The Democratic Process

    The Cost of Doing Business

    by | Jun 19, 2013
    The Cost of Doing Business

    Those hosting last year’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte filed a report with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for items missing or stolen during the week long convention totaling nearly half a million dollars, according to Steve Harrison in today’s Charlotte Observer:

    “The Democratic National Convention Committee said it recently sent the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department a spreadsheet detailing $496,000 worth of missing equipment. CMPD created an incident report in May.

     

     

    Historical Amnesia

    Into the Syrian Quagmire

    by | Jun 17, 2013
    Into the Syrian Quagmire

    Last Friday, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes had the job of announcing that the Obama administration had decided to officially begin arming the Sunni Islamist insurgents attempting to overthrow the Syrian government. All that lobbying by the war party in Washington and its ‘friends in the Gulf’ is finally paying off. You would think that the problem was explaining why to a skeptical news media. Not so.

     

     

  • Worthy of Comment



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    Fly Up, Drive Back: a New York City/Atlanta Driveby

    Fly Up, Drive Back: a New York City/Atlanta Driveby

    By: Tom Ferguson

    Monday, Day One: newly merged Southwest Air/Air Tran offered the best price, $144 one way Atlanta/New York City. The sore butt that kicked in about halfway, and lingered, suggests one of the reasons - but the thrifty, I’ve learned, endure the affordable. The relief of wheels thumping good ol’ runway quickly faded, replaced by the stress of navigating around outside my current comfort zone. Once the new terrain becomes familiar, the zone expands and that’s when the fun starts. Walking from 14th street to the East Village, St. Mark’s Place near the Great Hall at Cooper Union, is where that happene  Read on →

    So Long as I Am There, I Am Somewhere: Being Dead in the Appalachian Wilderness

    So Long as I Am There, I Am Somewhere: Being Dead in the Appalachian Wilderness

    By: James N. Maples

    Above my family homestead in the East Tennessee foothills is an old, abandoned cemetery. I admit I've never seen it, but I think about it often. I imagine the worn stone markers neck deep in leaves in the fall or peeking out of the winter snow like early hyacinths. In my imagination, I never bothered to name these people, much less engage in meaningful character development. I don’t know them in any sense of the word; I just know that they are up there, tucked deeply in an earthy hollow waiting for whatever comes next. I don’t expect anyone comes to vis  Read on →

    Learning about extent of World War II battlegrounds

    Learning about extent of World War II battlegrounds

    By: Elliott Brack

    For today, a different perspective, learning from history. Reading Winston Churchill's massive six-book history of World War II gives new insights into that war, at least for me. For instance, it appears that my main interest was the fight against the Germans, by the English, Russian, French and Allied forces. Perhaps others had more interest in the war in the Pacific Theatre. Even I, as one alive during World War II, remember the massive fighting emanating out of the Philippines, in the Coral Sea area, Okinawa and Iwo Jima, other areas, and finally, the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on two Japanese  Read on →

    Hollywood’s Effect

    Hollywood's Effect

    By: Will Cantrell

    Hollywood died last week. No, not that Hollywood, not that Hollywood of a lesser kind--that Hollywood out in La La Land. Rather, it was the real Hollywood, the iconic cherub-cheeked, perpetually smiling man, who cut hair and worked magic over at Murden's Barber Shop in southwest Atlanta, Ga. for the last forty years. Even for some of the legions who know him, 'Charles Allen Lattimore, Sr.' could be the answer to a trivia question on TV's Jeopardy quiz show: 'What is Hollywood's real name?' It wasn't that Hollywood ever went out of his way to conceal his true identity, he wasn't off  Read on →