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Monday, July 28, 2014
Southern Weather Radar


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    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.

     

     

    Culture of Fear

    May you live in an interesting age

    by | Jun 13, 2013
    May you live in an interesting age

    Tuesday morning, you may have heard, there was an explosion in a maintenance shed at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport here in the Big Peach. It killed the power to Concourse D, so officials evacuated the folks there to Concourse E. When the power was restored, everybody went on their merry ways.

    But lawdamursy, did Twitter ever light up.

     

     

    Unhealthy Obsession

    Why a Surge for Guantanamo?

    by | Jun 11, 2013
    Why a Surge for Guantanamo?

    Could there be a more appropriate monument to the War in Terror than the wasteful and counterproductive prison camp at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base? At a cost of $4,360.00 a day per prisoner, it is among the most expensive lock-ups on the planet and surely the most expensive for inmates who are neither deposed heads of state nor leaders of defeated rebellions. (For that amount you could book a Premier Suite at the Ritz Carleton Central Park and still have a thousand dollars left over to pay for dinner!)

     

     

    Forward-Looking Solutions

    Rethinking the Infrastructure “Crisis”

    by | Jun 4, 2013
    Skagit Bridge Collapse photo by Martha T aka RoswellsGirl

    When the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Washington state collapsed on May 23, the media immediately seized upon a familiar message: “Our infrastructure is crumbling!” Headlines echoed the outrage Americans feel about the condition of the nation’s roads and bridges. “INFRASTRUCTURE HELL — EVEN BROOKLYN BRIDGE DEFICIENT!” roared a Huffington Post headline, as if a flaw in a beloved American landmark were definitive proof of an impending infrastructure apocalypse.

     

     

    An Uncompromising Conservative

    The Declining Anti-Obama Argument

    by | Jun 4, 2013
    Caricature of President Obama by DonkeyHotey

    In his critique of Barack Obama’s “declining presidency” yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, Fred Barnes makes some accurate observations. The assessment that Obama’s administration is flailing due to the lack of a defined vision for his second term is fair. Indeed, the Obama re-election campaign never shifted away from an anti-Romney message long enough to establish any sort of primary goal for moving America boldly in one direction or another. Barnes also concedes that the “scandals” currently making headlines have little to do with the President himself or the ineffectiveness of his six-month-old second term.

     

     

  • Worthy of Comment



  • Also on the Dew

    When conservation engineers speak of brush and noxious weeds

    When conservation engineers speak of brush and noxious weeds

    By: Monica Smith

    You get a hint of the problem. Of course, the article I'm referencing was published way back in 2001. But, the mindset is telling. The author, who was employed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, dismisses one kind of grass as a bank stabilizer because: Fescue tends to clump in our climate and wither in droughts. It fades in hot, dry weather, which lets weeds, brush and other noxious vegetation grow. Fescue is simply not a turf type grass. That is to say, natural vegetation is noxious and the problems unending: In the past, the vegetation on the newly completed dam has been  Read on →

    A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

    A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

    By: David Evans

    I knew I liked him early on by the way he told a joke. He had timing and delivery and the punch line was not telegraphed. Whenever I get off my mountain, I’m alert to serendipitous opportunities to meet such people and to get a peek into their lives. So on a recent trip to Atlanta for a couple of woodworking classes, I had the pleasure of spending a few nights with a dear friend in Asheville, one of the world’s finest and most civilized of cities. My friend is also a fine lady and like her adopted city, most civ  Read on →

    Sweetness and Steel: Lincoln, Obama and Angelou

    Sweetness and Steel: Lincoln, Obama and Angelou

    By: Charles Finn

    There were superficial reasons—when he thundered on the political scene at the Democratic Convention in 2004 and then rode on the wave of that thunder to his election in 2008—to compare Barack Obama with Abraham Lincoln. There was the Illinois connection, for instance, and the gifted orator connection, and the “new birth of freedom” connection. Add to these the evident high esteem, even reverence, held by Obama for that towering mentor of his spirit, and it is easy to link the two of them. But what about things deeper than the surface? A sobering intimation arose in me, in the wake of the   Read on →

    Populists vs. Bourbons in Miss. U.S. Senate race

    Populists vs. Bourbons in Miss. U.S. Senate race

    By: Joseph B. Atkins

    More than a century ago the “forgotten man” of Mississippi and across the South — the farmer, the common worker — decided he’d had enough of “Wall Street speculators who gambled on his crop futures; the railroad owners who evaded his taxes, bought legislatures, and over-charged him with discriminate rates; the manufacturers, who taxed him with a high tariff; the trusts that fleeced him with high prices; the middleman, who stole his profit.” The forgotten man was so angry, historian C. Vann Woodward goes on to say, that he created a movement. It came as close to toppling our two-party system as any effort  Read on →