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Sunday, August 20, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


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    who will it be?

    The Honorable Senator from Alabama

    by | 0 | Aug 16, 2017
    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 | 0 | Aug 14, 2017
    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.

     

     

    so easy to steal here

    New Wave Mobsters

    by | 0 | Aug 12, 2017
    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.

     

     

    fight like hell for the living

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

    by | 4 | Aug 1, 2017
    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.

     

     

    in the war on science

    Revenge of the Nerds

    by | 0 | Jul 27, 2017
    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…

     

     

    abstraction distraction

    In a Word, Authentic

    by | 2 | Jul 24, 2017
    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,

     

     

    shoe already dropped

    The Smoking Gun

    by | 2 | Jul 11, 2017
    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.

     

     

    like before fox news

    Make America Great Again

    by | 1 | Jul 5, 2017
    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]

     

     

    self-indulgent con man

    The Trump We Know

    by | 0 | Jul 3, 2017
    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…

     

     

    may we be enlightened

    The Burden of Being a Southerner

    by | 1 | Jul 1, 2017
    “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.

     

     

    keeping care affordable

    Dickering with the Nation’s Health Care

    by | 0 | Jul 1, 2017
    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 | 2 | Jun 28, 2017
    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 | 0 | Jun 28, 2017
    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

     

     

    foreign policy anarchy

    Qatar in 2017, Switzerland in 1938

    by | 1 | Jun 26, 2017
    Qatar in 2017, Switzerland in 1938

    The geopolitical peril facing Qatar in 2017 resembles that of Switzerland in 1938: small, wealthy, tenaciously independent … and caught between militarily powerful neighbors, one of which wants to end its neutrality. Eighty-one years ago, little Switzerland occupied some of the most dangerous territory on the planet, bordered by Nazi Germany to the north and east and by Fascist Italy to the south. With the Fall of France in 1940 she would be completely surrounded …

     

     

    threat by the sinister trio

    Aftershock, Robert Reich, a review

    by | 0 | Jun 22, 2017
    Concentrated Wealth - Ah you should be safe in here - cartoon of someone hiding money

    In his book Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future, Robert Reich reviews features in our society that undermine democracy – particularly concentrated wealth. And the off-shoot, lobbyists in effect bribing representatives and senators, vulnerable because they must raise money for their ever more expensive campaigns. The successful ones, when they leave office, with very nice self-voted retirement benefits, often go to work for the lobbying firms or corporations …

     

     

    don't be complacent

    Make Democrats Win Again

    by | 5 | Jun 21, 2017
    Make Democrats Win Again

    Spare me these embarrassing, condescending excuses for why a Democrat cannot win a closely contested special election. It’s been only a matter of hours since most major news outlets called the election for Karen Handel, but already I’ve grown tired of hearing “but it was close, which is a win in itself,” “Tom Price won by over 20 points in the last election, so the fact that it was even close surely says something,” or other meaningless variants of this infuriating phrase.

     

     

    tit for tat

    Back to Basics on School Vouchers

    by | 2 | Jun 18, 2017
    the GOP School Voucher Crew

    According to Atlanta Journal-Constitution education writer Maureen Downey, “The early architects of school choice maintained that getting kids out of struggling public schools into private ones would raise academic performance as measured by test scores.” She goes on to cite a study showing that students using publicly funded vouchers at District of Columbia private schools scored worse on standardized tests than their public school counterparts.

     

     

    fight for justice and fairness

    Pure Suthun

    by | 1 | Jun 14, 2017
    Jeff Sessions - Keeper of the Flame by Donkey Hotey

    I have trouble listening to the news, especially when great nonsense is spoken in near perfect Suthun English.

    I taught in a secondary modern school in the London in 1965-66 after which I returned to work on my doctorate at the University of Alabama and teach undergraduates. An honors student from one of those classes is coming to visit this afternoon, the first time we have seen each other in 50 years!

     

     

     

    betting with our money

    Vogtle Big Bet$ Lotto: Where has all the public’s money gone?

    by | 1 | Jun 9, 2017
    VOGTLE BIG BET$ LOTTO by Tom Ferguson

    It may be easier to understand the fast-moving drama of the slow-moving construction of Nuclear Plant Vogtle 3 & 4 if you look at the whole affair as a high-stakes betting game rather than the high-risk nuclear power project it appears to be.

    If you haven’t already, tune into the frequent financial headlines about the $10 billion debt ruining Georgia Power’s multi-national corporate partners building AP1000 reactors in Burke County, Georgia. Tom Ferguson, famous artist and Nuclear Watch South board president …

     

     

    i sent rescuers

    Why Does God Hate Pandas and Sea Turtles?

    by | 1 | Jun 5, 2017
    panda and sea turtle looking at the sunset

    President Donald Trump’s announcement last week regarding US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord thrust climate science back to the forefront of the American conversation. And, for those of us inclined to heed overwhelming scientific consensus, this meant a fresh round of maddening conversations with climate change deniers.

    I’m willing to concede perhaps the sky isn’t yet falling – though maybe it is. But, what’s stunning is the number of people who don’t even care to find out…

     

     

    not a strategy

    Our President is “Very, Very Not Smart”

    by | 4 | Jun 2, 2017
    Trump as Twitter Bird

    For months, I’ve struggled to decide whether Trump is a master manipulator, a Machiavellian puppet master of the electorate, or just a blundering idiot. Recently, I had been leaning towards the latter, and at 12:06 am on Wednesday morning, I got my answer: “covfefe.” He’s a blundering idiot.

    The problem with “covfefe” is not that in and of itself, it is dangerous, but that it seems to be part of a pattern…

     

     

    enjoy freedom

    Americans distinctively thrive under our Bill of Rights

    by | 0 | May 31, 2017
    Americans distinctively thrive under our Bill of Rights

    Most Americans probably don’t realize how unique are their individual rights, compared to people living under other governments.

    Our Founding Fathers, in all their inspired wisdom, gave early Americans more rights than previously had any government anywhere in the world.  Those same rights, often multiplied in some ways, remain a cornerstone of living in the United States and go a long way in defining what it is to be an American.

    They are easily identified in our Bill of Rights.

     

     

    making stuff up

    “Don’t we need an oath?”: Something’s Wrong with Homeland Security

    by | 2 | May 26, 2017
    "Don't we need an oath?": Something's Wrong with Homeland Security

    On May 17, at the commencement exercises for the United States Coast Guard Academy, President Donald Trump gave his first commencement address. This was the speech in which he said,

    “Look at the way I’ve been treated lately, especially by the media. No politician in history—and I say this with great surety—has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

     

     

    ticklebox repair

    Responding to a Medical Crisis of These Times

    by | 2 | May 26, 2017
    Responding to a Medical Crisis of These Times

    God made the funny bone, but it atrophies with disuse. Those of us who closely follow the evening news are highly susceptible to morphing into a sourpuss.

    An excellent remedy over the long haul is to give no more than 15 minutes a day to the headlines and redeem the rest of the day by reading good poetry aloud, fly-fishing alone in a huge state or federal park, changing diapers (of the very old or of the newborn), looking in a mirror while sticking out your tongue…  Use your imagination. That’s why we have one.

     

     

    spewing bile to the witless

    President Coward

    by | 5 | May 23, 2017
    President Coward

    Donald Trump spent years lambasting the administration of President Obama for refusing to say “radical Islamic terrorism” and other variants of that phrase. One of the pillars of his campaign was that he would ‘call it like it is,’ this included calling terrorism that happened to be committed by Muslims, “radical Islamic terrorism.” In fact, he went so far as to suggest that Obama might be involved with terrorists, “there’s something going on with [Obama] that we don’t know about.” …

     

     

    debunking conspiracism

    Cue Giorgio Tsoukalos

    by | 0 | May 22, 2017
    novelist and entertainer K.J. McElrath, lawyer and activist Glenn Greenwald is by David dos Dantos and television personality Giorgio A. Tsoukalos

    K.J. McElrath and Glen Greenwald appear disoriented. This is not the post 2016 election political struggle that they had anticipated. Or know how to fight. They were prepared to wage a virtuous virtual campaign against a President Hillary Clinton by continuing to expose the secrets of the military intelligence complex that spies on Americans and conducts a forever war to police the Middle East. Instead, the exposures of massive troves of mostly prosaic secrets via Wikileaks that they celebrated and propagated helped to shove history down a different path, leaving them stumbling and flailing.

     

     

    scandal drama

    Optimally Slow and Painful: Let’s Hope Donald Trump Refuses a Dignified Exit

    by | 3 | May 19, 2017
    Donald Trump finger pointing caricature by DonkeyHotey

    Despite the “never, ever, ever give up” language in Donald Trump’s recent disaster of a commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy it takes little imagination to picture him suddenly resigning from office. Although a majority of Americans would like to see him depart for his golf courses permanently as quickly as possible, an excruciating slow motion departure from office would be more beneficial. Beyond the raw entertainment value of watching a ridiculous narcissist get his comeuppance…

     

     

    deeply disturbing satire

    The Spirit of 2016 a Lesser Vintage

    by | 0 | May 19, 2017
    Washington Burning from the movie, “Olympus Has Fallen”

    As smoke from the dumpster fire at the Trump White House blocks out the sun over Washington, flames are finally reaching the steps of Capitol Hill. Among at least some majority party Senators and Representatives, our constitutional crisis finally registered at the “deeply disturbing” level this week. (Now, if someone could just correlate that to Yellow, Orange, or Red on the Homeland Security scale.)

     

     

    where is the gop outrage?

    The Spineless Majority

    by | 0 | May 19, 2017
    Trump Whine No Fair they are pickin on me by Mike Licht

    Republicans, the GOP, and Donald Trump are all blatantly obvious hypocrites. They are spineless, they lack a backbone, they have no guiding moral principles. They are parasites to our society.

    Just imagine that Hillary Clinton had won the election on November 8th, 2016. I know that you might want to get lost in this fantasy, but go with me for bit. Imagine that she won the electoral college but lost the popular vote. Not just lost it, but got reamed by 3,000,000 votes…

     

     

    classified funny

    Honesty is the best policy and other grand misconceptions

    by | 5 | May 18, 2017
    Honesty is the best policy and other grand misconceptions

    Well, tie me to an ant hill and slap jelly in ma ears … Vladimir Putin, former KGB chief, thug and Dictator in Chief of Russia has offered to vouch for Donald’s Trumps innocence and honesty during a high stakes classified information swap-meet in the oval office. Vlad says he can prove that Donald is telling the truth.

    Well! Jeesh, that is a relief! Show of hands, who, republican or democrat, with even a smidge of common sense feels more secure and that Donald is trustworthy? …

     

     

    save cumberland

    Georgians must resolve to protect Cumberland Island as a rare natural treasure

    by | 0 | May 16, 2017
    Georgians must resolve to protect Cumberland Island as a rare natural treasure

    In December of last year the Camden County Planning Commission considered an application for a “hardship variance” to allow a group of Cumberland Island property-owners and family members to use 87 acres on the island to create a 10-lot subdivision. That area, zoned “conservation- preservation,” is less than a quarter-mile from the Sea Camp ferry dock, where nearly all visitors arrive from the mainland. Even though the applicants failed to meet all five variance requirements, their request was granted by the county planning commission.

     

     

    book review

    Culture of Terrorism, Noam Chomsky

    by | 1 | May 16, 2017
    Culture of Terrorism, Noam Chomsky

    If you believe, and wish to continue to believe, that the U.S. is a force for democracy in the world, a nation with a free press and vigorous debate on critical issues, this book is not for you. That fantasy will stand if you accept the definition of democracy of those who run the country, that is, an elite continuing to run things for their benefit with the rest of us scrambling to survive, occasionally ratifying their decisions by choosing from among the candidates they supply for public office…

     

     

    misogynist in chief

    Happy Mother’s Day, I Guess

    by | 2 | May 14, 2017
    Trump PEEOTUS (unknown, Public Domain)

    It’s the second Sunday of May and we all know what that means: Mother’s Day. The one day a year when mother’s come close to receiving the respect, adoration, and thanks that they so deserve. This Mother’s Day, however, is special; Donald Trump is the President and “nobody that has more respect for women than [he does].” So let’s take some time to remember all the different ways that he’s honored not just mother’s, but all women, over the course of his life.

     

     

    tuesday morning massacre

    It’s History Calling on Line One

    by | 3 | May 13, 2017
    James Comey - Caricature by DonkeyHotey

    As an ever-bumbling White House struggled since Tuesday to explain just when, how, and why President Trump decided to fire FBI Director James Comey, a central question has been the role of Deputy Attorney General Rod Lowenstein. After initial assertions Rosenstein’s May 9 letter was the sole impetus for the firing, Trump declared Thursday the decision was his alone, made long ago, and the Deputy AG’s comments had no bearing.

     

     

    the truth shall keep us free

    The Press is All We Have

    by | 0 | May 13, 2017
    Donald Trump - Caricature

    Donald Trump is simply an authoritarian. This was made clear when he said that the press is the “enemy of the people.” The press, the fourth estate, the unofficial ‘branch of government’ that keeps the other three accountable, is the enemy of the people? The free press that Americans, since our bloody inception over 200 years ago, have fought, bled, and died for is the “enemy of the people”?

     

     

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