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Sunday, March 26, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


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    injustices – a book review

    Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted

    by | 0 | Mar 19, 2017
    Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted

    If you’ve ever wondered how the Supreme Court, in its great wisdom, came to the proposition that corporations are persons with all the rights thereof, I suggest you read Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted by Ian Millhiser.

    There is plenty of precedent for that body making law out of whole cloth. Basically two forces are at work in the court, as in our great land, sometimes in the same justice, one dissenting, one dominating…

     

     

    how to ban muslims: ask mississippi

    Donald Trump and the Mississippi Plan

    by | 0 | Mar 7, 2017
    Donald Trump and the Mississippi Plan

    In The Promise of the New South, Edward Ayers tells of James Z. George, a U.S. senator from Mississippi who predicted that, in 1890 (just a year away), the number of African American in the state would exceed that of whites by half a million. George was worried about what this meant for the state’s political future. Democrats had controlled Mississippi since the end of Reconstruction, but now, the black population was growing so ominously and Republicans …

     

     

    essentials of life

    A Climate of Denial

    by | 0 | Mar 6, 2017
    A Climate of Denial

    “Gee, Brain, what are we going to do tonight?”
    “The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world.”

    With apologies to the creators of Pinky and the Brain, the wickedly witty cartoon series about a super-smart laboratory mouse and his decidedly less cerebral sidekick, I imagine an exchange like that recurring nightly at the White House between President Donald Trump and senior adviser Steve Bannon – except…

     

     

    stay vigilant but

    Stay Sane

    by | 1 | Mar 4, 2017
    Stay Sane

    We’re all exercised by recent events in America, even to the extent of disturbed sleep. I dreamed of America being violated, helpless to resist. This is not just America’s problem; it has the capacity to rock the world. Facebook is crammed with shared misgivings. My American friends, all Democrats, exchange tens of emails daily. Several attended the Women’s March in Washington. We are all in danger of burn-out, so I seek to restore peace of mind.

     

     

    will it stay airborne?

    The Primate and the Airliner: A Fable with No Moral

    by | 0 | Mar 1, 2017
    Orang-Utang and the airship

    “Allowing a monkey to drive a race car sounds like an amusing idea, but only to those who have never tried it.” – The Bard of Affliction

    The great Airship of State had been flying for 241 years now. It wasn’t always an airliner, of course. Back when it began to function, a hot-air balloon was sufficient to hoist its machinery. As the years flew by, however, and new technologies became available, it eventually transferred itself into ever more efficient aerial transports, the better to float high above the hostile environment below …

     

     

    not a sport

    We are the Champions

    by | 1 | Feb 27, 2017
    Number one by Ron Bennetts via flickr

    As I made my way down I-26, a white van jerked into my lane. He not only failed to use a turn signal, his lights were off. Both are laws in South Carolina although many drivers treat them as tepid suggestions. The maneuver left so little room I almost scraped the Trump sticker off his bumper. At a younger age I might have opted for an extended horn blast or flashed my lights repeatedly.

     

     

    hurts our hearts

    How to survive the Trump Era

    by | 1 | Feb 24, 2017
    How to survive the Trump Era

    I imagine what happens next to that march from protozoa to ape to man – just a poof of dust from the increasing implosion of facts-to-lies-to-violence based on nothing but a madman’s brain, and his cunning associate (perhaps with an “s” – just in case there’s somebody else in the room with Bannon?).  I wonder, daily, about how much of the planet will still be here …

     

     

    right to bear cars

    To Kill a Protester: Tennessee Republicans to Issue Hunting Licenses

    by | 0 | Feb 22, 2017
    To Kill a Protester: Tennessee Republicans to Issue Hunting Licenses

    Running down pedestrians with your car is wrong. Whether the act is intentional or negligent, running down pedestrians is absolutely wrong. That ethical absolute extends to encouraging others to commit such an act. Unfortunately a couple of Republican lawmakers in Tennessee want their state courts to take a much more permissive approach to vehicular murder and assault. Tennessee State Representative Matthew Hill and State Senator Bill Ketron have introduced…

     

     

    profound danger

    Appeasement at Munich

    by | 0 | Feb 19, 2017
    Appeasement at Munich

    Remember how Donald Trump spent much of the 2016 election campaign touting his ability to negotiate better deals for the United States? For all the bombast about trade with China and nukes in Iran, and cheering from supporters who probably couldn’t find either country on a world map, it turns out that the international agreements he intended to renegotiate and perhaps junk altogether were with our allies and not our rivals. That’s why Vice President Mike Pence was …

     

     

    awakening hearts & minds:

    Critical Perspectives on Israel/Palestine & Syria

    by | 0 | Feb 15, 2017
    Critical Perspectives on Israel/Palestine & Syria

    A conference on February 4th in Decatur, GA featured “rock star” panelists, knowledgeable, articulate, even entertaining on a subject that doesn’t readily lend itself to such. This is not a thorough review of the conference but more a collection of impressions.

    A talk on Syria by jounalist Reese Erlich, a week later added further to my notes. My attendance at these events was motivated by a lack of knowledge about the situation in Syria…

     

     

    commander in tweet

    Learning To Live in the Empire

    by | 1 | Feb 15, 2017
    Learning To Live in the Empire

    I admit to retreating often from the evening news, but the acts reported find me through their effects on my friends.

    The physician of a friend is also my physician: he has done grafts for lymphedema on both of us. For us he is a miracle worker. Last week he told my friend that new government regulations just put in place will limit anyone to three grafts to be covered; thereafter, amputation will be covered for those who can’t pay for additional grafts on their own.

     

     

    black shirts or brown?

    Is America Ready for Fascism?

    by | 1 | Feb 13, 2017
    Is America Ready for Fascism?

    “— mind you, the corridors of power are littered with Fascist leanings; anything to save the upper classes through disenfranchisement of the common man while allowing the common man to think you are on his side.” — Dr. Trevor Petit, a character in Jaqueline Winspear’s mystery A Lesson in Secrets

    Recently, I’ve stumbled upon two articles on fascism that are chillingly relevant as political darkness envelopes the nation.

     

     

    crackdown on continues

    Trump Targets Aliens at Area 51

    by | 0 | Feb 10, 2017
    Donald Trump at Area 51

    In a series of tweets and Fox News interviews, President Donald Trump on Thursday vowed to deport Area 51 aliens and answer scores of questions that have plagued the minds of millions who voted for him.

    “The people have a right to know, and I’m going to tell them,” Trump tweeted. “I’ve ordered the FBI to send me all of their X-Files.”

    At an afternoon press conference in Roswell, New Mexico, before a crowd estimated by the White House to exceed fourteen million …

     

     

    cherished ideals

    An Open Letter to the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee

    by | 0 | Feb 9, 2017
    Weloome Your Neighbors

    Yesterday I attended a wondrous event: democracy in full-throated action.

    Congressman Bob Goodlatte chairs the Judiciary Committee of the US House of Representatives. It’s a position of considerable power, for good or ill. Congressman Goodlatte also represents Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District, which just happens to include Harrisonburg, Virginia, where I live, the home of the national Welcome Your Neighbors movement.

     

     

    covered in paint

    Remembering Animal Farm

    by | 1 | Feb 3, 2017
    Remembering Animal Farm

    Thirty three years ago, George Orwell became extra popular across the world. His Facebook page went viral and he multiplied his Twitter followers a hundredfold, or he would have if those things had been operable in 1984.

    It appears he may be in the process of making a comeback. Based on the first few days of the Trump presidency, 1984 has vaulted to the top of the bestseller’s list. I’m down with dystopian novels being appropriate right now, but…

     

     

    compromising rights

    He’ll Protect and Defend Us, But Who Will Preserve It

    by | 2 | Feb 3, 2017
    He'll Protect and Defend Us, But Who Will Preserve It

    Supporters of President Donald Trump’s executive order blocking admission of Syrian refugees and suspending immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations don’t just argue his right to do so. They consider it his sworn duty. “We need to deal with reality and protect the American people,” wrote a friend on social media. “This is the number one job of the President of the United States.”

    But, is it?

     

     

    searched then hugged

    The Real America

    by | 0 | Jan 31, 2017
    Table of Trumps Muslim Countries Banned

    Yesterday I mentioned to a British friend my concern (in the light of Trump’s edict banning arrivals from certain countries), that all our political views are frankly on record on social media outlets.

    I said ‘It only takes a few minutes to judge a person’s political stance by checking their Facebook or Twitter accounts.’ He thought I was absurd to be concerned. He hasn’t lived in the States or used Facebook so perhaps is not aware of the extent to which people express their views, or that Big Brother is likely reading their mail.

     

     

    to the abyss

    Alternate Realm

    by | 0 | Jan 31, 2017
    “Alternate Realm” is a painting by Tom Ferguson

    I found this in my muse-folder one recent morning:

    beneath the polarized & poisonous air
    lies the breath of life
    the state of being
    the realm of beauty, joy & creativity

    Seems like my meandering thoughts tend to channel toward composing blogposts or Facebook replies these days…

     

     

    twisting ideological knots

    Why Trump Lies

    by | 3 | Jan 29, 2017
    Why Trump Lies

    Donald J. Trump’s lies, especially about numbers, and that presents a puzzle. His claims about fraudulent votes cast against him in the general election and the size of his inauguration crowd make him appear not just obsessive and puerile, but also remind audiences of his illegitimacy. Conservative populists claim to speak for “the people.” References to numbers remind us that he is only the leader of an angry minority and not the majority of Americans …

     

     

    long history

    Gerrymandering rampant

    by | 0 | Jan 29, 2017
    Gerrymandering rampant

    “Late in 1788, just after Virginia voted to ratify the Constitution and join the union, former Governor Patrick Henry persuaded the state legislature to remake the Fifth Congressional District, forcing Henry’s political enemy James Madison to run against the formidable James Monroe. The ploy failed and Madison won anyway, eventually becoming the nation’s fourth president. Monroe’s career wasn’t over, though: He succeeded Madison as president.” (Library of Congress.)

     

     

    just the facts

    The Alternative

    by | 10 | Jan 28, 2017
    Caricature of Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer by Trevor Irvin of IrvinProductions.com

    This story is moving so quickly I’m not sure I can keep up with it. By the time you read this we could be in a war with Korea and Putin will be dancing in the West Wing. The American press has been shamed for reporting reality and disseminating verifiable information. I called KellyAnn ConJob to ask her about this and the she-beast of propaganda, hissed … “It’s not the press’s job to report reality, their job is to report what I say reality is.”

     

     

    destruction of american values

    Trump Says He’s Done More in 7 Days Than God Did

    by | 8 | Jan 27, 2017
    Trump Says He's Done More in 7 Days Than God Did

    President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that he’s done more in his first seven days than God did.

    “He did a lot,” Trump tweeted. “I’d be the first to admit that. I’m a devout man. But this week, Lordy, kind of hard to trump Trump!”

    According to the Biblical account, God created the entire universe in seven days. Trump spokesperson Kellyanne Conway conceded Friday “that was a remarkable achievement, in its own right.

     

     

    fable of buyer’s remorse

    One Bite at a Time

    by | 0 | Jan 27, 2017
    One Bite at a Time

    Years later, if you had asked Robbie exactly when it was that he decided to eat the elephant, he would have had trouble coming up with the answer. Perhaps the seeds had been planted in his early childhood. All those elephant jokes…

    Q: What’s red and white on the outside, and grey and white on the inside?
    A: Campbell’s Cream of Elephant Soup.

     

     

    reasonable or rational

    Nothing Gentle on My Mind

    by | 0 | Jan 27, 2017
    Barry McGuire - Eve Of Destruction

    It’s playing endlessly in my head, and I’ve resisted the urge to share. But, it’s not going away until I do. Why the reluctance? Perhaps it’s just wishful thinking or not wanting to be yet another frantic voice sounding the alarm. I’m a grace under pressure kind of guy. Between trade wars and the war on terror, border walls and Muslim bans, executive orders and Twitter tirades, alternative facts and information blackouts, authoritarian strongman bromances, and infuriating cabinet selections, hurried deregulation and environmental suicide it’s hard not to see this ending badly. Bigly. So…

     

     

    fake opinion next?

    As Trump Lies Glut Market, Fake News Sites Lay Off Thousands

    by | 1 | Jan 25, 2017
    As Trump Lies Glut Market, Fake News Sites Lay Off Thousands

    Fake News sites are laying off thousands of workers in the wake of Donald Trump’s first days in office when he rattled off so many lies publishers of the sites said there’s no more complete horsecrap left to make up.

    “He’s ruining our business model,” said Ted Klepper, an out-of-work auto worker who publishes TruthGodFacks.com from a shed in the back of his home in Blanchard, Michigan.

     

     

    we are a hostage audience

    Republicans Know Reducing Obama’s Legacy Will Be Expensive

    by | 0 | Jan 18, 2017
    Republicans Know Reducing Obama’s Legacy Will Be Expensive

    Revenge is one of the powerful unspoken temptations of public office. For incoming presidents, the urge to punish often involves diminishing the historical legacies of their predecessors. Ronald Reagan took revenge on Jimmy Carter by gutting renewable and clean energy policies. Fuel efficiency standards were rolled back, renewable energy research and development funding was slashed and the wind power investment tax credit was eliminated. Reagan even had the solar panels on the roof of the White House taken down.

     

     

    they deserve each other

    The Limbaugh Presidency

    by | 0 | Jan 18, 2017
    Rush Limbaugh - Caricature

    On Friday, we Americans will witness the inauguration of our 45th President, Rush Limbaugh. OK, not really Rush. Instead, what Hollywood casting agents would refer to as “a Rush Limbaugh type,” one Donald J. Trump. Limbaugh — the Big Daddy, the Jabba the Hut of right-wing radio talk — is not the inescapable presence he once was. He’s not quoted so much, and his name is not invoked as often. Though his audience is still the envy of the radio industry, he doesn’t have the influence he did at his peak in the 1990s….

     

     

    appealing to baser instincts

    Wrong Man, Wrong Time

    by | 3 | Jan 16, 2017
    Wrong Man, Wrong Time

    I’m no historian, but from the perspective of advancing age, I find fascinating that certain societies produce just the right leaders at just the right time. Think Abraham Lincoln, for example, who evolved during his presidency from defender of the Union to emancipator of the oppressed, a transition marked by the Gettysburg Address, perhaps the greatest oration in American history. Think FDR, who, despite his infirmities, shepherded the U.S. through back-to-back crises: the Great Depression and the Second World War…

     

     

    who makes such evil profitable?

    An MLK Day Rumination

    by | 1 | Jan 16, 2017
    An MLK Day Rumination

    think the psyche of the South for a man my age carries with it a fading memory of the shame and bitterness of being a son of a conquered nation. My father’s elementary school classes had annual field trips to the Confederate Memorial — a marble double arch inside a small chain-link fence — in Robinson Springs, AL. The names of the dead remain on the aging marker under the damp shade of broad oaks, but the field trips have ended. There is so much more to Southerners than the civil rights struggle…

     

     

    pervy traitor?

    Trump is Damaged Goods – Smart Republicans are Planning Their Exits

    by | 2 | Jan 14, 2017
    Trump is Damaged Goods – Smart Republicans are Planning Their Exits

    The kompromat story becomes more plausible with each passing day.

    The important information for much of the news audience is that Donald Trump allowed himself to be caught in a classic honey trap, one made all the more embarrassing because it involved a peculiar paraphilia. The accusation is that the president elect paid Russian prostitutes to urinate on him.

     

     

    wholesale change

    Trump administration may be turning point for our government

    by | 0 | Jan 14, 2017
    Trump administration may be turning point for our government

    Thinking back politically into the middle of 2016, I must admit that I began to wonder if the GOP challenger Donald Trump might be moving the United States toward a seminal and decisive change.

    The question came into my mind, “Will Trump be a person who will have a transformative moment to the political system similar to the way Ronald Reagan changed the Republican Party?”

     

     

    rule of the thug

    A Global Counter to the Global Rise of Fascism

    by | 1 | Jan 13, 2017
    A Global Counter to the Global Rise of Fascism

    As America enters the Age of Trump, it is important to recognize that what’s happening is not just about Trump, and not just about America. Forces kindred to Trump have lately been ascendant around the world.

    We see different manifestations of this same ascendant force that has borne Trump into the presidency in Putin’s Russia, in Erdogan’s Turkey, in Britain’s Brexit movement, in right-wing ethno-nationalist parties across Europe (France, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, etc.), in Netanyahu’s Israel, and in Duterte’s Philippines.

     

     

    make america ache again

    Calming Fears, Trump Vows To Keep Word and Destroy Health Care for Everybody Who Voted For Him

    by | 3 | Jan 10, 2017
    Calming Fears, Trump Vows To Keep Word and Destroy Health Care for Everybody Who Voted For Him

    Amid rising concerns among millions of jobless, destitute and desperately angry white males that he is about to cave to political pressure, President-elect Donald Trump reassured his supporters Monday that he still plans to destroy every last vestige of their health care.

    “Everybody who voted for me is not going to have to mess with going to the doctor, I guarantee you!” Trump tweeted …

     

     

    snake oil salesmen

    Of Banksters and HSAs

    by | 0 | Jan 10, 2017
    Of Banksters and HSAs

    HSA stands for Health Savings Account, which is what Congress wants to substitute for the ACA to get them off the hook doing what they don’t want to do anyway — provide for the general welfare. The “general welfare” is such a plebeian assignment and never done! Privatization, here we come!

    The problem is that bankers …

     

     

    how’s that working 4u?

    Dealing with Defeat

    by | 0 | Jan 6, 2017
    Benjamin West’s painting of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse entitled “Death on a Pale Horse” (1796), Detroit Institute of Arts (Public Domain)

    On his Sunday TV show after the previous day’s football game, former Alabama coach Bear Bryant was once asked by sidekick Charley Thornton about his players crying after a particularly devastating loss.

    Bryant replied that the time for crying was the previous Tuesday when they practiced halfheartedly, or during film study, when the players showed little regard for that week’s opponent. That was when the upcoming game was lost.

     

     

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