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guns on campus
According to recent reports, members of the Georgia General Assembly are scrambling to respond to Governor Deal’s reservations about HB 859, the “campus carry” bill, now on his desk. The bill permits students at least 21 years old with concealed weapons permits to possess firearms anywhere on the state’s public college campuses except residence halls, fraternities, sororities, and athletic events.
It’s no wonder legislators are confused. A couple of weeks ago, Governor Deal airily dismissed arguments against the legislation as “lacking validity.” In recent days, however, he’s become persuaded that the bill has to be substantially revised…
supreme court nomination
I just got an email from Marc Ash, editor of the progressive news site, Reader Supported News. The title gives a clue about how exasperated Ash is at President Obama’s pick for his Supreme Court nominee.
In the piece, he describes how Garland was someone that Senator Orrin Hatch, conservative from Utah, had suggested would be a good pick. And then Ash writes: “Battle? Ideological confrontation? Reshaping of the Court? Forget it – Garland is a safe pick for America’s ruling class. Obama punted. Hatch defeated him without a fight.”
Donald Trump has been called a “buffoon.” That’s a mistake. “Buffoon” implies foolish, stupid. But Donald Trump possesses a kind of genius: He’s a genius at getting attention for himself.
One might say that the quest for attention – more than “making deals” — has been the driving force in Trump’s life. And for decades, he has succeeded in getting considerable public attention. But it is only in recent months that he’s demonstrated how extraordinary is his ability to seize – and hold – the spotlight.
last white man standing
This year you may be seeing right before your eyes the death of the Republican Party in national politics. If it happens, we lament it. (We feel that our country benefits by have a strong two party system.) It appears that the GOP could find itself threatened in this crazy political year. Here’s how this might turn out, outlined in a shortened step-by-step process.
strife over cooperation
Why have our politics become so dysfunctional? The answer is really not so hard to find. Our founders knew the nation would always have its divisions — of interests, values, opinions. The hope in framing the Constitution was that we’d nonetheless find ways to move the nation forward by negotiating compromises.
The question “How can we fight to increase our power?” would always be there, they understood, but the question “How can we cooperate to serve the good of the nation?” was supposed to have greater weight.
OK, I have an apology to MSNBC. I watched the Republican debate on FOX last night, and I liked it. Megyn Kelly was fantastic. I mean, I used to scream every time the channel was on FOX news in public places (because the remote is forbidden from stopping there at home), but recently I have been watching with glee as they try to make sense of the present primary picnic (especially turd blossom, who is doing his best to pimp Rubio).
It is now 60 years that I’ve been following American politics closely. Long enough to get surprised when the way things have always been change dramatically into something never seen before.
I have been surprised, for example, to see people who regard themselves as “conservative” readily support leaders who break well-established American precedent. Aren’t conservatives the people who recognize that traditions are there for a reason – that you respect established norms, not just trample on them?
Jeff Halper, an Israeli peace activist, spoke at Atlanta’s Oakhurst Baptist Church Monday night (2/29/16). He confirms and elaborates much of what Noam Chomsky says on the subject of Israel-U.S. relations. Halper raises the question, why does the U.S. so enthusiastically support Israel, enabling a brutal occupation and blocking peace with the Palestinians? He dismisses several conventional answers as being factors but…
we are so fired
Donald Trump’s relentless promise to Make America Great Again carried him through the Republican primaries with surprising efficiency. He beat Marco Rubio in the Midwest, easily carried Florida and the West, and fought off a late entry by Michael Bloomberg. The Republican convention became a pep rally for the dissatisfied, and his surprise choice for his vice presidential running mate was the final blow to any mainstream Republican hopes.
In a caustic and bombastic general election, Trump’s strength multiplied while Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton fought a tight but eventually losing battle…
protecting our coast
Imagine going into the barbershop for a trim and coming out with a shaved head and a couple of missing ears. That’s about what happened to the storied Marshes of Glynn along the Jekyll Island Causeway. The barber of Jekyll Island, with an assist from the Georgia Department of Do Not Respect, has taken his shears to the Causeway to “trim” the place up.
A letter from one Karl Burgess, in the Coastal Resources Division, acknowledged the trimming plan, but apparently failed to mention that the assistants he was going to provide were novices at their jobs.
the greed system
When I was a kid, growing up in the 1950s, I loved the religious spectaculars one could see at the movie theaters – films like The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur. I’ve never found it easy to believe that there is a God who intervenes in human affairs to punish the wicked and reward the good. But I loved entering that world in these enthralling works of the imagination.
I loved watching how God sent Moses to Egypt to tell Pharaoh to let his enslaved people go…
keeping us poor
Most of you know the feeling. You could lose a few pounds and you wish your clothes fit better, but you feel pretty good – still young, still vibrant. And then you see a recent photo.
It’s like that. For a native son and life-long southerner (excepting two years in Cleveland, OH), the Distressed Communities Index (DCI) map published Thursday in a report by the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) is profoundly troubling.
Dark reds are the most economically distressed communities; dark green are most prosperous. The ranking scale and methodology are explained on the EIG website, where you can also find the full report.
Despite obvious reasons for shifting away from fossil fuels, Georgia’s coast is under assault from three major fossil-fuel related proposals, which if built would severely jeopardize private property, coastal quality of life, and environmental features that are vital to our economy.
The Palmetto petroleum pipeline, offshore drilling, and the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are woefully unjustified and risky ventures, yet they remain on the table as if serving the public rather than threatening us…
side effects of life
Have you noticed the long string of warnings in TV commercials for prescription drugs?
How could you miss it? It’s downright scary. Takes up half of the evening news. The drug companies know their audience, don’t they? Only geezers watch TV news. News has not yet become relevant to the young. (But just wait, young people!)
I’m afraid to go see a doctor anymore. I might wind up with one of those prescriptions. Their side effects sound riskier than the ailment.
reverse robin hood
The casino gambling industry is playing hardball, in a sneaky, unethical and vile manner, as it seeks to compel the Georgia legislature to allow this industry in Georgia.
We don’t want the gambling industry in Georgia. To begin with, just look at tactics. The industry is preying on Georgia’s children to get this sinister racket to become legal in our state. Here’s how…
freedom to discriminate
A Facebook message: “Alex, I think you’re a really great person doing wonderful things for the world but you need to stop promoting homosexuality on your Facebook page or people will get ideas about you. I’m sure you’re a good Christian woman so your writing should reflect those values.”
Gadzooks! “…get ideas”? What – that I’m (gasp) a closeted lesbian? A lapsed Christian? Or that I have actually studied the Bible and believe, above all, in acceptance and equality…
Have you made up your mind which presidential candidate you’ll be voting for? If you haven’t, the presidential preference primary is just one week off, on March 1. So think speedily. You must decide soon!
At least what seemed like innumerable Republican candidates has been thinned seriously, with former Florida governor, Jeb Bush, exiting last week…
racism, militarism, greed
The Iowa Caucus, New Hampshire Primary, and South Carolina GOP Primary are now in the rear-view mirror. Jeb Bush has bailed from the presidential race. It’s time to pause and take political stock.
Of the four leading candidates — Donald Trump and Ted Cruz from the GOP, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders from the Dems — three are anti-establishment.
Only Clinton is an establishment candidate. The others surf a giant wave of voter anger that rises from a sense of betrayal.
The Myth. Of all the traditions associated with Georgia’s tradition-rich Jekyll Island, none is more durable than its being at the eye of controversy, the latest stoked by the Jekyll Island Authority’s ongoing redevelopment program. The complaints, simmering in The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Internet web sites and elsewhere, feature invocations of M. E. Thompson, who, as acting governor, acquired the island for the state. The knock is that the Jekyll Island Authority’s management of the island is a betrayal of Thompson’s populist vision of Jekyll Island as “a state park for the plain people of Georgia.”
Democratic voters have a choice between two candidates. Which candidate is the better choice depends on what you think is possible for us to achieve.
If you think we are stuck with the power system we have — in which moneyed interests take over the American democracy and get to call more and more of the shots, and where politicians can be rewarded rather than punished for betraying the American people — Secretary Clinton is an admirable choice…
With all of the finger-pointing, gesticulating, spite, retorts, nasty responses to retorts, robocalls and flood of oversized postcards, the presidential primary process has become a mess, more of a reality television show than reality.
It’s as if the grind of politics, which has been the social equivalent to a root canal for many, has become a caricature of itself. It’s as if real people are really acting like cartoon characters.
times were a’changin’
In a recent writing class, we discussed the power that invoking the senses has to aid in memory recall. The instructor said the sense of smell gives our memory the biggest jolt and asked us to share some vivid smells from our past. Folks brought in Jergen’s Lotion, Old Spice aftershave, rosewater cologne, cinnamon buns and coffee. And then someone mentioned tear gas and Boom! I was immediately jerked back to January 1961 when I was a second quarter freshman at the University of Georgia, living in South Myers dormitory with my best friend from high school…
satire right out of history
Several of the founding fathers of the United States today expressed shock and disappointment with the federal government after they were transported from the past to Washington, DC through what scientists are calling an unprecedented “time warp.”
“Alack, this is not what we intended, not in the least,” said Thomas Jefferson, after he, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams visited Congress and the White House. “How in the name of the Almighty did all this transpire?” Washington asked.
In 2012, Americans engaged in the constitutional process for deciding who would get the powers of the presidency.
In that election, millions of us Americans won an important right: to have our guy name the person to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court if any were to open up. We won it fair and square.
We can talk about the president’s constitutional responsibilities and privileges, but ultimately this about the rights of us American citizens who participate in the American electoral process.
Dear passionate supporters of the candidates, can you please answer these questions to help me choose our next President?
To Bernie supporters:
Q. I remember how hard I worked to get George McGovern elected to be a strong anti-war President in 1972. I also remember the crushing defeat, and the years afterward with Nixon. Where is Bernie’s 50-state strategy spelled out online? Where is his state-by-state endorsement list of elected officials? I am frightened that the former Independent will not be able to rally the Dems in all the states so we can not only win the White House, but also the Senate and/or House.
solo on a vacation
It is important to make new friends, especially as you get older and many of your friends have fallen off the perch. You have a choice, make new older friends who want to talk about their medical problems, downsizing the house, a favorite doctor or some new supplement to combat fatigue and old age. Or new younger friends who are likely to last longer and be around to go to your funeral so the church is filled. As the famous philospher Yogi Berra once said: “If you don’t go to your friends’ funerals they won’t come to yours.”
fooling some of the people
In my neighborhood rats are quite timid and though definitely there, are seldom seen. In my wanderings I’ve noticed that when these creatures become bold as squirrels and many in number, while the cats are correspondingly few. It is time to take prudent measures.
In my wanderings I’ve also noticed certain elite urban country clubs. Though all are exclusive, in a way of speaking, they are of varied affluence. They occur in many neighborhoods in the cities and plains of our great world and are named according to local vernacular…