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Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


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    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.

     

     

    blind partisans

    Vladimir Putin’s Useful Idiots

    by | 0 | Jan 4, 2017
    Caricatures of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump are by DonkeyHotey

    Which seems more astonishing? That Donald Trump’s supporters have forgotten the Cold War and fallen in love with a Russian dictator? Or that the only major historical event diehard supporters of Bernie Sanders remember is that the George W. Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? What connects the amnesia of the former with the schematic error of the latter is that both are now being deployed to deny that Russian intelligence agents …

     

     

    no right to give up

    Friendly Fascism by Bertram Gross

    by | 0 | Jan 4, 2017
    Friendly Fascism by Bertram Gross

    One of the challenges Bertram Gross’ book, Friendly Fascism, presents the reader with is this: if your views coincide with those that a major, long-term, well-funded propaganda campaign has aimed to instill, wouldn’t it be prudent to reconsider those views? We don’t come into this world armed with disinformation detectors. We tend to trust those around us and more or less uncritically adopt their values. Born into a Muslim world, chances are you’ll be Muslim. Born into a Catholic family in Italy? …

     

     

    shoring up our godly cred

    “So Help Me God”: Not Unpresidented, but Unpresidential

    by | 1 | Jan 3, 2017
    Richard Nixon Taking The Oath Of Office - official White House

    At noon on January 20, Donald J. Trump will take the oath of office as President of the United States: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” And then he will add the phrase “so help me God.”

    Those four little words are not in the Constitution, but …

     

     

    amazing grace

    Barack and the Beatitudes

    by | 1 | Dec 30, 2016
    President Obama’s mic drop at the White House Correspondence Dinner via WhiteHouse.gov

    Some years ago, when I was living and working in Central Florida, my family and I attended a Sunday service at a congregational church in Winter Park. In his sermon that morning, the minister envisioned Jesus’ long-prophesied return to our midst. In the preacher’s telling, the Prince of Peace so alarms some of the populace with his public denunciations of rampant materialism and his insistence on ideals such as humility, forgiveness, charity and non-violence that he is soon murdered all over again.

     

     

    elections past

    A Peril of a Carol: Trump Sees Ghosts

    by | 0 | Dec 22, 2016
    A Peril of a Carol: Trump Sees Ghosts

    Hillary was dead, not dead dead, but dead as a hammer in the world of politics. The Electoral College was dedicated to its duty, and voted according to expectations, with its members then checking themselves into rehab.

    It was in this world that The Donald lived. High potentate, head banana, big-wig and man in charge, living large in The Tower while waiting for the residents of the public housing to move out so he could move in, if he decided he wanted to downgrade…

     

     

    catastrophe unfolding

    Is America a Failed State?

    by | 5 | Dec 21, 2016
    American flag upside down

    Immediately following the 2016 presidential election, I emailed four German friends: “After 240 years, the great American experiment has ended, badly.”

    It’s a grim assessment. I arrived at this discomforting conclusion while raking leaves and talking to a neighbor who served in the Peace Corps in a former Soviet republic. She’s seen failed states firsthand, and America, to her, has that “feel.” And she’s worried her children will grow up in an oligarchy.

     

     

    virtually undemocratic

    Elias Aboujaoude on the 2016 Election

    by | 1 | Dec 17, 2016
    From the cover of Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality by Elias Aboujaoude http://amzn.to/2hZWnaO

    Dismayed by the extraordinary vitriol and vituperation expressed in online discussions of politics that we continue to read reminded me of the insights into behavior in Elias Aboujaoude’s fascinating 2011 book Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality. Aboujaoude is a Professor and Director of the OCD Clinic at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and specializes in the treatment of compulsive disorders…

     

     

    puppet-elect

    Is Trump Kompromised?

    by | 1 | Dec 13, 2016
    Is Trump Kompromised?

    Perpetrators must first envisage crimes before they commit them. Often that entails a fantasy that their intended victims deserve what’s coming for having committed the same crime. Psychological projection helps dodge acceptance of moral responsibility. When the envisaged crimes are political, the fantasies projected onto opponents are often spun as conspiracy theories.

    After years of loopy conspiracism from populist conservatism it is easy to overlook the fact that as primary candidate, as party nominee, and even as President-elect, Donald Trump deployed only a few of the many available conspiracy theories to denounce Hillary Clinton…

     

     

    win what?

    The Republicans’ Tangled Web

    by | 0 | Dec 12, 2016
    The Republicans’ Tangled Web

    The day after the election a man wearing a gun in a pizza joint during lunch was crowing to me, “We elected ‘im!” Alabamians – gun-toting and otherwise – did vote overwhelmingly for Trump. But it was not just Alabama, was it? Every rural area in the country voted for Trump. Big money has run over the Democrats since Reagan, crushed lower-income people and used the resulting disillusionment to build a coalition based on ignorance and resentment …

     

     

    time running out

    Climate-change damage growing in Georgia, predicted to get much worse

    by | 0 | Dec 12, 2016
    Image: Flooding on Highway 80 from Savannah to Tybee Island by Craig Davidenko of DroneMedia.com

    Recurring floods on Route 80  from Savannah to Tybee Island provides evidence that sea-level rise is already taking its toll. As the climate continues to overheat, primarily due to the emission of greenhouse gases [GHGs] in burning and producing fossil fuels, sea-level rise and other impacts of climate change will get much worse.

     

     

    who's your master?

    Animals Frightened at Prospect of being First Pet

    by | 0 | Dec 8, 2016
    The President-Elect petting his goldfish

    It’s long been said that if you want a friend in Washington, adopt a dog.

    President-elect Trump does not have a pet, other than his ex-wives, but reports by a Trump consultant indicated he may be changing his mind on having a national pet.

    While presidents in the past have had all manner of pets, ranging from dogs to goats, because of Trump’s noted short attention span and indifference to details and facts, there are worries that a White House pet could be neglected.

     

     

    life-threatening problems

    After the Dustup, a Little Review

    by | 0 | Dec 6, 2016
    To be frank, now the election's over... our intent? Increase cost for you, profits for us (I'm smart)

    To many, the following outline might seem self-evident but given U.S. presidential election results, a review is apparently in order:

    1) The elite (1%) rule for the benefit of themselves, their agenda consisting always of the task of maintaining and expanding their power, privilege and profits.

     

     

    grande dystopia

    The Starby Guy

    by | 0 | Dec 4, 2016
    Starbucks Flag

    Naw, you don’t have to waste your pamphlets on me. I’ll be voting the Green Lady, just like last time.

    I’m old enough to remember having my first Starbucks coffee, on a chill winter’s day back in 1991. So I guess you could say I was a Party man from way back… a whole lifetime ago, seems like.

    It was the Citizens United decision that changed everything. Once corporations were considered to be people …

     

     

    huuuge

    Trump to Build Canadian Wall to Keep Americans In

    by | 4 | Dec 1, 2016
    The Great Wall of Canada

    Trump Tower, USA – In what insiders call a “tweak” to his campaign pledge to build a border wall to keep Mexicans from sneaking into America, president elect Donald Trump plans to move the wall to the Canadian border – to keep terrified Americans from getting out.

    “It’s a testament to the power of his presidency,” said a Trump source. “He believes so strongly in …

     

     

    addiction of wealth

    Off-Shore Pirates

    by | 0 | Nov 27, 2016
    Off-Shore Pirates

    A Coca Cola executive once told me that he had to throw an underling out of his office. Why? The guy attempted to ingratiate himself by proposing that Coke pump up the bottom line big-time with accounting practices that would locate profits off-shore, beyond the reach of the IRS.

    If your fondness for money exceeds your sense of civic responsibility, as say, in the case of our illegitimate president-elect, you would not throw this person out but rather promote them.

     

     

    why?

    Hicks In The Sticks Shouldn’t Be The Pundit’s Quick Fix

    by | 1 | Nov 16, 2016
    Trump 2016 Yes we klan

    For some two generations now, way too many American liberals have been beguiled by the facile trope of  “the Southernization of America,” which blames the nation’s shift to the right since the 1960s on the South’s rapid political, economic, and cultural ascent. If early takes on the 2016 presidential election, which chalk up Trump’s upset triumph to the “revenge” of the rural white voter in traditionally blue northern states and essentially leave it at that, are any indication, we may soon see “ruralization” supplant “Southernization” as the primary threat to political liberalism in this country.

     

     

    dr. ben carson did what?

    My Head Just Exploded

    by | 6 | Nov 16, 2016
    My Head Just Exploded

    Ok, first a quick update:
 I want to just say I’m very disappointed that it looks as though I did not win either the Electoral College or the popular vote.

    My campaign manager Mr. Mittens is digging through the early returns (and his bag of cat nip) in order to find out just where my campaign went south. So, unless the Supreme Court steps in I may not become president this time around. I am also deeply troubled to inform my supporters that my own mother didn’t vote for me…

     

     

    do we still believe?

    Polling Errors

    by | 2 | Nov 14, 2016
    Fiesta Girls

    Ever since the polls got Brexit and Trumpocalypse so wrong, inquiring minds have been wondering how could the pollsters, and by extension all the media, lead us astray?  In the past week, many publications like The New York Times have discussed the polling problems.

    As a survey researcher, my colleagues and I can think of many reasons, but the “science” has its own jargon, and is difficult to explain (or perhaps justify).  On private chat boards, they’re trying to figure out what went wrong, and how to deal with the PR problems that arise, muttering things like …

     

     

    tinfoil hat crazy

    Trump: Let Them Eat Conspiracy Theory

    by | 1 | Nov 13, 2016
    Trump: Let Them Eat Conspiracy Theory

    That Donald John Trump will be the 45th President of the United States still seems unreal and that sensation is not helped by the realization that millions of the Americans who voted for him may have done so because of runaway conspriracism. As the improbable candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, the billionaire real estate developer/reality television celebrity played to conservative gullibility by …

     

     

    no news is good news

    Perspective Is a Pedal Turn Away

    by | 0 | Nov 9, 2016
    Perspective Is a Pedal Turn Away

    Wednesday morning, my bicycle and I are leaving town, bound for Florida and a week-long ride across the Sunshine State. Far from intelligent design, the timing is lucky coincidence. But, there couldn’t be a better day to be shut off from the world by travel, nor a finer week to be pedaling the soft shoulder of some dusty Florida backroad.

    Unless, of course, all hell really does break loose Tuesday night. What if we ride into a riot? Our Daytona to Clearwater route is eerily close to the infamous I-4 corridor of Bush v. Gore lore.

     

     

    not trump

    How Are We Even Having this Conversation?

    by | 0 | Nov 7, 2016
    epublican with head up an elephant’s ass by Mario Piperni

    And how many more times will I be asking myself this question over the next days?

    Tomorrow’s presidential election presents a host of conundrums. Voting for a third-party candidate that represents one’s moral principles, like Green Party candidate Jill Stein, is an attractive option… and one that those of us in deep-red states like Mississippi have the advantage of taking. However, especially in the swing states, there are reasons to consider voting for a candidate who…

     

     

    parody on the stump

    Ivory soap vs. Drano

    by | 1 | Nov 6, 2016
    Ivory soap vs. Drano

    One says it can clean your face, your body, and prevent microbe borne disease.

    The other focuses on sewage and promises to clean up all clogged systems, sewage related or not.

    A contest was held to see which product was more popular.

    When it was apparent that people would choose a clean face and body and disease prevention, the Drano producers decided to tout their product as a suppository laxative.

     

     

    power of truth

    The Cure for Trump

    by | 2 | Nov 4, 2016
    The Cure for Trump

    How did we get here? How did we end up with a lunatic Republican presidential nominee, an eminently unlikeable Democratic nominee and a middle class apparently unwilling to impose its political will on this American Republic as we stagger toward an election like honey bees in a dying hive?

    Our version of colony collapse disorder has been perfectly diagnosed in Low Dishonest Decades, the new book by George Scialabba.

     

     

    a monstrous force

    Ugliness Ahead, Either Way

    by | 6 | Nov 4, 2016
    Trump's Birdnest by Mark Rain

    If Donald Trump wins next Tuesday – God forbid! – then it goes without saying that American politics are in for a time of profound ugliness.

    But it is becoming increasingly clear that even if Donald Trump is defeated, a time of ugliness lies ahead. That forecast now goes well beyond the issue of Trump’s telegraphing of a refusal to accept the outcome. The ugliness may well begin with that violation of the American norms …

     

     

    he's horrible

    Un-Seeing What You Have Seen

    by | 0 | Nov 2, 2016
    Big Orange Donald Zombie Eating Brains caricature DonkeyHotey

    A pattern in support for Donald Trump has repeated itself twice in recent months. In early August, Trump’s continued questioning of the ability of a judge to do his job because of his Mexican heritage, combined with his days-long attacks on a Gold Star family that had publicly criticized him, led a number of Trump voters to withdraw their support. Then …

     

     

    southern politics

    It’s about to get a whole lot more interesting

    by | 2 | Oct 31, 2016
    2016 Presidential Election Map - Average margin of presidential victory 1992-2008

    The South is not completely red politically, just as it is not home to only rednecks.

    Come November 8, Southerners will cast about 33 million votes in this oddest and nastiest of presidential elections. Of those, more than 15 million will be for the Democrat, Hillary Clinton. That’s a lot of blue living in what most assume is just red.

    Yes, our region, just like our nation, is more purple than just red or blue. In Southern state and federal elections, we’re a reddish purple. In many urban areas in the South, we skew a little more blueish purple.

     

     

    jimmy carter - photographs

    The Creampuff

    by | 0 | Oct 31, 2016
    Carter and Mondale with members of the White House traveling press corps softball team, dubbed the News Twisters, at the Plains High School baseball field. Carter’s own team was made up mainly of off-duty US Secret Service agents. One observer likened the Secret Service versus press play to the “New York Yankees against a middle school softball team . . . if the middle schoolers had been drinking all night.” Left to right are Justin Friedland of ABC News, Charles Mohr of the New York Times, Carter, James Walker of ABC News, Mondale, Rick Kaplan of CBS News, Billy Carter, Curtis Wilkie of the Boston Globe, and Phil Smith of Newhouse News Service.

    As a photojournalist shooting a baseball game, I’d never once considered that I could be at great peril…but I’d never photographed a game from this position…from on the mound and behind the pitcher.

    I stood over the pitcher’s shoulder during his windup watching the batter – his forearms tensed and his gaze narrowly focused on the orb as it left the pitcher’s fingers.

    The ball floated nearer, the wood came around, gained speed and then contacted…

     

     

    stranger than fiction

    “You’re Nobody ’til Everybody In This Town Thinks You’re A Bastard”

    by | 0 | Oct 30, 2016
    Elvis Costello as Satan presents Donald Trump in This Town is a composite image created by LikeTheDew.com

    Mr. Getgood moved up to Self-Made Man Row
    Although he swears he’s the salt of the earth
    He’s so proud of the “kick-me-hard” sign that they hung on his back at birth.
    He said “I appreciate beauty, if I have one, then it’s my fault”
    “Beauty is on my pillow, beauty is there in my vault.”

    Now just who did Elvis Costello have in mind when he wrote and recorded “…This Town…” in 1988?

     

     

    chicken-wing democrat

    Write Me In

    by | 9 | Oct 24, 2016
    Write Me In by Trevor Irvin

    I am the first write-in presidential candidate who will win in a landslide. So heads up — Hillary is not the only historic choice here.

    My run for the highest office in the land has gone exceedingly well. I am the first candidate to run an issue-free, wall-free, policy-free, promise-you-anything-to-get-in-office, campaign. (I know, I know, the Donald is neck-and-neck with me on this, but I’m not worried that he’ll grab the presidency – other stuff, well, you may want to be careful, just sayin’.)

     

     

    just for attention

    Dousing Trump’s Insurrectionary Fire

    by | 0 | Oct 20, 2016
    onald Trump - Caricature by DonkeyHotey

    This ugly presidential campaign will soon be over, but ugliness threatens to continue beyond Election Day. Donald Trump, who threatened that if he wins he will seek to jail his opponent, has been inciting his followers with accusations that, if he loses, it’s because of a conspiracy.

    Win or lose, Mr. Trump threatens the foundations of American democracy. Polls indicate that Trump probably will lose…

     

     

    show me your papers

    74 Years an Evacuee

    by | 0 | Oct 17, 2016
    74 Years an Evacuee

    The first time I was evacuated was in early 1942, at the age of nine months. The allies bombing the German City of Aachen every night had become too traumatic, so my mother took her babe and fled to the Austrian Alps.

    So, I spent the next three years in this rustic farm building: two rooms and a veranda and outhouse on the second floor; wood storage, bake oven and chicken coop on the first; no electricity; no running water.

     

     

    trending

    The New South Carolina: The Politics

    by | 0 | Oct 17, 2016
    Southeast US political map turns red to purple to blue

    In sports, the Gamecocks wear garnet and black. Clemson wears orange and purple. In politics, South Carolina is red and deep red. These are what are known as “self-evident truths.” Things that just are. While the garnet and orange will probably last until the Second Coming, the red in South Carolina politics is changing – and changing faster than most folks think.

     

     

    book review

    Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 – 2005

    by | 0 | Oct 12, 2016
    Army kicking down a door - illustration by Tom Ferguson

    What first struck me about Thomas E Ricks’ book, Fiasco The American Military Adventure in Iraq 2003 to 2005, was the sheer number of establishment figures who opposed the war, many of whom predicted the general consequences to include Isis. Bush the elder, General Colin Powell (despite his eventual disgraceful performance at the U.N.), General Schwarzkoph, Brent Scowcroft, Marine General Anthony Zinne

     

     

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