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Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


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    release your tax returns

    Protesting the President: Money (That’s What I Want)

    by | 1 | Apr 17, 2017
    Tax Protest March April 15, 2017 by Mike Licht

    Once again, President Tweety has claimed that Americans who march in protest of his policies or of him personally are doing so for pay. His latest accusation came in a tweet on Easter Sunday, one day after citizens in cities as far flung as New York and Birmingham hit the streets to demand that he release his tax returns.

    I am going to take him at his word that events like these are orchestrated and funded as part of a vast left-wing conspiracy. And I would like to ask a simple question: Where do I sign up?

     

     

    injustice

    Fairness in government is basic to laws and customs of our nation

    by | 0 | Apr 13, 2017
    Fairness in government is basic to laws and customs of our nation

    Though it’s not stated in the U.S. Constitution, the quality of fairness is embodied in our government. After all, we are a nation of laws, and that alone speaks to reason and decorum in deliberations. Throw out fairness and you move toward chaos. Without fairness, you raise questions of trust and partiality and bias, and even decorum. This basis of fairness in our everyday lives extends to relationships and commerce…

     

     

    subverting the constitution

    Corporations as Persons

    by | 0 | Apr 13, 2017
    Corporations as Persons

    The United States’ revolutionary war grew out of the monopolistic policies, supported by corrupt British crown and government, of the Earth’s first major corporation, the East India Company. So claims Thom Hartmann in his book Unequal Protection. Once overthrown, our corporations quest to return to power was resisted by Jefferson, Madison and other pro-democracy anti-federalists (Hamilton and Adams leading the Federalists)…

     

     

    circuitous logic

    Standing out in the crowd

    by | 0 | Apr 9, 2017
    Standing out in the crowd

    Bidding for public attention among Republican state legislators appears astonishingly intense. Consider Colorado State Representative Dave (not David) Williams. On first encounter, Williams appears to be just another standard issue ‘guns, fetuses and homophobia’ Republican. His issue page endorses the Second Amendment as defense against enemies “foreign and domestic.” How he squares appeals to Red Dawn wingnut fantasies with his national party leader being in the pocket of President Vladimir Putin is anyone’s guess…

     

     

    unfolding before our eyes

    Is Donald Trump Evil?

    by | 0 | Apr 6, 2017
    Is Donald Trump Evil?

    For evil to happen, all that is necessary is for good [people] to do nothing.”—Edmund Burke

    It’s a question that must be asked.

    Aristotle defined evil simply as untruth. By this yardstick, Trump—who revels in fake news, alternative facts, birtherism, and Breitbart conspiracies—qualifies as evil.

    But it’s far more complicated than that.

     

     

    robber barons on a trump scale

    A theory of the leisure class

    by | 0 | Apr 3, 2017
    A theory of the leisure class

    The release by the White House of the financial worth of President Trump’s top advisors, in a Friday night dump timed for underplaying bad news (an April Fool’s joke on us?), was a face punch that we needed. While we were all staggering to understand Trump and his election – baffled, as Steve Bannon told us we were – this knocks us upright, a clarifying blow. These guys, Steve Bannon, son-in-law Jered Kushner, Gary Cohn, Kellyanne Conway and all, are worth hundreds of millions. Added to the billionaires on the cabinet, the West Wing cocktail party guests are worth a total of $12 billion, according to Bloomberg.

     

     

    north korea

    Trump’s War: Will Pyongyang Provide the Pretext?

    by | 2 | Mar 30, 2017
    Trump’s War: Will Pyongyang Provide the Pretext?

    Americans have reason to be impressed by the U.S. State Department’s formal denunciation of the Russian crackdown on the March 26th demonstrations. Although there was nothing inspiring in the wording of the official condemnation – indeed it de-mothballed the long exhausted ‘marketplace of ideas’ trope – it was nonetheless perfectly adequate to the task. Given the incompetence performance of this most aberrant of presidential administrations, achieving mere adequacy is noteworthy.

     

     

    the knife of tax-greed

    Environmental activist blasts plan to rezone 1,000 acres of Cumberland Island

    by | 2 | Mar 30, 2017
    Environmental activist blasts plan to rezone 1,000 acres of Cumberland Island

    “Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed.”-Wallace Stegner

    Cumberland Island National Seashore and United Nations Biosphere Reserve is the largest of the southern United States’ sea islands. It is a paradise of eco-diversity and incomparable beauty. Visitors can only access the island by a private boat or the ferry from St. Marys, Georgia, and when they arrive, they find that they have been transported to a realm that is beyond all expectations.

     

     

    trumpian satire

    Trump Eases Testicle-Removal Regulations to Put Castratos Back To Work

    by | 7 | Mar 30, 2017
    Trump Eases Testicle-Removal Regulations to Put Castratos Back To Work

    President Donald Trump kept his campaign vow to put more Americans back to work by signing an executive order Wednesday that will ease government regulations against the surgical removal of testicles and revive the long-languishing castrato industry in this country.

    “C’mon, fellas, you know what this is, you know what this says,” Trump said during a signing ceremony at the White House where he was flanked on stage by unemployed males with low-pitched vocal ranges…

     

     

    redefining progress

    Coastal Georgia threatened by poorly evaluated business activities

    by | 0 | Mar 28, 2017
    Coastal Georgia threatened by poorly evaluated business activities

    Consistent with the well-considered advice from Columbia University economist, Geoffrey Heal, Georgians need to get savvier about how state policies are being used to support business ventures and job creation. According to Professor Heal, “If we don’t make some changes in the way we organize our economic systems… we will see catastrophic environmental change in our lifetimes.” (Catalyst, Winter 2017.) He stresses that neglecting nature in economic decisions seriously threatens our prosperity.

     

     

    turning points

    The Journey of One Immigrant

    by | 0 | Mar 27, 2017
    The Journey of One Immigrant

    It was winter and Canada was in recession when I arrived as a new immigrant. Finding work when many Canadians were unemployed was a challenge because employers were looking for Canadians, not immigrants who may move on to someplace else. I was unemployed for five months, living in a boarding house, and had no money when I finally found work. There were no government unemployment benefits.

     

     

    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…

     

     

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