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Sunday, February 1, 2015
Southern Weather Radar


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    are we so gullible

    The GOP Simultaneously Cries ‘Wolf’ and ‘The Sky Is Falling’

    by | Oct 26, 2014
    Big Senate Race 2014 by DonkeyHotey

    Despicable. That’s the only word for it. I refer to the recent official email “Responding to the Ebola Crisis” of October 17 from my congressional representative, Bob Goodlatte, of Virginia’s 6th District. It begins by stating that “Ebola now spreading in the United States is of extreme concern [emphasis added].” The update then goes on to imply that millions of Americans have lost or will lose their health care under the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”)…

     

     

    o’reilly/stewart brouhaha

    Denial is a River in the Right-Wing Mind

    by | Oct 26, 2014
    Denial is a River in the Right-Wing Mind

    People like Bill O’Reilly call upon people to raise themselves up while helping keep a foot on their necks. Conservatives like O’Reilly do have some kernels of truth on their side. They rightly think people should develop good character, including virtues such as discipline and responsibility for oneself. And they are rightly concerned to assure that social policies don’t discourage people from developing such virtues.

     

     

    down the drain

    The Ethical Man Lusts in His Heart

    by | Oct 25, 2014
    The Ethical Man Lusts in His Heart

    The ethical man keeps his hands to himself and does not destroy what he admires and loves. The ethical man does not subscribe to the excuse that “you always hurt the one you love. The ethical hurts no-one at all. Most of the electorate is probably too young to remember the perverse responses Jimmy Carter’s admission of having lusted in his heart occasioned among Republicans. In retrospect, it seems rather obvious that people, who live and die by the euphemism, were ready to believe that Carter had uttered a prevarication…

     

     

    part 9

    Concerned About Where Our Nation Is Heading?

    by | Oct 23, 2014
    Concerned About Where Our Nation Is Heading?

    Are you, like me, unhappy about where you sense our nation is heading? Do you, like me, fear that the prospects for our children and grandchildren will be darker than what we have known? For years, the polls show, a substantial majority of Americans have been unhappy about where our nation is headed. But we don’t all see the same dangers or agree on what to do about them. For example, the fear of millions that Obamacare is another step toward a socialist tyranny has little to do with reality. This distraction is indeed just one more symptom of what’s gone wrong.

     

     

    shop elsewhere

    A Guns and Butter Gambit

    by | Oct 22, 2014
    A Guns and Butter Gambit

    One wryly fascinating aspect of achieving “seniority” is that my senses have become more adept at finding free entertainment.  Locating alternative sources of amusement  has become almost a necessity these days.  Daytime television remains abominable, cable TV is objectionally priced (probably by those same pirates who sell inkjet print cartridges) and the ransom one has to give up for seats to  professional sporting events is unconscionable. Also, our local news daily, though not unreasonably priced is but a shell of its former self. It is no longer a joy to read.

     

     

    part 8

    Beliefs that Make Liberal America Weak: Barriers to the Source of Moral and Spiritual Passions

    by | Oct 19, 2014
    Beliefs that Make Liberal America Weak: Barriers to the Source of Moral and Spiritual Passions

    This piece begins a discussion that is addressed especially to those who believe that there is no such thing — and can be no such thing — in the world as an “evil force.”

    The crucial battle in America today is being fought in the political arena, but the heart of it goes deeper than politics. It is at the moral and spiritual level. The issue in America today is this: will constructive or destructive, life-serving or life-degrading forces prevail in shaping this nation’s future?

     

     

    part 7

    Dispirited Liberal America

    by | Oct 13, 2014
    Dispirited Liberal America

    Some of my liberal friends say they have lost all hope for American democracy, and a great many others act as if they had. They see that Big Money is wresting power from the people and, with the help of the Supreme Court, making it ever harder for the people to retrieve what has been taken from them. They see that one of our two major political parties is systematically blocking Congress from implementing solutions to our nation’s problems.

     

     

    the natural world

    Georgia, the state of things left out

    by | Oct 11, 2014
    No BMPs by road to new subdivision with obvious souring of the bottom during rain event.

    My spouse of fifty years has a quirky brain. It looks for things that aren’t there. Which is probably why one of his favorite poems is Antigonish or “The man who wasn’t there,” by Hughes Mearns.

    Yesterday, upon the stair,
    I met a man who wasn’t there.
    He wasn’t there again today,
    I wish, I wish he’d go away…

     

     

    part 6

    The Force Is Not With Us: We Identify with Our Fantasy Heroes — Why Don’t We Emulate Them?

    by | Oct 11, 2014
    The Force Is Not With Us: We Identify with Our Fantasy Heroes -- Why Don't We Emulate Them?

    The the destructive force that has arisen on the right is only one side of America’s present national crisis. The other side is the weakness of the response from Liberal America to this profound threat to our nation’s well-being. I’ve described President Obama’s failure to wage the battle that must be waged. But the problem of liberal weakness – and of its blindness – is not confined to the president. These defects were evident among Democratic leaders before Mr. Obama assumed the presidency, and they are manifested, I would assert, by Liberal America taken as a whole.

     

     

    part 5

    Liberal America, You Don’t See What We’re Up Against, and It Matters

    by | Oct 7, 2014
    Liberal America, You Don't See What We're Up Against, and It Matters

    I’ve undertaken to present this “Press the Battle” series because, believing it might make an important contribution, I feel a moral obligation to do so. At the age of 68, and after a whole decade of fighting against this ugly force that’s taken over the right, I’m certainly not doing it for fun.

    Maybe now is a good time to explain why I think what I’m presenting here might just possibly help turn the tide of battle. A reader recently wrote me privately wondering when I was going to stop the preliminaries and explain what I’m proposing to do…

     

     

    part 4

    Not Our Finest Hour: Why Is Liberal America Falling So Far Short?

    by | Sep 30, 2014
    Not Our Finest Hour: Why Is Liberal America Falling So Far Short?

    The American electorate is probably about to give more power to a party of traitors. This statement, though shocking, can be verified by these steps (many of which are substantiated here):

    • The Republican Party (“the Party of No”) has chosen to prevent anything from being accomplished.
    • To choose across-the-board obstructionism is to knowingly hurt the nation.
    • The Republicans’ motivation for obstructionism is to regain power…

     

     

    media fail

    Tipping Point: The People’s Climate March

    by | Sep 30, 2014
    People's Climate March New York

    “If the planet dies, all causes are lost causes.”Anonymous

    Humanity’s fate hangs on a tight race between two tipping points: a scientific one and a cognitive one. Scientists use the term “tipping point” to refer to a runaway feedback loop that, when triggered, abruptly and irreversibly changes the behavior of a system, such as the climate. For example, when permafrost melts, it releases methane, 50 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Thus: global warming, melting permafrost, more atmospheric methane, more global warming…

     

     

    problems, not targets

    Americans could help the world by combating peril and disasters

    by | Sep 29, 2014
    Americans could help the world by combating peril and disasters

    Six years ago, President Obama was all for bringing our troops home from far-off wars. Much of that has happened. Now new threats to world peace are prompting some war hawks to push for “sending in the troops,” no matter where the trouble is brewing.

    Good thing our military is controlled by a civilian Secretary of Defense. The military men will always advise on sending in the troops. They are trained to recommend no other way.

     

     

    Part 3.5

    This Is What You Should Be Making This Election About, Mr. President

    by | Sep 26, 2014
    This Is What You Should Be Making This Election About, Mr. President

    Hey, Mr. President. Why aren’t you out there on the hustings talking to the American people? There’s an election coming up, and the American political system is more dysfunctional than it’s been in generations, maybe ever. What does it mean that you, as president, are not using this last opportunity of your presidency to talk to voters about what’s gone wrong with the system and what voters can do now to get back a government that does the people’s business?

     

     

    smell test

    What’s that I smell?

    by | Sep 23, 2014
    What’s that I smell?

    I always knew politics smelled funny but I never know how much until now. Seems a couple of braniacs led by Brown University political scientist Rose McDermott have conducted a study showing that we can sniff out like minded people just from their body odor. So it ain’t only dogs that can find their friends with their noses, you can too. I won’t get into the ugly details, but essentially people from one political persuasion smelled body parts and bodily fluids of people from other political persuasions to determine if they were simpatico.

     

     

    part 3

    Calling Out the Republicans – Obama Hasn’t So We Must

    by | Sep 22, 2014
    Calling Out the Republicans - Obama Hasn't So We Must

    If Barack Obama had become president at a time of normal politics, with a normal opposition party, there’s no telling how much he could have accomplished. On many issues, President Obama has strived to move the country in wise and beneficial directions. He might have become the transformational president he aspired to be, and that many of us hoped for when we elected him in 2008. But it is his misfortune to be President when our politics is far from normal, and to have faced a Republican opposition more dishonest and destructive than anything ever before seen…

     

     

    secession

    Cotton Ain’t Been King For A Long Time, And, Now Neither Is Oil

    by | Sep 20, 2014
    Scotland from the air

    It’s fair to say that the South and Scotland go back a ways. For example, the cult of the “Lost Cause” that sprang up in the aftermath of the South’s failed fight for independence had something of an antecedent in the fabled “lost cause” of the Scottish Jacobites whose four-decade struggle to restore to the Stuart monarchy of Scotland to its rightful seat on the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland was heartily romanticized in the novels of Sir Walter Scott…

     

     

    letter to the editor

    LTE as Art Form

    by | Sep 20, 2014
    LTE as Art Form

    Over the years of my political seething I have cooled myself off some by exercising an art form, the letter to the editor (LTE). I even got one in the New York Times once. Mostly though they go to Atlanta’s daily or weekly rags, or when I’m visiting Michigan, their daily. Sometimes I might browse a monthly magazine, a business-oriented one recently. They did an interview with Georgia Power’s new president and I couldn’t let him get away with his greenwashing, not when they’re engaged in a huge con, bilking the ratepayers, ignoring clean alternatives like wind and solar and building dangerous nuclear reactors.

     

     

    equal protection

    Angry White Men on the Right

    by | Sep 19, 2014
    Angry White Men on the Right

    A friend of mine, who is liberal, told me recently, “Having grown up in the South in the 1950s, I know something about how it feels to be part of a group you’re told is superior. It feels really good. It’s a feeling that shouldn’t be under-estimated.”

    That got me thinking about the anger of many white men, and why they’ve lent the force of that anger to the political right.

     

     

    part 2

    The Republicans’ Extraordinary Pattern of Destructiveness

    by | Sep 15, 2014
    The Republicans' Extraordinary Pattern of Destructiveness

    In the conduct of today’s Republican Party, we can see a pattern of destructiveness. It displays an insatiable lust for power and wealth, an impulse to prey upon the vulnerable, a preference for conflict over cooperation, a persistent dishonesty, and a willingness to sacrifice the greater good for selfish advantage. Putting the pieces together, we see that our national crisis is not just at the political level, but goes deeper to the moral and spiritual levels.

    I have a message and a plan to help turn back this force. To succeed, it will need the help of many.

     

     

    part 1

    Many Liberals Don’t Like the Idea of Battle, But the Alternative in America Today is Much Worse

    by | Sep 9, 2014
    Many Liberals Don't Like the Idea of Battle, But the Alternative in America Today is Much Worse

    In America right now there’s a battle that needs to be fought and won in our political arena. It’s a battle over what kind of country, and what kind of planet, our children and grandchildren will live in. Although some people like waging battle — some even insist on it — most liberals I’ve known are capable of living richer, more balanced and fulfilling lives. Most of us liberals would rather lead those better lives than focus on political combat. But over the past decade or two, while we’ve been living our fuller, more rounded lives, we…

     

     

    complete twaddle

    McCain and Graham’s Salami Strategy

    by | Aug 30, 2014
    Lindsay and John

    That hawkish Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have once again blasted President Barack Obama for an insufficiently bellicose foreign policy barely qualifies as news. Of course they did. That is what they do. The scorpion always stings the frog halfway across the stream. What is worth noting is the rationale offered they present for a much riskier American foreign policy.

     

     

    de facto heresy

    When Faith and Facts Collide

    by | Aug 25, 2014
    When Faith and Facts Collide

    “… if you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in man-made global warming … You must be either agnostic or atheistic to believe than man controls something he can’t create.” Rush Limbaugh

    Conflict between faith and science is as old as science itself. In 1543, Copernicus’s great work, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, laid the groundwork for a new model of the cosmos, with the sun, rather than the Earth, at its center…

     

     

    handmaiden of segregation

    Ferguson and Sea Island, two sides of the same coin

    by | Aug 21, 2014
    Peace Officer - Caricature by DonkeyHotey via his Flickr photo stream and used under Creative Commons license. https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/14924476621/in/photolist-

    Why do we care what happens in Ferguson, Missouri? Because on some level we recognize that if any one group or community can be officially deprived of their human and civil rights without restraint, then it can happen to any other group or neighborhood. Sea Island, Georgia is proof. Sea Island, Georgia has been turned into an exclusive neighborhood. Random visitors are turned away at a guarded gate and even residents driving off the island must pause and wait for the barricade to rise and let their vehicle pass unscratched.

     

     

    not a spectator sport

    True Blue Georgia

    by | Aug 17, 2014
    True Blue Georgia

    That’s how the attendees at the Glynn County Democrats’ Annual Dinner want everyone to think about our state. Georgia is a democratic state. Republican rule is just a blip, the result of Democrats being too generous and thinking the other side ought to have a chance to win.

    That, in a nutshell, was the message from the five candidates and two surrogates who showed up for the Glynn County Democrats’ Fish Fry last evening. They obviously weren’t expecting 240 people and the catering service took some time catching up. But they did and everyone was satisfied. There wasn’t room for the key lime pie, anyway.

     

     

    better angels of both parties

    Watergate: American Democracy’s Finest Hour

    by | Aug 9, 2014
    President Richard Nixon speaks before awarding the Apollo 13 astronauts the Presidential Medal of Freedom

    “Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here.” — Apollo 13 astronaut Jack Swigert

    When was NASA’s finest hour? Most would say, “The Apollo moon landing.” As a bit of an insider, I have a different take. NASA’s finest hour, hands down, was the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission. Two and one-third days into the nominal nine-day voyage, a ruptured oxygen tank left the spacecraft crippled, the mission in shambles, and the lives of three astronauts in jeopardy. Mission controllers, engineers, technicians and astronauts worked around the clock to stabilize a dire situation and work the impossible, bringing Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise home alive.

     

     

    unfit to eat or drink

    Aquifer Recharge on the Southeast Coast?

    by | Aug 6, 2014
    Aquifer Recharge on the Southeast Coast?

    Too little too late? Georgia is one of those states where there is much bruiting about “local control” and how the people who live there know better what’s good for them. This editorial from the Brunswick News lays it out nicely: “In this country there are laws against stealing land, but that doesn’t stop the federal government and its oversized bureaucracies from doing it. They accomplish such thievery simply by changing the rules whenever they get a hankering to do so.”

     

     

  • Worthy of Comment



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    Walter Mitty In The Woods

    By: David Evans

    I read recently that “serendipity” is looking in a haystack for a needle and discovering the farmer’s daughter. It would truly be a lucky boy who would find such a treasure in a haystack when he was just looking for his car keys. That’s the way I felt this morning after awakening from a delightful dream in which I had finally been awarded my PhD in ancient languages. The rub was that I have never sought such a distinction. In addition, no one in the dream had ever heard of any of the languages that I had been studying. It was all lit  Read on →

    The Last Word

    The Last Word

    By: Tom Poland

    WARNING: This feature has nothing to do with politics, terrorism, or race relations. It does, however, touch upon your unavoidable visit from the Grim Reaper. Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful, lest you let other people spend it for you.  — Carl Sandburg In my explorations along back roads, deep woods, and left-behind places, I come across forgotten graveyards. Their tombstones, like tragic figures in some sad drama, long ago surrendered to weathering. Stones cut from rocks softer than granite appear to me  Read on →