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Friday, July 29, 2016
Southern Weather Radar


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    our collective mood is foul

    America’s Ghost Dance with Trump

    by | Jun 3, 2016
    America's Ghost Dance with Trump

    “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.”Matthew 7:15

    In watching aghast the incomprehensible ascendancy of Donald Trump, I am struck with a sense of déjà vu. Where else have I heard of a people, drowning in despair, who clutch for a life raft of false promises? And then it comes back to me.

     

     

    angry bernie birds

    #tweet#haters#

    by | May 30, 2016
    Angry Tweet

    I didn’t think it would happen to me. I thought I was so open minded; basically a wild-eyed radical gently easing into being a nice liberal.

    Live and let live. Well, no more.

    I like to think that I am an informed, conscientious world citizen. On Twitter as ‏@hidingunderhere I follow 930 news feeds and supporters for all types of candidates and issues from places all over the earth. The feed has been my loyal companion when I want to find the truth, because recently the mainstream media #MSM has failed to cover almost everything, choosing 24/7 McTrumpNews instead…

     

     

    Hope y’all gits bit by a rabid ’coon

    A bit of a gripe from Down Under

    by | May 27, 2016
    Johnny Depp in immaculately styled rugged hat

    Johnny Depp has been generating a lot of free publicity back home in the US. Free for him that is – Australia is paying for it. You might remember that in April of this year Mr Depp and his wife, Amber Heard – or is it “then wife”, I don’t really follow what passes for the lives of film and TV stars – brought their two pampered mongs, Pistol and Boo, on a little jaunt to Australia where their daddy was filming yet another blockbuster aimed at children and adults under 15. Problem was…

     

     

    persuade your supporters

    A Win-Win Way for Bernie to Lead Now

    by | May 26, 2016
    Bernie Sanders - Caricature by DonkeyHotey

    Show us how you’ll campaign, as the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party to take power away from the obstructionist Republicans in Congress, which must be overcome for anything to be accomplished now matter whether it’s you or Hillary who wins the White House.

    And let’s hear the speech you’d make to your followers to motivate them to do all they can to make sure that Donald Trump doesn’t become president. You’ve said yourself how vitally important that is. Let’s hear how well you can persuade your supporters to see what you see about the urgency of stopping Trump…

     

     

    on civil disobedience

    Comfort Zone or Sacrifice Zone?

    by | May 25, 2016
    Construction to begin never by Public Herald

    I’m old enough to remember a time when metro Atlanta had gotten big enough to be a serious obstacle in the way of getting myself and my young sons from where we lived in Alabama to the Appalachian Trail in north Georgia or North Carolina. Also big enough to have what had to be if not the biggest the very best independent bookstore on the planet, Oxford Books in Buckhead (d. 1997). But small enough to be usable. You could get in and out in one day and have a not too stressful metropolitan good time without a police escort…

     

     

    only once every four years

    What Should a Morally Responsible Republican Do Now?

    by | May 18, 2016
    Trump Lemmings jumping into a black hole

    This is not addressed not to those Republicans who think Donald Trump is an appropriate kind of person to be President of the United States. If you like what you see, go ahead and vote for him.

    It is addressed rather, to those Republicans who have regarded Mr. Trump unfavorably because they saw him as lacking the character and temperament necessary for our nation’s highest office. (Reports indicated not so long ago that quite a few Republicans felt that way.)

    I would like to ask those Republicans: Given what you saw about your party’s nominee, can you now vote for him?

     

     

    take it to scotus

    How Obama Can Break the Impasse on the Supreme Court Vacancy

    by | May 15, 2016
    How Obama Can Break the Impasse on the Supreme Court Vacancy

    The Republicans are getting away with their disgraceful strategy of blocking the whole constitutional process for filling a Supreme Court vacancy. All signs show that although roughly two-thirds of voters do not think this stonewalling is right, the issue is simply disappearing from view and thus is falling off the radar as an electoral factor.

    Something should be done, and it can.

     

     

    brought it on ourselves

    Questions arise now that presidential contest is almost settled

    by | May 13, 2016
    Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump - Caricatures by DonkeyHotey

    You must admit that social media has been a mighty contributor to this 2016 political season.

    In another way of saying this: look what we have done to ourselves.

    We couldn’t get enough of Trump, or Bernie, and every so often, some of the other presidential candidates. So we turned inward, creating more bizarre buzzing for the political year.

     

     

    wrong-headed idealism

    Nocturnal musings

    by | May 11, 2016
    Schoolhouse Rock’s “The Great American Melting Pot”

    Sometimes, in the still of the night, I think I hear the American culture coming apart at the seams. Sometimes it’s the popping of a stitch. Other times it’s an alarming rip. But the culture is definitely showing signs of strain.  I don’t think this is normal wear and tear. I think the culprit is zeal connected to bad ideology, zeal fueled by ignorance often masquerading as enlightenment.

    A moment’s thought, for instance, reveals that Political Correctness undermines the most precious provision of the Bill of Rights: free speech.

     

     

    money is the enemy of peace

    Nukes Gone Away (we wish)

    by | May 11, 2016
    Trident sub: "Isis has nothing on us, Skipper. We hold the whold world hostage."

    The Beyond War movement in the 80s used to cite several “illusions” that perpetuate our drift toward what Einstein called, unparalleled catastrophe – a nuclear war. The illusion I have in mind is the belief that we can continue to war and survive. If we in fact do continue to war we will, sooner or later, have a nuclear war. The nuclear winter, radiation poisoning, and physical damage that would follow such an event would make the survivors envy those tens of millions killed in the immediate explosions…

     

     

    bigotry still king

    Evading the hypocrisy

    by | May 10, 2016
    Southern hypocrisy meter

    I’m planning a road trip to see America with two of my sons. We are mapping out an itinerary circling the country and finding well-known, quirky, and interesting destinations. The hardest thing so far has been planning the trip without passing through states that have jumped on the deny people’s rights to get elected bandwagon.

    I know Tennessee recently passed legislation making the Bible the state book, but the governor vetoed it. Georgia is waffling on their version of discrimination in the name of religious liberty and safe restrooms after several major businesses in the Peach State protested.

     

     

    beast in the darkness

    We’re All in the Sacrifice Zone Now

    by | May 4, 2016
    A digger in one of the Rhineland open-pit coal mines

    Sacrifice zone: a geographic zone that has been permanently impaired by environmental damage or economic disinvestment. These zones are commonly found in low-income and minority communities. (Wikipedia)

    I grew up in the shadow of Appalachia. My hometown, Bluefield, wasn’t Appalachia, but you could see it from there. Just twelve miles from home the coalfields began: Pocahontas, VA; then Anawalt, Gary, and Coalwood, WV, in rapid succession, the latter made famous by native son Homer Hickam in his trilogy Rocket Boys, The Coalwood Way, and Sky of Stone.

     

     

    doing ignoble things

    The GOP and the Constitution: The Grotesque Mismatch Between Walk and Talk

    by | May 1, 2016
    We The Republicans - Constitution

    Which party do you think of when you hear the phrase, “defender of the Constitution”? I would wager that members of both parties would immediately think of the Republican Party, because they are the ones who most loudly proclaim their deep allegiance to our founding document.

    Yet in recent years, the leaders of the GOP have engaged in an assault on our constitutional system in ways unprecedented in American history…

     

     

    uncommon sense

    Power Systems, Noam Chomsky

    by | Apr 29, 2016
    Power Systems, Noam Chomsky

    Many of Chomsky’s recent books are more or less transcriptions of interviews by David Barsamian. They explore questions such as, Why does the radical right oppose social security, both today and at its birth?, and public education, the most recent strategy being charter schools? Chomsky’s take is that these social functions create solidarity, they contribute to community and so undermine the notion, favored by the right, that we’re on our own, isolated individuals looking out for number one!..

     

     

    satire on the campaign trail

    Cruz Spurns Five Girlfriends to Pick Fiorina as his Running Mate

    by | Apr 28, 2016
    Ted Names Carly is a composite image created for LikeTheDew.com from images by DonkeyHotey via flickr and used under a Creative Commons license

    Texas Senator Ted Cruz bucked all political convention Wednesday by naming Carly Fiorina as his running mate instead of one of the five women he’s run around with on the extramarital sex circuit, according to rumors reported in The National Enquirer.

    “You figure they had leg up on Fiorina,” quipped one Cruz source. “Turns out maybe Ted isn’t as big a leg man as everybody thought.”
    Indeed, according to another source close to Cruz, the conservative evangelical Christian senator chose Fiorina to quash rumors of his extramarital sexual escapades by “picking a woman nobody in America could imagine even Ted Cruz would have sex with.

     

     

    important first step

    Trump’s Rise: Not just a Threat but an Opportunity

    by | Apr 27, 2016
    Donald Trump's Big Tent Party by DonkeyHotey via flickr and used under a Creative Commons license.

    The rise of Donald Trump means that the American political system, already sick, could be degraded still further. But – if Trump does become the Republican nominee for president, which looks probable – this danger also presents an opportunity to restore the health of American politics to levels not seen in years.

    But seizing that opportunity will take more than defeating Trump because the political pathologies that he represents – such as a Republican base ready to support a proto-fascist candidate…

     

     

    on the surface

    Queer Southerner’s Reflections on Race: A Starter

    by | Apr 21, 2016
    Queer Southerner's Reflections on Race: A Starter

    I don’t understand race.  An anthropologist colleague says, “Louie, race doesn’t exist as a scientific category.  At best a race is just ‘a breeding community with unstable boundaries’; and you and Ernest knock the hell out of that one, don’t you!” I see what she means.

    Yet racial categories so pervade my life that I cannot hope to understand myself, much less the world, without sensitive and difficult vigilance regarding pitfalls and opportunities.

     

     

    open letter

    Bernie, It’s Not “the Billionaire Class” But Its GOP Minions You Need to Defeat

    by | Apr 17, 2016
    Portrait of Senator Bernie Sanders by DonkeyHotey

    Dear Senator Sanders,

    You’ve done the nation a great service in calling attention to the way Big Money is rigging our politics and our economy. But in focusing so much of your fire at “the billionaire class” and “giant corporations,” you are not waging the battle as effectively as you should. You are a political leader and your battles are in the political arena against political adversaries. Although you rightly oppose the dominance of “the billionaire class,” it is not that class that you need to defeat  — not that class that you can directly fight — but rather their political servants.

     

     

    inexperienced fruitcakes

    Legislative kooks, weirdos can give Georgia a black eye

    by | Apr 15, 2016
    American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

    Eventually, if you elect enough kooks and weirdos to the General Assembly, don’t you figure by the time they find their way around the State Capitol, that they might, just might, introduce some crazy legislation?

    It’s impossible to lay blame at any one door. However, these days in Georgia we have many more Republican legislators than Democrats in the 2016 session. (The GOP dominates the Senate 39-17; in the House, there are 118 Republicans; 60 Democrats; one independent; and one vacancy.) When we had Democrats in charge in Georgia, there were more oddball and woeful legislators in the Democratic Party. Today it is just reversed.

     

     

    rome rejects hate:

    An Interview With Jessie Reed

    by | Apr 14, 2016
    Neo-Nazi via ourtesy of the Southern Poverty Law Center

    What should a citizen do when neo-Nazis announce that they intend to invade your town? That is the question now facing the people of Rome, Georgia. For some the initial response to the impending occupation of their quiet North Georgia community by a hate group from Michigan was to plan to hide and pray that the threat just goes away. Every schoolyard bully knows that denial and pusillanimity are powerful temptations. Fascists and white supremacists count on the paralysis that it produces. Fortunately some Romans didn’t give into the temptations of moral cowardice and instead decided to organize…

     

     

    port of st. marys

    Doesn’t it Always Seem to Go That You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘til it’s Gone?

    by | Apr 14, 2016
    St Marys Georgia - Aerial photo

    St. Marys, Georgia: A peaceful little coastal town of unsurpassed beauty. It serves as the gateway to Cumberland Island National Seashore, a mecca for tourists who want to experience true Southern charm, and a dream-realized for those seeking a natural environment beyond compare.

    Enter developer Christopher T. Ragucci and his Knights of the Green Shield/Worldwide Group. (Cue “Razzle Dazzle” from “All That Jazz.”) They quickly changed the company name to “The Port of St. Marys, LLC” and set about trying to convince the townsfolk and elected officials that turning St. Marys into an industrial barge port would be a blessing and boon to all.

     

     

    we know who we are

    Seems to be simple way to solve which restroom to enter

    by | Apr 13, 2016
    A female-identified restroom door by Ann Fisher

    We in Georgia may think we have our problems. Yet recent action by the Legislature in North Carolina puts that state in the ranks of those with reactionary actions flying in the face of reasonableness.

    The North Carolina situation particularly vexes us, in that its action made no sense. Legislators there quickly passed an act, their Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which will force public colleges and universities (as well as other public venues and government buildings) to require their restrooms be used only by people whose biological sex at birth matches the sign on the door.

     

     

    not just about you

    Bernie and Hillary, Give Us the Campaign We Need

    by | Apr 11, 2016
    Democrat's Game of Thrones -- Bernie Seaworth The Onion Knight and Cersei Lannister Clinton

    Your recent squabble  — with one questioning whether the other is “qualified to be president” —  highlights how you two have not been giving us the kind of campaign that would best serve not just the Democratic Party but the nation.

    The differences between you may be important. But way less important than that whichever of you gets the nomination wins in November.  Two extraordinary aspects of our national circumstance oblige you to allow that priority to dictate how you conduct your campaigns.

     

     

    governing by fiat

    Should President Obama appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court if the Senate does nothing?

    by | Apr 11, 2016
    Scales of Justice by DonkeyHotey

    An op/ed column in Saturday’s Washington Post, by an attorney named, proposes a most interesting idea. The essence of the idea is suggested by the title, “Obama can appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court if the Senate does nothing.”

    The essence of the argument is contained in this passage:

    It is altogether proper to view a decision by the Senate not to act as a waiver of its right to provide advice and consent…

     

     

     

    what would roger do?

    The Holy Bible becomes Tennessee’s official state book

    by | Apr 6, 2016
    The Holy Bible becomes Tennessee's official state book

    On Monday, April 4, the Tennessee legislature approved a bill making the Holy Bible the official state book of Tennessee. At least two other states (Louisiana and Mississippi) had talked about it, but Tennessee was the first to actually approve such a measure. The bill now goes to Governor Bill Haslam, who has questioned its constitutionality but still might sign it into law. If that happens, the Bible will join the Channel Catfish, the Eastern Red Cedar, and the Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly as an official state symbol of Tennessee.

     

     

    breaking news

    Whew! Thank Goodness

    by | Apr 1, 2016
    Breaking News Screen shot

    Several shootings lately. Today it’s in Virginia at a Richmond Greyhound Bus Terminal.

    Fortunately, no need to panic. As quick as you can scream “Active shooter, shelter in place!” the news stations pounced, emphatically stating “this is not terrorism!”

    Whew, for a minute I thought this was something serious.

    The local news and CBS categorically stated “There is no link to terrorism that we know of….

     

     

    remembering it is over

    Happy Confederate History and Heritage Month

    by | Apr 1, 2016
    Confederate Memorial Day by Dorret via flickr

    Governor Phil Bryant caused something of a stir in February when he signed a proclamation declaring April to be “Confederate Heritage Month” in Mississippi.

    Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal made no such proclamation, but he didn’t need to. The Georgia General Assembly already took care of this back in 2009, when it legislated that “the month of April of each year is hereby designated as Confederate History and Heritage Month and shall be set aside to honor, observe, and celebrate the Confederate States of America…

     

     

  • Worthy of Comment