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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…
trump's split personality
The Washington Post Editorial Board thinks that former U.S. Senator and Republican presidential candidate Robert Dole is a doddering old fool for saying that Donald Trump has “the right personality” for the presidency. “Say what?” was the Post’s reaction to Dole’s assessment.
But the Post, like much of the media, is overlooking the fact that there are actually two Donald Trumps running for president in this cycle. One of them is the nativist bigot, who wants to round up 11 million undocumented immigrants and ship them back to their home countries..
fighting the real opponent
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have a great opportunity to advance the Democratic cause, but to seize it they’ll have the think differently about their contest. This opportunity grows out of a shadow that hangs over the campaign for the Democratic nomination. It is widely recognized that any Democrat who is elected president will be unable to accomplish much of what he or she is calling for. On the big issues…
they did what?
Oh, the frustration of fighting a bureaucracy, any bureaucracy!
It started out with AT&T installing high-speed fiber optics in our office building. Eventually came a call from AT&T, suggesting that this faster Internet service would be the cat’s meow for me. After several calls, I relented in late November, hearing that I could keep my same business land line telephone numbers. Previously, I had my telephone and Internet service with Windstream Business, and had been happy with that service for about five years or more…
Dear Senator Sanders,
You say you want to lead a “political revolution.” You say that our urgent problems cannot be solved just by utilizing the system in place in Washington, where the powers that need to be overcome remain too strong. The American people have to be mobilized, you say, to fight to take back the power (and their fair share of the American bounty) that has been stolen from them by the plutocracy…
With the Georgia (and Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) presidential primaries just about a month away, political antics have been far flung this presidential cycle! No telling what will happen next. This topsy-turvy political year, when matters were not always going as anticipated, now has a new name possibly seeking the office of president: former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Many will welcome Bloomberg’s consideration of a Third Party candidacy…
bubba still rules
For years, people in Georgia have been concerned that by having 159 counties, many of them small ones, government is too costly and inefficient.
Meanwhile, the people who control those counties, the big landowners and the timber companies, are pleased as punch about owning property in smaller counties. After all, it’s a whole lot easier to control government when you have just a few voters than it is in the larger counties, where a diverse and educated population sometimes votes slackard politicians out of office. You don’t see that happening often in the smaller counties.
Local government once was worse.
For years, there’s something that we Americans have urgently needed to see. If now isn’t a teachable moment – what with the spectacle of the Republican presidential race before us – I don’t know what would be. We can begin with Trump as a flagrant piece of a much bigger picture.
Consider what it means that the British parliament lately debated the question of whether Donald Trump should be banned from Great Britain. Britain, perhaps the United States’ greatest friend, our “special relationship” for the better part of a century. And Donald Trump — the front-runner of one of America’s two major political parties…