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Sunday, November 23, 2014
Southern Weather Radar


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    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.”

     

     

    in the name of balance

    The Abdication of the Press

    by | Aug 5, 2014
    The Tyrant's Foe and the People's Friend

    I have claimed that America now faces one of the most profound crises in its history, but unlike with the other major crises, this time our national conversation has not focused on discussing what’s gone wrong and how it might be set right. If I’m right, what does that say about the performance of the press? Our founders instituted special protections for the press not because they had a love for journalists, but because they recognized that a free press is necessary for the maintenance of a free society.

     

     

    united we stand

    Occupy the Tea Party

    by | Aug 3, 2014
    Occupy the Tea Party

    At first blush, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street appear as bookends: opposing grass-roots movements on the political right and left, respectively. At second blush, the Tea Party seems the more successful. In the 2010 mid-term elections, one-third of Tea Party-backed candidates won, reclaiming the House for Republicans. And an unknown Tea Party libertarian just defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia’s GOP primary. Occupy’s one obvious success is searing the 99 percent meme into the national consciousness. But a look under the hood of each is instructive.

     

     

    u.s. media coverage

    The walls of an information ghetto

    by | Aug 1, 2014
    The walls of an information ghetto

    Listen to those defending Israeli violence against the Palestinians in Gaza and what you hear is denial. They cannot deny the facts and instead deny their emotional and moral significance. They agree that the Israeli military is bombarding Gaza and that thirteen hundred have been killed as a consequence. Rather than admit that the bombardment constitutes a humanitarian disaster and heinous war crime, however, they leap to the rhetorical devices of blaming the victim and condemning the condemner.

     

     

    10% decide

    Seeking to find ways to get better candidates elected to offices

    by | Aug 1, 2014
    Seeking to find ways to get better candidates elected to offices

    There’s a simple reason why small turnouts at elections bother me. Simply put: Low turnouts run the risk of having a small pinch of the electorate choosing our public officials. With a small number of people voting, splinter and fringe groups can dominate the election. This can produce elected officials representing these way-out views, often not in step with the main-line, middle-of-the-road process it takes to let our government function best. It doesn’t matter is the electorate if one third right, one-third left, and one-third in the middle or independent.

     

     

    blither v. dither

    Failure to Act is an Act

    by | Jul 29, 2014
    Failure to Act is an Act

    There is a gathering storm of American voter unrest from citizens tired of having to chose between the party of blither, Republicans, and the party of dither, Democrats. The former jabber endlessly, making no sense, spouting nonsense and being outraged when sensible people point out these failings. On the other hand, the ditherers believe they have a winning strategy in simply not being the other guy. Who can blame them? President Obama was awarded what had previously been the most prestigious prize on the planet, the Nobel Peace Prize, for the achievement of not being George W. Bush.

     

     

    diabolical cleverness

    Glenn Beck as “The Music Man,” Playing on the Fears of Parents

    by | Jul 28, 2014
    Glenn Beck as "The Music Man," Playing on the Fears of Parents

    On Tuesday, July 22, Glenn Beck spoke from some 700 movie screens to Americans who paid admission to hear him attack the “Common Core.” The “Common Core” consists of standards, offered to the states, defining the knowledge and skills that American school-children should learn at each stage of their education. Beck’s move here reminded me of “The Music Man,” the con man in the musical of that name who comes to an Iowa town to fleece the good people there. What Beck and the con artist in “The Music Man” have in common is that to accomplish their own hidden aims they tap into the anxieties that parents have regarding their children.

     

     

    t-party vs. country club republicans

    Populists vs. Bourbons in Miss. U.S. Senate race

    by | Jul 24, 2014
    Image: Don’t Feed On Me - Caricature by DonkeyHotey via his Flickr photo stream and used under Creative Commons license.

    More than a century ago the “forgotten man” of Mississippi and across the South — the farmer, the common worker — decided he’d had enough of “Wall Street speculators who gambled on his crop futures; the railroad owners who evaded his taxes, bought legislatures, and over-charged him with discriminate rates; the manufacturers, who taxed him with a high tariff; the trusts that fleeced him with high prices; the middleman, who stole his profit.”

     

     

    touched by better angels

    Sweetness and Steel: Lincoln, Obama and Angelou

    by | Jul 21, 2014
    Image: Composite image created for LikeTheDew.com - background from The Comparison by Bryan Eaton from WallpapersInHq.com (free download) and the photo of Maya Angelou by Dwight Carter (dwightcarter.com).

    There were superficial reasons—when he thundered on the political scene at the Democratic Convention in 2004 and then rode on the wave of that thunder to his election in 2008—to compare Barack Obama with Abraham Lincoln. There was the Illinois connection, for instance, and the gifted orator connection, and the “new birth of freedom” connection. Add to these the evident high esteem, even reverence, held by Obama…

     

     

    dispirited liberals – part 4

    Is Nothing Sacred?

    by | Jul 21, 2014
    Is Nothing Sacred?

    Every human culture, it seems, has had some notion of the sacred, and has placed that notion at the center of its worldview. From this, we can conclude several things: 1) that a sense of the sacred – like other universals, such as language and music – is an inherent part of our humanity; 2) that therefore we can conclude that this sense has served the cause of life of our kind through the eons in which we developed; and 3) that the experience of “the sacred” …

     

     

    all in this together

    The Politics of Hostility

    by | Jul 16, 2014
    The Politics of Hostility

    How did it come to this? How did our political life in America get to be so drenched in hostility? While reading an article about how “anti-environmentalists” are spending thousands of dollars to alter their vehicles to increase the smoke they produce, I came across this statement from one of that group, who call themselves “coal rollers”: “If [Obama’s] into the environment, if he’s into this or that, we’re not.” And it’s not just the president they’re hostile to, it’s also those Prius-driving “librels” who…

     

     

    dispirited liberals – part 3

    Battles Forfeited

    by | Jul 15, 2014
    Barack Obama - Knight-errant - Caricature by by DonkeyHotey via his Flickr photo stream and used under Creative Commons license.

    But the sacred is something that Liberal America, by and large, has not been tapping into. That was not always true.  One can sense the sacred in the words of FDR, for example, engraved in the granite in that memorial on the National Mall. (And FDR was not shy about going toe to toe against his enemies, whether it be to help make the nation a better place or to stop the predations of the fascist powers against much of the world.) That was then. But if one listens to the voice of Liberal America in these times…

     

     

    world cup futbol

    ‘America’ Briefly Explained to ‘Soccer’

    by | Jul 14, 2014
    'America' Briefly Explained to 'Soccer'

    Dear Soccer: Congratulations! The World Cup has been truly great. You`ve really outdone yourself this time around. As it turns out, you really ARE a ‘beautiful game.’ You’ve had boffo TV ratings and you’ve inspired a resurgence of U.S. national pride. You’ve even raised our awareness of geography — such as the fact that South America is not really “… Alabama, Mississippi and the parts of Georgia that ain’t Atlanta” as many Americans previously thought. We learned other things too, such as…

     

     

    dispirited liberals – part 2

    Evil Spirit vs. No Spirit = Triumph of Destructiveness

    by | Jul 9, 2014
    Tea Party Gap - Caricature by by DonkeyHotey via his Flickr photo stream and used under Creative Commons license.

    Liberal America’s disconnection from the power of the spiritual dimension is not only manifested in this hopelessness I’ve heard from people. The costs of this condition go a lot deeper. Indeed, it is through Liberal America’s “dispirited” state that this side of America’s political divide has played an important role in letting destructive forces wield so much power in our political system.

     

     

    lifting the veil

    Who Let the Priests Out?

    by | Jul 9, 2014
    Pope John Roberts - Caricature by by DonkeyHotey

    I am not an attorney. Indeed, the entire contents of this article is to be considered nothing more than what it is, an observation and rant regarding the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision and a potential unintended consequence thereof. As a citizen, I am entitled to make observations about any damn thing I choose. This is just such an observation and not legal advice and, again, I AIN’T A LAWYER.

     

     

    dispirited liberals – part 1

    Hopelessness and the Spirit

    by | Jul 7, 2014
    Hopelessness and the Spirit

    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 the Money Power is wresting power from the American people and, with the help of the Supreme Court, making it ever harder for the people to retrieve what’s been taken from them.

     

     

    futbol season

    World Cup Fever

    by | Jul 5, 2014
    World Cup Fever

    As the US futbol team moved from regulation into that mysterious realm known as extra time during the elimination World Cup match against Belgium, I was attending the Richland (SC) County Council meeting. Minutes before the meeting kicked off, one of the council members found the streaming broadcast on his county provided laptop. Belgium scored and he was confused as to why the madness continued. In American sports, sudden death means sudden victory.

     

     

    a court gone wrong

    Hobby Lobby: Dred Scott 2.0

    by | Jul 4, 2014
    Hobby Lobby: Dred Scott 2.0

    It is now something approaching settled law in the United States that corporations possess “personhood.” Corporations possess the right to freedom of speech and now, thanks to the Hobby Lobby decision, possess the right to a religious conscience and the right to exercise that religious conscience free of government interference.

     

     

  • Worthy of Comment



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    The 25 Percent

    By: John Yow

    I’m not going anywhere. I got a lot of family in Georgia, and besides, there’s plenty to love here—mountains, sea coasts, the change of seasons, not to mention all those wonderful things about the South as a whole, like collard greens. But dang—sometimes you just have to yearn for bluer pastures. The election returns have been officially dissected, and it turns out that our two bright young Democratic standard-bearers, Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter, received “25 percent or less of the white vote.” Twenty-five percent or less. This is the great triumph of the Republicans—and all the greater because it absolutely defies comprehension  Read on →

    If You Passed an Angel on the Street Today, Would You know It?

    If You Passed an Angel on the Street Today, Would You know It?

    By: Maurice Carter

    The light ahead was red, and no one was close behind, so I slowed to let the man who just darted across two lanes of traffic finish his dangerous dash to the wide concrete median strip on my left. It was a blustery day, with northwest winds biting harshly under the dense, dark clouds of a late fall cold front pouring into Georgia. All of which made this man’s shorts, light windbreaker, ball cap, and open-heeled clogs seem woefully inadequate for the day upon us. Reaching the median, he nodded my way while lifting his left hand for a quick wave o  Read on →