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Sunday, August 20, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


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    context is not political-correctness

    The Burden of Being a Southern, Part II

    by | 0 | Aug 16, 2017
    Sigbee drive cemetary

    Henry Kidd, who identified himself as a former national officer of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, objected to adding context. “Every tourist who comes to Richmond wants to see Monument Avenue; they don’t want to see a politically correct Monument Avenue,” Kidd said. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

    I will give Levar Stoney’s credit for appointing the Monument Avenue Commission to determine the fate of Lost Cause monuments …

     

     

    who will it be?

    The Honorable Senator from Alabama

    by | 0 | Aug 16, 2017
    Jeff Sessions, Roy Moore, Luther Strong

    The good folks in my home state of Alabama aren’t too sophisticated when it comes to voting excellent people into office. Consider that Jeff Sessions has been our senator for a long time, mostly running unopposed, or infrequently against some poor Democrat with no idea what he’s about to get involved in.

    Sessions perfected the religious fervor that doesn’t quite slip over into craziness …

     

     

    #charlottesville

    Playing With Fire

    by | 0 | Aug 14, 2017
    Charlottesville Unite The Right Rally photo taken by Rodney Dunning

    “Promise me, son, not to do the things I’ve done
    Walk away from trouble if you can
    It won’t mean you’re weak if you turn the other cheek
    I hope you’re old enough to understand
    Son, you don’t have to fight to be a man”

    As we read our Sunday newspapers or listen to the news, we hear the same story over and over again, the violence in Charlottesville Virginia.  I was afraid this was going to happen.

     

     

    fantastic meal #91

    Summertime Soup

    by | 0 | Aug 14, 2017
    Summertime Soup

    When August drifts around every year, there is little to celebrate here in the Deep South. It’s hot and humid one day, hotter and more humid the next. A day or so ago he humidity was at 99%. I thought we had to be under water to get a 99% reading. There is one good thing about August in the South, however, and that’s the proliferation of summer vegetables. Tomatoes, peppers, okra, squash, and cucumbers will grow like weeds if there’s enough rain…

     

     

    so easy to steal here

    New Wave Mobsters

    by | 0 | Aug 12, 2017
    Mafiya by © Tom Ferguson

    Mobsters tend to evolve out of inner city poverty. The young look around and notice the people in the neighborhood with flashy lifestyles, who don’t go hungry, who lord it over ordinary citizens. They resemble the intimidating bullies in their own circles who ham-fistedly appropriate their lunch money and humiliate them in other ways. The limited options visible on their horizon tempt the young and some inevitably are drawn into criminal apprenticeship.

     

     

    southern places

    A Country Club Like No Other

    by | 0 | Aug 11, 2017
    Harold's Signage -photo by Tom Poland

    Down near Yemassee, South Carolina, is a country club like no other. Harold’s Country Club proclaims that it is “in the middle of nowhere but close to everywhere.” That’s true. You’ll find it off Highway 21 at 97 Highway, 17A. I did when I pulled up in front of a faded sign that’s seen its share of Lowcountry sunlight. Nonetheless it’s colorful. A grill full of ribs, chicken, and a huge steak fill one side, a frosty mug of beer …

     

     

    fight like hell for the living

    100 Years Ago, Frank Little Died for Our Rights. Today, the Struggle Continues.

    by | 4 | Aug 1, 2017
    Jaz Brisack

    I stepped in an anthill at 4:17 yesterday morning, as I pounded a yellow “Union Yes” sign into the dewy ground outside the mile-long Nissan factory in Canton, Mississippi.

    Later in the day, on my way to visit workers and discuss the upcoming vote, I saw someone removing the signs along the highway exit ramp, as a MDOT truck blinked idly nearby. Looking closer, I noticed that the man yanking up our morning’s work was wearing striped trousers beneath his neon vest.

     

     

    more a direction

    Plumnelly: A Road Mark

    by | 0 | Jul 28, 2017
    Cheaha State Park by Andrea Wright

    On July 17, 1936, five months before I was born, an area of 393 acres of wilderness in Alabama’s Talladega County was established as a U.S. National Forest. One of its many glories is Cheaha Mountain, Alabama highest point, visible from our front porch. Dad and I camped out at many different spots in the park throughout most summers while I was growing up, and often we encountered no other human being.

     

     

    in the war on science

    Revenge of the Nerds

    by | 0 | Jul 27, 2017
    March for Science, Washington, DC by Becker1999 (Paul and Cathy)

    Earlier this month, the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a damning report: Sidelining Science Since Day One—How the Trump Administration Has Harmed Public Health and Safety in Its First Six Months.

    The value of science to policy making has been recognized in the United States at least since 1863, when President Lincoln, at the height of the Civil War, signed into law a bill establishing the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), charging it with the task of “providing independent, objective advice…

     

     

    southern addiction

    Football Sex and Old Time Religion

    by | 2 | Jul 27, 2017
    Football Sex and Old Time Religion

    The recent stunning downfall of the Ole Miss football coach has all the elements of a Southern Gothic tale. I’m surprised this wasn’t based on a Faulkner novel. Hugh Freeze resigned abruptly after being caught with incriminating evidence of sexual hanky-panky. The story had all the true elements of a southern tragedy; sex, religion, and football. What better way to spend an Autumn Saturday afternoon.

     

     

    abstraction distraction

    In a Word, Authentic

    by | 2 | Jul 24, 2017
    Scar-Moochi (aka: Anthony Scaramucci) by © Trevor Irvin

    The word “authentic” is being tossed around a lot these days … another empty-calorie, tasteless ingredient in today’s word salad. The kale of the word world.

    The other day, a leaking pustule of a man, Anthony Scaramucci, took over the job of White House Communications Director from the former dripping abscess, Sean Spicer. During one of his attempts at deceiving the press and the public, Scaramucci, started rambling on about just how great Sarah Huckabee was, saying,

     

     

    people need to know

    Clinton Tried to Win Election

    by | 6 | Jul 17, 2017
    he Ties That Bind was created by © Trevor Irvin

    Breaking Newz: A quickly unfolding scandal has revealed that Hillary Clinton colluded with millions of democrats nationwide to vote against Donald Trump during the 2016 elections.

    In a statement today, Satan’s BedBug, Kellyanne Conway, said “We hope it is clear to America now how unfairly Donald Trump was treated. When Donald Trump ran for president, Hillary purposely tried to win. We see this as proof she colluded with American Democrats…

     

     

    it all comes down to this

    Goosing Adrenaline

    by | 4 | Jul 17, 2017
    Goosing Adrenaline

    I swear, I don’t know what gets into people.

    This latest head scratcher starts when the morning’s news feed flashes a headline about an American from Virginia Beach, Virginia who gets ‘run through’ – i.e.: seriously gored – by a bull last weekend as he ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

     

     

    shoe already dropped

    The Smoking Gun

    by | 2 | Jul 11, 2017
    The Smoking Gun

    For months, there has been smoke; thick, black smoke that cannot be seen through. It certainly seemed like the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, something seemed suspicious, but there was never any proof. But no smoking gun

    For weeks, there has been a very warm gun. Meetings between Flynn, Sessions, Page, Kushner, etc…with Russian officials that had conveniently been forgotten. But no smoking gun.

     

     

    we must dissent

    Salute This Flag

    by | 0 | Jul 9, 2017
    John Beecher in 1976 by © Rob Amberg for the Asheville arts monthly, “The Arts Journal”.

    Several friends found it difficult to celebrate the Fourth of July this year. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

    I strive not to let these forces win the biggest gift I could give them, namely to shut up and wait out their dominion. Instead, we must wrestle; we must dissent.

     

     

    100 million

    From Butter Churns To Baseball Bats

    by | 0 | Jul 9, 2017
    Louiville Slugger by Tom Poland

    She kept the old churn in the kitchen. I see it vividly, even now. I watched my Grandmother Poland churn butter, a memory that sure seems old-fashioned in this digital age. I have no idea who made that churn. It vanished with the years, nowhere to be found, but I can tell you this much: baseball bats and butter churns share a connection.

    For me, this story begins in Apex, North Carolina where I was visiting my daughter and her family the weekend of June 10. The occasion was my grandson’s graduation from high school…

     

     

    and then i knew

    Dancing with Wolves

    by | 2 | Jul 9, 2017
    Dancing with Wolves

    I worshipped the man.

    Like a puppy, I waited expectantly his daily homecoming, ever eager to ask a child’s question: “What kind of day did you have?” “Oh, I had a good day,” he might say. Other times his face and his words told a different story: “It was a rough day.” If it had been a “rough day,” sometimes I’d ask why, but he never divulged much.

     

     

    remembering

    The Boy Who Stoned Cats

    by | 2 | Jul 5, 2017
    The Boy Who Stoned Cats

    Late in the afternoon a strange noise came from the vegetable garden beside the house, it was the sound of a bird in distress. The bird was squeaking, flapping its injured wing and hopping frantically around to escape from two large black birds attacking it. The boy grabbed a straw broom and waved it at the black birds until they flew away.

    The little bird continued to squeak and hop around as the boy tried to catch it…

     

     

    throwback to another era

    The Old Hand Pump

    by | 2 | Jul 5, 2017
    76 station hand water pump by Tom Poland

    “The pump don’t work ’cause the vandals took the handles,” wrote Bob Dylan as he closed out “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” Vandals have yet to get the handle of the pump you see here, but I don’t know if it works. I didn’t try it. Wish I had. Let’s just say that it works and that’s why it didn’t end up in the scrap metal pile. Let’s add that if you work the handle enough, your reward will be gurgling, spurts of water.

     

     

    like before fox news

    Make America Great Again

    by | 1 | Jul 5, 2017
    Celebrate Freedom Rally

    Make America Great Again

    Make America great again[1]
    Make America great again[2]
    Lift the torch of freedom[3] all across the land[4]
    Step into the future joining hand in hand
    And make America great again…[5]

     

     

    even uncle sam has bad days

    Barbecue and Patriotism Both Have a Price

    by | 0 | Jul 3, 2017
    Barbecue and Patriotism Both Have a Price

    On the Fourth of July, we naturally think of Uncle Sam, our nation’s favorite icon. While I try to keep a positive attitude about Uncle Sam in July, I can’t forget the day the old man hurt my feelings in October.

    Let me explain: Back in the day, Fairfax (AL) Cotton Mill chartered a bus to take the mill-village Boy Scouts to the Southeastern Fair in Atlanta. As a proud member of Fairfax Troop 10, I was thrilled at the prospect of such a magical journey. Going to the Southeastern Fair was like a trip to Mars…

     

     

    self-indulgent con man

    The Trump We Know

    by | 0 | Jul 3, 2017
    Trump Adolf by Viengchanh

    Any additional reassurance that Donald Trump is not an American Adolf Hitler was provided by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) last Tuesday. That is the same North Korean government entity that previously announced that North Korea had invented not only the hamburger but also a drug that cures AIDS, Ebola and cancer. So if the KCNA likens POTUS 45 to Der Fuehrer, you know it is almost certainly untrue. What is interesting is that plenty of smart people outside the information bubble…

     

     

    bona fide bbq

    That Tantalizing Smoke

    by | 2 | Jul 3, 2017
    Seatman's BBQ

    A bona fide barbecue joint should be way out in the country. It’s best if it isn’t open seven days a week. People need to wait on it. They need to anticipate the approaching banquet. Moreover, a bona fide barbecue joint needs to sit where you can see the smoke rising off hog drippings and coals as red as magma. It needs to have ample parking because patrons will pilgrimage to their preferred porcine shrine as faithfully as the rising sun.

     

     

    may we be enlightened

    The Burden of Being a Southerner

    by | 1 | Jul 1, 2017
    “United Stereotypes of America” by Haley Nahman

    This is going to be a long and rather convoluted essay. I will be long, because as a Southerner and a quasi-historian I can’t do with one word what twenty would do; it will be convoluted as my feelings on the issue I am writing about are convoluted.

    While not a huge fan of William Faulkner, I have longed admired his ability to put the South and the past in perspective. So here is the obligatory Faulkner quote, which at the end of this essay you reader can judge whether I put it all in perspective.

     

     

    nature’s magic

    The Season Of Wings

    by | 0 | Jul 1, 2017
    The Season Of Wings

    The songs of birds, cicadas, and katydids really make Southern summers special. Quickly, can you tell me the difference between a cicada and a katydid? Which sings by day, and which sings by night … Ponder that.

    Unlike past summers, this one brings rain. So far, at least. And with the rain comes life. Lawns are lush and for whatever reason I’ve noticed that fireflies seem more abundant. Come dusk, they float over and around my deck, something they’ve never done before.

     

     

     

    keeping care affordable

    Dickering with the Nation’s Health Care

    by | 0 | Jul 1, 2017
    Louie Clay's Medical Insurance Costs 1985-2017

    While Congress dickers with health care, I am taking a close look at my own costs.

    I retired on December 31, 2001. In the 15½ years since, my health costs have averaged $4,842.02 per year and have been more than $2,000 for all but one of those years.

    In the 17 years before retirement, my medical costs never reached $2,000 a year.

     

     

    political partiality

    U.S. Supreme Court Appeases Donald Trump and His Islamophobic Base

    by | 2 | Jun 28, 2017
    U.S. Supreme Court Appeases Donald Trump and His Islamophobic Base

    Splitting the difference is sometimes the closest approximation to justice achievable when judges rule in contract and family disputes. When the liberty protections in the U.S. Constitution are involved, however, splitting the difference is an evasion of judicial responsibility. Consider the Supreme Court’s June 26th decision on the Muslim Ban in Donald J. Trump v. International Refugee Assistance and Donald J. Trump v. Hawaii.

     

     

    name 12 people

    Leroy of Barnwell and other Southern gothic characters

    by | 4 | Jun 28, 2017
    Leroy of Barnwell and other Southern gothic characters

    Hand over my heart, this is a true story.

    The South is known for its unusual characters, right? They populate the stories of Southern writers like Erskine Caldwell, Harper Lee, Flannery O’Connor, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Carson McCullers, etc. and et al.

    But we Southerners know, don’t we, that you don’t have to crack one of these authors’ famous books to find such a fictional character’s prototype?

     

     

    threat by the sinister trio

    Aftershock, Robert Reich, a review

    by | 0 | Jun 22, 2017
    Concentrated Wealth - Ah you should be safe in here - cartoon of someone hiding money

    In his book Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future, Robert Reich reviews features in our society that undermine democracy – particularly concentrated wealth. And the off-shoot, lobbyists in effect bribing representatives and senators, vulnerable because they must raise money for their ever more expensive campaigns. The successful ones, when they leave office, with very nice self-voted retirement benefits, often go to work for the lobbying firms or corporations …

     

     

    don't be complacent

    Make Democrats Win Again

    by | 5 | Jun 21, 2017
    Make Democrats Win Again

    Spare me these embarrassing, condescending excuses for why a Democrat cannot win a closely contested special election. It’s been only a matter of hours since most major news outlets called the election for Karen Handel, but already I’ve grown tired of hearing “but it was close, which is a win in itself,” “Tom Price won by over 20 points in the last election, so the fact that it was even close surely says something,” or other meaningless variants of this infuriating phrase.

     

     

    tit for tat

    Daddy and the Sweet Old Lady’s Apoplectic Fit

    by | 0 | Jun 16, 2017
    Bill Strickland and young JL

    I was never exactly sure whether my father, Bill Strickland, was an amateur adult or a professional adolescent. Here is just one of the many incidents that led to my confusion.

    The Pledgers, Bryant and Erma, a middle age childless couple, were our next door neighbors in Fairfax , an east Alabama mill village, when I was growing up. Mr. Bryant operated the Sinclair Service Station at the cotton-mill village crossroads, which also served as the bus station. Miss Erma ran the cash register and kept the books.

     

     

    mckenzie beach

    The tides giveth and the tides taketh away

    by | 0 | Jun 16, 2017
    McKenzie Beach

    If you’ve driven South Carolina’s Ocean Highway (Hwy. 17), perhaps in hurrying from Georgetown to Myrtle Beach, you’ve probably noticed the ruins of old buildings on the east side of the road catercorner to the Fresh Market in Pawleys Island.

    The mouldering, vine-tangled ruins look like the setting for a Tennessee Williams play or a novel by William Faulkner. The whole property, in fact, has the look of a long-ago Southern yesteryear, or as black poet Langston Hughes might have put it: the look of a dream deferred.

     

     

    fight for justice and fairness

    Pure Suthun

    by | 1 | Jun 14, 2017
    Jeff Sessions - Keeper of the Flame by Donkey Hotey

    I have trouble listening to the news, especially when great nonsense is spoken in near perfect Suthun English.

    I taught in a secondary modern school in the London in 1965-66 after which I returned to work on my doctorate at the University of Alabama and teach undergraduates. An honors student from one of those classes is coming to visit this afternoon, the first time we have seen each other in 50 years!

     

     

     

    thanks, dad

    Hey Nineteen

    by | 2 | Jun 12, 2017
    Little League Baseball by Andrew Ahearne

    I was nine years old in the spring of 1967 when my father asked me if I wanted to tryout for Little League. I had no idea what Little League was but when he explained it was baseball, I quickly agreed. He had taken me to my first ballgame when I was six so any combination of my dad and baseball meant an instant yes. Back home a few hours later, he told me someone called to say I’d been picked to play for the Beachwood-Pine Beach (NJ) Little League Cardinals.

     

     

     

    sucker for bugle calls

    Everybody Has a Story

    by | 4 | Jun 5, 2017
    Everyone Has A Story

    Have you noticed that if you listen to people, everybody has a story? Even people who don’t realize they have one.

    I’m sure you have.

    Recently, an older acquaintance and I were talking about my early teenage years when I was often called upon to put on my Boy Scout uniform and play the bugle call “Taps” for area military funerals. Somehow, the conversation drifted to the death of his favorite uncle…

     

     

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