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Friday, May 26, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


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    ticklebox repair

    Responding to a Medical Crisis of These Times

    by | 0 | 11 hours ago
    Responding to a Medical Crisis of These Times

    God made the funny bone, but it atrophies with disuse. Those of us who closely follow the evening news are highly susceptible to morphing into a sourpuss.

    An excellent remedy over the long haul is to give no more than 15 minutes a day to the headlines and redeem the rest of the day by reading good poetry aloud, fly-fishing alone in a huge state or federal park, changing diapers (of the very old or of the newborn), looking in a mirror while sticking out your tongue…  Use your imagination. That’s why we have one.

     

     

    a fairy tale

    Do you believe in fairies?

    by | 7 | May 23, 2017
    Fairy fort

    Nothing prepared me for the shock discovery after months in a writers’ group where I now live in Ireland, that several of our members firmly believe in fairies. Nobody dismissed them as figments of the imagination. I had to look into this.

    Joining this group had opened a new window for me into a writer’s world. We meet weekly on Sunday afternoons in a village coffee and book shop serving excellent latte…

     

     

    debunking conspiracism

    Cue Giorgio Tsoukalos

    by | 0 | May 22, 2017
    novelist and entertainer K.J. McElrath, lawyer and activist Glenn Greenwald is by David dos Dantos and television personality Giorgio A. Tsoukalos

    K.J. McElrath and Glen Greenwald appear disoriented. This is not the post 2016 election political struggle that they had anticipated. Or know how to fight. They were prepared to wage a virtuous virtual campaign against a President Hillary Clinton by continuing to expose the secrets of the military intelligence complex that spies on Americans and conducts a forever war to police the Middle East. Instead, the exposures of massive troves of mostly prosaic secrets via Wikileaks that they celebrated and propagated helped to shove history down a different path, leaving them stumbling and flailing.

     

     

    times change

    Sacks of Mail

    by | 0 | May 22, 2017
    Varney Airlines: Now Known as United Airlines

    Recent incidents involving forced removal of passengers from commercial flights have highlighted how far we have moved from the golden age of airline travel. I started flying in the 1950s and have experienced the significant changes in the airline business, not all for the benefit of travelers.

    Flying home recently, on board a new Boeing 717 aircraft, I read an article (The History of Airline Classes and Cabins: The Travel Insider) about some of the changes in the airline industry over the years…

     

     

    scandal drama

    Optimally Slow and Painful: Let’s Hope Donald Trump Refuses a Dignified Exit

    by | 3 | May 19, 2017
    Donald Trump finger pointing caricature by DonkeyHotey

    Despite the “never, ever, ever give up” language in Donald Trump’s recent disaster of a commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy it takes little imagination to picture him suddenly resigning from office. Although a majority of Americans would like to see him depart for his golf courses permanently as quickly as possible, an excruciating slow motion departure from office would be more beneficial. Beyond the raw entertainment value of watching a ridiculous narcissist get his comeuppance…

     

     

    classified funny

    Honesty is the best policy and other grand misconceptions

    by | 5 | May 18, 2017
    Honesty is the best policy and other grand misconceptions

    Well, tie me to an ant hill and slap jelly in ma ears … Vladimir Putin, former KGB chief, thug and Dictator in Chief of Russia has offered to vouch for Donald’s Trumps innocence and honesty during a high stakes classified information swap-meet in the oval office. Vlad says he can prove that Donald is telling the truth.

    Well! Jeesh, that is a relief! Show of hands, who, republican or democrat, with even a smidge of common sense feels more secure and that Donald is trustworthy? …

     

     

    save cumberland

    Georgians must resolve to protect Cumberland Island as a rare natural treasure

    by | 0 | May 16, 2017
    Georgians must resolve to protect Cumberland Island as a rare natural treasure

    In December of last year the Camden County Planning Commission considered an application for a “hardship variance” to allow a group of Cumberland Island property-owners and family members to use 87 acres on the island to create a 10-lot subdivision. That area, zoned “conservation- preservation,” is less than a quarter-mile from the Sea Camp ferry dock, where nearly all visitors arrive from the mainland. Even though the applicants failed to meet all five variance requirements, their request was granted by the county planning commission.

     

     

    the slow lane

    Wreckage Along The Back Roads

    by | 4 | May 16, 2017
    To I-77 old store falling down

    Beautiful wreckage along the back roads. It’s a chest of tarnished treasure. The key is that red, white, and blue shield you see in the photograph. Rather than speed from one destination to another, I follow old roads into the past. And it’s there that I ramble, detouring and losing track of time. It’s there that mysteries occur, something that never happens on a rough-surfaced interstate where road noise drowns out your thoughts.

     

     

    smiling back at you

    The One Who Got Away

    by | 6 | May 14, 2017
    Young David Evans in front of his home with his beagle

    I built my first coffin as an eight-year-old, a time when dogs still trotted freely in the street. Sawdust and Timber, my two young beagles, had full reign of our neighborhood. One day Sawdust ran under a speeding Buick Roadmaster. Timber trailed a few steps behind and only heard the thump. My first encounter with death came the next morning when the vet called to tell my father that Sawdust had died.

     

     

    misogynist in chief

    Happy Mother’s Day, I Guess

    by | 2 | May 14, 2017
    Trump PEEOTUS (unknown, Public Domain)

    It’s the second Sunday of May and we all know what that means: Mother’s Day. The one day a year when mother’s come close to receiving the respect, adoration, and thanks that they so deserve. This Mother’s Day, however, is special; Donald Trump is the President and “nobody that has more respect for women than [he does].” So let’s take some time to remember all the different ways that he’s honored not just mother’s, but all women, over the course of his life.

     

     

    southern life

    The Long Approach

    by | 4 | May 10, 2017
    Douglas DC-7C G-AOIC

    On lots of those days during school I would daydream about rambling the world; seeing and doing all the things I had learned about in books and movies. Trans-World Airways and Pan American went everywhere. Maybe I could afford to travel like that someday. I would need to learn some languages, of course. And I needed a plan. The routes Marco Polo took … I could start there. It was always in the back of my mind, to be dealt with when the time came. Maybe I could even get a job with an airline. Their employees get free passes to everywhere.

     

     

    southern life

    A Fondness For Old Gas Pumps

    by | 0 | May 7, 2017
    A Fondness For Old Gas Pumps

    Something about old gas pumps pleases me. I think of them as elder statesmen, as senior citizens left behind by the rush of time itself. When I see a proud old pump, its dispensing days behind it, I feel a surge of pride tinged by sadness. Veterans of another era, they have been put out to pasture.

    I have a long history with gas pumps, and I’m sure you do too. Ever wondered how many hours you’ve spent by a gas pump…

     

     

    still debating science

    Rick Santorium in The Age of Trump

    by | 0 | May 7, 2017
    former Senator Rick Santorum speaking at CPAC FL in Orlando, Florida was taken by Gage Skidmore

    On Monday, April 24th, Rick Santorum, the former Representative, Senator, and Presidential candidate, made an appearance at Unity Christian School in Rome, Georgia. He was there as a paid speaker for Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) to speak about what he described as traditional American values. Much of the content emphasized Judeo-Christian values and the place they should have in our society, a narrative constructed in large part from Santorum’s own Catholicism.

     

     

    counterfactuals are free

    A Book Review of Tariq Ali’s The Dilemmas of Lenin: Terrorism War Empire Love Revolution

    by | 0 | May 4, 2017
    A Book Review of Tariq Ali’s The Dilemmas of Lenin: Terrorism War Empire Love Revolution

    Did the world need another biography of V.I. Lenin? That we have no need of new biographies of Napoleon Bonaparte, Abraham Lincoln, Adolf Hitler or Winston Churchill is obvious. Yet they will be published. In contrast the world might be rather richer for new biographies of Ranavalona I, Jósef Pilsudski, Pancho Villa and Trygve Lie. But another Lenin biography?

    Lenin’s seeming unparalleled role in making history is Tariq Ali’s excuse…

     

     

    southern places

    A Train Rolls Through It

    by | 4 | May 3, 2017
    A Train Rolls Through It

    The first time I heard of Branchville, South Carolina, I was a ticket agent at the bus station in Athens, Georgia. A passenger bought a one-way ticket to this hamlet and I ran the white-yellow-pink carbon-paper ticket through a machine like those that once processed credit card transactions. When the call to board the bus came, the passenger got on. Never saw him again. That was forty-four years ago.

     

     

    eu could learn a lot

    It’s All Monkey Business

    by | 0 | Apr 25, 2017
    Barbary Macaques: Gibraltar

    There has been some strong language from some European Union representatives about Great Britain’s planned exit from the EU. Great Britain’s politicians have responded with strong words as both sides position themselves for the “Brexit” negotiations. Some of the 751 European Parliament members will be happy when Great Britain departs the scene because “they were never one of us!” Others will be concerned about Brexit because the EU will become more of a “GEU” with the weaker economies…

     

     

    paying attention

    Lafitte’s and Ali

    by | 1 | Apr 20, 2017
    Cafe Lafitte in Exile on Bourbon Street in New Orleans

    “A man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” – Muhammad Ali

    Sitting in Cafe Lafitte’s in Exile on a recent March morning, enjoying the best Bloody Mary in that foodie town, I wasn’t thinking about Ali. I was talking to Harvey, the guy on the next stool. But the words of The Greatest were appropriate.

    Two years prior, Suzy and I had stumbled into Lafitte’s asking for directions to a voodoo shop…

     

     

    5 decades of public service

    New statue of Hollings captures his spirit, leadership, energy

    by | 1 | Apr 18, 2017
    Statue of Senator Fritz Hollings by sculptor Rick Weaver unveiled in Charleston, SC. Photo by Andy Brack

    Sculptor Rick Weaver captured the body language of Fritz Hollings just right in a new statue unveiled Monday as former colleagues heaped praises on the retired senator, now 95.

    Three things stand out in the bronze figure – the warm, but determined, look on Hollings’ face; how his left hand is grasping a rolled-up document; and, most notably, an outstretched right hand, a familiar gesture to many of the senator’s former staffers and friends.

     

     

    earth day message:

    Clean, Efficient Energy Is Most Promising Path To New Jobs & Profits

    by | 0 | Apr 17, 2017
    Earth Day over coastal Georgia is a composite image created by LikeTheDew.com

    On this Earth Day, it’s fitting for coastal Georgians to reconsider the importance of strong ties between our economy and environmental health. Too often, outmoded, poorly-informed viewpoints unfairly portray environmental quality as being contrary to jobs and a robust economy.

    Yet, coastal Georgia’s economic vitality thrives on the protection of marshes, fisheries, and waterways. According to estimates of the Center for a Sustainable Coast, at least 40,000 jobs and $2 billion a year in commerce depends …

     

     

    release your tax returns

    Protesting the President: Money (That’s What I Want)

    by | 1 | Apr 17, 2017
    Tax Protest March April 15, 2017 by Mike Licht

    Once again, President Tweety has claimed that Americans who march in protest of his policies or of him personally are doing so for pay. His latest accusation came in a tweet on Easter Sunday, one day after citizens in cities as far flung as New York and Birmingham hit the streets to demand that he release his tax returns.

    I am going to take him at his word that events like these are orchestrated and funded as part of a vast left-wing conspiracy. And I would like to ask a simple question: Where do I sign up?

     

     

    locust and wild honey

    Shedding stereotypes, even those we Southern liberals use

    by | 0 | Apr 13, 2017
    Shedding stereotypes, even those we Southern liberals use

    I wish that I could find a way never to think in stereotypes, but I find that stereotypes often seem so matter-of-fact that I don’t even notice them as stereotypes.  I have not found a way to abandon them en masse, but only one  at a time.  The process is usually more painful than it was this time. Ten years ago, on April 10, 2007, I flew to Memphis, rented a car and drove to Tupelo, Mississippi, base of Donald Wildmon‘s hostile American Family Association …

     

     

    circuitous logic

    Standing out in the crowd

    by | 0 | Apr 9, 2017
    Standing out in the crowd

    Bidding for public attention among Republican state legislators appears astonishingly intense. Consider Colorado State Representative Dave (not David) Williams. On first encounter, Williams appears to be just another standard issue ‘guns, fetuses and homophobia’ Republican. His issue page endorses the Second Amendment as defense against enemies “foreign and domestic.” How he squares appeals to Red Dawn wingnut fantasies with his national party leader being in the pocket of President Vladimir Putin is anyone’s guess…

     

     

    bear on the square

    Festival adds new feature

    by | 0 | Apr 9, 2017
    Bear On The Square Mountain Festival in Dahlonega Ga

    Bear On The Square Mountain Festival in Dahlonega, Ga., has added a new special event, the Moonlight Jam, for its 2017 festival lineup.

    The Moonlight Jam, sponsored by Jekyll Brewing Company of Alpharetta, Ga., will take place on Saturday evening, April 22, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in the festival’s MainStage festival tent.  The tent will open at 7 p.m., and the jam will start at 7:30 p.m. and will continue until around 9:30 p.m. Like other Bear on the Square events, there will be no charge for admission.

     

     

    start without me

    My Catcher in the Wry

    by | 0 | Apr 6, 2017
    My grandson Gus getting a hit

    Apologies to Bob Uecker, author of Catcher in the Wry and former back-up catcher with the Braves and several other MLB teams, and J D Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye.

    I haven’t read Uecker’s book but did see him catch Warren Spahn when the Braves lived in Milwaukee. The regular catcher was injured, tired or given a day off and Uecker, usually a reliable knuckle ball catcher, started the game. Uecker went on to become an excellent baseball commentator, actor and a funny guy…

     

     

    robber barons on a trump scale

    A theory of the leisure class

    by | 0 | Apr 3, 2017
    A theory of the leisure class

    The release by the White House of the financial worth of President Trump’s top advisors, in a Friday night dump timed for underplaying bad news (an April Fool’s joke on us?), was a face punch that we needed. While we were all staggering to understand Trump and his election – baffled, as Steve Bannon told us we were – this knocks us upright, a clarifying blow. These guys, Steve Bannon, son-in-law Jered Kushner, Gary Cohn, Kellyanne Conway and all, are worth hundreds of millions. Added to the billionaires on the cabinet, the West Wing cocktail party guests are worth a total of $12 billion, according to Bloomberg.

     

     

    the knife of tax-greed

    Environmental activist blasts plan to rezone 1,000 acres of Cumberland Island

    by | 2 | Mar 30, 2017
    Environmental activist blasts plan to rezone 1,000 acres of Cumberland Island

    “Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed.”-Wallace Stegner

    Cumberland Island National Seashore and United Nations Biosphere Reserve is the largest of the southern United States’ sea islands. It is a paradise of eco-diversity and incomparable beauty. Visitors can only access the island by a private boat or the ferry from St. Marys, Georgia, and when they arrive, they find that they have been transported to a realm that is beyond all expectations.

     

     

    trumpian satire

    Trump Eases Testicle-Removal Regulations to Put Castratos Back To Work

    by | 7 | Mar 30, 2017
    Trump Eases Testicle-Removal Regulations to Put Castratos Back To Work

    President Donald Trump kept his campaign vow to put more Americans back to work by signing an executive order Wednesday that will ease government regulations against the surgical removal of testicles and revive the long-languishing castrato industry in this country.

    “C’mon, fellas, you know what this is, you know what this says,” Trump said during a signing ceremony at the White House where he was flanked on stage by unemployed males with low-pitched vocal ranges…

     

     

    virtually forgotten

    Crumbling buildings in rural south Georgia can depress you

    by | 3 | Mar 29, 2017
    Crumbling buildings in rural south Georgia can depress you

    Returning from South Georgia after attending a funeral this week, we got off the Interstates for a while, and enjoyed the less stressful driving on the back roads. All in all, it‘s much more enjoyable, too, as you see how the crops are doing (the Vidalias are green topped and ready for harvest), check out the small communities, and see Georgia in a way as it was in the past.

    This time one particular element struck me: in much of rural Georgia, there are many, many homes, barns, and other outbuildings that are no longer in service, abandoned, deteriorating, and wasting away…

     

     

    redefining progress

    Coastal Georgia threatened by poorly evaluated business activities

    by | 0 | Mar 28, 2017
    Coastal Georgia threatened by poorly evaluated business activities

    Consistent with the well-considered advice from Columbia University economist, Geoffrey Heal, Georgians need to get savvier about how state policies are being used to support business ventures and job creation. According to Professor Heal, “If we don’t make some changes in the way we organize our economic systems… we will see catastrophic environmental change in our lifetimes.” (Catalyst, Winter 2017.) He stresses that neglecting nature in economic decisions seriously threatens our prosperity.

     

     

    turning points

    The Journey of One Immigrant

    by | 0 | Mar 27, 2017
    The Journey of One Immigrant

    It was winter and Canada was in recession when I arrived as a new immigrant. Finding work when many Canadians were unemployed was a challenge because employers were looking for Canadians, not immigrants who may move on to someplace else. I was unemployed for five months, living in a boarding house, and had no money when I finally found work. There were no government unemployment benefits.

     

     

    because poverty is the same

    A few words about Erskine Caldwell, lyric poet of the poor

    by | 4 | Mar 26, 2017
    A few words about Erskine Caldwell, lyric poet of the poor

    Funny how one thing can lead to another. In a recent column about Lewis Grizzard, the famous Southern author and humorist, I mentioned that he was from Moreland, Ga., a town in Coweta County about 40 miles southwest of Atlanta. Moreland is a community of fewer than 500 souls, but this tiny town has produced two of Georgia’s most famous sons. The other was Erskine Caldwell, born in 1903, who became one of the world’s best-selling authors.

     

     

    down and outbound

    The Real Fiction of Public Transportation

    by | 1 | Mar 26, 2017
    The Real Fiction of Public Transportation

    Having written and published a book about public transportation that is a novel wrapped in political satire, I have been lately asking myself, “What possessed you to embark on this journey in the first place?

    Coincidentally, I need look no further than a piece I wrote called “Book Spotting,” that appeared in Like the Dew in 2011. The article mentions a fictitious book club on the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) whose basic membership requirement was to read something while riding public transportation…

     

     

    book review

    Blitzed

    by | 0 | Mar 22, 2017
    Blitzed

    Hitler and drugs are such an obvious formula for successful popular history that it is a wunder someone hadn’t already published something similar to Norman Ohler’s 2016 Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany. Likely to please readers interested in social history and drug policy, the book is certain to perturb serious political and military historians with what appear almost uni-causal explanations for phenomena such as Adolf Hitler’s erratic decision making and the success of the blitzkrieg as a strategy…

     

     

    remembering the king

    Singing With Chuck

    by | 1 | Mar 20, 2017
    Singing With Chuck

    During the spring of 2001, a few months before America changed for the worse, Shane and I were working on a dream trip. We were going to Wrigley, and taking my grandson with us. The feeling reminded me of Christmas the year I got my first 26” bicycle.

    The plans had been made; tickets for game and plane confirmed; hotel rooms reserved. About to bust from anticipation, I looked up activities for that weekend just to occupy my time. The Chicago Blues Festival, long on my bucket list, was happening the same weekend we’d be there…

     

     

    for our ultimate audience

    Lapidary Prose

    by | 2 | Mar 17, 2017
    Lapidary Prose

    Talk about writer’s block: What about having to write an epitaph for your mother’s gravestone? The idea of an epitaph, of course, is that it’s written for the ages, even those short simple annals of the poor on weed-lost tombstones.

    I write, and teach writing. I teach that it starts with your audience. If you’ve been writing only for your teacher, you haven’t really started to learn writing. Writing well for a mass of strangers – that’s more like it.

     

     

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