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’tis the season
The Irish poet Medbh McGuckian writes about subduing “the disquieting existence of others” in her poem Drawing Ballerinas. Seeing through eyes she describes as “unnerving sparks of matter,” she brings to life another view of the feeling of anxiety, of worry, a knowledge that something is about to pass in this world of disorder and disillusionment. The anxiety may be more than just a feeling. It may be real loss, not just of home and land, but of innocence.
File this under the heading of Best Laid Plans, the kind that “gang aft agley,” as Scottish poet Robert Burns warned in his philosophical poem “To A Mouse.”
My wife usually shops for a Christmas tree with a scrutiny normally reserved for my shortcomings as a spouse. She also insists that I proffer an opinion on each candidate, after which she makes up my mind which tree to get.
This year it was going to be different. To help a charitable cause, she bought a Christmas tree online. That means she bought a tree sight unseen.
My nine year old grandson asked me last week, “Granny, what was the best Christmas you ever had?”
Without hesitation I answered, “It was the Christmas when I’d just separated from your grandfather and moved into a different house a few days before Christmas. Your Daddy was 14. My three youngest sons were still in school, one was in college and one had left home. I’d put my last penny down on the house. We had no money at all. In those days we didn’t have credit cards and I never borrowed money.
gift that keeps on taking
Merry Christmas and a happy GOP!
Has there ever a better time than now to celebrate America’s God and the birth of America’s savior, Jesus Christ, our Lord? Has there ever been a better time than now to support the Republican Party, the one that believes in America’s God? Has there ever a better time than now to cash in on the biggest savings on The Savior you have ever seen!!
OMG! Where else are you going to find a Signed, Rand Paul, Curly Head, Deep Pile, Bathroom Throw Rug — for only $29.95? Or a Where’s Bobby Jindal? Coloring Book — for only $18.95?
school cheating scandal
Every now and then a big-time civil settlement makes sense and is good for our country. Recently the government brought suit against Education Management Corporation, based in Pittsburgh, Pa., which operated several for-profit colleges. The government maintained that the company was violating rules on paying incentives to employees for signing up unqualified students for Pell grant assistance to attend their schools. One story said all the low-income students needed was “a pulse and a Pell (grant)” for the colleges to enroll them…
Today I’m announcing my candidacy for president of the United States. It’s fitting that I begin my candidacy in the historic setting of my upstairs studio. I am honored to be surrounded by so many supporters and well-wishers, and by that I mean my two cats. (My wife has yet to sign on to my campaign but give her time).
I’m working on a campaign slogan—it’s a toss-up between…
pas d'armes autorisées
OK then, Canada it is. I’ve been looking for a country to move to in case Donald Trump gets elected president. That country’s decision to not only take in some of the flood of migrants from Mid-Eastern countries but to welcome them warmly helped me make up my mind.
Or I might go ahead and move there anyway. When a Christian school urges its students to arm themselves and gun sales nationwide are higher than ever, when mass shootings are everyday…
end gun violence
It was a beautiful Saturday morning to be in Woodruff Park. About 70 degrees. Broken clouds to keep the sun from feeling too hot. It was so easy to be there.
Any excuse to get outside in mid-December was welcomed. Our excuse was the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings. The idea was pretty simple: we would meet in the park to remember the 20 children and six adults killed December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.
the rug did it
Grandma was a small, feisty and tough lady. She had endured a hard life as a farmer’s wife and mother of three boys in a time when the world was in an economic depression and at war. Her oldest son survived World War I but was ill for the rest of his life from the debilitating effects of mustard and chlorine gas. Children of her brothers and sisters were killed in World War I and II, others arrived home suffering from permanent injuries and depression. Her second son, my uncle, suffered from epilepsy throughout his short life and was accidentally drowned on the farm when he was thirty-four years old. Two months later…
The American Medical Association has announced Fearbola is now recognized as a legitimate disease and warrants further investigation by the medical profession as to treatment and prevention.
“The abnormal and uncontrollable fear of terrorists can have profound detrimental impact on the individual as well as our economy if it goes untreated,” said Dr. Oscar Kemper of the AMA. “Having people afraid to leave their homes and live in fear of what might happen is a recipe for a neutered society.”
Congressional Republicans moved swiftly Tuesday to change the subject from banishing all Muslims from entering this country to passing new legislation that will make it beside the point because every single American will have a gun.
If passed, the Affordable Guns & Ammo Act (AG&AA) will cut prices on assault rifles for middle class families by as much as 40 percent and require employers to buy workers up to 1000 rounds a month, or face stiff fines, said GOP officials.
After reading three assigned stories for my upcoming January Master of Fine Arts seminar on “grit lit,” I was glad I had read Dorothy Allison’s “River of Names” during the afternoon sitting up rather than in bed just before going to sleep.
This powerful and frightening view of dysfunctional family life is set somewhere in the South in perhaps the fifties or sixties. In just a few pages, Allison drags you through a snarling gaggle of relatives that include all kinds of perverts, rapists, druggies, suicides, and young mothers with too many babies…
“You are anthropologists,” I said. “Suppose you had only these lists as the remains of `The Lottery.’ Obviously you do not have the evidence needed to reconstruct the story, but what evidence in the lists points to what you discovered to be the heart of the story?”
Some played with the puzzle pieces, never discerning any patterns, bored with it all, yet a few wrote their best papers of the semester, pursuing the patterns hidden in the stacks of evidence…
sensible gun laws now
Congress and the Senate today vowed to do everything in their power to do absolutely nothing about the mass shootings today. Which shooting you ask? I don’t know, pick one, there are far too many to keep track of.
The Speaker of the house, Paul Ryan, in an interview today said “We don’t want to rush to judgment and take away the rights from any red-blooded, all-American, shit-for-brains that simply wants a big-ass gun. His right to stupid supersedes your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of breathing…
police killing of caroline small
It was well covered in the news, the local reporter says. And, indeed, the Atlanta Journal Constitution has been on the story for a long time. After all, the shooting of Caroline Small, by two Glynn County, Georgia, cops, occurred over five years ago, well before cops shooting citizens became a topic of national disgust.
About a month ago, some strangers with a camera showed up at the Glynn County Commission meeting, but nobody knew why they were there. The only thing that happened that night, which the visitors might have noted, but probably didn’t, was that the Commission passed an imprudent resolution…
spreading despair not helping.
It’s a sad sentiment voiced loudly and with much distress in these times: what a dangerous world we live in! It’s as true as it always has been.
I don’t remember the exact moment I was sentenced to die. Then again, it was over 56 years ago and I was but a millisecond old at the time. Yet, the instant I welcomed that first gasping breath into my infant lungs, I also accepted my fate. Someday, I would die.
It wasn’t that day – nor has it happened with any of the roughly 20,513 sunrises since. But it will. I surely didn’t know then, but it’s been a fact of my life for a long, long time now that someday it will end.
living in a secular society
“You are not being persecuted for your beliefs when you are merely being denied the privilege of shoving them down someone else’s throat.” – The Bard of Affliction
Several months ago, there was a lot of Sturm und Drang over one Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk who had garnered a certain amount of notoriety for having refused to issue wedding licenses to same-sex couples despite having been ordered by the courts to do so. Putting her name on said licenses would (she had said) imply her approval of same-sex marriages, something she felt she could not do based on her religious beliefs.
last man standing
The time has come for the Braves to pull the trigger on Freddie Freeman. The brain rust, uh, brain trust of the Braves stated Freemen will absolutely not be traded under any circumstances. No doubt this was an honest statement when it was made, but there is always a potential deal that can change things.
There have to be a couple of left handed pitchers recovering from Tommy John surgery out there somewhere the Braves covet.
in the wake of paris
President Barack Obama issued an executive order Tuesday requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to crack down on Republican BS emissions that have risen dramatically in recent weeks.
“We are facing a crisis in this country and what we need to get through it is clear thinking and what we need for clear thinking is clean air and what we’ve got it too much BS,” said Obama in a morning press conference.
“I’ve asked the EPA to step in and start fining offenders…
Rosie just wandered about through the racks of clothing as though she were in her own closet trying to decide which dress to wear. As she made her way from clothes hanger to clothes hanger, she commenced to wave her hand about as though conducting. She then began to contradict Will, our real conductor, who had reminded us to play with more of a crescendo in this measure and to punctuate the marcato notes with more dynamic emphasis in another measure. Rosie said with authority and in a gravelly tone, “No, no, it all sounds good!” And then she started to sing …”Now we don our gay apparel…”
meet me in dabiq
Were I to tell you a story in which Jesus, the son of the virgin Mary, was sent by God to guide the children of Israel, perform miracles including curing blindness, raising the dead and casting out demons, was crucified and raised alive into heaven to be the God incarnate. Jesus, who is promised to come back as the Messiah on judgement day to lead God’s army against the armies of Rome led by the Antichrist to the final victory in Jerusalem. What holy book do you think that would be from?
power and terror:
In an interview with ABC news correspondent Martha Raddatz pointed out to Dick Cheney that a majority of citizens opposed the war in Iraq. Cheney replied, “So?”
Martha asked, “You don’t care what the American people think?”
He said, “NO.” Cheney then goes on to say that we can’t be subject to fluctuations in opinion polls.
A White House spokesman was asked later if this meant the government didn’t think the public should have input. The spokesman remarked that the public has input every four years.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources explanation for their most recent initiative to gin up support for their activities in the populace (“develop an environmental ethic,” in Spud Woodward, the Director’s words) reads as follows:
The Coastal Georgia Ecosystem Report Card is an important tool for planning restoration activities and conservation. It provides a transparent, timely, and geographically detailed assessment of health in coastal Georgia…
makes you wonder
Let me get this clear in my mind. The brain trust of the Atlanta Braves decided, in the interest of building a competitive team sometime during the next millennium, decided to trade arguable the best defense shortstop in baseball.
This is not brain trust; this is brain lock. If there were any notion the Braves really had a plan, this move dulls that idea down to an old kitchen knife.
Supposedly the deal with the Angles gives them a serviceable shortstop for next year and two great young pitching prospects… again.
cry the benighted country
“Make America great again,” Trump says. Not a bad idea, but first we need to understand what’s gone wrong.
In every society, both constructive and destructive forces are always at work. But the balance of power between those forces is not constant. Such factors as the quality of its leadership and the impact of its national experience can strengthen either the best or the worst in a society.
Consider, for example, the peoples of Great Britain and Germany at two points in the twentieth century.
In 1910, a time of relative stability before the outbreak of World War I, British society and culture might have been judged moderately healthier than the German…
satire on the campaign trail
Most Iowans would rather have Bobby Jindal perform brain surgery on them than Dr. Ben Carson, according to the latest Quinnipiac University Poll of registered Republicans in the state who either need brain surgery, or are undecided.
A retired brain surgeon, Dr. Carson led in all previous polls in the key primary state that asked voters: “If you needed brain surgery, which GOP candidate would you want to perform it?” In the latest poll – coming in the wake of recent revelations about Dr. Ben Carson fabricating parts of his personal history and making bizarre statements about pyramids and other things – Iowa voters’ faith in the candidate appears to be shattered.
songs we were singing
As John Lennon playfully noted in a song he wrote for Ringo Starr, the Beatles were “the greatest show on earth.” So true. And in the 45 years since the Beatles officially called it quits, appreciation of their songs has grown — across the generations. It isn’t hard to imagine a family reunion where the great-grandmother fondly remembers “Love Me Do” and “If I Fell” from her children’s Beatles albums while the great-grandson is listening to “Hey Bulldog” on his iPhone. Yes, it’s the act we’ve known for all these years…