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Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


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  • Writer Login


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    why?

    Hicks In The Sticks Shouldn’t Be The Pundit’s Quick Fix

    by | 1 | Nov 16, 2016
    Trump 2016 Yes we klan

    For some two generations now, way too many American liberals have been beguiled by the facile trope of  “the Southernization of America,” which blames the nation’s shift to the right since the 1960s on the South’s rapid political, economic, and cultural ascent. If early takes on the 2016 presidential election, which chalk up Trump’s upset triumph to the “revenge” of the rural white voter in traditionally blue northern states and essentially leave it at that, are any indication, we may soon see “ruralization” supplant “Southernization” as the primary threat to political liberalism in this country.

     

     

    dr. ben carson did what?

    My Head Just Exploded

    by | 6 | Nov 16, 2016
    My Head Just Exploded

    Ok, first a quick update:
 I want to just say I’m very disappointed that it looks as though I did not win either the Electoral College or the popular vote.

    My campaign manager Mr. Mittens is digging through the early returns (and his bag of cat nip) in order to find out just where my campaign went south. So, unless the Supreme Court steps in I may not become president this time around. I am also deeply troubled to inform my supporters that my own mother didn’t vote for me…

     

     

    recollections

    The King of Main Street

    by | 1 | Nov 16, 2016
    Walter B. Smith — The King of Main Street

    Every town has its characters. But these “individualists” are usually formed by the character of the town itself.

    Sinclair Lewis’ great eponymous novel explored the hopeful adventures of would-be nonconformist George Babbitt, who fails to escape his everyday identity as a real-estate salesman, Rotary Club president, country club and lodge member, and proud wearer of the Booster pin of Zenith, his fictional midsize city. Lewis won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1930 — the first American to take the honor — helped in large part by Babbitt …

     

     

    do we still believe?

    Polling Errors

    by | 2 | Nov 14, 2016
    Fiesta Girls

    Ever since the polls got Brexit and Trumpocalypse so wrong, inquiring minds have been wondering how could the pollsters, and by extension all the media, lead us astray?  In the past week, many publications like The New York Times have discussed the polling problems.

    As a survey researcher, my colleagues and I can think of many reasons, but the “science” has its own jargon, and is difficult to explain (or perhaps justify).  On private chat boards, they’re trying to figure out what went wrong, and how to deal with the PR problems that arise, muttering things like …

     

     

    the February 23rd coup

    The Humanization of the Military

    by | 0 | Nov 14, 2016
    The February 23rd Coup by Chaitram Singh

    Chaitram Singh’s novel The February 23rd Coup explores the lives of the men behind the military interventions in Latin America in a way in which the textbooks and other military novels cannot.

    Depicting the overflow of political and military frustrations through interactions between characters and their superiors, their government, relationships, loyalties, and their brothers-in-arms, the novel allows the reader to fully grasp the effects

     

     

    breaking through deadlocks

    Different is Not Bad

    by | 3 | Nov 13, 2016
    Different is Not Bad

    A friend recently asked, “Has anyone ever done a study to determine what causes the type of thinking that claims the only people with value are pretty much like me? If we knew this, could we use the knowledge to raise more caring, accepting children in the years ahead?”

    I can speak only for how hard I have found it to learn that lesson.  My father carefully, painstakingly educated me to have great expectations of people not like me, yet that education took a long time to take hold and become part of my character.

     

     

    tinfoil hat crazy

    Trump: Let Them Eat Conspiracy Theory

    by | 1 | Nov 13, 2016
    Trump: Let Them Eat Conspiracy Theory

    That Donald John Trump will be the 45th President of the United States still seems unreal and that sensation is not helped by the realization that millions of the Americans who voted for him may have done so because of runaway conspriracism. As the improbable candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, the billionaire real estate developer/reality television celebrity played to conservative gullibility by …

     

     

    no news is good news

    Perspective Is a Pedal Turn Away

    by | 0 | Nov 9, 2016
    Perspective Is a Pedal Turn Away

    Wednesday morning, my bicycle and I are leaving town, bound for Florida and a week-long ride across the Sunshine State. Far from intelligent design, the timing is lucky coincidence. But, there couldn’t be a better day to be shut off from the world by travel, nor a finer week to be pedaling the soft shoulder of some dusty Florida backroad.

    Unless, of course, all hell really does break loose Tuesday night. What if we ride into a riot? Our Daytona to Clearwater route is eerily close to the infamous I-4 corridor of Bush v. Gore lore.

     

     

    boyhood loves

    The Mayor’s Club

    by | 2 | Nov 6, 2016
    His Honor, the Mayor, Albert.V. Edwards with the Hendersonville Police (circa 1950)

    I grew up like the Reverend Billy Graham, who would say, “I did not know I was poor back then until someone told me that I was poor.” The country was still in the Great Depression throughout the 1930s, and we weren’t the only family that faced hardship. And there was a perk to being from “the other side of the tracks:” I was privileged to receive a real treat every Saturday morning – for I was a member of The Mayor’s Club.

     

     

    parody on the stump

    Ivory soap vs. Drano

    by | 1 | Nov 6, 2016
    Ivory soap vs. Drano

    One says it can clean your face, your body, and prevent microbe borne disease.

    The other focuses on sewage and promises to clean up all clogged systems, sewage related or not.

    A contest was held to see which product was more popular.

    When it was apparent that people would choose a clean face and body and disease prevention, the Drano producers decided to tout their product as a suppository laxative.

     

     

    power of truth

    The Cure for Trump

    by | 2 | Nov 4, 2016
    The Cure for Trump

    How did we get here? How did we end up with a lunatic Republican presidential nominee, an eminently unlikeable Democratic nominee and a middle class apparently unwilling to impose its political will on this American Republic as we stagger toward an election like honey bees in a dying hive?

    Our version of colony collapse disorder has been perfectly diagnosed in Low Dishonest Decades, the new book by George Scialabba.

     

     

    a monstrous force

    Ugliness Ahead, Either Way

    by | 6 | Nov 4, 2016
    Trump's Birdnest by Mark Rain

    If Donald Trump wins next Tuesday – God forbid! – then it goes without saying that American politics are in for a time of profound ugliness.

    But it is becoming increasingly clear that even if Donald Trump is defeated, a time of ugliness lies ahead. That forecast now goes well beyond the issue of Trump’s telegraphing of a refusal to accept the outcome. The ugliness may well begin with that violation of the American norms …

     

     

    in solidarity

    The Everett Massacre: 100 Years Later

    by | 1 | Nov 4, 2016
    The Everett Massacre: 100 Years Later

    NOVEMBER FIFTH, 1916

    “Boys, who’s your leader?”

    Sheriff McRae stood on the dock at Everett, Washington, at the head of a mob of over two hundred vigilantes. The steamboat Verona rocked quietly on the gentle ocean waves. Then, suddenly, laughter broke out among the Industrial Workers of the World “timber-beasts” aboard the boats.

     

     

    passion for preservation

    Big Sky Bill

    by | 0 | Oct 31, 2016
    Big Sky Bill

    An Unsung Historian Makes A Difference

    If “Big Sky Bill” leads you to believe Bill Fitzpatrick hails from Montana, you’re wrong. Bill was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, but has spent most of his life in the South. After earning an MBA from the University of South Carolina in 1978, Bill chose to stay in South Carolina. He lives in Taylors. So what’s behind the Big Sky connection? He likes Big Sky Ski Resort in Montana because of the great ski weeks he and his daughter have had there near Bozeman.

     

     

     

    southern politics

    It’s about to get a whole lot more interesting

    by | 2 | Oct 31, 2016
    2016 Presidential Election Map - Average margin of presidential victory 1992-2008

    The South is not completely red politically, just as it is not home to only rednecks.

    Come November 8, Southerners will cast about 33 million votes in this oddest and nastiest of presidential elections. Of those, more than 15 million will be for the Democrat, Hillary Clinton. That’s a lot of blue living in what most assume is just red.

    Yes, our region, just like our nation, is more purple than just red or blue. In Southern state and federal elections, we’re a reddish purple. In many urban areas in the South, we skew a little more blueish purple.

     

     

    jimmy carter - photographs

    The Creampuff

    by | 0 | Oct 31, 2016
    Carter and Mondale with members of the White House traveling press corps softball team, dubbed the News Twisters, at the Plains High School baseball field. Carter’s own team was made up mainly of off-duty US Secret Service agents. One observer likened the Secret Service versus press play to the “New York Yankees against a middle school softball team . . . if the middle schoolers had been drinking all night.” Left to right are Justin Friedland of ABC News, Charles Mohr of the New York Times, Carter, James Walker of ABC News, Mondale, Rick Kaplan of CBS News, Billy Carter, Curtis Wilkie of the Boston Globe, and Phil Smith of Newhouse News Service.

    As a photojournalist shooting a baseball game, I’d never once considered that I could be at great peril…but I’d never photographed a game from this position…from on the mound and behind the pitcher.

    I stood over the pitcher’s shoulder during his windup watching the batter – his forearms tensed and his gaze narrowly focused on the orb as it left the pitcher’s fingers.

    The ball floated nearer, the wood came around, gained speed and then contacted…

     

     

    stranger than fiction

    “You’re Nobody ’til Everybody In This Town Thinks You’re A Bastard”

    by | 0 | Oct 30, 2016
    Elvis Costello as Satan presents Donald Trump in This Town is a composite image created by LikeTheDew.com

    Mr. Getgood moved up to Self-Made Man Row
    Although he swears he’s the salt of the earth
    He’s so proud of the “kick-me-hard” sign that they hung on his back at birth.
    He said “I appreciate beauty, if I have one, then it’s my fault”
    “Beauty is on my pillow, beauty is there in my vault.”

    Now just who did Elvis Costello have in mind when he wrote and recorded “…This Town…” in 1988?

     

     

    what a life

    Carl Sandburg: Insights and Echoes

    by | 2 | Oct 26, 2016
    Carl Sandburg: Insights and Echoes

    In 1945, Carl Sandburg and his wife, Lillian, moved to the Hendersonville area from a small farm on the shores of Lake Michigan. A lot of people in the area wondered why this famous man had chosen our little community as his new home.

    He had paid what was thought to be an astounding price of $45,000 for 248 acres of land that included a three-story main house, a barn complex and several outbuildings. Mr. Sandburg reportedly said he felt he’d bought an entire “village.” Mrs. Sandburg, a breeder of champion milk goats told friends that they had bought “a million acres of sky.”

     

     

    an inventory

    The Working Years

    by | 2 | Oct 26, 2016
    Jobs Graffiti

    Every Job You’ve Had, What Did It Teach You?

    A Friday evening. In a restaurant where soft music and hard drinks make good neighbors, the regular crowd shuffled in as Billy Joel famously wrote. People took their seats at the bar and each person’s week took center stage. A woman lamented that we spend a third of our life working, prompting Mr. Wise Guy to pipe up. “I should have been born rich instead of so good looking.” That tired line didn’t fit. Still, we knew what he meant…

     

     

    compensations

    Old is Bold

    by | 2 | Oct 26, 2016
    Old Wonder Women by Alex Solis

    Hey, Anoni here. Some time since I posted as Gusto and I been busy: busy getting old. Gus limps more than he did a while back, and I’m going deaf. Old age has its compensations, like hearing aids and walking sticks, experience and wisdom, but it ain’t much fun. I compensate by bragging that I’m pushing 80, but Gus just holds his back and groans. No good lying about our age, in fact we’ve got to the stage feeling satisfied, when folks we know drop off the perch and we’re still here.

     

     

    chicken-wing democrat

    Write Me In

    by | 9 | Oct 24, 2016
    Write Me In by Trevor Irvin

    I am the first write-in presidential candidate who will win in a landslide. So heads up — Hillary is not the only historic choice here.

    My run for the highest office in the land has gone exceedingly well. I am the first candidate to run an issue-free, wall-free, policy-free, promise-you-anything-to-get-in-office, campaign. (I know, I know, the Donald is neck-and-neck with me on this, but I’m not worried that he’ll grab the presidency – other stuff, well, you may want to be careful, just sayin’.)

     

     

    never again

    The Otis Elevator Man

    by | 2 | Oct 23, 2016
    Female hands try to stop doors of the closed lift

    A week after I became engaged to Win Mothershed on my 19th birthday in June of 1961, he left to begin active duty as an ensign in the Navy aboard the U.S. S. Yorktown, home ported in Long Beach, California. So I continued taking classes at Georgia State College, which became Georgia State University in 1971. I got a part-time job as secretary of the maintenance department at St. Joseph’s Infirmary located on Courtland Street in downtown Atlanta…

     

     

    finding acceptance

    Confessions of a Carpetbagger

    by | 4 | Oct 20, 2016
    Carpetbag

    I admit it: I’m a carpetbagger. For the unenlightened, according to Merriam-Webster, a carpetbagger is “a person from the northern United States who went to the South after the American Civil War seeking private gain under the reconstruction governments.” Colloquially, a carpetbagger is any Yankee who moves to the South…and stays.

    As far as the former definition goes, I am indeed “a person from the northern United States who went to the South after the American Civil War.” It was after the Civil War…104 years after…

     

     

    show me your papers

    74 Years an Evacuee

    by | 0 | Oct 17, 2016
    74 Years an Evacuee

    The first time I was evacuated was in early 1942, at the age of nine months. The allies bombing the German City of Aachen every night had become too traumatic, so my mother took her babe and fled to the Austrian Alps.

    So, I spent the next three years in this rustic farm building: two rooms and a veranda and outhouse on the second floor; wood storage, bake oven and chicken coop on the first; no electricity; no running water.

     

     

    trending

    The New South Carolina: The Politics

    by | 0 | Oct 17, 2016
    Southeast US political map turns red to purple to blue

    In sports, the Gamecocks wear garnet and black. Clemson wears orange and purple. In politics, South Carolina is red and deep red. These are what are known as “self-evident truths.” Things that just are. While the garnet and orange will probably last until the Second Coming, the red in South Carolina politics is changing – and changing faster than most folks think.

     

     

    mule lovers memories

    Mules are smarter

    by | 3 | Oct 14, 2016
    Funny mule by ©YiorgosGR – licensed by LikeTheDew.com at iStockPhoto.com

    A friend told me the other day that “mules are so smart you can’t help but wish they could run for congress. This buddy of mine knows a lot about a lot of things. This particular day he was recalling the glory days of those noble creatures – the mule – now all but forgotten.

    He was telling me about how he and another friend were about to cross a bridge and the mule in their charge refused to cross the bridge. It turned out that the bridge was unsafe. This action has unlocked stories and memories of some other mule lovers we know about.

     

     

    book review

    Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 – 2005

    by | 0 | Oct 12, 2016
    Army kicking down a door - illustration by Tom Ferguson

    What first struck me about Thomas E Ricks’ book, Fiasco The American Military Adventure in Iraq 2003 to 2005, was the sheer number of establishment figures who opposed the war, many of whom predicted the general consequences to include Isis. Bush the elder, General Colin Powell (despite his eventual disgraceful performance at the U.N.), General Schwarzkoph, Brent Scowcroft, Marine General Anthony Zinne

     

     

    small world after all

    The Deplorable Geopolitics of the Second Presidential Debate

    by | 3 | Oct 11, 2016
    The Deplorable Geopolitics of the Second Presidential Debate

    Viewers can be forgiven if they missed the geopolitics of the second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on October 9th. The emotional tension in their encounter was certainly unprecedented in American political history. Dramatics notwithstanding, how the nominees perceive or think voters perceive international politics may be discerned from a content analysis of their geographic references.

    Note that the geographic references in this debate were more narrowly focused than in the first debate on September 26th…

     

     

    tallulah falls gorge, ga

    The Great Wallenda Walk

    by | 4 | Oct 10, 2016
    The Great Wallenda Walk

    When the first cool morning of October serves notice that summer heat really is gone, I recall family trips to Highlands, Cashiers, and Brevard, North Carolina. Seeing mountain forests cloaked in reds, yellows, and oranges, enjoying a breakfast of ham, grits, and redeye gravy, and taking in the wondrous sights of the mountains were fall rites during my youth. To this day, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t love fall and its cavalcade of colors more than I do. It’s part of my heritage.

     

     

    it is up to us

    Enter Donald Trump

    by | 1 | Oct 10, 2016
    Donald Trump - Caricature

    Last year’s viral internet debate over “The Dress” meme revealed peculiar limits to our perceptions. We argued ourselves silly about the dress’s “real” color, but no one’s mind was changed. We saw what we saw, and we found it bewildering that anyone could see differently.

    Unfortunately, political discourse in the United States – if one dignifies it so – has come to resemble “The Dress” debate. Our ideological polarization, coupled with our tendency to validate our beliefs with our favored news sources, make it difficult for many of us to see how intelligent, moral, and sane people could possibly hold policy positions opposing our own.

     

     

    each a time capsule

    War Letters, Part II

    by | 0 | Oct 3, 2016
    War Letters, Part II

    In Part I, we learned that life’s concerns three-quarters of a century ago were not that different from today’s interests. What strikes me most about these letters is how differently people communicate today. We send emails with the click of a mouse and they arrive in seconds. People back in 1944 put a lot more effort into their letters. And they were patient. They waited and waited and waited to hear from loved ones and a walk to the mailbox was a suspenseful time. Envelope and parchment held hopes and dreams and more. At times receiving a letter was a crushing experience. We’ve all heard about “Dear John” letters.

     

     

    gop irresponsibility

    Responsibility is for Democrats…Just ask Johnny Isakson

    by | 3 | Oct 3, 2016
    Responsibility is for Democrats…Just ask Johnny Isakson

    Dangerous but unchallenged nonsense is what listeners heard from U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson in his September 30th interview  on Georgia Rewind with Bill Nigut. After performing the ritual of joviality between elected officials and journalists with Bill Nigut and Jim Galloway that is expected on the program, the third term Republican got down to the serious business of evading questions and promoting militarism. Asked about legislative gridlock in Congress, Isakson was allowed to reduce the problem to budgeting and then blame it on House Republicans and President Obama.

     

     

    can i hear an amen?

    Has America Lost Its Mind and Its Soul?

    by | 2 | Oct 2, 2016
    Has America Lost Its Mind and Its Soul?

    Shortly after the advent of Christianity, the Church Fathers adopted a set of seven “Cardinal Virtues”: humility, charity, temperance, diligence, kindness, patience, and fidelity. These universally desirable traits, which establish the gold-standard for character, were borrowed partly from Greek philosophy and partly from the teachings of the Old and New Testaments.

    Mirroring the Seven Cardinal Virtues are Seven Deadly Sins: pride, greed, gluttony, sloth, malicious envy, wrath, and lust…

     

     

    for the people

    An Election Isn’t an Invitation to Self-expression

    by | 0 | Oct 2, 2016
    Vote by Mykl Roventine

    Countless electrons are being agitated during this election cycle over what a voter who can’t stomach either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump should do. What’s being offered the conflicted and afflicted is pretty depressing.

    One tortured option invites voters to simultaneously salve their consciences and save their country by trading their votes. This strikes me as so bizarre that I’m not sure I even have it right. But the idea seems to be something like this…

     

     

    vote

    Voice of the Challenger: An Interview with Jeremy Salter

    by | 0 | Sep 29, 2016
    Voice of the Challenger: An Interview with Jeremy Salter

    Are political courage and smart ideas enough to unseat an entrenched incumbent? Jeremy Salter is counting on a thoughtful electorate ready for overdue criminal justice reform as the challenger in the contest for Floyd County District Attorney against incumbent Leigh Patterson. That Patterson is the most prominent of the four local public officials in the county who recently changed their affiliation from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party adds an element of drama to the race…

     

     

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