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Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Southern Weather Radar


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    the idea of memory

    Ulysses Comes Home

    by | Jun 5, 2014
    Ulysses Comes Home

    I want to tell you about Floyd, but I think I might be able to best do it by first contrasting him with Walt Whitman and then by comparing him with Jim Corder, a university scholar who gave us a new appreciation in the 1980s and 1990s of language and the power of rhetoric.

    In one of his own anonymous reviews of Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman described himself as “one of the roughs” with a “face not refined or intellectual, but calm and wholesome — a face of an unaffected animal — a face that absorbs the sunshine and meets savage or gentleman on equal terms.”

     

     

    live theater

    ‘Princess Cut’ puts Knoxville’s sex trafficking on stage

    by | Jun 4, 2014
    'Princess Cut' puts Knoxville's sex trafficking on stage

    The theater long ago was laid waste by the gods of big entertainment. Now, when we think of acting, we think Hollywood, celebrities, an HBO series. When we think of the stage, it’s Broadway musicals, or if “serious” theater, it’s usually the work of famous dead playwrights being produced for the umpteenth time for high-priced tickets that put you in the upper seats.

    Kerri Koczen and Danielle Roos had another idea.

     

     

    stash patrol

    You don’t want to mess with Ginger

    by | Jun 4, 2014
    You don't want to mess with Ginger

    You don’t want to mess with Ginger at Georgia Gwinnett College. She’s well known to students, a bright and affable female chocolate Labrador three year old dog, and an integral part of the Department of Public Safety at the college, the only substance sniffing K-9 staff member.

    Ginger is hard working, and has chalked up an impressive list of accomplishments in the more than two years she’s been at the college. She has assisted in several dozen arrests for substances the students should not have at the college: marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine…

     

     

    educator's lament: part 1

    Symptoms of Our Educational Demise

    by | Jun 3, 2014
    National Lampoon's Animal House

    “A popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives.” James Madison

    Education is the cornerstone of democracy. The writings of both Madison and Jefferson are chock full of admonitions that only a generally enlightened public can hold at bay the forces of tyranny.

     

     

    wag more

    Beach Walk

    by | Jun 2, 2014
    Beach Walk

    I walk my pit bull ‘Dro (short for Pedro), on or near the beach nearly every morning. We usually access the beach at an inn whose parking lot, full these days, is to me something of an amusement park, what with all the bumper/window stickers and out-of-state license plates to be seen there: New York, Tennessee, Maryland, Ontario, Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina.

    One Maryland license plate was especially evocative; it said simply RIPTREV. Love to know the story behind that one.

     

     

    sunday, june 1

    Pivot does Peabodys a good turn

    by | May 28, 2014
    Breaking Bad stars from the Peabody ceremony.

    A cable and online network called Pivot will be televising a condensed, impressionistic version of the May 19 Peabody Awards ceremony on Sunday, June 1, at 9 p.m. Less almost certainly will be more.

    The Peabodys, based at UGA’s Grady journalism school,  have been on TV before, broadcast by PBS and A&E respectively, most recently in 2003. But in those instances, what viewers saw on their home screens was the full event, a parade of previously announced winners making acceptance speeches.

     

     

    christian wrong

    What Kind of Christianity is This?

    by | May 27, 2014
    What Kind of Christianity is This?

    In the past several decades, a major force has entered the American political arena under an explicitly Christian banner. I’m talking about the Christian Right, which has aligned itself with the Republican Party. Has this alliance advanced the values that Jesus taught?

    Jesus advocated for the poor and the outcast, and castigated mostly the privileged and the mighty. Today’s vociferous Christian political force supports the party that cuts programs to feed the hungry and to lift up the downtrodden, while protecting the interests of the fabulously wealthy.

     

     

    life in the wild

    Bedazzled By Delight

    by | May 26, 2014
    Bedazzled By Delight

    The awful thud against the window in the sunroom made Jody jump up and rush outside where she found the small Downy Woodpecker on the deck. As she has done previously, she picked him up gently and held him in her warm hands as he shivered from the collision. At first we didn’t think he was going to make it, but he was able to move his head which told us our little dive bomber had not broken his neck. Living amidst the wooded hills of far eastern West Virginia with the Shenandoah Valley just over the ridge line of the Great North Mountain, we are daily observers of life in the wild.

     

     

    worldviews

    In Defense of Light and Magic

    by | May 24, 2014
    In Defense of Light and Magic

    Following an engineering degree and a stint in the Air Force, I taught high-school mathematics for three years, before eventually becoming a university mathematics professor. Why the change of direction, and why math? Nearly four decades after that sudden tack, a young woman came to my office requesting a letter of recommendation and answered these questions better than I could have. “Why do you want to teach math?” I asked…

     

     

    off season football

    Time and Bobby Freeman

    by | May 21, 2014
    Time and Bobby Freeman

    I haven’t exactly been an avid watcher of Super Bowls. But I did make it through some of this year’s, and thought I saw clearly one phase of football giving way to another. Maybe Denver just had a bad game, but those two teams play five times, I don’t like Denver’s chances in any of the five. Peyton Manning, in the right landscape, was a great quarterback. He hasn’t changed, but the landscape has: some new element has come into the game. The athleticism — the pace and nature of the game — have jumped to a higher level, college and pro. Football evolves like everything else.

     

     

    may 1864

    Fun Facts about Sherman on the 150th Anniversary of his invasion of Georgia

    by | May 21, 2014
    Fun Facts about Sherman on the 150th Anniversary of his invasion of Georgia

    Fact: Sherman’s middle name came from the Shawnee war chief Tecumseh.
    Fun Fact: Initially, Sherman’s mother named him after the Ottawa war chief Pontiac, but then realized it made her son sound too much like an automobile.

    Fact: Sherman was mentally ill shortly before the Civil War.
    Fun Fact: Sherman was depressed because he didn’t know what to do with his life. The firing on Fort Sumter fixed all that.

     

     

    gardener’s world

    Nurturing Tender Plants

    by | May 19, 2014
    Jake swinging on the tree

    My son has gone to England on an extended business trip. His two sons in Virginia keep in touch with him most days by Skype. Jake (8) has a tablet and Connor (11) an iPad. Jake has a 6th grade reading age. His brother Connor is similarly advanced. When we talk we never dumb down vocabulary, although I sometimes check their understanding.

    When his father was three, I was reading a book about Paddington Bear to him, his twin and his four year old brother. “ ‘And Paddington’s hat blew off and fell into the river. Paddington was upset because it was a family heirloom.’ Do you know what an heirloom is?” I asked, knowing they didn’t.

     

     

    stay open, forever

    Outfoxing The Gods

    by | May 18, 2014
    Outfoxing The Gods

    When I recently stumbled onto a scene complete with cap and gown at James Madison University with students practicing for their upcoming graduation ceremony, I thought them all so young and unprepared for the world they will now become more a part of. Despite my inner congratulation to them, I was also reminded of a story from Isaac Bashevis Singer about how the Jews in the Polish shtetls he wrote of rarely admitted good fortune. And if they did, they would quickly add “kinahora”–let the evil eye not see.

     

     

    our nature?

    Living and Dying With The Wild-Eyed Gods Of War

    by | May 11, 2014
    Living and Dying With The Wild-Eyed Gods Of War

    I recently got embroiled with a friend over the eternal question of why nations go to war and whether the drive to fight is so embedded in our nature that we cannot avoid war. He shrugged off the question, since he felt it was kind of a silly issue. Of course, mankind will always be at one’s throat for one reason or another. Been that way since cave man days and will go on throughout the future. This response seemed so cavalier to me, a cynic’s view of everyday news…

     

     

    times are a-changin'

    Have You Seen Dignity?

    by | May 8, 2014
    Have You Seen Dignity?

    Bob Dylan and The Band kicked off the show like a basketball team on a fast-break. Opening their concert at the Omni with “Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine),” Dylan was, in a sense, establishing his game plan for that evening in Atlanta, just as he had in other cities on his heralded comeback tour. Dylan and The Band had the ball in their court, so to speak.

     

     

    dreams

    Ropes of Sand

    by | May 4, 2014
    Ropes of Sand

    “We are such stuff
    As dreams are made on, and our little life
    Is rounded with a sleep.”–The Tempest

    In waking from my dreams, I try to think of what our Jungian instructor has told our class about ways to remember them and then to try to make sense of what we have gone through the previous eight hours or so. When I turn off the lights, I find myself anxiously looking forward to the host of characters, known and unknown, current and past, who will come a visiting and who will invariably entertain, hopefully illuminate, possibly frighten, but most of all baffle me.

     

     

    proper parenting

    A Heifer’s Lament

    by | Apr 29, 2014
    A Heifer's Lament

    They were carefully clipped. All the edges neatly cut and then crisply folded along the columns. In the top margin, in that compact, neat handwriting that everyone must have been taught in the 1930s, was written in ballpoint pen “for Nancy” or “Nancy read.” I still remember how my blood would boil whenever I saw those clippings and that script. In my younger days it was stories of caution, teenagers killed in wrecks, maimed beyond recognition or perhaps that teen sex quiz from the always infuriating, holier-than-thou, Ann Landers.

     

     

    churchill enjoyed the show

    Elvis Comes To The Wilcox Inn

    by | Apr 24, 2014
    Elvis Comes To The Wilcox Inn

    Early Easter morning on the running trail, 53 degrees and windy. It’s cool and damp from the previous day’s rain and dogwood petals, leaves to be truthful, fall like snow. Elvis Presley is on my mind. Running through falling dogwood flurries makes for an odd time to be thinking of Elvis but that’s what happens when you’ve just seen an Elvis impersonator. And it’s a strange time to be thinking of Winston Churchill too, unless you’ve just been to the Wilcox Inn in Aiken.

     

     

    only in america

    TV For Dogs

    by | Apr 23, 2014
    TV For Dogs

    Around the clock, Channel 354 on Dish TV is devoted to hour long programs for dogs. I stumbled upon this when flicking channels, wondering why plastic balloons were drifting across the screen to no apparent end. It was emptier in content than the billiards my Mother with dementia liked to watch for hours. I read the notes: Dog TV provides “Active Camera Moments, Exciting Animations and Moving Objects to encourage your dogs’ playfulness when home alone.” Further, “It’s relaxing time! Research shows that soothing music and relaxing images help your dog feel calm and relax.”

     

     

    indentured students

    Writing Off A Generation

    by | Apr 20, 2014
    Writing Off A Generation

    Politicians from both parties might perform public anguish about the student loan problem but it is painfully obvious that they just don’t get how serious it is. The most recent Congressional legislation tying interest rates on student loans to the several points beyond the interest rates on treasury notes might have looked like an important reform in Washington, where achieving anything bipartisan is hailed a great victory, but not to the 37 million young Americans who are on the hook for more than one trillion dollars in student loans that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. They owe an average of $29,000. In an economy that no longer produces enough decent jobs

     

     

    part one

    America by the Numbers

    by | Apr 15, 2014
    America by the Numbers

    “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” — Matthew 6:21.

    On April 4, 1967, exactly one year before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King, Jr. made public his opposition to the Vietnam War, articulated in his iconic “Beyond Vietnam” speech. Presented at Riverside Church in New York City, “Beyond Vietnam” was the most controversial speech King ever delivered. In it, he confronted head-on America’s “triple evils” — racism, economic injustice, and militarism — and called for “a radical revolution of values” to restore our nation’s integrity. Afterwards, many supporters, black and white, abandoned him…

     

     

    april 25, 26 & 27

    Much To Do During Annual Bear Festival

    by | Apr 14, 2014
    Much To Do During Annual Bear Festival

    The large crowds attending Dahlonega’s Bear on the Square Mountain Festival come each year to the Georgia Mountain foothills town expecting to be entertained by the better known activities, including the constant jamming by visiting and local musicians, the Friday night Auction, and the MainStage Tent musical performances and Artist Marketplace on Saturdays and Sundays.

    There are a large number of other less publicized activities during this festival, which will be taking place the fourth weekend of April around Dahlonega’s Historic Public Square.

     

     

    another beach tale

    Back in the day

    by | Mar 31, 2014
    Back in the day

    Between 8th and 9th Avenues North, between North Ocean Boulevard and the King’s Highway, there sits a big old empty lot, different from other empty lots only because of the zipline installed in its western end. A smaller, completely empty lot  sits across the street between North Ocean  Boulevard and the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, which is now made of boards, although for the entire time I knew it, the walk was dirty concrete except for a section in the Pavilion’s courtyard. Didn’t matter to me. I was a hip, cool kid at the age of 3 and even later, when I was a gawky teenager who knew little beyond what I’d learned in books and that the beach was a great vacation spot.

     

     

    can't teach character

    UGA athletics needs “due diligence” in recruiting players

    by | Mar 31, 2014
    UGA athletics needs "due diligence" in recruiting players

    Ever hear of “due diligence?” That’s a term often seen in business stories, particularly when public accountants are working at checking the financial background of companies who might want to buy or sell to one another.

    Some people at the University of Georgia apparently don’t understand or use the term “due diligence,” especially when it comes to recruiting football players.

     

     

    do so with caution

    Ravenous? Sick? Eat Some Good Georgia Dirt

    by | Mar 30, 2014
    Ravenous? Sick? Eat Some Good Georgia Dirt

    Once again a memory from my boyhood days working at Clifford Goolsby’s store digs its way to the surface. That store was a portal to a sometimes-strange world, and one of the stranger things I heard came out of the mouth of Bill Goolsby, a true character. Bill ran the register at Mr. Clifford’s. He was a good-humored fellow and a prankster who soldered a quarter to a nail and drove it into the wooden floor near the register. How many laughs …

     

     

    winter without end

    A Place Of Greater Safety

    by | Mar 30, 2014
    A Place Of Greater Safety

    “Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the door of the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for better things now. We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write any more.”

    So reads the last entry in the diary of Captain Robert Falcon Scott. It’s dated 29 March 1912 as he and three companions have made a valiant but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to return safely from the South Pole. His team had gotten to the Pole in January only to discover that the Norwegian Roald Amundsen had gotten there first a month earlier.

     

     

    guns and domestic violence

    Preventing Crime: U.S. v. Castleman

    by | Mar 29, 2014
    Preventing Crime: U.S. v. Castleman

    I’ve argued for some time that, if we are serious about preventing serious crime, then we address behavior at an early stage — i.e. when it’s just abusive and not the cause of serious injury. Now the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, has agreed that a proved abuser of another’s rights can be properly deprived of the right to own a tool, whose sole purpose is to perpetrate an assault from a distance. Mr. Castleman of Tennessee is prohibited from owning a gun because over a decade ago he was convicted of having abused a spouse.

     

     

  • Worthy of Comment



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    Not Our Finest Hour: Why Is Liberal America Falling So Far Short?

    By: Andy Schmookler

    Summary: We in Liberal America are now embattled. America has been in kindred battles before, and on those occasions to which we look to see our finest American ideals expressed and embodied, great American leaders have shown the way: "See the evil. Call it out. Press the battle." But in this crisis, in this battle, Liberal America is falling far short of our nation's finest ideals. Why is that? The American electorate is probably about to give more power to a party of traitors. This statement, though shocking, can be verified by these steps (many of which are substantiated here): The Republican Party ("the   Read on →

    Silly And Even Sillier Love Songs

    Silly And Even Sillier Love Songs

    By: Jeff Cochran

    Author's Note: Fall is here as are a slew of remastered and reissued CDs, some in expanded editions. On September 23, "The Apple Years" by George Harrison, a box set containing 6 CDs and 1 DVD hit the stores. Harrison's old buddy, Bob Dylan, will have Volume 11 of his "Bootleg Series," "The Basement Tapes Complete," released on November 4, the same day remastered and expanded editions of Paul McCartney's "Venus and Mars" and "Wings at the Speed of Sound" are made available. We expect great revelations on the Dylan package, but from McCartney, probably not. Still, reassessing even the  Read on →

    Cotton Ain’t Been King For A Long Time, And, Now Neither Is Oil

    Cotton Ain't Been King For A Long Time, And, Now Neither Is Oil

    By: Jim Cobb

    It’s fair to say that the South and Scotland go back a ways. For example, the cult of the “Lost Cause” that sprang up in the aftermath of the South’s failed fight for independence had something of an antecedent in the fabled “lost cause” of the Scottish Jacobites whose four-decade struggle to restore to the Stuart monarchy of Scotland to its rightful seat on the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland was heartily romanticized in the novels of Sir Walter Scott. Scott’s glorification of the swashbuckling supporters of the Stuart restoration was so popular with the southern upper classes in the antebellu  Read on →