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Thursday, September 3, 2015
Southern Weather Radar


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    environmental paul revere

    Lester Brown and The Great Transition

    by | Jun 17, 2015
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory

    “You just can’t burn in one night, a million years of buried sunlight, and think you got it all for free.” — from lyrics of Long Has the Earth by Doug Hendren

    Discouraged by the demise of democracy and the rise of oligarchy? Incensed that our “leaders” don’t lead and won’t even follow the will of the vast majority, so beholden are they to the 1%? Demoralized that, as the earth’s climate spins out of control, Americans pretend to debate science that’s been settled for two decades?=

     

     

    avatar of the silly people

    Mind Games

    by | Jun 10, 2015
    Mind Games

    You’ve noticed it, right? The triumvirate? The Big Three? Come on, try to name one. Yep, you got it: the impossibly adorable golden retriever. Another one? Right again: the acoustic guitar leaning against the wall. Third . . . easiest of all: a yoga class in the background. What do they add up to? Sales. Today’s mad men (and women) have identified these three cultural markers as bankable touchstones of the contemporary zeitgeist, as images of health and happiness that can be counted on to reverberate pleasantly in the shared subconscious of a key demographic — that is, people with money. Trying to sell financial security? Pain-relieving drugs? A new line of active-wear? Throw this shit at ‘em.

     

     

    students

    Doug’s Mass in Times of War

    by | Jun 4, 2015
    Doug's Mass in Times of War

    Rome, Georgia. Summer 1960

    In the summer after my first year of teaching, the headmaster summoned me to his office.

    “Louie,” he said, “a parent has complained about the list of six books you require returning juniors to read. He says he knows his son will learn to curse soon enough, but he resents paying good money to have you require him to read cursing.”

     

     

    it's getting worse

    Discarding the Elderly

    by | Jun 4, 2015
    Discarding the Elderly

    Elder abuse is defined as “harmful acts toward an elderly adult, such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect.” Financial exploitation comes from the banking industry; neglect emanates from the halls of Congress; and emotions are stirred through the stories of impoverished seniors:

    From Laurel, Maryland: I am over 60, and I was pushed out of my job because of my age. My rent, car note, and electricity are all two months behind. I can barely get food. Utilities will be cut off soon.

     

     

    carrie had it

    The Anger Gene

    by | Jun 3, 2015
    Shout by Krista Baltroka via Flickr and used under a Creative Commons license.

    A pack of snarling wolves, a jaw snapping pit bull, a charging bull, a fiercely pecking hissing goose; I have felt like all of the above at one time or another. My dad was the carrier. Perhaps not patient zero but he is as far back as I have personally witnessed. If you were born with the anger gene you know it. You have felt the rage take over. It washes over you like an ocean wave that is hot and blinding.  It also reaches inside your head, replacing all rational thought with pure blind rage and the need to inflict serious pain. Those in your inner circle quickly learn to recognize when anger takes control. They back away, fervently battling conflicting feelings. First, hoping they are not the target; second, pity for the actual target; third, a guilt inducing joy upon discovering themselves not to be the target this time.

     

     

    checkpoint alpha

    Narrow Corridor to Freedom

    by | Jun 1, 2015
    Narrow Corridor to Freedom

    It was 10:30 am when the old Volkswagen Kombi van arrived at Helmstedt to join a long line of trucks waiting to enter the land corridor to West Berlin. The van had come from near Hannover that morning with a large tent, cooking gear and baggage on the roof, and seven young people inside. The German export license plates and bright reflective tape on the front and back indicated the travelers were not German. As the line of trucks moved slowly towards the Grenzübergang Helmstedt-Marienborn (named Checkpoint Alpha by the Allies) everyone in the van was quiet. They did not have papers to enter East Germany but had been advised to tell the border guards they were visiting British military family in West Berlin…

     

     

    holiday shopaholicalism

    Consumption: The Behaviorist’s Perspective

    by | May 29, 2015
    Consumption: The Behaviorist's Perspective

    Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day. These cherished holidays give us a chance to renew vows of love, to celebrate Christ’s resurrection (or, for us pagans, the return of spring), to honor our mothers, to show a little gratitude for our brothers and sisters in the armed forces. Mostly, though, these holidays give us a chance to spend money. I try to resist the impulse to blather on about consumption — about the insatiable beast into whose maw we pour all of our…

     

     

    call for revolution

    Pope Francis’ Integral Ecology

    by | May 28, 2015
    Pope Francis' Integral Ecology

    “The age of nations is past. The task before us now, if we would not perish, is to build the earth.” — Teilhard de Chardin

    There’s a new term being bandied about, and it’s high time we paid heed: integral ecology. Whenever the same notion arises synchronously in a number of different contexts — in this case the Catholic Church, the Occupy movement, the climate movement, and the new-economy movement — it’s an idea whose time has arrived.

     

     

    southern eatin'

    Blue Ridge has what TripAdvisor calls best barbecue in nation

    by | May 28, 2015
    Blue Ridge has what TripAdvisor calls best barbecue in nation

    Word got out last week that the best barbecue in the nation, says TripAdvisor, is at Joe’s BBQ in Blue Ridge, Ga. Ironically, TripAdvisor said the second best place for barbecue was at another Joe’s Barbecue, this one was in Kansas City, Kan. The two eateries are not related.

    Since we were in the Georgia mountains, why not try out the Blue Ridge place? So we arrived at 11:45 a.m., saw this relatively small restaurant on East First Street, and found there were 33 people in line ahead of us.

     

     

    out to pasture

    Jumped Too Soon?

    by | May 27, 2015
    Jumped Too Soon?

    You couldn’t wait to retire. Could. Not. Wait.

    In the run-up to retirement, you took stock any number of times. Don’t misunderstand, you told your inner-self for a zillionth time, you enjoyed your career. You did. (Well, mostly you did.) You’d survived every economic downturn since the Nixon Administration (there were six of those suckers), two Middle East oil crises (gas lines stretched to the horizon), more company budget cuts than one cared to count, four company down-sizings…

     

     

    back in the day

    A Little Place in Brooklyn

    by | May 22, 2015
    A Little Place in Brooklyn

    Brooklyn was an independent city until 1898 when it was consolidated with New York City but it retained its distinct culture and architecture from the early settlers. Its motto was In Unity There is Strength and sixty-two years later the 2.6 million people in Brooklyn still thought of it as an independent city. They didn’t like the people who lived in Manhattan.

    In 1959 I shared a one bedroom apartment on Nostrand Avenue, East Flatbush near the corner of Winthrop Street, one block from Kings County Hospital and a ten minute walk from the abandoned Ebbets Field.

     

     

    national flood insurance

    Rewarding Poor Planning

    by | May 21, 2015
    Rewarding Poor Planning

    It has been hard to get timely, accurate information. In the early years of the 21st century, some group was tracking the transfer of dollars from the federal treasury to the states, which generally showed that the majority payments were in the form of various types of insurance subsidies: mortgage insurance, housing insurance, health insurance, flood insurance, crop insurance and higher education loans.

    The data collection stopped, perhaps because of objections from the insurance industries at having their transfer function exposed. Or maybe all of my computer crashes and software switches are the reason I no longer can find the information.

     

     

    the here and now

    The Past Is Never Past

    by | May 19, 2015
    The Past Is Never Past

    “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” William Faulkner had a big-time influence on me as an adolescent as did my father who never met a funeral he didn’t like, especially if it took him back to the hill country of Appalachian Ohio where he had been raised. Even now I remember as a boy following a group of men carrying the casket of a man my father had known when he was a boy. The memory is still clear of them slipping and sliding along the dry creek bed en route to a spot in the woods…

     

     

    the 1960s

    Reflections on The Age of Youth

    by | May 18, 2015
    Reflections on The Age of Youth

    New York City was cold and uninviting when the Greyhound bus arrived late in the afternoon. It was two days before Easter and light snow had fallen leaving the streets wet and slippery. On Sunday, the Easter Parade down Fifth Avenue attracted a huge crowd and at night Times Square was alive with flashing neon signs and people celebrating. It was my first visit to the “Island of Many Hills” (Manhattan) and I had a lot to see. I rode the Circle Island cruise boat, took the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building, climbed the stairs into the crown of the Statue of Liberty and watched the ice skaters at Rockefeller Center. That was just the first day…

     

     

    bb king

    The Thrill is Gone

    by | May 15, 2015
    BB King

    When my cellphone rings, the opening notes of The Thrill is Gone signal me. I will have to consider changing that now. The author and singer of that song has moved on to Rock and Roll Heaven. B. B. King died in his sleep Thursday after nearly a year in hospice. I can’t imagine anyone was surprised; death happens to us all and this one has been imminent for quite some time. But hearing him tell me the thrill is indeed gone might be more than I want to hear every time my phone rings.

     

     

    judicious liberality

    “Indulging Generosity”

    by | May 15, 2015
    "Indulging Generosity"

    It’s a phrase that just popped into my head out of the ether the other day. And, sure enough, Google has a handy reference in a book by a Scottish minister, David Gilkison Watt, who died in London in 1897, after having visited both India and St. Petersburg, Florida. Watt was a missionary, so it’s perhaps not surprising that in his writing he promoted the wisdom he found in the Book of Ezekiel — i.e. long before his time. I don’t know if his “Homiletic Commentary on the Book of Ezekiel” was timely when he wrote it, but it sure seems timely now.

     

     

    it's smarta

    Gwinnett must act now to have traffic relief … by 2025

    by | May 12, 2015
    Gwinnett County Traffic photo by Valerie via Flickr

    There’s always a big time gap between conception of an idea and its completion. That’s true in social interactions in getting people to agree, in marketing of a new product, and certainly in construction projects. An old idea is getting more attention in Gwinnett, Ga. More people are recognizing the need for the county to have a modern transit system, that is, to include some sort of rail system, whether it be light rail, perhaps street cars, or heavy rail, either connecting to the MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) system, or even an extension of MARTA itself.

     

     

    the other deep south

    All for a Jar of Tobacco

    by | May 12, 2015
    All for a Jar of Tobacco

    The European settlement of Australia began as a penal colony and about 162,000 convicts were shipped there between 1788 and 1870, most of them in the first 60 years. From 1831 to 1840, the free settler arrivals outnumbered convict arrivals and by 1850 there were 156,000 convicts in Australia and 187,000 free settlers. The largest number of free settlers (587,000) arrived in the 1851-1860 period, attracted by the Victorian gold rush.

     

     

    home remedies

    The Last Cold Warrior

    by | May 10, 2015
    Sick man lying in bed suffering cold by Marcos Calvo Mesa and licensed by LikeTheDew.com at 123rf.com

    My current inconvenient and woeful truth is I’ve got the mother of all colds. This misery has all my senses confused and discombobulated …and there’s no relief in sight—at least none that’s not days away. It is times like this that my ‘inner-small boy’ wishes Aunt Lula was still around…

    Lula wasn’t my real aunt. You certainly couldn’t find her name anywhere on the official family tree, the one Mom kept folded up in the family Bible. In Mom’s heart though, Aunt Lula was as official as any blood-relation; they had been best friends since they were toddlers…

     

     

    college safety

    Tragic Accident Near Savannah Raises Questions of Student Travel

    by | May 10, 2015
    Accident on the Highway photo by Judy Baxter via Flickr and used a creative commons license

    The tragic vehicular pile-up on Interstate 16 near Savannah where five Georgia Southern University nursing students were killed has shocked our state, and has caused concern on the national stage. It may even lead to new legislation regulating heavy transport rigs to push safer highways.

    The nursing students were driving from college in Statesboro to Savannah (roughly 55 miles) to continue their clinical “rotational” training in order to become nurses…

     

     

    great sucking sound

    A Multinational Trojan Horse: The Trans-Pacific Partnership

    by | May 7, 2015
    The Procession of the Trojan Horse into Troy about 1760 by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo via Wikipedia.org (public domain) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_Horse

    “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, … may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” – James Madison in The Federalist Papers.

    You don’t have to know much about the “trade” deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to be more than a little suspicious. First, there are the very peculiar bedfellows. Supporting the TPP are President Obama and most Congressional Republicans, the same Republicans who’ve vehemently opposed his every initiative for the past six and one-half years.

     

     

    the case for god

    Turning The Pages

    by | May 4, 2015
    Turning The Pages

    Religious “faith” is not an idea I subscribe to. I was asked recently if I would describe myself as an atheist. My response was no, but not in the sense that we usually think of the word. Like the former nun and author Karen Armstrong, I am also conscious of the mystery that is life and that there are many questions beyond my comprehension. I am grateful for being alive and for being able to add my own little contribution toward making this a better world for all of us. But I don’t feel any need to wrap myself up in any organized religion or wind my way on any particular day of the week to a church to “worship.”

     

     

    hard life

    The ship was no Lady

    by | May 3, 2015
    Lady Juliana under tow, 1782

    The Lady Juliana was built in the Thames River, London. She was a fine looking three-masted barque of about 400 tons, 110 feet long, 30 feet beam and two decks. It is believed she was the first British ship captured by American privateers in May 1776, near Cuba, on a passage from Jamaica to London. While en-route to Rhode Island the captive Lady Juliana was re-taken by a British man-of-war and conveyed to England where she resumed her role running to and from the Caribbean…

     

     

    oakland spring

    “They came to bury us, not knowing we were seeds.”

    by | May 3, 2015
    "They came to bury us, not knowing we were seeds."

    Occupy lives from coast to coast. It’s just no longer news. In Oakland, the images of martyred young men are “planted” along with real flowers and trees to start a garden of hope. That’s the Oakland Spring.

    Three years ago.

     

     

    lake city’s gift

    From Farm Fields To ArtFields

    by | Apr 30, 2015
    From Farm Fields To ArtFields

    Writer’s Journal, Tuesday, April 28 — The mission? Check out a town transforming itself. The destination? Lake City, a town first known as Graham’s Crossroads. To get there, I take a back road as soon and as far as I can, Highway 521. Therein lies a tale of men and soil and transition and transformation.

    Once upon a time, many a cigarette shot out of the earth here. And then a shadow fell over this land that grew bright leaf…

     

     

    100 years ago

    Shoebox of Memories

    by | Apr 24, 2015
    Ashley Royden Peacock: 1973

    April 25 was the one-day of the year Ashley met up with his old army buddies. He left early in the morning to march down the main street of the town and then visit the Returned Servicemen’s Club. It was a long day, the only day of the year he drank alcohol because his stomach had been ulcerated by chlorine and mustard gas a long time before. At the end of the day he would be violently ill but said it was worth the agony and the inevitable lecture from his wife. He stopped at our house on his way home, not feeling good…

     

     

    a lot of stuff

    Now You Know

    by | Apr 22, 2015
    mosquito exploads

    Write what you know. Has anyone ever given you that advice? I have spent some time thinking this over and wondering, just what did Madeleine L’Engle know about time travel? And what in the world provoked Ray Bradbury and that creepy carousel? So heck with the old chestnut “write what you know.” Today I am writing about what I don’t know.

    I don’t know why people take to the couch or bed. Call me insensitive but no matter how down in the black books I get, a quick walk or a punishing hike seems to straighten my world out. Get off your ass and do something would be my advice. Not that anyone is asking.

     

     

  • Worthy of Comment



  • Also on the Dew

    On the Brunswick, Georgia Waterfront with the Incredible Brothers Koch

    On the Brunswick, Georgia Waterfront with the Incredible Brothers Koch

    By: Monica Smith

    About a quarter century ago, when Hercules Specialty Resins was still spewing its sulfurous emissions across the marshes of Glynn to be dissipated by mingling with the off-shore breezes, local wags dubbed the odiferous environment “the smell of money.” They may have been more right than they thought. For, within a decade, all profits had apparently gone up the chimney, even as every rain storm deposited more toxins to poison the marsh. That profitable enterprise depends to a large extent on avoiding waste is a lesson the new owners of Pinova seem to appreciate. On the other side of town, the  Read on →

    Reason

    Reason

    By: Robert Lamb

    I think of myself as a realist. A diehard realist. I believe I am truly a child of the Age of Reason. But can reason explain all things, unlock all mysteries? Don’t think so. My Uncle Lehman, for instance, my Aunt Mary Grace’s husband, could talk warts off. As I write this, I can see you shaking your skeptical head. Well, I didn’t believe it, either. Nor did Meredith, my first wife, who once was his “patient.” But he did it anyhow, and it couldn’t be called faith healing, for the subject’s disbelief was no deterrent to the cure. You ready for this? We go by their house one night in   Read on →

    Off to My Freshman Year in College, 1954 — One of Several Queer Epiphanies

    Off to My Freshman Year in College, 1954 — One of Several Queer Epiphanies

    By: Louie Crew Clay

    At age 5 I told anyone who asked, and lots who didn't, "I want to be a doctor in the daytime and a preacher at night." Likely that was connected to the two people outside my family whom I most admired, our doctor who lived in the big house on the corner of our block, and our preacher who lived in the big house on the corner of the next block over. The preacher and my dad were classmates at college and in the vacant lots behind our house and in front of his they planted a Victory Garden together --  Read on →

    Stories Grandpa Didn’t Tell Me

    Stories Grandpa Didn’t Tell Me

    By: Ken Peacock

    Grandpa was not a storyteller. It was only later, when Grandma wasn’t around, that he told me a few stories about his life and parents. He never talked about the hard times during the Great Depression, but he said enough to encourage me in later life to research his family history. When he died all of Grandma’s and Grandpa’s personal things, letters and photographs were given to my older cousin because she was the only granddaughter. By the time I became interested in our family history everything had been thrown away except some old photographs. I started the long and frust  Read on →