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Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Southern Weather Radar


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    letter to the editor

    LTE as Art Form

    by | Sep 20, 2014
    LTE as Art Form

    Over the years of my political seething I have cooled myself off some by exercising an art form, the letter to the editor (LTE). I even got one in the New York Times once. Mostly though they go to Atlanta’s daily or weekly rags, or when I’m visiting Michigan, their daily. Sometimes I might browse a monthly magazine, a business-oriented one recently. They did an interview with Georgia Power’s new president and I couldn’t let him get away with his greenwashing, not when they’re engaged in a huge con, bilking the ratepayers, ignoring clean alternatives like wind and solar and building dangerous nuclear reactors.

     

     

    equal protection

    Angry White Men on the Right

    by | Sep 19, 2014
    Angry White Men on the Right

    A friend of mine, who is liberal, told me recently, “Having grown up in the South in the 1950s, I know something about how it feels to be part of a group you’re told is superior. It feels really good. It’s a feeling that shouldn’t be under-estimated.”

    That got me thinking about the anger of many white men, and why they’ve lent the force of that anger to the political right.

     

     

    come the election

    It’s About the Climate, Stupid

    by | Sep 17, 2014
    The lobster boat “Henry David T” action at the Brayton Point Power Plant

    Readers of my articles on LikeTheDew will know that I’m not an advocate of defying the law, but I’m about to encourage this where necessary. Often focused on the joys of my grandchildren, this time I’m focused on yours too. I’m talking about Climate Change and our need to DO something about it.

    I was heartened to read about two activists who set an example in May 2013, protesting about the burning of coal in an attention-seeking move…

     

     

    spill your guts

    The Nut Magnet

    by | Sep 16, 2014
    The Nut Magnet

    I have a built in magnet. It works to attract people that I otherwise might not meet. My magnet can be depended upon to pull near to me the craziest, neediest, saddest, and loneliest people in proximity. Tales of woe, distress, illness, sabotage, conspiracy, and government plots all have been the subject of unprovoked sharing. Likewise I hear about triumph over adversity, evil corporations, and politicians. They approach in grocery aisles, department stores, ladies rooms, parking lots, and today in a crosswalk. What is it about me that says “Spill your guts, I can take it?”

     

     

    dreaming

    Holdin’ Your Mouth Right

    by | Sep 15, 2014
    Holdin' Your Mouth Right

    If you ask me what makes the world spin around, I’ll tell you it ain’t love or money or even oil from the Middle East. I swear to God, it’s irony — sheer good old-fashioned, unadulterated irony. Sometimes I get the impression the thing has jumped on my back, attached itself like a leech and hung on like the hot Georgia sun in the Dog Days of summer. Irony seems to stalk me wherever I go. Of course, I’m getting a little ahead of myself… Man, I wish I could take credit for that look on her face! I’d like to say it was because of something I’d said that was righteously clever. I can’t though. But, I swear, the look on her was all quirky and bizarre and priceless at the same time…

     

     

    part 2

    The Republicans’ Extraordinary Pattern of Destructiveness

    by | Sep 15, 2014
    The Republicans' Extraordinary Pattern of Destructiveness

    In the conduct of today’s Republican Party, we can see a pattern of destructiveness. It displays an insatiable lust for power and wealth, an impulse to prey upon the vulnerable, a preference for conflict over cooperation, a persistent dishonesty, and a willingness to sacrifice the greater good for selfish advantage. Putting the pieces together, we see that our national crisis is not just at the political level, but goes deeper to the moral and spiritual levels.

    I have a message and a plan to help turn back this force. To succeed, it will need the help of many.

     

     

    the mighty chestnut

    Look Homeward, Angel

    by | Sep 15, 2014
    Look Homeward, Angel

    The mass killers came as stowaways aboard ships about the time the Kitty Hawk first took to flight along a North Carolina beach. Although these assassins were merciless, they probably did not even know themselves the great destruction they were to bring.

    Thus began the near complete killing of all the American Chestnuts in this country. The pathogens that had probably slipped into the country on infected nursery stock consumed relatively little time in destroying the forests of American Chestnuts ranging from Maine to the southern Appalachians. It took fewer than forty years.

     

     

    sea pines, ga

    Stasis in the Dynamic Dunes

    by | Sep 11, 2014
    Aerial photo of Sea Island dunes by James Holland, our Altamaha Riverkeeper

    What’s a dynamic dune? It’s a reference that was changed to just “dunes” in the law, perhaps because it left too many people confused. Or perhaps the idea that dunes change and move was upsetting to people who want their environment to stay the same.

    In any event, it’s hard to deny that the purveyors of entertainment on Sea Island, Georgia, are bound and determined to “fix” their venue, even though it means breaking the law to do so. Pictures don’t lie.

     

     

    perception v. reality 1

    Explaining White Privilege to People, Especially Some People of Color

    by | Sep 9, 2014
    Explaining White Privilege to People, Especially Some People of Color

    I came across this blog written by Gina Crosley-Corcaran titled “Explaining White privilege to a Broke White People.” Well, after hearing a few African Americans who have succeeded say that racism and “white privilege” does exist and did not block their ability to achieve, I thought I would review Peggy McIntosh’s “White privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” and share a few thoughts and questions about “white privilege.” These are paraphrased from what was asked by Gina Crosley-Carcaran in her article.

     

     

    part 1

    Many Liberals Don’t Like the Idea of Battle, But the Alternative in America Today is Much Worse

    by | Sep 9, 2014
    Many Liberals Don't Like the Idea of Battle, But the Alternative in America Today is Much Worse

    In America right now there’s a battle that needs to be fought and won in our political arena. It’s a battle over what kind of country, and what kind of planet, our children and grandchildren will live in. Although some people like waging battle — some even insist on it — most liberals I’ve known are capable of living richer, more balanced and fulfilling lives. Most of us liberals would rather lead those better lives than focus on political combat. But over the past decade or two, while we’ve been living our fuller, more rounded lives, we…

     

     

    locking in love

    The Crushing Weight Of Love

    by | Sep 4, 2014
    The Crushing Weight Of Love

    About five years ago a lovely phenomenon took hold in Europe. Couples wrote, etched, painted, and scratched their names onto padlocks and latched them to fences and railings on bridges. They hurled the keys into the river, canal, what have you. “Nothing can break our love.” In particular, the Pont des Arts footbridge over the Seine in Paris gained renown for this ritual. Only an intrepid scuba diver or bolt-cutting interloper could destroy their love, and that would take some doing. Just imagine all the keys resting on the bottom.

     

     

    the michael brown killing

    The Value of A Human Life Revisted

    by | Sep 4, 2014
    The Value of A Human Life Revisted

    Over the past few days since the shooting of Michael Brown the discussions on the various cable channels have been quite interesting. It truly illustrated that your perception of the shooting all comes from your point of view. If you are conservative, whether black or white, you find every reason you can point to Michael Brown’s past and actions on that day to justify the officer’s shooting of that young man six times. You strive for every fact to prove your point that the shooting was justified. If you are liberal, you are doing the same thing except it is too valid the outrage over the shooting.

     

     

    capitalism at work

    New suburban cities raiding county police for officers

    by | Sep 3, 2014
    New suburban cities raiding county police for officers

    The birthing of several new suburban towns around Atlanta has had an impact on Gwinnett, something you might call an “unintended consequence.” One of these has been the hiring by these new towns of members of the Gwinnett County police force, taking officers trained by the Gwinnett Police Academy to fill the ranks of the newly-formed police departments. Other areas big enough to have their own police academies, Atlanta, DeKalb, and Cobb counties have also been targeted as place to hire fully-trained officers.

     

     

    reading

    Forever Young, Forever Scarred

    by | Sep 2, 2014
    Forever Young, Forever Scarred

    May you always do for others
    And let others do for you.

    Words of advice, if not instruction, for the years and decades ahead, from Bob Dylan in “Forever Young,” a song he wrote in 1973 and recorded twice for the next year’s album, Planet Waves . The first version is slow and reverential, underscoring the serious nature of his father-to-son advise, while the second is uptempo and snappy, bringing enthusiasm to the same words on what awaits in life. Dylan, with energized backing from The Band, makes the directive, “May you grow up to be righteous” sound exhilarating.

     

     

    behaving like christians

    Grace Behind the Cotton Curtain

    by | Aug 31, 2014
    Image of two young men with palms together licensed by LikeTheDew.com at Fotolia.com - © xixinxing

    When I met Ernest, we courted for five months, and after we married, on February 2, 1974, in Fort Valley, GA. That was 40 years ago.   I wrote my parents in Anniston, AL.  They replied with the hardest letter that I have ever received. They knew I was gay. That was not their problem. Ernest’s being black was the hard part for them. In their letter they wished us all happiness but asked me not to bring Ernest home with me.

     

     

    happy birthday to me

    Never Look Back

    by | Aug 31, 2014
    Never Look Back

    “Old Age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.” –Fred Astaire

    It’s finally happened to me… I’m now the Biblical threescore and ten years old. I went to bed after a great meal, wonderful evening with my ever-loving wife Jody, some funny conversation, a little mystery on the telly and woke up… well, I didn’t feel any different.

     

     

    travel

    Fly Up, Drive Back: a New York City/Atlanta Driveby

    by | Aug 30, 2014
    Fly Up, Drive Back: a New York City/Atlanta Driveby

    Monday, Day One: newly merged Southwest Air/Air Tran offered the best price, $144 one way Atlanta/New York City. The sore butt that kicked in about halfway, and lingered, suggests one of the reasons – but the thrifty, I’ve learned, endure the affordable. The relief of wheels thumping good ol’ runway quickly faded, replaced by the stress of navigating around outside my current comfort zone. Once the new terrain becomes familiar, the zone expands and that’s when the fun starts.

     

     

    complete twaddle

    McCain and Graham’s Salami Strategy

    by | Aug 30, 2014
    Lindsay and John

    That hawkish Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have once again blasted President Barack Obama for an insufficiently bellicose foreign policy barely qualifies as news. Of course they did. That is what they do. The scorpion always stings the frog halfway across the stream. What is worth noting is the rationale offered they present for a much riskier American foreign policy.

     

     

    shady spots

    So Long as I Am There, I Am Somewhere: Being Dead in the Appalachian Wilderness

    by | Aug 29, 2014
    So Long as I Am There, I Am Somewhere: Being Dead in the Appalachian Wilderness

    Above my family homestead in the East Tennessee foothills is an old, abandoned cemetery.  I admit I’ve never seen it, but I think about it often.  I imagine the worn stone markers neck deep in leaves in the fall or peeking out of the winter snow like early hyacinths.   In my imagination, I never bothered to name these people, much less engage in meaningful character development.  I don’t know them in any sense of the word; I just know that they are up there, tucked deeply in an earthy hollow waiting for whatever comes next.

     

     

    fanciful thoughts

    Barefoot In Time

    by | Aug 28, 2014
    Barefoot In Time

    She somewhat resembled the retired but not really old men who can’t wait to don their big blue hats and disappear into the basement for long periods to “work on” their elaborate model train sets. Like them, she could easily slip into a fantasy world where objects of interest were always smaller and at times had to be willed to be seen. She could spend hours gathering moss and twigs to build fairy houses and would then sit quietly nearby waiting for occupants. Little did she suspect that if you make them, they don’t necessarily come. And she was nearing forty.

     

     

    superfriend

    Hollywood’s Effect

    by | Aug 27, 2014
    'Charles Allen Lattimore, Sr.

    Hollywood died last week. No, not that Hollywood, not that Hollywood of a lesser kind–that Hollywood out in La La Land. Rather, it was the real Hollywood, the iconic cherub-cheeked, perpetually smiling man, who cut hair and worked magic over at Murden’s Barber Shop in southwest Atlanta, Ga for almost forty years. Even for some of the legions who know him, ‘Charles Allen Lattimore, Sr.’ could be the answer to a trivia question on TV’s Jeopardy quiz show: ‘What is Hollywood’s real name?’

     

     

    music memory

    The Hour Glass

    by | Aug 27, 2014
    The Hour Glass

    The project involved dropping a few yards of crush and run into the holes in our driveway and using rakes, shovels and old peoples’ sweat to spread it smooth. The final step was cranking my ancient Highlander and slowly packing the gravel. I rolled the windows down and energized the newly installed Alpine replacement radio. I am now using advanced technology and had filled a thumb drive with stuff from my youth. Up and down the driveway I slowly drove, trying to hit each spot of spread gravel. By random serendipity, the first tune was by an old group called the Hour Glass formed long ago by two brothers.

     

     

    de facto heresy

    When Faith and Facts Collide

    by | Aug 25, 2014
    When Faith and Facts Collide

    “… if you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in man-made global warming … You must be either agnostic or atheistic to believe than man controls something he can’t create.” Rush Limbaugh

    Conflict between faith and science is as old as science itself. In 1543, Copernicus’s great work, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, laid the groundwork for a new model of the cosmos, with the sun, rather than the Earth, at its center…

     

     

    handmaiden of segregation

    Ferguson and Sea Island, two sides of the same coin

    by | Aug 21, 2014
    Peace Officer - Caricature by DonkeyHotey via his Flickr photo stream and used under Creative Commons license. https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/14924476621/in/photolist-

    Why do we care what happens in Ferguson, Missouri? Because on some level we recognize that if any one group or community can be officially deprived of their human and civil rights without restraint, then it can happen to any other group or neighborhood. Sea Island, Georgia is proof. Sea Island, Georgia has been turned into an exclusive neighborhood. Random visitors are turned away at a guarded gate and even residents driving off the island must pause and wait for the barricade to rise and let their vehicle pass unscratched.

     

     

    increasingly cynical prism

    All The Light We Cannot See

    by | Aug 20, 2014
    All The Light We Cannot See

    At this time in my life I am beginning to view so much of what is happening around me through an increasingly cynical prism. As a friend is quick to point out, though, that behind every committed cynic there is a disappointed idealist wondering what happened to a world that once seemed so good and full of possibilities.

    I blame Shakespeare for part of my mental dyspepsia. It all began back in university when a supercilious professor dressed down a fellow student for misspelling the bard’s name. Now after reading Bill Bryson’s book Shakespeare: The World As Stage

     

     

    winston churchill

    Learning about extent of World War II battlegrounds

    by | Aug 18, 2014
    Learning about extent of World War II battlegrounds

    For today, a different perspective, learning from history. Reading Winston Churchill’s massive six-book history of World War II gives new insights into that war, at least for me. For instance, it appears that my main interest was the fight against the Germans, by the English, Russian, French and Allied forces. Perhaps others had more interest in the war in the Pacific Theatre. Even I, as one alive during World War II, remember the massive fighting emanating out of the Philippines, in the Coral Sea area, Okinawa and Iwo Jima,…

     

     

    visitors

    Cucumbers And Calipers

    by | Aug 18, 2014
    The Ancient of Days by William Blake - from Whitworth Art Gallery The University of Manchester UK The Bridgeman Art Library via Wikimedia.org (public domain)

    In his poem The Cabbages of Chekhov, Robert Bly had me again when he wrote that,

    “William Blake knew that fierce old man,
    irritable, chained, and majestic, who bends over
    to measure with his calipers the ruins of the world.”

    Despite such a fierce image in his poem, Bly has that way about him where he can rescue you in the end from all the bad news that comes tracked in on the dog’s paws.

     

     

  • Worthy of Comment



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    One Human Instinct - Always in Our Service

    By: Will Nelson

    Some are born lucky. Others are born rich or marry into money. Still others create endless streams of opportunity. And perhaps when we can’t answer yes to the aforementioned, we can easily feel entitled. But in other ways, the playing field remains level. Certain attributes of the human condition we have control over, starting with the meaning we assign to the events of our life. And yes, positive events lead us to assign more pleasant meanings. There is enormous manipulation, pursued in the name of profit, to get us thinking about our bodies with a “cattle mentality.” Once we buy into what we “s  Read on →

    The Force Is Not With Us: We Identify with Our Fantasy Heroes — Why Don’t We Emulate Them?

    The Force Is Not With Us: We Identify with Our Fantasy Heroes -- Why Don't We Emulate Them?

    By: Andy Schmookler

    Summary: We all know how to respond to evil. Again and again, our popular stories and mythology take us vicariously and gratifyingly through the process -- e.g. in films like "Avatar," "Star Wars," "Lord of the Rings," where our heroes put themselves on the line to defeat an evil force in defense of sacred values. Why is it, then, that as we face that same essential situation in America's contemporary reality, we fail to respond as our heroes do? *******The the destructive force that has arisen on the right is only one side of America's present national crisis. The other  Read on →

    Liberal America, You Don’t See What We’re Up Against, and It Matters

    Liberal America, You Don't See What We're Up Against, and It Matters

    By: Andy Schmookler

    Summary: Liberal America does not perceive well the nature of the force that's taken over the right. Not perceiving what we're up against has enormous consequences, because understanding one's foe - its nature, its way of working, the disposition of its forces - has enormous implications for devising the best strategy for defeating it. Providing a good understanding of what it is we are up against is one of the central purposes of this "Press the Battle" series. *******I've undertaken to present this "Press the Battle" series because, believing it might make an important contribution, I feel a moral obligation  Read on →