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Friday, August 1, 2014
Southern Weather Radar


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    voice of the people

    Celebrating Independence

    by | Jul 3, 2014
    Celebrating Independence

    Alert Dew reader Bob Lamb suggested reposting “The Declaration of Independence, Updated” in honor of our holiday. We took it a step further – here are more Dew stories, which appeared around the 4th of July each year going back to our first 4th in 2009 – a pretty random and eclectic sample of great stories by some truly wonderful writers (apologies to anyone who feels left out). Click on the story title to read more. Enjoy. And please comment.

     

     

    hairy legs and all

    That Lying Doris Day

    by | Jul 2, 2014
    Image: from “Pillow Talk” With Doris Day & Rock Hudson - Universal Pictures

    Standing before the array of shaving products made and marketed especially for women is astonishing. Who would believe that there were so many types of razors, not to mention the creams and lotions to be used pre, post and (I guess) during the shaving process. The products all claim to result to silky smooth legs and underarms, as well as keeping one safe from nicks and cuts. I stand before the expansive display and finally walk away without making a selection.

     

     

    a big fan

    The Killing – a Review

    by | Jul 2, 2014
    Netflix - the killing season 4

    If you are anything like me, and, believe me, I fully understand if you hope you are not, the approach of August 1, 2014 has great meaning. On that day Netflix, the mad geniuses of the television/internet interface, will bring us the fourth season of The Killing.

    The Killing was canceled twice during its first three seasons on AMC. It was revived after season two by direct subsidies from Netflix and, again, after season three by Netflix taking over all responsibility for production and distribution. It should, therefore, come as no surprise…

     

     

    Cochran's Mississippi Victory

    Part 3: Fresh Evidence of Tea Party Unhingedness

    by | Jul 2, 2014
    Part 3: Fresh Evidence of Tea Party Unhingedness

    The Spirit of War. These unhinged Tea Partiers. We see they are unhinged because they are denouncing the “RINO’s” these days, trying to get rid of every Republican that is ever willing to talk to a Democrat, who’s willing to give up when the battle has been lost (like on Obamacare), who is willing to make the necessary concession when outplayed and not drive the nation into default. The unhingedness of the Tea Party — the great disconnect from reality — is also dark. It is the spirit of war. Conflict is all it will accept.

     

     

    distraction

    Quieting The Restless Mind

    by | Jul 1, 2014
    Quieting The Restless Mind

    In our never ending age of anxiety, you hear so much about those who cannot put their restless minds to sleep. They awake from storm-filled dreams full of concerns over the loose threads in their lives. Will the irresponsible son ever settle down, how long can the battered daughter survive the abusive husband, will the youngster learn to focus better in school and not be so disruptive? Did I remember to…

     

     

    do it yourself

    Employer provided health insurance

    by | Jun 30, 2014
    Employer provided health insurance

    So, the Supreme Court has ruled that there is no Constitutional basis for agents of government requiring employers to provide particular kinds of health insurance coverage to their employees. But, I’d go further and argue that, if health services are part of the general welfare responsibilities of government, delegating those to employers is both irresponsible and inefficient. Adding a layer of middlemen in the form of insurance companies is bad enough. Expecting employers to pay the bill is adding insult to injury.

     

     

    our artificial intelligence

    The Right Way To Do It

    by | Jun 30, 2014
    The Right Way To Do It

    Since we discovered rocks, it has been the desire of all thinking men to devise ways to kill from a distance. Drones are simply the latest step on that evolutionary chain. While still the stuff of special effects movies, remote controlled and/or robots you wear are receiving active research and development efforts as we write. So, whether the future foot solider turns out to be Iron Man or a materialized electro-mechanical monster operated by a champion video gamer situated in an undisclosed location next to Dick Cheney…

     

     

    bad anglish

    You’re on the Air

    by | Jun 30, 2014
    Image: the photo of the woman with fingers in her ears was licensed by LikeTheDew.com - copyright: bruno135 / 123RF Stock Photo http://www.123rf.com/profile_bruno135

    How much more slovenly can broadcast speech become? I can’t be the only one who wonders, and I’m surprised at how often the slovenly speech comes from the lips of top-of-the-line communications professionals. Hardly a day goes by that some network news announcer somewhere doesn’t talk about “Present Obama.” He (or she) is referring to the “Present” of the United States, of course. And if I’ve heard “opportunies” once, I’ve heard it a thousand times.

     

     

    Cochran's Mississippi Victory

    Part 2: Fresh Evidence of Tea Party Unhingedness

    by | Jun 29, 2014
    Image: Used Tea Bags by © Marilyn Barbone licensed by LikeTheDew.com at fotolia.com

    Too aligned with the Democrats? In the Tea Partiers denunciations of the Republicans, in the aftermath of Cochran’s victory in Mississippi, it keeps coming out that they see the Republicans as altogether too much like the Democrats, and too much working with them. Unhinged! Here we have a Republican opposition in Congress that has made the president’s failure its top priority from Day One, trying to keep him from accomplishing anything– not even CARING what kind of outcome would be best for the nation.

     

     

    some choose to kill it

    Confessions: The Past Never Dies

    by | Jun 28, 2014
    Confessions: The Past Never Dies

    I see a lot of abandoned homes in the hinterlands. Way more than I should. Awnings fallen off. Gutters rotting. Roofs caving in. You can tell no one gives a damn about them. What, I wonder, condemned them to abandonment? Economics gone south? Bad family blood? No will? Foreclosures on places nobody wants? Not worth the money it’d take to bring them up to code?

     

     

    rearview mirror

    Almost Eternal

    by | Jun 28, 2014
    theres a dance in the old dame yet

    As I fast approach my Biblical threescore years and ten, I have no particularly sad feeling about entering my seventies or worrying about mortality. I certainly have much left undone and much to do, so I’m just planning on increasing my pace. After all, we’ll all be gone too soon, as Mehitabel the alley cat with a sense of adventure in her morals used to tell Archie the poet, now reincarnated as a cockroach who could only type in lower case, in the old Don Marquis stories…

     

     

    greed

    Sea Island Dune Abuse

    by | Jun 28, 2014
    Sea Island Dune Abuse

    It’s almost pathetic, the Sea Island Beach Club setting up a playground in the dunes along the lines of “if we build it, they will come.”

    Then along comes James Holland on one of his morning inspection flights, takes pictures and circles what he judges to be clearly illicit intrusions and impositions on the dynamic dunes.

    And Holland’s got the statutes to prove his point:

     

     

    Cochran's Mississippi Victory

    Part 1: Fresh Evidence of Tea Party Unhingedness

    by | Jun 27, 2014
    Part 1: Fresh Evidence of Tea Party Unhingedness

    We often hear about the disconnect from reality on the right. Paul Krugman keeps exclaiming about the way his peers as professional economists, who are on the right, continue to generate zombie ideas (disproved but never die) and refuse to recognize when they’ve been proven wrong– contrary to every value of intellectual integrity that Krugman holds dear.

    Here at Blue Virginia, Lowell Feld tells us, again and again between parentheses in the morning news report, how bat**** crazy so much of what we see on the right (think E.W. Jackson) is.

     

     

    faustian bargain

    No Matter the Party Name, Everyone is Drinking Whiskey

    by | Jun 26, 2014
    No Matter the Party Name, Everyone is Drinking Whiskey

    Something very interesting and, perhaps, very important happened in Mississippi last Tuesday. By now, everyone reading this knows that US Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi pulled out a remarkable victory in the Mississippi Republican primary for the Senate. He did so by increasing the number of black votes he received between the initial primary two weeks ago and the run off by something over 13,000 votes. 

     

     

    the choice is ours

    Soft Landing or Crash and Burn?

    by | Jun 25, 2014
    Soft Landing or Crash and Burn?

    Not until 1804 did the Earth’s human population first exceed one billion. Between 1804 and 2014, a 210-year period spanning just three consecutive human lifetimes, population skyrocketed: to 2 billion in 1927, 4 billion in 1974, and 7 billion at the end of 2011. What spurred such explosive growth?

    It’s not accidental that the Homo sapiens explosion coincided with the advent of the Industrial Age…

     

     

    on books

    Stephen Colbert vs. the Internet

    by | Jun 25, 2014
    Stephen Colbert vs. the Internet

    It is so strange that Amazon would institute a policy that fixes something no one thinks is a problem in order to placate 400 established authors trying to limit the market opportunities of other authors. In this case, Amazon is unilaterally deleting reviews people post regarding books being sold by Amazon.

    This makes no sense as Amazon’s reason for being is to sell stuff, in this case books. Apparently, Amazon does not police for revenge reviews…

     

     

    our troubled world

    Something Wicked This Way Comes

    by | Jun 23, 2014
    Something Wicked This Way Comes

    I have just finished rereading Macbeth for the first time in many years. The actor Kenneth Branagh was on The Charlie Rose Show recently touting his production which is now playing in New York’s Park Avenue Armory. As we know, it’s a tale of ambition and treachery. But why read it again now in the throes of summer when we’re usually looking for “light reading suitable for the beach”?

     

     

    we need a new icon

    The Peace Symbol

    by | Jun 23, 2014
    The Peace Symbol

    When I think back to my years at the University of Georgia, three symbols come to mind. The university’s iconic arch, the Georgia “G,” and the peace symbol, adopted by hippies and Vietnam protesters. During my days at the University of Georgia, I’d see the peace symbol, the hippie sign, as some called it, all over Athens. People sprayed it on bridges and sidewalks, people wore it on T-shirts, and posters plastered it all over telephone poles. Yeah, give peace a chance.

     

     

    duck and cover

    If Something Happens…

    by | Jun 22, 2014
    If Something Happens...

    If there’s one thing that scares me to death, it’s death.

    There’s other stuff that terrifies me too, such as going to sleep and waking up as a giant insect, or waking up Republican, but the visit by the Grim Reaper has always been The Big Magilla. The straight up truth is I’m not exactly thrilled none of us is going to live forever.

     

     

    overwhelming consensus

    When Is the Science Settled?

    by | Jun 20, 2014
    When Is the Science Settled?

    “Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ [linking smoking with disease] that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy….” (Internal 1969 document of Brown & Williamson, a tobacco company, outlining their strategy to undermine medical science linking tobacco to cancer and heart disease)

    I belong to a progressive faith community that is deeply concerned about the state of the Earth…

     

     

    morphology

    Another Psychotic Grammar Lesson

    by | Jun 20, 2014
    Another Psychotic Grammar Lesson

    Hello and welcome back, class. Alas, our two-and-a-half year sabbatical has concluded, and it’s once again time to consider matters grammatical. What happened 2 ½ years ago? Well, in October, 2011, I taught my first grammar lesson here in the pages of Like The Dew; the responses were numerous, and a couple were onerous. (I’ll give you “that” instead of “which,” but I maintain that my use of “presently” instead of “currently” is acceptable. So there.)

     

     

    on the refrigerator

    An American Tradition

    by | Jun 20, 2014
    An American Tradition

    The inventors of the components that make a refrigerator didn’t mean to build a museum and art gallery, but they did. I bet you cover your refrigerator with photos, mementos, and a few magnets that include everything from pizza parlors to emergency numbers to call. By far, the most popular images, I’ll wager, are those of loved ones, in particular, grandkids, and for many, pets. Consider the refrigerator a photo album, Rolodex, museum, and gallery all rolled into one…

     

     

    back to wholeness

    Conspicuous Gallantry

    by | Jun 20, 2014
    Conspicuous Gallantry

    In Paul Fussell’s book on WWI, The Great War And Modern Memory, a deep sense of irony pervades. A scholar of eighteenth-century English literature, he was heavily influenced by the satiric writings of Jonathan Swift and Samuel Johnson. During WWII, he served as a second lieutenant in the 103d Infantry Division where he picked up his “dark, ironical, flip view of war.” In an article he wrote for the PBS program The War, A Ken Burns Film, he said: “The war made me a foot-soldier for the rest of my life and after any war foot-soldiers are touchy.”

     

     

    reading

    The Merch

    by | Jun 19, 2014
    The Merch by Jimmy Hager

    The Merch, the debut novel from Jimmy Hager, is a gritty, grimy and enthralling story of Charleston, SC in the early 1970s.

    Charleston is typically presented to the tourist as a museum piece instead of a real city. A place to come visit and see where something once happened, then go get a good meal in one of its many fine restaurants. If not presented as something that static, then it is a center of cultural refinement full of chamber music, highly choreographed dance, an annual opera debut, and other high culture events. In a more lively incarnation allowed it by the Chamber of Commerce…

     

     

    primal energy

    The Inheritors

    by | Jun 18, 2014
    The Inheritors

    This week my wife Jody and I went to closing on the 5-acre meadow and woods that abuts our property in the Potomac Highlands of eastern West Virginia where we live. For many years it’s been a plot of ground that my neighbor in the next development over has used as a buffer zone to protect his privacy. This arrangement was fine with me, since it served the same purpose for me.

     

     

    devil in the details

    Tenure: Education’s Friend or Foe?

    by | Jun 16, 2014
    Tenure: Education's Friend or Foe?

    Having just completed a three-part series titled “An Educator’s Lament” on the symptoms, causes and stakes of the demise of American education, I was planning to retire the keyboard for a few days. Then the news broke on Vergara v. California. Alas, I feel compelled to weigh in. Vergara v. California concerns teacher tenure — the granting of “permanent” teaching positions — in California’s system of K-12 public education. On June 10, 2014, California Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, who oppose California’s tenure statutes, and against the California Teachers Association, which favors them.

     

     

    inviting corruption

    Muffin Bribe

    by | Jun 16, 2014
    Muffin Bribe

    Is it possible for citizens to be bribed for their votes by a muffin and/or a couple of slices of pizza? I sure hope not. In my case, I was really put off by Comcast and “Ready for Hillary” getting access to New Hampshire Democrats at their state convention via an infusion of callories for breakfast and lunch. It’s hard to know what the party staff were thinking when they invited Comcast to make a fifteen minute presentation and the Hillary people comcast a full hour to flog her book. “Hard Choices” is a phrase no Democrat should use, since it inevitably means that someone other than the chooser is in for a tough time.

     

     

  • Worthy of Comment



  • Also on the Dew

    When conservation engineers speak of brush and noxious weeds

    When conservation engineers speak of brush and noxious weeds

    By: Monica Smith

    You get a hint of the problem. Of course, the article I'm referencing was published way back in 2001. But, the mindset is telling. The author, who was employed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, dismisses one kind of grass as a bank stabilizer because: Fescue tends to clump in our climate and wither in droughts. It fades in hot, dry weather, which lets weeds, brush and other noxious vegetation grow. Fescue is simply not a turf type grass. That is to say, natural vegetation is noxious and the problems unending: In the past, the vegetation on the newly completed dam has been  Read on →

    When Hot Cars Were Cool

    When Hot Cars Were Cool

    By: Tom Poland

    My high school years unfolded in a time when hanging out at drive-ins and burger joints was all we had. We played 45 RPMs by the Beach Boys and William Jan Berry and Dean Ormsby Torrence. You know them as Jan and Dean of “Dead Man’s Curve” and “The Little Old Lady from Pasadena” fame. Surf music was the craze back then in the era of steering wheel suicide knobs, but catching a wave in eastern Georgia wasn’t easy. Cars, though, now that was a different matter. Hot, candy-colored cars possessing names like GTO, Chevelle, Firebird, and Thunderbolt mesmerized us. So there we we  Read on →

    Failure to Act is an Act

    Failure to Act is an Act

    By: Mike Copeland

    There is a gathering storm of American voter unrest from citizens tired of having to chose between the party of blither, Republicans, and the party of dither, Democrats. The former jabber endlessly, making no sense, spouting nonsense and being outraged when sensible people point out these failings. On the other hand, the ditherers believe they have a winning strategy in simply not being the other guy. Who can blame them? President Obama was awarded what had previously been the most prestigious prize on the planet, the Nobel Peace Prize, for the achievement of not being George W. Bush. It was  Read on →

    Glenn Beck as “The Music Man,” Playing on the Fears of Parents

    Glenn Beck as "The Music Man," Playing on the Fears of Parents

    By: Andy Schmookler

    On Tuesday, July 22, Glenn Beck spoke from some 700 movie screens to Americans who paid admission to hear him attack the "Common Core." The "Common Core" consists of standards, offered to the states, defining the knowledge and skills that American school-children should learn at each stage of their education. Beck's move here reminded me of "The Music Man," the con man in the musical of that name who comes to an Iowa town to fleece the good people there. What Beck and the con artist in "The Music Man" have in common is that to accomplish their own hidden aims  Read on →