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Thursday, October 30, 2014
Southern Weather Radar


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    the muse be with you

    The Schoolboy Presses On

    by | Oct 1, 2014
    The Art of Poetry with Robert Pinsky - edX

    Like the proverbial schoolboy with his nose pressed up against the glass of the candy display, I can’t seem to get enough of the various on-line and free classes offered over the edX educational program conceived of by a couple of Harvard professors just a few years ago. This fall I’ve perhaps bitten off more than a full plate by registering for six different classes. They range from the Greek epics to Chinese history to current events in the Middle East…

     

     

    part 4

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

    by | Sep 30, 2014
    Not Our Finest Hour: Why Is Liberal America Falling So Far Short?

    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 Party of No”) has chosen to prevent anything from being accomplished.
    • To choose across-the-board obstructionism is to knowingly hurt the nation.
    • The Republicans’ motivation for obstructionism is to regain power…

     

     

    media fail

    Tipping Point: The People’s Climate March

    by | Sep 30, 2014
    People's Climate March New York

    “If the planet dies, all causes are lost causes.”Anonymous

    Humanity’s fate hangs on a tight race between two tipping points: a scientific one and a cognitive one. Scientists use the term “tipping point” to refer to a runaway feedback loop that, when triggered, abruptly and irreversibly changes the behavior of a system, such as the climate. For example, when permafrost melts, it releases methane, 50 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Thus: global warming, melting permafrost, more atmospheric methane, more global warming…

     

     

    problems, not targets

    Americans could help the world by combating peril and disasters

    by | Sep 29, 2014
    Americans could help the world by combating peril and disasters

    Six years ago, President Obama was all for bringing our troops home from far-off wars. Much of that has happened. Now new threats to world peace are prompting some war hawks to push for “sending in the troops,” no matter where the trouble is brewing.

    Good thing our military is controlled by a civilian Secretary of Defense. The military men will always advise on sending in the troops. They are trained to recommend no other way.

     

     

    from a to z

    Original Google

    by | Sep 27, 2014
    Original Google

    As a boy I read the Weekly Reader, Outdoor Life, Superman comic books, and the Hardy Boys Adventures. Books were not overly abundant and I read whatever I could. Back then the only library in the world was my elementary school’s one-room collection of books organized by the Dewey Decimal System. Remember it? The 200s covered Religion, the 600s Technology, and the 800s covered Literature. We had to memorize all ten classes, and walk on command to a given class where it sat on the shelves. Today we click a mouse and voila! We are transported to anything we want to know.

     

     

    Part 3.5

    This Is What You Should Be Making This Election About, Mr. President

    by | Sep 26, 2014
    This Is What You Should Be Making This Election About, Mr. President

    Hey, Mr. President. Why aren’t you out there on the hustings talking to the American people? There’s an election coming up, and the American political system is more dysfunctional than it’s been in generations, maybe ever. What does it mean that you, as president, are not using this last opportunity of your presidency to talk to voters about what’s gone wrong with the system and what voters can do now to get back a government that does the people’s business?

     

     

    follow your bliss

    Trying To Do The Impossible

    by | Sep 25, 2014
    Trying To Do The Impossible

    “All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.”-- William Faulkner

    It’s been quite a spate of birthdays for famous writers this latter part of September, the beginning of autumn when we slowly let go of whatever is left of our ties with summer. The daily Writer’s Almanac column always provides for interesting bits and pieces of the lives of writers, but this week seems to have been special.

     

     

    smell test

    What’s that I smell?

    by | Sep 23, 2014
    What’s that I smell?

    I always knew politics smelled funny but I never know how much until now. Seems a couple of braniacs led by Brown University political scientist Rose McDermott have conducted a study showing that we can sniff out like minded people just from their body odor. So it ain’t only dogs that can find their friends with their noses, you can too. I won’t get into the ugly details, but essentially people from one political persuasion smelled body parts and bodily fluids of people from other political persuasions to determine if they were simpatico.

     

     

    part 3

    Calling Out the Republicans – Obama Hasn’t So We Must

    by | Sep 22, 2014
    Calling Out the Republicans - Obama Hasn't So We Must

    If Barack Obama had become president at a time of normal politics, with a normal opposition party, there’s no telling how much he could have accomplished. On many issues, President Obama has strived to move the country in wise and beneficial directions. He might have become the transformational president he aspired to be, and that many of us hoped for when we elected him in 2008. But it is his misfortune to be President when our politics is far from normal, and to have faced a Republican opposition more dishonest and destructive than anything ever before seen…

     

     

    jeff on mccartney

    Silly And Even Sillier Love Songs

    by | Sep 22, 2014
    Silly And Even Sillier Love Songs

    Spring 1976. At Peaches Records and Tapes in Atlanta, there were three camps of employees possessing strong and separate opinions on Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles work. One camp believed McCartney could do no wrong. All judgment was suspended even when listening to his first Wings album, Wild Life. That’s devotion for you. Opposite that camp was another, deeming McCartney a longtime wimp, always playing it safe, opting for the conventional. Apparently this camp never heard McCartney’s second album, Ram

     

     

    eavesdropping

    “You’d a thought they were pricing meat…”

    by | Sep 20, 2014
    Man looking at pill bottle in pharmacy

    Mankind has made remarkable progress in every arena of human endeavor except possibly getting Congress to do anything, getting women as hosts on late night tv and getting speedy service from the local pharmacy. Even in this Twenty-First Century, the time it takes to get a fill or refill of a script can take “from here to eternity.”

    Recently, I trudged up to  the neighborhood apothecary for a prescription re-up. It’s toward the end of the work day, the place is crowded and I’m at the end of a long line of folks waiting to be served. None of the folks waiting appears to be in a festive mood.

     

     

    secession

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

    by | Sep 20, 2014
    Scotland from the air

    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…

     

     

    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.

     

     

  • Worthy of Comment



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    Promises To Keep

    By: David Evans

    In a class on Dante I'm currently enrolled in, Professor Frank Ambrosio of Georgetown University quoted the nineteenth century philosopher Friedric Nietzsche that human beings, as far as we know, are the only animals who make promises. I only add that humans are also the sole ones who break them. According to Ambrosio, Nietzsche puts the significance of human promising and its place with regard to freedom this way: "In man, nature set itself the task to breed an animal worthy of making promises." It's an extraordinary idea. What is it that allows an animal that lives in the here and now to   Read on →

    The Ethical Man Lusts in His Heart

    The Ethical Man Lusts in His Heart

    By: Monica Smith

    The ethical man keeps his hands to himself and does not destroy what he admires and loves. The ethical man does not subscribe to the excuse that “you always hurt the one you love. The ethical hurts no-one at all. Most of the electorate is probably too young to remember the perverse responses Jimmy Carter’s admission of having lusted in his heart occasioned among Republicans. In retrospect, it seems rather obvious that people, who live and die by the euphemism, were ready to believe that Carter had uttered a prevarication, as they, surely would have done themselves. Moreover, because it came out  Read on →

    Frankly But Faintly Malicious

    Frankly But Faintly Malicious

    By: David Evans

    She told her joke by asking, “What is black and yellow and goes zub, zub, zub?” Of course, the answer is a bee going in reverse. Thus we rode this joke off into another round of high-energy talking, joking, and drinking some less than satin wine. If I were to compare her to some famous author, perhaps the Nobel-prize winning Doris Lessing would come to mind. She’s funny, yet serious at the same time. She’s a loving mother and grandmother, yet has a life of her own and has mastered how to sail through the narrows and out into the sea. She seems to  Read on →

    What Is Art, Anyway?

    What Is Art, Anyway?

    By: Tom Ferguson

    When you get interested in painting you naturally look around to see what others who got this bug have done. Finding out what painters are doing in the U.S. today is like listening to rock on the radio. You have to wade through a lot of “forgettables” before you hear one that will be an “oldie” in ten years. Museums show oldies. Most of their collections have been filtered. The forgettables have been thrown out. On this painting journey you will run across an opinion that painting is dead, irrelevant, old paradigm. You can ignore that, and be sure you will en  Read on →