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Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Southern Weather Radar


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    merely players

    The Tooth, The Whole Tooth, And Nothing But The Tooth

    by | Nov 24, 2015
    The Tooth, The Whole Tooth, And Nothing But The Tooth

    Rosie just wandered about through the racks of clothing as though she were in her own closet trying to decide which dress to wear. As she made her way from clothes hanger to clothes hanger, she commenced to wave her hand about as though conducting. She then began to contradict Will, our real conductor, who had reminded us to play with more of a crescendo in this measure and to punctuate the marcato notes with more dynamic emphasis in another measure. Rosie said with authority and in a gravelly tone, “No, no, it all sounds good!” And then she started to sing …”Now we don our gay apparel…”

     

     

    meet me in dabiq

    The Apocalypse

    by | Nov 18, 2015
    the Apocalypse by Ludwig Ferdinand Schnorr von Carolsfeld

    Were I to tell you a story in which Jesus, the son of the virgin Mary, was sent by God to guide the children of Israel, perform miracles including curing blindness, raising the dead and casting out demons, was crucified and raised alive into heaven to be the God incarnate. Jesus, who is promised to come back as the Messiah on judgement day to lead God’s army against the armies of Rome led by the Antichrist to the final victory in Jerusalem. What holy book do you think that would be from?

     

     

    power and terror:

    Conflict, Hegemony and the Rule of Force by Noam Chomsky

    by | Nov 15, 2015
    Mobster - an illustration by Tom Ferguson

    In an interview with ABC news correspondent Martha Raddatz pointed out to Dick Cheney that a majority of citizens opposed the war in Iraq. Cheney replied, “So?”

    Martha asked, “You don’t care what the American people think?”

    He said, “NO.” Cheney then goes on to say that we can’t be subject to fluctuations in opinion polls.

    A White House spokesman was asked later if this meant the government didn’t think the public should have input. The spokesman remarked that the public has input every four years.

     

     

    sustainable exploitation

    An Ecosystem Report Card for the Georgia Coast

    by | Nov 15, 2015
    An Ecosystem Report Card for the Georgia Coast

    The Georgia Department of Natural Resources explanation for their most recent initiative to gin up support for their activities in the populace (“develop an environmental ethic,” in Spud Woodward, the Director’s words) reads as follows:

    The Coastal Georgia Ecosystem Report Card is an important tool for planning restoration activities and conservation. It provides a transparent, timely, and geographically detailed assessment of health in coastal Georgia…

     

     

    colossal waste

    Fair warning: This means y-o-u

    by | Nov 13, 2015
    Crime Scene Tape

    I’m sorry to say that thievery has plagued my neighborhood of late, and wouldn’t you know it would begin just as I was preparing to go away for a few days?

    I don’t keep much of value in my house, but neither did my mother, who once fell victim to a home break-in. Nevertheless she felt angry and helpless. I felt the same sense of violation that she did, and it wasn’t even my house.

    Basically, the pillager tore up the house in looking for items of value…

     

     

    cry the benighted country

    What’s Gone Wrong in America

    by | Nov 11, 2015
    Today's Crazy Half Red and Half Blue Uncle Sam

    “Make America great again,” Trump says. Not a bad idea, but first we need to understand what’s gone wrong.

    In every society, both constructive and destructive forces are always at work. But the balance of power between those forces is not constant. Such factors as the quality of its leadership and the impact of its national experience can strengthen either the best or the worst in a society.

    Consider, for example, the peoples of Great Britain and Germany at two points in the twentieth century.

    In 1910, a time of relative stability before the outbreak of World War I, British society and culture might have been judged moderately healthier than the German…

     

     

    satire on the campaign trail

    Most Iowans Would Rather Have Bobby Jindal Do Their Brain Surgery

    by | Nov 10, 2015
    Dr. Ben Carson Dinosaur Wrangler

    Most Iowans would rather have Bobby Jindal perform brain surgery on them than Dr. Ben Carson, according to the latest Quinnipiac University Poll of registered Republicans in the state who either need brain surgery, or are undecided.

    A retired brain surgeon, Dr. Carson led in all previous polls in the key primary state that asked voters: “If you needed brain surgery, which GOP candidate would you want to perform it?” In the latest poll – coming in the wake of recent revelations about Dr. Ben Carson fabricating parts of his personal history and making bizarre statements about pyramids and other things – Iowa voters’ faith in the candidate appears to be shattered.

     

     

    book review

    New book on South offers expected clichés, but some good stories

    by | Nov 7, 2015
    New book on South offers expected clichés, but some good stories

    Noted travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux’s new book, Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads, brings very mixed reactions.

    On more than one occasion, I wondered, “Where does this guy get off saying that?” And I grab the book and want to hurl it through the window. These fits particularly came after one of Theroux’s elitist, degrading attempts at phonetically capturing the Southern accent.

    But the book also shows he’s a great storyteller who occasionally makes an interesting observation. “Well, that’s a good point,” I would think. “Don’t get rid of it yet.” And I kept reading.

     

     

    the wind in their face

    Terms Of Agreement

    by | Nov 7, 2015
    Holding an injured dove

    “Dear Irv,

    “I’m sorry I have to say goodbye this way, not in person. My symptoms got a lot worse a week or so ago and I decided to do a process of voluntarily stopping eating and drinking in order to die faster and with less suffering.”

    This opening to an essay from Dr. Irvin D. Yalom’s book Creatures of a Day: And Other Tales of Psychology stopped me immediately. The letter came from “Ellie,” one of Yalom’s patients. He said he knew she was dying from her cancer, but was still shocked to get the e-mail. Who wouldn’t be?

     

     

    satire

    Researchers Say Fox News Causes Brain Damage in Rats

    by | Nov 3, 2015
    Brain damaged rat watching Fox News

    Researchers said Tuesday that watching Fox News caused brain damage in rats. They said they’re not sure what that means, but the results are conclusive.

    After watching “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity” for six months the rats were never the same.

    “They got more hostile and I would venture to say more irrational,” said University of Wisconsin researcher, Ralph Phillips, who led the study that was published in the November issue of the science journal Mind Bender.

     

     

    threatens as much as war

    Why Climate Change Should be a Conservative Issue

    by | Nov 3, 2015
    Florida Climate Change Tourism by Mike Licht via flickr and used under a Creative Commons license.

    The word “conservative” means something different today than it used to.

    Conservatives have traditionally understood the importance of stability—and the dangers of disrupting the established order. They considered it a responsibility to preserve their heritage and pass it down intact to the next generation.

    Conservatives have been the guardians of tradition because they saw that what our forebears created is a great achievement, built with difficulty over time.

     

     

    braves v. future

    Final thoughts on the World Series… and the Braves

    by | Nov 3, 2015
    Turner Field by Nicolas Henderson via flickr and used under a Creative Commons license.

    The World Series is now over and the Kansas City Royals, who fell just short last year, showed their mettle by coming back time and time again to win the crown.

    We can only hope the Braves were watching.

    They did it with what has become more and more lacking in major league baseball, playing fundamentally sound defense and taking advantage of the other team’s mistakes.

     

     

    bald faced untruth

    Marco Rubio’s Small Mammal Strategy Revealed

    by | Nov 2, 2015
    Marco Rubio - Caricature by DonkeyHotey via flickr

    Do Marco Rubio’s inhumanly large and pointy ears wiggle when he lies? That’s what it seemed like during last Sunday’s interview with John Dickerson on “Face the Nation.” Maybe it was just a trick of the television lens but there is reason to think that something almost fey about Rubio’s successful dissembling. Asked about possible political repercussions of failing to do what most Americans believe U.S. Senators are paid to do – to actually vote on legislation in the U.S. Senate – said, “I’m not a political strategist; I’m a candidate.” And he got away with that…

     

     

    Ken Burger

    A Unique Native Son of South Carolina

    by | Nov 2, 2015
    A Unique Native Son of South Carolina

    Ken Burger died last week. He was the most interesting, special and unique son of South Carolina that I have ever known. Period.

    If that sounds like graveside hyperbole, consider his one sentence bio: Born and raised in Allendale, Burger graduated dead last in his class at the University of Georgia, has been married five times, is a grateful recovering alcoholic, a cancer survivor and a happy man.

    Journalist Ken was a stickler for the facts, so I’ll correct one and add a few. He did not survive cancer and his one line bio does not do him justice.

     

     

    presidential debates

    Hollywood Should be Watching

    by | Oct 31, 2015
    All the GOP Candidates as movie stars

    Hollywood these days seems to be in a serious rut. There is the occasional original and interesting new film, but for the most part studio heads apparently don’t like to take risk so we are constantly getting remakes of old films or one more in a series of previously successful movies.

    Another James Bond or Indiana Jones film makes perfect sense, but remakes of wonderful old movies are usually wholly unsatisfying and generally disappointing despite all the new technology available to fill them with moronic special effects.

     

     

    satire on the campaign trail

    Bush Campaign Leaves Huge Crater in Arizona Desert

    by | Oct 29, 2015
    Flying elephants animated gif via Giphy.com

    When it crashed in the Arizona desert, it left a crater where there was once a Bush presidential bid.

    “I haven’t seen anything like this since Herman Cain in 2012,” said GOP astrophysicist Ted Billard as he examined the still-smoldering hole in the ground Thursday morning. “But Herman’s crater you could step across, about two feet. This one, we measured it, is a quarter of a mile across and 400 feet deep.

     

     

    beautifully preserved the past

    Wall Dogs & Ghost Signs

    by | Oct 28, 2015
    Wall Dogs & Ghost Signs

    Like dogs with a penchant for roaming, they chained themselves to a wall. Tethered to brick walls above the ground with a brush and bucket of paint in their hands, these daring artists had a mission. Paint an advertisement onto the side of a building. They called themselves wall dogs and some claimed they worked like dogs. I suspect they loved their work and I am certain wall dogs’ ghost signs make our world more mysterious, more beautiful.

    You’ve seen ghost signs, an old-fashioned advertisement painted onto a rough and unforgiving canvas, a brick wall…

     

     

    etymology

    Today’s deadlines not as tough as those 150 years ago

    by | Oct 27, 2015
    The perimeters of the Andersonville stockade and deadline are marked by rows of posts like these.

    The Civil War is alive every day for reporters and editors — and they may not even know it. A couple of weeks back in a commentary taking the South Carolina General Assembly to task for caterwauling about a court-imposed time limit on school funding, I observed how reporters face “deadlines” all of the time, just as courts impose deadlines frequently. I got to wondering about how the word “deadline” came about. I was surprised to learn…

     

     

    on top of stone mtn

    Georgia to Build “We Exhibit – You Decide” Racial Strife Museum

    by | Oct 25, 2015
    Georgia Plans for Stone Mountain Covered Up

    Georgia plans to build a “We Exhibit – You Decide” racial strife museum atop Stone Mountain to address the state’s long and troubled history of discrimination against dozens of minorities and blacks by making it a tourist attraction.

    The museum will offer exhibits on both sides of the controversy over civil rights: people for them, and people against them.  And, instead of passing judgement, the museum will allow people to decide for themselves, said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal in an afternoon press conference.

     

     

    back to school

    The Gift Of The Genie

    by | Oct 25, 2015
    The Road to Nowhere

    Her life was “good enough” was the answer the young woman told the genie as she declined his offer of three wishes for freeing him from his bottle. As I sat in the audience listening to Neil Gaiman read his short story, I was still on a high after being accepted into West Virginia Wesleyan College’s MFA program in creative writing.

    This past couple of weeks I’ve been mulling over the idea of going back to school for an intensive two-year program focused on writing non-fiction. Flipping back and forth in Joe Biden-style…

     

     

    what is truth?

    20/20 Insight

    by | Oct 25, 2015
    20/20 Insight

    Every now and again in our grand world history, magnetic personalities have had insights so stirring they just had to try to share. These sharings sometimes resonated broadly and created movements based on the master’s teachings, as they understood, or misunderstood, them. The truth shall make you free, for example. MLK said it, not sure where he got it, Jesus? Dunno. This example so begs elaboration that all kinds of factions can get behind it. The truth for some is Jesus…

     

     

    drinking through the list

    My Barrel List

    by | Oct 25, 2015
    Weintrauben Flasch by Martin Fisch

    Having a bucket list seems to be the thing to do as you get older. Most of my friends have one and they are slowly working their way through everything they must do before they take that last ride into the sky or to the caverns of the earth. I have a list of things to do before I check-in to the departure lounge but my bucket has a hole in it. Occasionally new things are added to the list but they fall through the hole and I forget what they are.

     

     

    satire on the campaign trail

    Republican Party Confirms George Bush Was Once President

    by | Oct 21, 2015
    George Bush - Caricature by DonkeyHotey via flickr

    The Republican Party confirmed Wednesday that George Bush was once President of the United States.

    “We’re just trying to clear the air and make it clear we’re all about transparency,” said GOP spokesman Frank Billingham. “There have been all these press reports that he was president and, rather than fan more speculation, we confirm that he was, indeed, President of the United States – but, let me emphasize, for the point of absolute clarity, it was a long, long, LOOOOOONG time ago.”

     

     

    ice cream trucks

    Sounds of Summer

    by | Oct 21, 2015
    Children ordering at Mr Whippy ice cream truck by Ken Peacock

    As the northern hemisphere sinks slowly into increased darkness and a long cold winter the southern hemisphere is waking up to the sounds of spring and summer. The birds and the bees are happy, the gardens have come alive and the grass has started growing again. Families are heading for the parks and beaches to enjoy the warm days. The sounds of lawn mowers, edge trimmers, leaf blowers and chain saws fill the air.

     

     

    poor school districts

    Fix SC education funding and stop caterwauling about deadlines

    by | Oct 21, 2015
    Fix SC education funding and stop caterwauling about deadlines

    You might not get much in your morning newspaper if reporters didn’t turn in stories by a certain time. Deadlines keep reporters — and columnists — on task. If there were not a specific time limit to submit a story for publication, the story might never get written. There’s always somebody else you can call or interview.

    Like newspapers, courts set deadlines frequently. Time limits provide some certainty in the often long, convoluted judicial process and move cases along toward conclusions…

     

     

    we got this one

    Don’t do it, Joe

    by | Oct 20, 2015
    President Obama cutting up with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State

    Joe, we love ya, but please don’t run for president.

    You are the man when it comes to defense and foreign affairs. You were there for the Bosniaks in 1994 when Clinton was timid, but you were wrong in 2006 when you voted for the Iraq war. Yet, we should have listened in 2006 when you wanted Iraq split into the three ethnic areas as it is today. Our troops might be home, the Islamic State probably wouldn’t exist and millions of refugees might be at home.

    You were the man on justice for victims of domestic violence, against Bork and Thomas, assault weapons, hate and sex crimes, and privacy, but…

     

     

    boys of summer

    Cold Series

    by | Oct 20, 2015
    Mr. Met doing snow angels

    We are closing in on the start of the Fall Classic, only we’re not. It’s more like the beginning of the Winter Routine.

    Through the years the World Series has slowly been pushed further and further back on the calendar until the point we can now hear Christmas commercials sprinkled in with reports of ERA and batting averages.

    It doesn’t matter which of the current teams make the big dance.

     

     

  • Worthy of Comment



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    Birthday Greetings From The Other Side

    Birthday Greetings From The Other Side

    Monday, 29 July, was the birthday of the poet Stanley Kunitz, who was born in Massachusetts in 1905. Today is the birthday of my father, my namesake although he always went by Brooks, our name in common. He was born in southern Ohio, in the Appalachian hills east of Cincinnati in 1911. Stanley was poet laureate of our country twice, the last time in 2000 when he was 95. He lived to be 101 and published his last book, The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects On A Century In The Garden, shortly before he died. My father was a stationary boiler  Read on →
    Witnesses recant; Troy Davis still on death row

    Witnesses recant; Troy Davis still on death row

    Across the country and the world, events were held Tuesday calling for a new trial for Georgia death row prisoner Troy Davis. Davis, a 40-year-old African-American man, has been on death row since 1991 for the 1989 murder of off-duty white Savannah policeman Mark MacPhail. Despite his 18 years on death row, Davis maintains his innocence, and legal experts and human rights advocates say there is enough evidence to back up his claim. The original witness testimonies were the backbone of the prosecution's case against Davis because of the absence of a murder weapon, fingerprints and DNA evidence. Since Davis' trial, seven  Read on →