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Friday, May 27, 2016
Southern Weather Radar


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    make america great again

    Machen America Wieder Groß

    by | Mar 24, 2016
    not actually a photo of Donald Trump receiving an ovation at the Reichstag after announcing a successful Anschluss march

    Exasperated that its latest stratagem to derail the candidacy of Donald Trump – getting Jeb Bush to endorse Ted Cruz – has failed, mainly because Cruz is even more repugnant to most Republicans than the bellicose billionaire, the GOP is shifting its battle plan to subtle understatement.

    It’s going to distribute Trump campaign caps, “Make America Great Again,” translated into German (“Machen America Wieder Groß”) free to supporters to wear to campaign rallies in remaining primary states, hoping they get the hint.

    A GOP source admitted subtle is risky with Republicans.

     

     

    dog-whistle racism

    From the Party of Abe to the Party of Donald

    by | Mar 24, 2016
    Trump in the lap of Lincoln

    There’s poetic justice in Trump’s rise to the top of the GOP presidential field. The GOP is reaping precisely what it has sown.

    One might indulge in Schadenfreude if the stakes weren’t so high. America teeters on the brink of fascism, and no one can confidently predict which way the chips will fall.

    Trump has essentially effected a “hostile takeover” of the Grand Old Party. How the GOP enabled Trump is the subject of Time‘s March 21 feature story “The Party’s Over.” The article – by Peter Wehner, senior fellow at the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center – is surprisingly candid…

     

     

    the ncaa sham

    So Long, It’s Been Good to Know You

    by | Mar 24, 2016
    So Long, It’s Been Good to Know You

    Just in case you missed this, Ben Simmons has decided to forego the balance of his college experience and declare himself for the NBA draft.

    This is a shock on par with hearing Donald Trump insult someone.

    Simmons is another of the famous one and done, athletes who accept a college basketball scholarship with no intention of staying more than a year before leaving for the pros.

     

     

    public underrepresented

    Budgets Three, Which One for Thee?

    by | Mar 23, 2016
    Half Ain't Enough by Tom Ferguson

    There are three budget proposals up for a vote soon, the President’s, the House of Representative’s and the Progressive Caucus’. The Progressive proposal is aligned with what polls say the general public wants so naturally this one doesn’t have a chance. The other two go to different lengths to cut services for the general public and increase breaks for the wealthy, corporations and spending for the military. The fiscal year for this budget kicks off October 1.

     

     

    credit where credit is due

    Oh, now I get it

    by | Mar 20, 2016
    Oh, now I get it

    Of course. Why didn’t I see this before? It’s as plain as the nose on your face and becoming clearer every day.

    Didn’t we all smirk when ‘the Donald’ stated that he’d get Mexico to pay for the wall to keep their people from crossing into our country illegally?

    When the President of Mexico replied with a firm, “Huh-uh, not on your life,” we agreed, declaring, “And you shouldn’t”!

     

     

    guns on campus

    Georgia’s “Campus Carry” Scam

    by | Mar 20, 2016
    Georgia's "Campus Carry" Scam

    According to recent reports, members of the Georgia General Assembly are scrambling to respond to Governor Deal’s reservations about HB 859, the “campus carry” bill, now on his desk. The bill permits students at least 21 years old with concealed weapons permits to possess firearms anywhere on the state’s public college campuses except residence halls, fraternities, sororities, and athletic events.

    It’s no wonder legislators are confused. A couple of weeks ago, Governor Deal airily dismissed arguments against the legislation as “lacking validity.” In recent days, however, he’s become persuaded that the bill has to be substantially revised…

     

     

    killing of jimmy dixon

    The Long Way Home

    by | Mar 20, 2016
    The Long Way Home

    “First, about the sharecropper,” he had begun “The only few years for which I can say much about it was in the 1940s. It was a tough life at our house. A world of make-do, hand-me-downs, and home-made clothing mom put together on a foot-powered sewing machine. A Mason Rotary that her mom — my grandmother — had owned before she died, when mom was just sixteen.

    “Our two mules, Doll and Kate, were coarse and creative, and always unrepentant bullies. And the equipment — plows and cultivators, among other things — were worn-out and unreliable. Then there was the weather…

     

     

    jury of peers to decide

    Soon Hogan vs. Gawker Will be the Jury’s Problem – Not Ours

    by | Mar 18, 2016
    Hulk Hogan v. Gawker

    St. Petersburg – The $100 million Hulk Hogan sex video case, upon which all freedom of speech in the Internet Age is said to hang, appeared to take a sudden turn Thursday morning in the direction of making all celebrity sex videos fair game for the worldwide web.

    An appeals court ruled that FBI files had to be unsealed and made public and these files were rumored to be so devastating they would destroy Hogan’s case against the gossip site he is suing, Gawker, for posting a video in 2012 of him having sex with the wife of his best friend, Bubba the Love Sponge.

     

     

    reality came charging

    Six-Part Harmony

    by | Mar 17, 2016
    Main Street at night, Moultrie, Ga

    Jesse and Peetsy had seen them a few weeks before, on a Sunday, in front of the town’s only theater. They had walked by while the boys were checking out the posters in front. It was always closed on Sunday; the preachers had seen to it. The whole town seemed desolate. No one else was even walking around in the two blocks that shared the traffic light. No cars were parked on the streets and only an accidental one would pass through…

     

     

    supreme court nomination

    “Merrick Garland, What’s the Point?” Here’s the Point

    by | Mar 17, 2016
    Chief Judge Merrick Garland

    I just got an email from Marc Ash, editor of the progressive news site, Reader Supported News. The title gives a clue about how exasperated Ash is at President Obama’s pick for his Supreme Court nominee.

    In the piece, he describes how Garland was someone that Senator Orrin Hatch, conservative from Utah, had suggested would be a good pick. And then Ash writes: “Battle? Ideological confrontation? Reshaping of the Court? Forget it – Garland is a safe pick for America’s ruling class. Obama punted. Hatch defeated him without a fight.”

     

     

    trump theater

    Violence Against Protesters at the Heart of Trump Theater

    by | Mar 14, 2016
    Violence Against Protesters at the Heart of Trump Theater

    Donald Trump has been called a “buffoon.” That’s a mistake. “Buffoon” implies foolish, stupid. But Donald Trump possesses a kind of genius: He’s a genius at getting attention for himself.

    One might say that the quest for attention – more than “making deals” — has been the driving force in Trump’s life. And for decades, he has succeeded in getting considerable public attention. But it is only in recent months that he’s demonstrated how extraordinary is his ability to seize – and hold – the spotlight.

     

     

    my big chance

    In Search of Liberace

    by | Mar 11, 2016
    Liberace at his crystal piano with the candlelabra

    One day when I was six years old, a huge truck pulled up in our driveway, and two men struggled to get something really big out of it. They dragged it up our front steps into the living room–a beautiful, brand new upright grand piano. The wood was shiny and the ivory keys looked like they had been polished. I immediately sat down and begin to play as if I knew what I was doing, which I did not. My mother quickly bought several beginning books and taught me a few simple songs.

     

     

    last white man standing

    Could 2016 be the year for the death of the Republican Party?

    by | Mar 9, 2016
    Could 2016 be the year for the death of the Republican Party?

    This year you may be seeing right before your eyes the death of the Republican Party in national politics.  If it happens, we lament it. (We feel that our country benefits by have a strong two party system.) It appears that the GOP could find itself threatened in this crazy political year. Here’s how this might turn out, outlined in a shortened step-by-step process.

     

     

    or i scream

    Ice Cream Summer

    by | Mar 9, 2016
    Good Humor Man

    It’s not quite springtime yet, but this unusually warm winter appears to have begun transitioning into an early spring. Tree buds are popping out throughout town, and the weather is turning downright balmy. With that warmer weather come thoughts of our favorite cold, creamy concoction: ice cream. And thoughts of ice cream – a food product with which I have the love/hate relationship of the Perpetually On Guard Against Chubbiness – always remind me of a summer long ago.

     

     

    like no one else

    Celebrating, honoring Pat Conroy’s gifts

    by | Mar 8, 2016
    Pat Conroy

    Writer Pat Conroy, who died Friday night, had a way with words that can only be described as an incredible gift. Perhaps no one more aptly painted word pictures of love, loss, beauty, yearning, pain, grief and aspiration.

    Whether fiction or memoir, Conroy could tell a story like no one else. Just read his ebullient description of the inimitable author and chef Nathalie Dupree, the subject of the first chapter of his cookbook, The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life: “Nathalie’s voice is deep and musical and seductive…

     

     

    strife over cooperation

    Politics as war

    by | Mar 7, 2016
    Politics as war

    Why have our politics become so dysfunctional? The answer is really not so hard to find. Our founders knew the nation would always have its divisions — of interests, values, opinions. The hope in framing the Constitution was that we’d nonetheless find ways to move the nation forward by negotiating compromises.

    The question “How can we fight to increase our power?” would always be there, they understood, but the question “How can we cooperate to serve the good of the nation?” was supposed to have greater weight.

     

     

    t. j. english

    Where the Bodies are Buried

    by | Mar 7, 2016
    Where the Bodies are Buried

    T.J. English writes what my librarian calls, “guy books.” – books about the mob, organized crime and criminal justice: gangsters in Hell’s Kitchen, Vietnamese gangs in China Town, the History of the Irish mob and this one, about the infamous Boston gangster Whitey Bulgar. His murderous escapades were sanctioned, even abetted, over a twenty year period, by segments of law enforcement and the FBI. This book covers the trial that convicted Bulgar, sentencing him to life x 2 plus 75 years, and the suppression of the story of government malfeasance.

     

     

    how you play the game

    My First Baseball Game

    by | Mar 6, 2016
    My First Baseball Game

    It’s been a long time but memorable in the eyes and mind of the then-young man who went to his first baseball game. Some of the small details are foggy. And he’s not exact about the team names. But the important stuff is still there, as if it were yesterday. But let him tell it:

    There weren’t many organized sports activities at the grammar school I went to, first thru fourth grades. Ambrose, in Coffee County…

     

     

    debatable

    Nice Work, Megyn

    by | Mar 4, 2016
    Donalds hair by Polly Korbel

    OK, I have an apology to MSNBC. I watched the Republican debate on FOX last night, and I liked it. Megyn Kelly was fantastic. I mean, I used to scream every time the channel was on FOX news in public places (because the remote is forbidden from stopping there at home), but recently I have been watching with glee as they try to make sense of the present primary picnic (especially turd blossom, who is doing his best to pimp Rubio).

     

     

    and racism

    Warped Views of President Obama Push “Conservatives” Into Bizarre, Unconstitutional Territory

    by | Mar 2, 2016
    Warped Views of President Obama Push "Conservatives" Into Bizarre, Unconstitutional Territory

    It is now 60 years that I’ve been following American politics closely. Long enough to get surprised when the way things have always been change dramatically into something never seen before.

    I have been surprised, for example, to see people who regard themselves as “conservative” readily support leaders who break well-established American precedent. Aren’t conservatives the people who recognize that traditions are there for a reason – that you respect established norms, not just trample on them?

     

     

    jeff halper

    War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification

    by | Mar 2, 2016
    War Against the People by Jeff Halper

    Jeff Halper, an Israeli peace activist, spoke at Atlanta’s Oakhurst Baptist Church Monday night (2/29/16). He confirms and elaborates much of what Noam Chomsky says on the subject of Israel-U.S. relations. Halper raises the question, why does the U.S. so enthusiastically support Israel, enabling a brutal occupation and blocking peace with the Palestinians? He dismisses several conventional answers as being factors but…

     

     

    we are so fired

    President Donald J. Trump: the First 100 Days

    by | Mar 1, 2016
    President Donald J. Trump: the First 100 Days

    Donald Trump’s relentless promise to Make America Great Again carried him through the Republican primaries with surprising efficiency. He beat Marco Rubio in the Midwest, easily carried Florida and the West, and fought off a late entry by Michael Bloomberg. The Republican convention became a pep rally for the dissatisfied, and his surprise choice for his vice presidential running mate was the final blow to any mainstream Republican hopes.

    In a caustic and bombastic general election, Trump’s strength multiplied while Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton fought a tight but eventually losing battle…

     

     

    location. location. location

    This is moving

    by | Mar 1, 2016
    This is moving

    After making the decision at Christmas to move to Ireland, to live near my son Patrick with his wife Kate and family of four teenage children, I put my American house on the market a week later and sold it next day to the first people to view it. We complete in April.

    I flew back to Ireland for a week in February to look at two houses newly available in the vicinity of my son’s house in the small market town of Nenagh, twenty miles from Limerick, in County Tipperary.

     

     

    protecting our coast

    The Barber of Jekyll Island

    by | Mar 1, 2016
    The Barber of Jekyll Island

    Imagine going into the barbershop for a trim and coming out with a shaved head and a couple of missing ears. That’s about what happened to the storied Marshes of Glynn along the Jekyll Island Causeway. The barber of Jekyll Island, with an assist from the Georgia Department of Do Not Respect, has taken his shears to the Causeway to “trim” the place up.

    A letter from one Karl Burgess, in the Coastal Resources Division, acknowledged the trimming plan, but apparently failed to mention that the assistants he was going to provide were novices at their jobs.

     

     

    the things I do for love

    Stranded in Philadelphia

    by | Feb 29, 2016
    Stranded in Philadelphia

    On the way home to Virginia from a week house-hunting in Ireland, the ice storm and I collided on the east coast. After seven hours waiting for my connecting flight in Philadelphia to Charlottesville, it was cancelled and I was switched to a flight two days hence to finish my journey. My luggage was god knows where and I was obliged to wear the same clothes for three days.

    I was stranded in Philadelphia, a city no doubt full of interesting places to visit, but …

     

     

    the greed system

    The Death of Scalia as Biblical Morality Tale from a 1950s Movie

    by | Feb 29, 2016
    The Death of Scalia as Biblical Morality Tale from a 1950s Movie

    When I was a kid, growing up in the 1950s, I loved the religious spectaculars one could see at the movie theaters – films like The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur. I’ve never found it easy to believe that there is a God who intervenes in human affairs to punish the wicked and reward the good. But I loved entering that world in these enthralling works of the imagination.

    I loved watching how God sent Moses to Egypt to tell Pharaoh to let his enslaved people go…

     

     

    keeping us poor

    When a picture leaves you seeing red

    by | Feb 27, 2016
    Distressed Communities Index (DCI) map published Thursday in a report by the Economic Innovation Group (EIG)

    Most of you know the feeling. You could lose a few pounds and you wish your clothes fit better, but you feel pretty good – still young, still vibrant. And then you see a recent photo.

    It’s like that. For a native son and life-long southerner (excepting two years in Cleveland, OH), the Distressed Communities Index (DCI) map published Thursday in a report by the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) is profoundly troubling.

    Dark reds are the most economically distressed communities; dark green are most prosperous. The ranking scale and methodology are explained on the EIG website, where you can also find the full report.

     

     

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