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Saturday, November 29, 2014
Southern Weather Radar


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    climate change really is real

    A Line in the Tar Sands: Naomi Klein on the Climate

    by | Nov 26, 2014
    A Line in the Tar Sands: Naomi Klein on the Climate

    I was to have been one of 400,000 protestors gathered for the People’s Climate March in New York on Sept. 21. Alas, a knee injury sidelined me. As a consolation prize, a friend bought me Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. So wowed am I by Klein’s singular accomplishment that I dedicate this post to an unsolicited review. For those who may be unfamiliar with Naomi Klein, she’s a brilliant, 44-year-old Canadian journalist and activist. Two of her previous books — No Logo (1999), a critique of globalization, and Shock Doctrine (2007), an exposé of “disaster capitalism,” neoliberalism’s dark underbelly — were international bestsellers.

     

     

    it was a paradise

    When Dollars Won’t Quite Do

    by | Nov 26, 2014
    When Dollars Won't Quite Do

    A couple of weeks ago I cited some comments by Big Oil shill Anastasia Swearingen to the effect that, basically, there’s just no downside to drilling for oil. Whenever, wherever—it’s all good. She was excoriating the federal government for its stubborn unwillingness (so far) to grant drilling leases along the Atlantic Coast to the oil giants standing in line. What’s the hold-up, guys? I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? Just look at the Gulf, says Swearingen, where pessimists predicted an “uninhabitable wasteland.” But thanks to all the time and money BP has put into restoration, today the Gulf is…

     

     

    a progressive

    Remembering Carl Sanders, who brought Georgia out of Dark Ages

    by | Nov 25, 2014
    Remembering Carl Sanders, who brought Georgia out of Dark Ages

    It was a relatively young (37 year old) senator from Augusta with modern ideas who brought Georgia out from under the influences of the Talmadge machine, when he became governor in 1963. Carl Sanders brought modern politics to the state, moved the state to new heights and set the tone for forwardness and moderation that, indeed, made Georgia the capitol of the New South.

    He ran against a key Talmadge protégé, and former governor, Marvin Griffin, a staunch segregationist. We remember it well.

     

     

    on the myriad paths

    It’s Here

    by | Nov 25, 2014
    It's Here

    It’s the broken slat on the chair that will keep our recent visit to Floyd focused in my mind. The soon-to-be ninety-nine year old husband of my late cousin Mildred lost his balance a few weeks back and misjudged the placement of the chair when he thought he was about to sit on it at the dining room table. He lives alone in his “cottage” at a retirement complex in southern Pennsylvania, so there was no one there to help him get up. Of course, he couldn’t get his cell phone to work so he lay there for a while before he could muster the strength to get back on his feet. While he lay on the floor, he “talked” to but not necessarily with Mildred.

     

     

    briefest career you can imagine

    Selling Cosmetics Door To Door

    by | Nov 24, 2014
    Image: from DustyDiggerLise Etsy shop (promotional image) https://www.etsy.com/listing/109994932/1970s-perfume-ad-futuristic-space-age?ref=market Magazine ad for Koscot's 'Oil of Mink" fragrances from Koscot Interplanetary, Inc. circa 1972 (Etsy)

    In the summer of 1968 a man walked into Dad’s saw shop gushing about a guy making beaucoups of money. College was out for the summer and I needed a job. The next thing I know, Dad and I were sitting in Augusta’s Bell Auditorium waiting for pitchman, Glenn Turner, whose company, Koscot Cosmetics, needed door-to-door salesmen, the gullible preferred.

    From the back of the auditorium a chant took rise … “Money!” “Money!” “Money!” “Money!” “Money!” “Money!” and then men cut cartwheels down the aisles all the way to the stage.

     

     

    who am i?

    A World of Randomness and Ambiguity

    by | Nov 23, 2014
    A World of Randomness and Ambiguity

    As part of my winter endeavors, I have ventured off with Dante on a journey through The Divine Comedy. So far, so good, but as my wife often asks, “Why?” I am not a religious person, at least in the conventional way, so why indeed am I stumbling along in a fourteenth-century conceit of a man’s mid-life crisis? As it turns out, I am following a Georgetown University on-line class which is serving as my guide, my own Virgil.

     

     

    yikes

    The 25 Percent

    by | Nov 21, 2014
    Top row: Bruce Braley, Terri Lynn Land, Greg Orman, Mark Udall, Pat Roberts, Kay Hagan, Cory Gardner, Joni Ernst, Tom Cotton, Mark Pryor Bottom row: Gary Peters, Dan Sullivan, Michelle Nunn, Mark Begich, Bill Cassidy, Mary Landrieu, Mitch McConnell, Alison Lundergan, Scott Brown, Jeanne Shaheen, David Perdue, Thom Tillis.

    I’m not going anywhere. I got a lot of family in Georgia, and besides, there’s plenty to love here—mountains, sea coasts, the change of seasons, not to mention all those wonderful things about the South as a whole, like collard greens. But dang—sometimes you just have to yearn for bluer pastures. The election returns have been officially dissected, and it turns out that our two bright young Democratic standard-bearers, Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter, received “25 percent or less of the white vote.”

     

     

    digging deep

    Change is Going to Come

    by | Nov 21, 2014
    Change is Going to Come

    I am plagued with strange compulsions. Some have been with me as far back as I can recall and I have added several through the years. Compulsions rarely make sense to others, but I often find that those folks who scoff at my compulsions usually have their own rituals that seem perfectly reasonable to them. I find it particularly galling when someone who jumps over sidewalk cracks or changes direction to avoid crossing with a black cat makes fun of my rituals.

     

     

    ARTicle #5

    Abstract Expressionism

    by | Nov 21, 2014
    Abstract Expressionism

    Abstract Expression emerged in the late 1940s, growing out of the influx of European artists fleeing fascism, and the theories they brought with them. It was the second wave of European modernism, the first not having caught on here 30 years earlier. The idea of painting “automatically”, without thinking, without plan, drawing from that part of the brain where we dream – that Surrealist notion was used by the Abstract Expressionists but they left out the dream images, they just “automatically” put paint on canvas and moved it around until it seemed like time to stop.

     

     

    a sweeter side of appalachia:

    Growing Up and Growing Old with Surge

    by | Nov 20, 2014
    Growing Up and Growing Old with Surge

    This morning, my friend Lusy stopped by my office with a nasty cold and a warm, sixteen ounce can of Surge; I gladly hugged him. As he sat the Christmas-colored can of heavenly proportions on my office desk, I thought to myself, “There it is.  My childhood is sitting on my desk.” Waves of memories flooded my mind. I closed my eyes and remember frozen nights spent sipping Surge by the fireside even as the frost formed on our shivering backs.  I recalled the punch drunk pleasure of all-night binge gaming sessions, playing Diablo II with now-lost friends and my seemingly endless supply of Surge cans.

     

     

    or driving me crazy

    A Driving Primer (or, Please, Stop the Lunacy)

    by | Nov 19, 2014
    A Driving Primer (or, Please, Stop the Lunacy)

    I live in Macon, Georgia, a small city (population: around 100,000, 99,957 of whom don’t know how to drive) some sixty miles from the traffic hell of Atlanta. Don’t get me wrong: I love Atlanta. It’s the home of the Braves (insert The Star-Spangled Banner pun here), the Falcons, the Varsity, the High Museum of Art, Coca-by-God-Cola, and many other wonderful things. Its traffic, however, I can live without.

     

     

    sugar creek plantation

    Former AJC editor restores Talmadge Mansion in Telfair

    by | Nov 18, 2014
    Former AJC editor restores Talmadge Mansion in Telfair

    Back in 1937 when Gene Talmadge was finishing his second two-year term as governor of Georgia, he took a big step. For Miss Mitt (his wife), he built a new home on U.S. Highway 341, between McRae and Lumber City, in his home county of Telfair. In today’s world, this residence looks much like a Southern 5-4-and-a-door, with two-story white columns, red brick, and set about 100 yards back from the highway in a grove of pine trees. But it wasn’t built in today’s world, but constructed 77 years ago when most people in Telfair County probably didn’t have running water…

     

     

    modern day samaritans

    If You Passed an Angel on the Street Today, Would You know It?

    by | Nov 17, 2014
    If You Passed an Angel on the Street Today, Would You know It?

    The light ahead was red, and no one was close behind, so I slowed to let the man who just darted across two lanes of traffic finish his dangerous dash to the wide concrete median strip on my left. It was a blustery day, with northwest winds biting harshly under the dense, dark clouds of a late fall cold front pouring into Georgia. All of which made this man’s shorts, light windbreaker, ball cap, and open-heeled clogs seem woefully inadequate for the day upon us.

     

     

    atlantic coast pipeline

    Save Our Wild Heritage

    by | Nov 17, 2014
    Save Our Wild Heritage

    It’s hard to talk in the same breath about the outstanding natural beauty of the Shenandoah Mountain and the plan to cut through it with an Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Yet the 550 mile Gas Pipeline proposed by Dominion Resources is a real threat to the natural, recreational and water resources in the area. It would drive through the southeastern portion of the Shenandoah Mountain in the Braley Pond – Hankey Mountain area. If the pipeline is approved, this could make a portion of the Shenandoah Mountain Proposal ineligible for designation as a National Scenic Area.

     

     

    ARTicle #4

    Picasso, 1881 – 1973

    by | Nov 15, 2014
    Picasso, 1881 - 1973

    When Mozart was three, the story goes, he watched his father give his sister a piano lesson, after which he sat down and played it from memory. Sometimes genius shows itself early.

    There is a museum in Barcelona of Picasso’s work. When he was only ten years he was painting small neighborhood scenes – a view of a road on a hill, some chickens… He was already doing several paintings a day, a pattern he maintained most of the rest of his 93 years.

     

     

    get money moving

    Have We Turned a Corner?

    by | Nov 12, 2014
    Have We Turned a Corner?

    Money, the life-blood of the nation
    Corrupts and stagnates in the veins
    Unless a proper circulation
    Its motion and its heat maintains.
    Jonathan Swift

    For the first time since 2009, the rate at which the dollar moves through the economy on its way to becoming part of the Gross National Product has increased. The Federal Reserve data collectors had to extend the number out three digits to get there. But, from a low of 1.381, we’re now up to 1.386.

     

     

    mix it up

    Enhancing the Benefits of Walking

    by | Nov 11, 2014
    Enhancing the Benefits of Walking

    You spend a lifetime in your body, so why not enjoy it? Now, some consider their body simply as a vehicle to transport their head from point A to point B. Others are quite focused on and interested in engaging and using their body. Obviously, some activities, like sex, are very body-centric. That said, a happy body means a better sex life – and vice versa.

    Beyond sex exists the practical matter of relying on our body to get around and help manage our life. After sleeping, sitting, and standing, walking represents the next level of activity for the body.

     

     

    pain in the ass

    Stupid Body Part Tricks

    by | Nov 8, 2014
    Stupid Body Part Tricks

    I’ve been getting older for awhile now.   The whole thing starts happening around the time I’m  six years old, though truthfully, it’s entirely possible that my aging could have started earlier.  (But since this is my account of the story, we’ll agree it started on my sixth birthday, the one where I was all dressed up in new Roy Rogers regalla as I blew out candles and wished for a birthday pony that never showed up.) For years, ‘my aging’ rolled along in more or less an orderly fashion and at fairly comfortable pace. I paid scant attention to it — except for birthdays, of course. Truth be told, even at an early age, I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the concept of relentlessly getting older.

     

     

    why gop?

    Anti-Obama in USA & Democratic ineptness here

    by | Nov 8, 2014
    Congratulations Voters. Here is what you rejected by voting out the democrats: 65 straight months of economic growth (Forbes.com) A record 56 months of private sector job growth (WashingtonPost.com) Unemployment falling from 10.1% to 5.9% (PoliticsUSA.com) The budget deficit reduced by two-thirds (USGovernmentSpending.com) 7-10 million more Americans now have health insurance (NBCNews.com) Income taxes are lower now than any time in 50 years for 95% of American taxpayers (CPP.org) Fewer Americans in harm’s way in war zones (Wikipedia.org) Zero attacks by al Qaeda on US soil (Wikipedia.org) President Obama has deported more illegal immigrants than any other president (Politifact.com) Record stock market growth (MacroTrends.net) Here’s what Republicans gave us the last time they were in charge: Two economic recessions The worst financial collapse sine the Great Depression The worst terrorist attack in history The two longest wars in US history The worst record of job creation since Herber Hoover A complete collapse of the stock market A budget surplus turned into a trillion dollar deficit. We played America. Well played. (Click Here for Source links) http://jeff61b.hubpages.com/hub/14-Facts-About-The-Obama-Presidency-That-Most-People-Dont-Know

    Why the Republican sweep in Georgia? Mainly, the voting in our state, and seemingly all across the nation, was purely anti-Obama in nature, as the Republican political operatives clearly convinced the electorate that the leadership by the President is missing. In Georgia, the Democrats had charged ahead with two well-known names to run for the top offices, and many were thinking this showed a stronger Democratic Party rebounding from its previous meager showings. This perceived strength held throughout the race at the polls with neck-and-neck results causing eyebrows to be raised.

     

     

    ARTicle #3

    Dada, Surrealism and War

    by | Nov 7, 2014
    Dada, Surrealism and War

    Dada was an art movement which reacted to the madness of World War I. The artists were saying, in essence, if this is what rational thinking brings us, let’s try a little irrational. Scientific theories were also in the air that would soon lead to the ultimate rational achievement, the atomic bomb.

    The movement was made up of artists and poets, sculptors and writers, initially in Switzerland. They would hold events where three or more poets would read different poems at once. They might disrupt symphony concerts by standing to lecture or shout nonsense. The most extreme Dada act was suicide, or even murder.

     

     

    we are here to help

    Caveat Emptor

    by | Nov 5, 2014
    Caveat Emptor

    When my phone rang a couple of weeks ago I glanced at Caller ID to avoid predictable requests for my generosity. I’m too polite to turn people down without explanation, which wastes my time and theirs. Sometimes they are so persuasive, I’m sorry I answered. The screen announced a caller with a “Private number” so I answered the call. A recorded Asian voice introduced himself as “Stephen Wright”, immediately arousing my suspicion.

     

     

    the midterms

    Shame on Us For Giving Still More Power to Such a Party

    by | Nov 5, 2014
    Shame on Us For Giving Still More Power to Such a Party

    Shame on us, the American People. Giving more power to a Republican Party that has has been blatantly indifferent to the good of the nation. Never in American history has there been a party so consistently destructive in its impact on America. Indeed, it is hard to find an instance these past six years when the Republicans have even tried to be constructive, tried to address our national problems…

     

     

    vested interests

    Government by Developer

    by | Nov 3, 2014
    Government by Developer

    In Glynn County, Georgia, I recently discovered, the county planning staff has been passing off amendments to the master plan, drawn up by developers, as their own. At least, we still have an elected County Commission involved. In East Texas, it turns out, developers set up new taxing districts that then sell bonds to finance their projects by holding elections in which a single vote is cast by someone who’s been moved onto the land just to satisfy a legal requirement. The Dallas Morning News has been covering the scam. No wonder voting has become a big issue in Texas.

     

     

    georgia

    Simply put, Vote “No!” on all questions on Tuesday’s ballot

    by | Nov 2, 2014
    Simply put, Vote "No!" on all questions on Tuesday's ballot

    Next Tuesday, when you go to vote, you’ll be faced with two constitutional amendments on the ballot, plus one resolution. Today let’s examine what they are, and comment on them. But first, realize that you may be like many Georgians: complaining on why you are being asked to decide such complicated measures. We feel it’s because of two reasons.

     

     

    on styles

    ARTicle #2

    by | Nov 2, 2014
    ARTicle #2

    Western Artists at the turn of the 20th century were faced with an emerging modern era, which they enthusiastically embraced or scornfully dismissed. Young Picasso was an enthusiast, attracted particularly to Paul Cezanne’s paintings, which were, in part, geometric simplifications of the subject, whether a portrait or landscape. Picasso developed this to its logical conclusion, and beyond, in ways that would probably have scandalized Cezanne. This was Cubism.

     

     

    part 10

    Ideas that Can Make Liberal America Stronger: Value is at the Heart of Our Humanity

    by | Oct 30, 2014
    Ideas that Can Make Liberal America Stronger: Value is at the Heart of Our Humanity

    In order to regain its moral and spiritual passions, Liberal America does not have to to embrace the forms traditional religion has used to represent the issues of good and evil. That reconnection can be achieved, by moving further forward along the path of rational, empirically-based scientific knowledge.

    In other words, the path of evidence and reason can provide us good answers to those vital questions of value — answers that can connect us to those deep parts of our human core from which comes the passionate intensity required for this urgent battle.

     

     

    another dark wood

    Promises To Keep

    by | Oct 28, 2014
    Promises To Keep

    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 that 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.”

     

     

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