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Saturday, November 25, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


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  • Writer Login


    kill to kill trump's tax scam

    #TrumpTax Scam – If you do nothing else, do this

    by #TrumpTax Scam – If you do nothing else, do this

    The Senate test vote (aka: motion to proceed or pre-vote vote) could be next Monday, November 27. They could bring it to the floor as early as Thursday, November 30th. We need to make some noise until we defeat this bill that even Forbes called “The End Of All Economic Sanity In Washington.” Calling your senators is a good thing (capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121). Do it. But that isn’t enough.

    This fight will come down to just a couple of Senators and the time to take action is now.

    thankful

    My Father’s Canteen

    by My Father's Canteen

    The canteen hung from a nail in my parent’s attic for decades. My father brought it home from Hiroshima. He brought back, too, Earth Superior binoculars and a Japanese rifle and bayonet. The rifle is missing. Its bayonet remains. War relics.

    Look closely. You’ll see the designation U.S. A.G. M. Co. 1942 on this World War II canteen. A.G. M. stood for the Aluminum Goods Manufacturing Company. Check eBay. Folks are selling history, war relics.

    fantastic meal #89

    Almost Mom’s Oyster Dressing

    by Thanksgiving Oyster Dressing by Earl Fisher

    I’ve often wondered if other countries have a national holiday like we do—Thanksgiving—an entire day dedicated to eating, followed by National Leftover Day, a holy day almost as big a hit as T-Day, itself. Is there a Sardine Day in Norway? A Fish & Chips Day in Great Britain? I really don’t know, although I’m sure I could Google it if I could figure out how to ask the right question.

    the decades astonish and steal

    Saving Trinity, Part III

    by Front of historic Trinity Episcopal Church in Abbeville

    A notice on the front door warns that you look at the church at your own risk. The church stands empty. Closed. Nothing new. Trinity Episcopal closed during the Great Depression. “When my mother and aunt came back here to live in retirement, they tried other churches and it just didn’t work,” said May. “So, they got some friends who had grown up in the church with them and reopened the church. The first service was on November 1, 1948.”

    candidate ga psc

    John Noel Is Running with the Sun

    by PSC candidate John Noel wants Georgia’s energy future to be solar-powered

    Republican victories in Georgia Public Service Commission races have been so predictable in recent years that Democrats haven’t bothered to field a candidate in three of the past five elections. Next year is shaping up to be quite different for the state’s asleep-at-the-wheel all GOP regulatory agency, however.

    Here’s why…

    corporate criminals

    Testimony to the Georgia Public Service Commission

    by Testimony to the Georgia Public Service Commission

    Nov. 6, 2017. My name is Stephen Wingeier. Wouldn’t it be great if all Georgia citizens had the day off to participate in their democracy today? Luckily for me, Monday is my day off. But by holding this so-called “public hearing” during the workday, you are excluding the vast majority of Georgians.

    Long after Monsanto Corporations’s own secret studies revealed the toxicity of DDT, they kept right on selling it. Long after the tobacco industry did secret studies proving that cigarettes are carcinogenic, it kept on pretending cigarettes were safe. And long after the plastics industry secretly knew it was poisoning its workers, it kept right on poisoning them. None of these corporate crimes was halted until government regulators stepped in.

    reviews: lehane, taibbi, clavin, tolle

    Text Addict

    by Drawing/Cartoon of police spokesperson: “Ok, our new human rights policy - make sure there are no video cameras around when assaulting civilians” was created by © Tom Ferguson.

    So I ran across Dennis LeHane’s latest in the new book shelf at the Atlanta Ponce library. His Mystic River was first rate – so says James Lee Burke. But he wrote one where I felt so suckered I vowed not to read him again. But this one drew me in, thought I’d give it a chance. The first hundred pages read like a book club book: serious, smart writing, psychologically insightful, lot of research to make the world he’s portraying credible.

    we cannot forget

    KSU Cheerleaders Kneeling in the Stream of History

    by The public lynching of Samuel "Tom" Wilkes in 189

    A few weeks ago, just before a football game against the visiting Crusaders from North Greenville University, five Kennesaw State University cheerleaders knelt during the playing of the National Anthem to protest police brutality against African Americans. KSU officials promptly banned the cheerleaders from the football field at future games until after the national anthem had been played.

    On Wednesday, in a letter to the KSU community, President Sam Olens announced that “I have decided that at Kennesaw State University’s next home game on November 11, the pre-game program will be restored to its original format, with the cheerleaders taking the field before the singing of the National Anthem.”

    the decades astonish and steal

    Saving Trinity, Part II

    by Trinity's interior in better times. Photo by Bill Fitzpatrick.

    Owing to the need to save money for their daughters’ college tuition, it took May and her husband fifteen years to move to Abbeville After her mother died. That was in 1977. “We came and never looked back,” she said. Her husband took early retirement and she quit teaching first grade. “No more,” she said, but more was in store. A school in the country urgently needed a teacher. “I pitched in and ended up teaching four more years, but that gave me four more years of retirement money.”

    finding self

    Why We Build

    by Why We Build

    I built my first coffin as an eight-year-old in 1952, a time when dogs still trotted freely in the street in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio. They had full reign of the neighborhood. Sawdust and Timber, my two young beagles, slept in my bed with me. We had to jockey for space. At that age, I didn’t mind rolling over on a wet and slimy shard of chewed bone. One summer afternoon Sawdust ran under a speeding Buick Roadmaster. Trailing a few steps behind, Timber only heard the thump.

    think, remember, reflect

    Who do you hate?

    by Exhibit - Center for Civil and Human Rights - Atlanta by Albert Vecerka-Esto

    I grew up in the segregated South. In my seven years of elementary school, four years of high school, and four years of college, there was never a black student in my school.

    I was there on the Sunday morning in 1960 when the leaders of my Methodist church gathered nervously on the front steps fearful that a black family was going to come to worship. When I asked my Dad what everybody was afraid of, he said, “you don’t understand.”

     

    the decades astonish and steal

    Saving Trinity, Part I

    by Saving Trinity, Part I

    August 31. Rain from Harvey’s remnants made the driving tough along Highway 34. The wipers met out a metronome-like beat as log truck after log truck slung sheets of water across my windshield, a clattering collision of water against glass. My destination? Abbeville, South Carolina to meet photographer-writer-historian Bill “Big Sky” Fitzpatrick. A gusty, gray rain seemed fitting for a mission to see who and what might halt the crumbling of historic Trinity Episcopal Church.

    hiking the at

    Song of Hiawatha

    by Appalachian Trail Rock Tunnel

    Since my early teens, I have loved the out-of-doors and spent many a good moment there, sometimes in the company of others, often in blissful solitude.

    At the age of forty, beset by an unexpected urge to solo trek, I strapped on a JanSport backpack large enough for a bathtub, filled it with fifty-four pounds of gear and sustenance, and hiked north on the Appalachian Trail (AT) out of Damascus, Virginia, bound for the high country of Mt. Rogers and Grayson Highlands. After a schlep of nine miles on day one, mostly uphill, I collapsed and camped right beside the trail, too exhausted to search for a better spot. Each day thereafter, however, I grew stronger…

    there is a bigger deal out there

    The Chase for Amazon

    by he rendering of the Amazon building in the Denny Regrade neighborhood of Seattle by NBBJ

    It has been hard to ignore the buzz created by the chase for Amazon’s second headquarters. Five billion dollars in construction costs and 50,000 “high-paying” jobs. 238 proposals have been submitted to Amazon from all across North America. Of course there were.

    While all the proposals were made in secret, it is safe to assume that no incentive was left out.

    southern blood

    Valhalla

    by Valhalla

    Without fanfare the bass player, Bob Keller, stepped to a microphone and introduced the first song.

    Here’s something by Bob Dylan.”

    The wall of sound unleashed from those speakers was unlike anything we’d ever heard. Maybe like a two by four upside the head. I swear the wind from their opening notes blew my hair.

    reading list

    Meandering Mind Stream

    by Meandering Mind Stream

    Caught without my emergency notebooks, not even a book, I found myself with 45 minutes to kill before the East Atlanta library opened. Fortunately Joe’s Coffee Shop is nearby.

    Browsing their little book shelf I found a John le Carré novel. With coffee I read ten or fifteen pages, marveling at his superb writing. Coincidentally the hold books I was there to pick up included a le Carré memoir, a collection of magazine articles he published over the years, a unique form of memoir…

    that the best he's got

    Donny O’Trump and the Liddle People

    by Donny O'Trump and the Liddle People

    Randy Newman caused an uproar years ago when he released a catchy pop ditty in which he declared that “short people got no reason to live.” The singer-songwriter insisted “Short People”was a metaphorical, anti-bigotry joke, as was his bent, but that didn’t stop a lot of short people and their families and friends from wanting to cut him off at the knees. I wonder why we haven’t heard a similar outcry over Donald Trump’s fondness for belittling “liddle” people. He’s not joking, much less engaging in metaphor.

    aging

    Nothing’s Gonna Touch You in These Golden Years

    by lifecyle of a dandelion blossom

    My right eye is doing the heavy lifting; my left, just along for the ride for now.

    Six months ago, I had a detached and torn retina in my left eye. Thanks to micro- and laser-surgery techniques, they can fix that. Not that long ago, I would’ve lost the sight in the eye. The cause? Old age, my friend, old age. While detached and/or torn retinas can happen as the result of an injury, in folks my age, they’re caused by 1) a misshapen eye (mine are extremely myopic; I had worn glasses for distance since third grade until I had LASIK a decade ago) …

    painting barns

    See Rock City

    by See Rock City

    In my mom’s back yard stands a red and black birdhouse on a white pole. Its roof holds iconic words. “See Rock City.” If it had not been for Garnet Carter and Clark Byers, that birdhouse wouldn’t exist. Times were, you could drive along a back road and sooner or later you’d see a barn with its roof turned into an advertisement.

    You’ll be hard pressed today to find a barn’s roof declaring “See 7 States from Rock City.” In case you’ve never heard of it, Rock City is a roadside attraction in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. Gigantic rock formations, a Lovers Leap, and caverns with black lights I recall. I remember, too, Ruby Falls but that’s an attraction inside Lookout Mountain.

    education by tv

    Irish Famine

    by Queen Victoria transforms to TV Queen Victoria

    Popular on British and American TV screens, the series ”Victoria” about the reign of Queen Victoria, starring Jenna Coleman, is a great way to become familiar with the history of England without reading books. Only a small percentage of the population reads history books, and even there, some issues are not fully covered. For many British viewers it was the first they had learned about the horrors of the 1840s Irish Famine… 

    protecting class privilege

    Vietnam in the Air

    by Vietnam in the Air

    Timely to have happened on the book, Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam by Mark Bowden, at the library just as the Ken Burns’ Vietnam: A Television History began on PBS. I was curious to see what perspective was brought to both the book and documentary. The factoid that especially interested me: Vietnam was one country, temporarily divided by the Geneva Accords …

    a deeper observation

    Taking A Knee for the National Anthem

    by Taking A Knee for the National Anthem

    It is obvious there is anger throughout the league from world renown athletes to the general managers of those professional teams. Professional athletes such as LeBron James, professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, have spoken out about racial injustices throughout our nation and have exemplified their frustration for our current president, Donald Trump. LeBron does not stand alone …

    faux patriotism

    Respecting the Constitution

    by Respecting the Constitution

    So let me get this straight; the primary way for Americans to properly respect our country, flag and all those soldiers who died for our right to say what we want, act the way we want, and worship in the manner we see fit is to attend a sporting event and reverently stand while an ode to a night of bombardment during a war we didn’t win, set to the tune of a British drinking song, is sung by some diva trying to sing it completely apart from what it was intended.

    southern queer vs. yankee cop

    A time to be silent or a time to speak?

    by Rainbow colored golden retriever

    I enjoy the diversity of the waiting room when I go for a routine checkup to my miracle worker, Dr. Lobiondo, Director of the Wound Center at Clara Maass Hospital in Newark, NJ. More than five years ago his rigorous routines completely cured a large open wound on my left leg, a result of lymphedema. For 2 years I had been sleeping in a chair with my legs elevated, but no noticeable improvement. Then I discovered Dr. Lobiondo…

    in the past

    A Sunday Drive

    by Noble SC Governors Grave

    Used to be customary for folks to take Sunday drives. I don’t think people today tend to do that as much as the older folks did but they should. It’s enjoyable and revealing. Of course we still use “Sunday driver” to describe a driver who dawdles, and dawdling is in order when the drive itself is the destination.

    Sunday, September 17 my sister, Deb and family friend Teresa took me to an old cemetery I’d never seen. Across the Savannah …

     

    just won't die

    The “Heritage, Not Hate” Dodge

    by zombie confederates

    Yet again, over 150 years after Appomattox, we’re still at one another’s throats about the meaning of the horrendous bloodletting that ended with a half-page of surrender terms and a handshake. The proximate trigger for the recent mayhem in Charlottesville was the city’s plan to remove a monument to Robert E. Lee. Now the air is thick with denunciations of similar monuments for valorizing traitors …

  • DewTubes


  • Come Back, Barack - SNL

    Everything You Know About
    Thanksgiving is WRONG
    Decoded
    MTV News

    Green Day - Back In The USA

    The Trump Presidency:
    Last Week Tonight with
    John Oliver (HBO)

    Georgia Dome Implosion

    "IT'S ALL A FRAUD"
    Bernie Sanders on
    Donald Trump & His
    Billionaire Lackeys

    Paul Manafort's House Cold Open
    SNL

    We Can All Do Better
    Than Roy Moore
    November 15, 2017 Act 1
    Full Frontal on TBS

    Meet The Pences
    November 15, 2017 Act 2
    Full Frontal on TBS

    What's Happening To Tangier Island?
    November 15, 2017 Act 3
    Full Frontal on TBS

    The Future Of Comedy
    November 15, 2017 Act 4
    Full Frontal on TBS

    "The Shady Bunch"
    a Roy Zimmerman song parody

    Don't Stop Believin'
    Postmodern Jukebox

    Nonsensical Rifle Addiction

    Trump Even Made Pardoning
    Turkeys About Obama

    Saving Miley from Costco

    Love Has No Labels
    Diversity & Inclusion

    A Practical Guide for Resisting
    the Trump Agenda
    BRAVE NEW FILMS

    "The Elections Are Rigged"
    Arnold Schwarzenegger On
    Trump, Congress, Gerrymandering

    A Penis PSA
    October 11, 2017
    Full Frontal on TBS



  • random stories from our past

    Burn Out

    by Mandy Richburg Rivers

    Burn Out

    I have a confession to make.  I burn stuff all the time.  It’s a problem I’ve been dealing with since the onions were born.  I love cooking – obviously – but it’s more than just a pastime.  When I say I love it, I mean I want to marry it and have its babies.  Then cut my palm and take...

    [ read more ]

    10 Craziest Economic Policy Ideas Of 2011

    by Waldron, Somanader & Garofalo

    10 Craziest Economic Policy Ideas Of 2011

    The economy continued to struggle through 2011, with persistently high unemployment, a foreclosure crisis that kept on burning, and banks behaving badly in a whole host of ways. And there were plenty of ideas from economists, lawmakers, and pundits about what to do about it. But some ideas were, sha...

    [ read more ]

    Barks' poems: 'Brim full of joy'

    by Ted Kooser

    Barks' poems: 'Brim full of joy'

    Coleman Barks, who lives in Georgia, is not only the English language's foremost translator of the poems of the 13th century poet, Rumi, but he's also a loving grandfather, and for me that's even more important. His poems about his granddaughter, Briny, are brim full of joy. Here's one: Glad ...

    [ read more ]

    Born on the 4th of July

    by Dallas Lee

    Born on the 4th of July

    His name is legion in the United States of America’s great family album – the veteran who serves youthful years in horrific danger in a distant war, then comes home and never has much to say about it. Unless calling up memories that make us laugh with him. Walter Boone Lucas was such a fellow...

    [ read more ]

    Commission needs to release proposal on Briscoe Field

    by Elliott Brack

    Commission needs to release proposal on Briscoe Field

    Have you noticed a distinct absence of any positive news lately about the possible commercialization and privatization of Briscoe Field, Gwinnett's airport? There's a reason. The one firm proposing vast improvements to commercialize the airport is legally hampered from being a party to any dis...

    [ read more ]

    On the Other Side of the River

    by Fred Brown

    On the Other Side of the River

    [caption id="attachment_17983" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Former Sen. Howard Baker at Doris Lovett funeral"][/caption] Sen. Howard Baker, known around Huntsville, Tennessee, as "Howard Henry," said his longtime secretary Doris Lovett was a "remarkable, remarkable woman." Young pup...

    [ read more ]

    Dew Drops: Charlotte wants 2012 convention

    by Ron Taylor

    Dew Drops:  Charlotte wants 2012 convention

    Former Democratic national chairman Don Fowler is helping Charlotte, North Carolina, crank up its bid to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention.  Fowler, a South Carolinian who chaired the party from 1995 to 1997, served as CEO of the 1988 Democratic convention in Atlanta.  Charlotte is amon...

    [ read more ]

    I’ve been Repoodiated – The redefining of America

    by Trevor Stone Irvin

    I’ve been Repoodiated – The redefining of America

    Normal English: Main Entry: re·pu·di·ate Pronunciation: ri-ˈpyü-dē-ˌāt Function: transitive verb / Inflected Form(s): re·pu·di·at·ed; re·pu·di·at·ing Etymology: Latin from repudium rejection of a prospective spouse, divorce 1: to divorce or separate formally from (a woman) 2:...

    [ read more ]

    Paul Simon's Memphis Blues

    by Jeff Cochran

    Paul Simon's Memphis Blues

    At supper my dad told of a conversation he had with a client in Pennsylvania earlier that day. It was April 9, 1968, the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was laid to rest. "I guess you people are wearing black armbands down there today," Dad's client snickered. "No," Dad responded, "but maybe we shoul...

    [ read more ]

    For Your Viewing Pleasure

    by Meg Livergood Gerrish

    For Your Viewing Pleasure

    While setting up our first color television with remote control, my husband made an irrevocable, tactical error. He mumbled, "I don't really like television." It was more of a reaction to the money just spent than declaring an actual aversion to television. But he uttered those words while adjust...

    [ read more ]

    Robbers, Bankers, Bandits, Kings

    by Billy Howard

    Robbers, Bankers, Bandits, Kings

    (a valentine of sorts) Robbers lives are filled with naught living on what others bought sneaking in your house at night and taking everything in sight. Bankers make their wealth in loans of which you pay them back with moans they keep their money stale and dry and late ...

    [ read more ]

    Cuneiform

    by Steve Krodman

    Cuneiform

    PORTABLE INFORMATION STORAGE SYSTEM requires no batteries, stores images or alphanumeric characters with equal ease. Data retrieval uses principle of SELECTIVE REFLECTION™ in conjunction with electromagnetic radiation source (not included). Access any part of your database with simple manual ...

    [ read more ]

    Who Will Really Wield Power In Congress?

    by Matthew Wright

    Who Will Really Wield Power In Congress?

    Talk about season of the witch... Let me first state the obvious truth:  You must govern now.  It's one thing to be the engine of virulent, persistent agitation.  Now, you must make laws.  I hope you can actually achieve this, considering you've had a grand time standing on the sidelines for ...

    [ read more ]

    Devil May Care?

    by Just Plain Will

    Devil May Care?

    Justplainwill will now take your questions. Dear Justplainwill: I'm outraged. Here I am, working my ass off, trying my best to get along with people on the other side of the aisle, trying to get a Grand Bargain and they pull this latest crap. It's not at all funny. When I first saw the pic...

    [ read more ]

    All The Light We Cannot See

    by David Evans

    All The Light We Cannot See

    At this time in my life I am beginning to view so much of what is happening around me through an increasingly cynical prism. As a friend is quick to point out, though, that behind every committed cynic there is a disappointed idealist wondering what happened to a world that once seemed so good a...

    [ read more ]

    Defense, Defense

    by Doug Cumming

    Defense, Defense

    Southerners are said to be obsessed with their own history. It’s true, belying that old dictum that history is always written by the winners. Even now, well into the 21st century, I find myself wading into the murky waters of that Southern obsession with the past, which invariably goes back to sla...

    [ read more ]

    Scent of kerosene leaves mark

    by Andy Brack

    Scent of kerosene leaves mark

    ALONG THE GULF COAST – The hint of kerosene in the air on Mobile Bay served as an immediate reminder of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It wasn't an overpowering scent, but a faint fragrance similar to what you might smell a few minutes after spraying WD-40 on something. For al...

    [ read more ]

    Remembering Danburg, Georgia

    by Tom Poland

    Remembering Danburg, Georgia

    Author’s Note: The day after Thanksgiving my mom and I drove to Danburg just over the line in Wilkes County. That afternoon transported us to a time when Danburg was far more than a small place at a country crossroads. It was a place where people prospered. It lives on in isolation with reminders ...

    [ read more ]

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

    by Jeffry Scott

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

    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 t...

    [ read more ]

    How The News Lost Me

    by Tom Poland

    How The News Lost Me

    In elementary school, Mrs. Murray Norman praised me one day for my ability to keep up with current events. As a kid I watched the Today show. I watched the Huntley-Brinkley Report. I watched local news on Augusta's WJBF and WRDW. I knew what was going on and I could answer Mrs. Norman's current even...

    [ read more ]



  • Submitted by Readers

    Quotes & Stuff


    https://my.ofa.us/Defend-Our-Climate-Progress

    0601_cc_potusquote_email2

    https://my.ofa.us/Defend-Our-Climate-Progress

    Go to https://www.ofa.us/

    Organizing for Action

    Go to Organizing for Action

    A sign by Kristin Joiner, on a neighbor's lawn (Photo by Mike Licht)

    A sign by Kristin Joiner

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/32066779640/in/dateposted/

    Scott Pruitt Is Not Up For The Job

    The Climate Reality Project

    Gideons Promise

    Gideon’s Promise

    PenceWatchdotUS

    PenceWatch.us

    Women_March_Report_opt22

    Everytown For Gun Safety

    Tom Price

    UltraViolet

    Occupy Democrats

    http://occupydemocrats.com

    https://www.barackobama.com/push-forward-with-ofa/

    We have work to do

    https://www.barackobama.com/push-forward-with-ofa/

    We Can't Trust Big Oil Insiders

    ClimateRealityProject.org

    Canaries in the Coal Mine

    Southern Poverty Law Center https://www.facebook.com/SPLCenter/

    Listen to FDR

    (DonkeyHotey/flickr/CC)

    Grant - Quote

    (DonkeyHotey/flickr/CC)

  • getting to the whole truth

    The CIA’s Tortured Amnesia

    by CIA TORTURE REPORT by Paresh Nath

    It’s too bad the trial of two CIA contract psychologists who created the “torture” interrogation program in the wake of 9/11 was canceled and the case settled out of court. The trial, scheduled for September 5th, might have provided publicity that could help prevent future abuses in the name of national security. Such publicity could also call attention to the need for creating a stronger institutional memory …

    fantastic meal #90

    Blue-Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

    by Blue-Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

    We were not big potato eaters when I was growing up. My mom was a stay-at-home housewife and did most of the cooking, and baked or mashed potatoes weren’t high on her list of dinnertime sides. Rice and black-eyed peas, however, were. And as much as my dad loved black-eyed peas and rice, he did not fail to let us all know that he sure missed an occasional side of mashed potatoes, rolls, and gravy. I think the sore point here was the gravy, but it could have been the rolls.

    kegger stories

    Ground Ball Back To You, I Got The Throw

    by Pi Lambda Phi House at the University of Virginia

    “Jimmy Joe, ground ball back to you, I got the throw at second.”

    I joined a Greek fraternity at the University of Virginia in the fall of 1976. Like most large schools with dozens of different houses, an incoming freshman had a lot to choose from. There were old Southern houses that dated back to the Civil War. There were heavy drinking houses. Other houses preferred…

    hidden beauty

    The Long Way Home

    by A vintage rural scene come summer. A farmer’s crops and a dirt road just off Highway 34 between Silverstreet and Chappells. Blue, green, white and beige, the colors of the Earth.

    Labor Day I labored. I wrote the photo captions for my new book due out next spring about lesser-traveled road, a familiar refrain. By now you readers surely can tell what I’m working on by the columns I write. I’ve often written about my expeditions into the countryside. I drove over 10,000 miles deliberately avoiding interstates. I chose to take the long way home as Supertramp famously sang.

    values in caricature

    The Big Board Game, Capitalism

    by The Big Board Game, Capitalism

    In terms of articulating what’s going on, who runs things for whose benefit in the country, hell, the world, we are gifted with two stand-out analysts; Noam Chomsky and Michael Parenti. I’ve been reading Chomsky’s first book on the subject, American Power and the New Mandarins and an early book of Parenti’s, The Sword and the Dollar… 

    a sooty middle finger

    What the truck! Should monster pickups be outlawed?

    by Big red monster truck

    I was stopped for a red light while on my way to the grocery store when it pulled up in the lane next to me. I heard its rumble and felt its shadow fall like a partial eclipse before I actually saw it. When I glanced left from the window of my medium-sized sedan, I was eye level with its underbelly – the pristine wheel wells, the giant tires, the gleaming chassis, a concentration of chrome like a buck-toothed teenager’s orthodontics. The reflections of my car and the car just ahead of me in its side panels didn’t even reach as high as its door handles…

    climate change is real

    And now for the hard work

    by And now for the hard work

    Hurricane Harvey has brought death, unfathomable destruction, loss of homes and a deeply distraught community of caring people throughout the world.  How can we help? What do we do now?

    We will reach out, and offer whatever we can.  I particularly love the #cajunnavy and all the out-of-state volunteers from California and New York rushing to our side.

    fight them at every turn

    Understanding Racism

    by Trump Rally Asheville by Will Thomas

    I can’t really help myself. It just happens. Whenever I see images of Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, or reasonable facsimiles, I think of Groucho Marx. The comedian from my dad’s generation famously stated that he would never want to join an exclusive club that was willing to accept him as a member.

    While viewing photos from KKK members, Confederate sympathizers’ mug shots, or watching the footage from places like Charlottesville, I can’t help but think: This is supposed to be an example of a superior race? Really?

    staring at the sun

    Today we were animals

    by Preparing for the eclipse

    For one brief, shining moment, we gathered near strangers, didn’t fear for our lives, and watched the moon blot out the sun.  The moon & sun were gliding all over fly-by land, giving us a quick peek at our natural selves; amazed, amused and/or otherwise distracted from the chaos of our own creation. We thought about our place in the universe, among the other animals making noises and clustering together.

    doing stupid stuff

    I Peed On That

    by St Louis night by Daniel Schwen

    I started my career in information technology in September 1983 at the Wilmington, DE office of Digital Equipment Corporation [DEC]. The Wilmington office serviced the E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co account. Better known as DuPont, they were the largest chemical company in the United States and No. 6 on the Fortune 500. They were huge and impossible to please…

    context is not pc

    The Burden of Being a Southern, Part II

    by Sigbee drive cemetary

    Henry Kidd, who identified himself as a former national officer of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, objected to adding context. “Every tourist who comes to Richmond wants to see Monument Avenue; they don’t want to see a politically correct Monument Avenue,” Kidd said. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

    I will give Levar Stoney’s credit for appointing the Monument Avenue Commission to determine the fate of Lost Cause monuments …

    who will it be?

    The Honorable Senator from Alabama

    by Jeff Sessions, Roy Moore, Luther Strong

    The good folks in my home state of Alabama aren’t too sophisticated when it comes to voting excellent people into office. Consider that Jeff Sessions has been our senator for a long time, mostly running unopposed, or infrequently against some poor Democrat with no idea what he’s about to get involved in.

    Sessions perfected the religious fervor that doesn’t quite slip over into craziness …

    #charlottesville

    Playing With Fire

    by Charlottesville Unite The Right Rally photo taken by Rodney Dunning

    “Promise me, son, not to do the things I’ve done
    Walk away from trouble if you can
    It won’t mean you’re weak if you turn the other cheek
    I hope you’re old enough to understand
    Son, you don’t have to fight to be a man”

    As we read our Sunday newspapers or listen to the news, we hear the same story over and over again, the violence in Charlottesville Virginia.  I was afraid this was going to happen.

    fantastic meal #91

    Summertime Soup

    by Summertime Soup

    When August drifts around every year, there is little to celebrate here in the Deep South. It’s hot and humid one day, hotter and more humid the next. A day or so ago he humidity was at 99%. I thought we had to be under water to get a 99% reading. There is one good thing about August in the South, however, and that’s the proliferation of summer vegetables. Tomatoes, peppers, okra, squash, and cucumbers will grow like weeds if there’s enough rain…

    so easy to steal here

    New Wave Mobsters

    by Mafiya by © Tom Ferguson

    Mobsters tend to evolve out of inner city poverty. The young look around and notice the people in the neighborhood with flashy lifestyles, who don’t go hungry, who lord it over ordinary citizens. They resemble the intimidating bullies in their own circles who ham-fistedly appropriate their lunch money and humiliate them in other ways. The limited options visible on their horizon tempt the young and some inevitably are drawn into criminal apprenticeship.

    southern places

    A Country Club Like No Other

    by Harold's Signage -photo by Tom Poland

    Down near Yemassee, South Carolina, is a country club like no other. Harold’s Country Club proclaims that it is “in the middle of nowhere but close to everywhere.” That’s true. You’ll find it off Highway 21 at 97 Highway, 17A. I did when I pulled up in front of a faded sign that’s seen its share of Lowcountry sunlight. Nonetheless it’s colorful. A grill full of ribs, chicken, and a huge steak fill one side, a frosty mug of beer …

    fight like hell for the living

    100 Years Ago, Frank Little Died for Our Rights. Today, the Struggle Continues.

    by Jaz Brisack

    I stepped in an anthill at 4:17 yesterday morning, as I pounded a yellow “Union Yes” sign into the dewy ground outside the mile-long Nissan factory in Canton, Mississippi.

    Later in the day, on my way to visit workers and discuss the upcoming vote, I saw someone removing the signs along the highway exit ramp, as a MDOT truck blinked idly nearby. Looking closer, I noticed that the man yanking up our morning’s work was wearing striped trousers beneath his neon vest.

    more a direction

    Plumnelly: A Road Mark

    by Cheaha State Park by Andrea Wright

    On July 17, 1936, five months before I was born, an area of 393 acres of wilderness in Alabama’s Talladega County was established as a U.S. National Forest. One of its many glories is Cheaha Mountain, Alabama highest point, visible from our front porch. Dad and I camped out at many different spots in the park throughout most summers while I was growing up, and often we encountered no other human being.

    in the war on science

    Revenge of the Nerds

    by March for Science, Washington, DC by Becker1999 (Paul and Cathy)

    Earlier this month, the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a damning report: Sidelining Science Since Day One—How the Trump Administration Has Harmed Public Health and Safety in Its First Six Months.

    The value of science to policy making has been recognized in the United States at least since 1863, when President Lincoln, at the height of the Civil War, signed into law a bill establishing the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), charging it with the task of “providing independent, objective advice…

    southern addiction

    Football Sex and Old Time Religion

    by Football Sex and Old Time Religion

    The recent stunning downfall of the Ole Miss football coach has all the elements of a Southern Gothic tale. I’m surprised this wasn’t based on a Faulkner novel. Hugh Freeze resigned abruptly after being caught with incriminating evidence of sexual hanky-panky. The story had all the true elements of a southern tragedy; sex, religion, and football. What better way to spend an Autumn Saturday afternoon.

    abstraction distraction

    In a Word, Authentic

    by Scar-Moochi (aka: Anthony Scaramucci) by © Trevor Irvin

    The word “authentic” is being tossed around a lot these days … another empty-calorie, tasteless ingredient in today’s word salad. The kale of the word world.

    The other day, a leaking pustule of a man, Anthony Scaramucci, took over the job of White House Communications Director from the former dripping abscess, Sean Spicer. During one of his attempts at deceiving the press and the public, Scaramucci, started rambling on about just how great Sarah Huckabee was, saying,

    people need to know

    Clinton Tried to Win Election

    by he Ties That Bind was created by © Trevor Irvin

    Breaking Newz: A quickly unfolding scandal has revealed that Hillary Clinton colluded with millions of democrats nationwide to vote against Donald Trump during the 2016 elections.

    In a statement today, Satan’s BedBug, Kellyanne Conway, said “We hope it is clear to America now how unfairly Donald Trump was treated. When Donald Trump ran for president, Hillary purposely tried to win. We see this as proof she colluded with American Democrats…

    it all comes down to this

    Goosing Adrenaline

    by Goosing Adrenaline

    I swear, I don’t know what gets into people.

    This latest head scratcher starts when the morning’s news feed flashes a headline about an American from Virginia Beach, Virginia who gets ‘run through’ – i.e.: seriously gored – by a bull last weekend as he ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

    shoe already dropped

    The Smoking Gun

    by The Smoking Gun

    For months, there has been smoke; thick, black smoke that cannot be seen through. It certainly seemed like the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, something seemed suspicious, but there was never any proof. But no smoking gun

    For weeks, there has been a very warm gun. Meetings between Flynn, Sessions, Page, Kushner, etc…with Russian officials that had conveniently been forgotten. But no smoking gun.

    we must dissent

    Salute This Flag

    by John Beecher in 1976 by © Rob Amberg for the Asheville arts monthly, “The Arts Journal”.

    Several friends found it difficult to celebrate the Fourth of July this year. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

    I strive not to let these forces win the biggest gift I could give them, namely to shut up and wait out their dominion. Instead, we must wrestle; we must dissent.

    100 million

    From Butter Churns To Baseball Bats

    by Louiville Slugger by Tom Poland

    She kept the old churn in the kitchen. I see it vividly, even now. I watched my Grandmother Poland churn butter, a memory that sure seems old-fashioned in this digital age. I have no idea who made that churn. It vanished with the years, nowhere to be found, but I can tell you this much: baseball bats and butter churns share a connection.

    For me, this story begins in Apex, North Carolina where I was visiting my daughter and her family the weekend of June 10. The occasion was my grandson’s graduation from high school…

    and then i knew

    Dancing with Wolves

    by Dancing with Wolves

    I worshipped the man.

    Like a puppy, I waited expectantly his daily homecoming, ever eager to ask a child’s question: “What kind of day did you have?” “Oh, I had a good day,” he might say. Other times his face and his words told a different story: “It was a rough day.” If it had been a “rough day,” sometimes I’d ask why, but he never divulged much.

    remembering

    The Boy Who Stoned Cats

    by The Boy Who Stoned Cats

    Late in the afternoon a strange noise came from the vegetable garden beside the house, it was the sound of a bird in distress. The bird was squeaking, flapping its injured wing and hopping frantically around to escape from two large black birds attacking it. The boy grabbed a straw broom and waved it at the black birds until they flew away.

    The little bird continued to squeak and hop around as the boy tried to catch it…

    throwback to another era

    The Old Hand Pump

    by 76 station hand water pump by Tom Poland

    “The pump don’t work ’cause the vandals took the handles,” wrote Bob Dylan as he closed out “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” Vandals have yet to get the handle of the pump you see here, but I don’t know if it works. I didn’t try it. Wish I had. Let’s just say that it works and that’s why it didn’t end up in the scrap metal pile. Let’s add that if you work the handle enough, your reward will be gurgling, spurts of water.

    like before fox news

    Make America Great Again

    by Celebrate Freedom Rally

    Make America Great Again

    Make America great again[1]
    Make America great again[2]
    Lift the torch of freedom[3] all across the land[4]
    Step into the future joining hand in hand
    And make America great again…[5]

    even uncle sam has bad days

    Barbecue and Patriotism Both Have a Price

    by Barbecue and Patriotism Both Have a Price

    On the Fourth of July, we naturally think of Uncle Sam, our nation’s favorite icon. While I try to keep a positive attitude about Uncle Sam in July, I can’t forget the day the old man hurt my feelings in October.

    Let me explain: Back in the day, Fairfax (AL) Cotton Mill chartered a bus to take the mill-village Boy Scouts to the Southeastern Fair in Atlanta. As a proud member of Fairfax Troop 10, I was thrilled at the prospect of such a magical journey. Going to the Southeastern Fair was like a trip to Mars…

    self-indulgent con man

    The Trump We Know

    by Trump Adolf by Viengchanh

    Any additional reassurance that Donald Trump is not an American Adolf Hitler was provided by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) last Tuesday. That is the same North Korean government entity that previously announced that North Korea had invented not only the hamburger but also a drug that cures AIDS, Ebola and cancer. So if the KCNA likens POTUS 45 to Der Fuehrer, you know it is almost certainly untrue. What is interesting is that plenty of smart people outside the information bubble…

    bona fide bbq

    That Tantalizing Smoke

    by Seatman's BBQ

    A bona fide barbecue joint should be way out in the country. It’s best if it isn’t open seven days a week. People need to wait on it. They need to anticipate the approaching banquet. Moreover, a bona fide barbecue joint needs to sit where you can see the smoke rising off hog drippings and coals as red as magma. It needs to have ample parking because patrons will pilgrimage to their preferred porcine shrine as faithfully as the rising sun.

    may we be enlightened

    The Burden of Being a Southerner

    by “United Stereotypes of America” by Haley Nahman

    This is going to be a long and rather convoluted essay. I will be long, because as a Southerner and a quasi-historian I can’t do with one word what twenty would do; it will be convoluted as my feelings on the issue I am writing about are convoluted.

    While not a huge fan of William Faulkner, I have longed admired his ability to put the South and the past in perspective. So here is the obligatory Faulkner quote, which at the end of this essay you reader can judge whether I put it all in perspective.

    nature’s magic

    The Season Of Wings

    by The Season Of Wings

    The songs of birds, cicadas, and katydids really make Southern summers special. Quickly, can you tell me the difference between a cicada and a katydid? Which sings by day, and which sings by night … Ponder that.

    Unlike past summers, this one brings rain. So far, at least. And with the rain comes life. Lawns are lush and for whatever reason I’ve noticed that fireflies seem more abundant. Come dusk, they float over and around my deck, something they’ve never done before.

     

    keeping care affordable

    Dickering with the Nation’s Health Care

    by Louie Clay's Medical Insurance Costs 1985-2017

    While Congress dickers with health care, I am taking a close look at my own costs.

    I retired on December 31, 2001. In the 15½ years since, my health costs have averaged $4,842.02 per year and have been more than $2,000 for all but one of those years.

    In the 17 years before retirement, my medical costs never reached $2,000 a year.