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Member since: Thu Oct 21, 2004, 06:06 PM
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The day I didn't stand my ground

John Railey
Winston-Salem Journal
May 3, 2014

If John Railey had been carrying his shotgun that day, he might not have made it to his high-school graduation

After the two men knocked me in the river I treaded water, asking the one still standing there what they were going to do.
“My brother’s gone to the truck to get a gun and we’re going to kill you,” he said.
Somewhere in my fear I thought to myself: I picked a hell of a day to leave my shotgun at home.
As America continues to wrestle with questions over Florida’s stand-your-ground law and questions over gun violence in general, I often think of what happened to me that afternoon in April 1978 in my rural Virginia hometown when I was a junior in high school.
I had been getting ready to go fishing on the Nottoway River, leaving from a landing less than a half-mile from my house. I kept my canoe chained at the landing. I stood near the boat, digging some fishing worms.
A young woman barely older than me was leaning on an old pickup truck parked at the landing. She asked me what I was doing. Digging worms, I said. She made some other small talk. I was just trying to get going with the fishing.
I finished up, put the worms in a plastic container and headed for my canoe.

That’s when I saw the two men.
They’d just pulled their boat up. They walked toward me, each lugging heavy oars across their shoulders. They were shirtless, older than me and taller than me. I knew most folks who used that landing but I’d never seen these guys before. One of them said, You were talking to my girlfriend.
She just asked me about digging worms, I said. I’m just trying to go fishing.
The two men weren’t buying it. One of them pushed his long hair out of his eyes. He looked like he’d ingested something that had taken him to a mean and lonely place.
We talked in circles for another minute or so, with both men accusing me of trying to pick up the girl and me denying it.
Then the strange-eyed one just raised his big oar behind him and swung it hard toward me. I’m not real coordinated but he wasn’t real sober, so I somehow had time to reflexively cover my face with my forearms and ease the blow.

for all of it go to:


<<<<<P R E P A R E - The Spring contest is coming soon.>>>>>

Even though I did not place in the finals in the contest for "Winter" I accepted the challenge to be in charge of the contest for "Spring".

The Winner Mth44sc and I made a deal. If I take over for him, then some of his photographic skills will be transferred to me by osmosis.
What could possibly go wrong?

Here, to remind you, is his winning photograph

Winter Carolina

The Spring contest starts June 1.
I'm going to give you this heads up early since I have to be concise and tight with the scheduling due to some other commitments.

We will open for submissions on the 24th of May, but you can send me photos beforehand, I will hold them.
It will not be a hidden name contest.

We will start the contest on the 1st of June and the finals thereafter.

We should be done with it by about the 10th or so - which is in all probability the time the June regular month contest gets good and going.

Since this Spring is pretty late in showing itself, at least in my neck of the woods, it may not be too late to take time and go on a photo walk. But, as you know, it can also be a photo you already have in your files, all that matters is that you took it yourself.

I look forward to doing this with you, please do participate, I want to see your conception of re-birth.

Bill Maher interview on tonight's show: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - rest of lineup follows here

HBO tonight 10 pm EST

The Interview:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
is an NBA legend who played center for the L.A. Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks and holds the title of the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. In 2000, he coached the Clippers under owner Donald Sterling and recently wrote a Time Magazine piece on Sterling’s racial controversy.

Twitter: @kaj33

The Panel:

Monica Mehta is
a financial expert,investor and author of The Entrepreneurial Instinct. Inaddition to her role as a managing principal at Seventh CapitalInvestment, Mehta is an ambassador for Operation Hope’s Project 5117, which seeks to “empower economic mobility byteaching five million at-risk kids financial literacy basics and providing onemillion middle and high school students entrepreneurship training.”

Twitter: @MonicaMehtaNYC

Walter Kirn
is the author ofeight books and two e-books, including Upin the Air and Thumbsucker – bothof which have been made into films.His latest work, Blood Will Out, is about his “unsuspecting ten-year friendship with theimposter and murder who called himself ‘Clark Rockefeller.’”

Twitter: @WalterKirn

Lt.Gov. Gavin Newsom is the LieutenantGovernor of California. He chairs the California Commission on EconomicDevelopment and is the author of Citizenville:How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government.

Twitter: @GavinNewsom

Mid-Show Guest:

Ziggy Marley
joins the panel mid-show totalk about his latest album, Fly Rasta. Marley has also authored hisfirst children’s book,I Love You Too, and created Ziggy Marley Organics, a line of GMO-free food products.


Millionaires Unite to Defeat Minimum Wage - Borowitz keeps us informed

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) - A broad-based coalition of millionaires converged on Washington today to defeat a bill that would have increased the minimum wage for American workers to $10.10 an hour.
Leaving behind their mansions and yachts, the millionaires were motivated by what they saw as an existential threat to the country, Mitch McConnell, a spokesman for the millionaires, said.

“This was an extremely diverse coalition,” McConnell said, noting that everyone from the rich to the very rich to the super-rich united to vote down the bill.
McConnell hoped that today’s vote would burnish the millionaires’ reputation as “people who get things done.”
“Folks who have tried to pin a ‘do nothing’ label on us are dead wrong,” he said. “When it comes to stopping workers from being paid more, we spring into action.”


It looks official: George Clooney landed this woman:

Alamuddin, left, at a 2012 press conference related to the imprisonment of former Ukranian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.


Ukraine Crisis Is Too Complicated For The Sunday Shows- International Statecraft is not Junior High

April 30, 2014 12:00 am
By Gene Lyons

First comes the melodrama, next comes the killing. Good vs. evil, suffering innocents vs. swaggering bullies, heroes vs. villains. The “Two Minutes Hate,” Orwell called it — the way of the world since the invention of mass media.
So it is during the current political crisis in the Ukraine. In the U.S. media, the identity of the Bad Guy has been clearly determined: Russian president Vladimir Putin, the one-time KGB operative with the hooded eyes.
“The world has not yet forgotten World War Two, but Russia already wants to start World War Three,” Ukrainian prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk has declared. He accuses Moscow of acting like a “gangster,” of supporting “terrorists,” and alleges that Putin wishes to build a new Berlin Wall.

So what’s taking him so long? If Putin really wanted a shooting war in the Ukraine, he’s had ample opportunities to start one since the overthrow of that country’s Russian-leaning elected government last February.
Instead, Putin managed to transfer the Crimean peninsula, with its strategically crucial military bases, from Ukrainian to Russian sovereignty without firing a shot—an impressive feat of geopolitical gamesmanship whether you trust the cunning rascal or not. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine any Russian head of state willingly surrendering control of warm-water naval bases on the Black Sea.
Even if the vast majority of Crimean citizens didn’t yearn to return to Mother Russia, as quite clearly they did.
Meanwhile, the role of Good Guy in the Ukrainian melodrama has fallen by default to President Barack Obama, who appears disinclined to play it.

“Why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force,” the president asked recently, “after we’ve just gone through a decade of war at enormous cost to our troops and to our budget? And what is it exactly that these critics think would have been accomplished?”
He didn’t call any names, but Obama did mention the Sunday TV talk shows, where 2008 presidential rival Senator John McCain (R-AZ) frequently holds forth. It’s a rare interview that doesn’t find the bellicose Arizonan, who’s supported all 14 of the nation’s last three wars, yearning to bomb somebody.

read the rest here:

Sterling Says He Will Miss Being Around People He Hates - Borowitz knows and shares


LOS ANGELES (The Borowitz Report) — After being banned by the N.B.A. Tuesday afternoon, the Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling told reporters that he would miss being around people he hates.
“Sure, I’m saddened by this,” Sterling said. “Sitting in the stands night after night, a boiling cauldron of hatred bubbling inside me—it doesn’t get better than that. Those were good times.”

“Knowing that I’ll never be able to sit in that arena again and look down on the people I despise—that hurts the most,” he said.
Looking back on his three-decade tenure with the Clippers, though, Sterling said he felt some measure of satisfaction: “No one hated more people than I did, and the feeling was mutual.”

Donald Sterling Apologizes - Borowitz reveals (but will it matter?)


LOS ANGELES (The Borowitz Report)—The Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling offered a “total and remorseful” apology for his racist comments today, telling reporters, “Once I saw that Donald Trump was defending me, I knew I had done something horribly wrong.”
Sterling acknowledged that he had turned a blind eye to a mountain of criticism from basketball luminaries and national leaders, but said that seeing Trump defend him on Fox News on Monday had left him “shaken.”
“Look, I know I’m not perfect,” he said. “But when Donald Trump takes your side, you have to take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself, ‘Have I become some kind of monster?’”

Happy to show proof of spring in my yard this afternoon - we have finally solidly made it.

I may be forced to use one of these for the Seasonal Contest "Spring"

Under the rainbow made by my watering hose and the sun you can see a black arc.
That is the netting container for the little lettuce plants you see under it. The netting is to protect my future salads from the gorgeous critter in the next photo.

I live in the middle of town at a very busy street. It makes me sad how much of the wild critters' habitats we have messed with. But that does not so much apply to black bears roaming. Note the bit of graffiti behind him. it was done by my nephew with paint cans he stole from my workshop.

In all his glory, and scared out of his mind. I crept up.

And we can't not at least give a nod to the azaleas.

A Testimonial to FOX (pardon the expression) "News" - If we have already seen this

Then it's worth seeing again

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