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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The Georgia Runoff that didn't happen

      I went to vote yesterday with a letter prepared in my head to submit to the Rome Georgia News Tribune to support Jill Nunn in a runoff. She was defeated outright in the election.

    Kay Hagan also lost in North Carolina.

     It was a sad day for America and sad for the South--See Hal Crowther Review in Love with Defeat in the summer 2013 Oxford American Magazine.

     A friend of mine attended Sunday School class with President Carter Nov 2 in Plains. In a rare Q and A session he obliquely expressed his hopes for the daughter of his friend Sam Nunn, and his grandson Jason Carter, running for Governor.

    By now Georgia should be at a better place. My friend Randall Balmer's recent bio of President Carter reminded me Nelson Price of Marietta was Carter's prayer partner when Carter was Governor of Georgia. He gave the invocation in Washington D.C. for Carter's inaugural. But Price got caught up in the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention and now trustee emeritus--he pretty much calls the shots--at Shorter College in Rome. They went through a torturous takeover of their own a couple years ago.

      Thomas Powers in the October 9 New York Review of Books tells a scorching tale of how fundamentalism--with a focus on the Baptist takeover--has morphed into Ted Cruz and Rick Perry power in the state. The tentacles reach to Ed Young who was tight with Nixon's Southern Strategist Harry Dent and is now in the pact with Fox News and the Houston ministers that have a prediliction for being on the wrong side of history. Powers is quite perceptive in how the Southern Baptist mind finds itself inadequate for addressing immigration reform and simple justice matters of inequity the Tea Party Right and Koch Brothers and ALEC were able to demagogue into a Wave Election yesterday.

       The shared history of Nelson Price and Jimmy Carter over the last 40 years is an excellent parable to gain insight into the elemental forces in evangelical history of the South that was a key aspect of the eruption yesterday. It laid the groundwork for Nathan Deal, and Tillis, even eggregious resurrection of the disastrous experiment in Kansas.

    The Georgia Runoff was  not to be. Here is what my friend the novelist and ordained Baptist Minister Lamar Wadsworth of Rockmart Georgia had to say about the vote yesterday in Georgia:

Once again, Republicans have ridden to victory on the backs of working people who vote against their own self-interest. Here in Georgia, child welfare will continue to be the red-headed stepchild of state government. Our paltry 1% raise this year was the first since gas was $1.29/gallon and groceries were half of today's prices. The state will continue to balance its budget on the backs of state employees. We will continue to lose good DFCS workers as fast as new ones can be trained and certified because of low pay and workers carrying two full caseloads. We will continue to have backlogs on CPS cases, and permanency for children will be delayed because we don't have enough people to do what we are tasked to do, and the state is not spending the money to reward longevity and experience in order to retain the best workers. In other news, we will continue to see small-town hospitals close their doors because Deal refuses to expand Medicaid, and more Georgia citizens will die before the ambulance can make it to that more distant hospital 40 miles away. The war on poor people, which replaced the war on poverty, will continue, and the crusade to abolish the middle class and drive down wages for working people will continue as we race to the bottom.

    It is the predicament expressed above President Carter with experience and the Scripture as his guide was hoping to avoid in his Sunday School class two days before this election.

     Here in Bama I voted for Baptist Deacon Governor Bentley. I think he has a good heart but his 19th Century headset limits his vision for the poor, and hampers his politics in what should be done. Even so I think I have befriended some people on his staff, so I will appeal to them and what remains of the conscience of his former pastor Rick Lance who is now the Ex Dir for Bama Baptists.

    I don't have much hope for House Speaker Mike Hubbard. I do hope his son, a freshman at Furman University can learn something from the experience of our New President Elizabeth Davis--I'm of the class of 75 and Marshall Frady of the class of 63--and maybe can help his Dad over the holidays understand how Davis worked with Ken Star. Maybe young Clayte will find an extra issue of the Fall Furman magazine to take to his Dad for Christmas.

    Still the Dixie headset is suffering, bad case of post traumatic political syndrome from the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.  In  addition to what Thomas Powers explains that brilliantly, without mincing his words in the October 9 New York Review of Books is the cover story by Jason Zengerle on how MIke Hubbard plays the game with the fetus and football under Auburn's skirts--see New Racism, New Republic. And what they miss Garry Wills explains in an earlier issue, review of Bama Grad Joe Scarborough's book on the GOP.

     So here's to Mark Cooper who ran Phil Williams GOP State Senate Campaign in my NE Bama district; Daniel Sparkman, the Senator's grandson now on staff with Governor Bentley, Boone on staff with Mike Hubbard, Clayte at Furman and Zach, the Methodist minister's son also with Governor Bentley. Have your bosses do the remedial reading.

    In my friend Charles Marsh's new bio of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, page 341, Bonhoeffer muses on  New Years Eve 1943 on the "politics of stupidity". He had a year and three months to live. Here 75 years later the Southern Red States committed a crucifixion of the righteousness and wisdom one of the three great Christian martyrs of the 20th Century tried to share.

   Kiergegaard says each generation has to learn for itself. Still in an attempt to keep cyncism and resignation at bay, I grieve for the "stupidity" we self inflicted yesterday.

    Postscript. My friend Jeff Patton lost by 188 votes for School Board in the Southern District of Dekalb County Alabama. When he lived in Rome Georgia, on the East side of Town near Sherwood Forest Baptist church, he was a friend of Matt Rose.
     Mark Colby, Sandra Killian's son in law for a time was on staff at Sherwood Forest. The Reverberations of this setback yesterday are wide indeed. 



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