Category: Georgia

Today’s Republicans & 1960s Segregationists: Peas in a Pod

As a native Southerner, I’m sensitive to signs that current politics is mimicking the period of segregation and Jim Crow laws. I started noting three years ago that the rise of Donald Trump and his Republicans seem to have taken us back 60 years in time, to the days before the Civil Rights victories of the 1960s.

What has really riveted me is the similarity between so many of Trump’s followers and the supposedly “moderate” white Southerners back then. Most white Southerners who preached the gospel of “segregation today, segregation, tomorrow, segregation forever” would have recoiled at being labeled racists. Segregation, they would say, was a perfectly legitimate institution, one that served the interests of both blacks and white.

And those white Southerners declared they were appalled at the violence being wrought in the name of segregation. “Why,” they would say, “I have nothing to do with the killings, the lynchings, the bombings, the beatings. I condemn those acts being committed by extremists like the Ku Klux Klan, the White Citizens Councils, the crazies. I’m just for segregation. I don’t condone violence.”

This mentality lives again in the hearts and souls of Trumpist Republicans. I call them the tut-tut Trumpists. Trump says or does some despicable thing—like bragging about sexually assaulting women, using racist slurs, kidnapping thousands of children, calling foreign countries shitholes and a female a dog, praising neo-fascist marchers in Charlottesville—and Republicans, say, tut-tut, he shouldn’t have said or done that—and go right on supporting him.

Paul Ryan is the champion practitioner of this hypocrisy. Accompanied by Georgia Republicans and, apparently, a goodly proportion of the pastors of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Thanks to the Southern Poverty Law Citizen, I have been reminded of a voice that expressed these thought with much more insight and eloquence than I can muster, during the height of the Civil Rights struggle. His name was Eugene Patterson, then the Executive Editor of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, where he wrote a signed newspaper editorial every day for eight years. He and the AJC editor and publisher, Ralph McGill, were two of the loudest denouncers of segregation and Jim Crow at a time such views could get you killed. (See “The South and the Southerner,” by Ralph McGill, foreword by Eugene Patterson; and “Ralph McGill, Reporter,” by Harold H. Martin.)

In 1963, a bomb went off in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, a hub of civil rights activism, killing three 14 year-old black female children and one 11 year-old. Patterson wrote a classic commentary exposing without mercy the complicity of all pro-segregation white Southerners in this horrific crime.  On the anniversary of the bombing, the SPLC re-issued Patterson’s words, noting “they could almost apply to the circumstances we find ourselves in today.” My only footnote: strike the word “almost.”

–Tom Barksdale 9/17/18


‘A Flower for the Graves’

By Eugene Patterson – September 16, 1963

A Negro mother wept in the street Sunday morning in front of a Baptist Church in Birmingham. In her hand she held a shoe, one shoe, from the foot of her dead child. We hold that shoe with her.

Every one of us in the white South holds that small shoe in his hand.

It is too late to blame the sick criminals who handled the dynamite. The FBI and the police can deal with that kind. The charge against them is simple. They killed four children.

Only we can trace the truth, Southerner – you and I. We broke those children’s bodies.

We watched the stage set without staying it. We listened to the prologue unbestirred. We saw the curtain opening with disinterest. We have heard the play.

We – who go on electing politicians who heat the kettles of hate.

We – who raise no hand to silence the mean and little men who have their nigger jokes.

We – who stand aside in imagined rectitude and let the mad dogs that run in every society slide their leashes from our hand, and spring.

We – the heirs of a proud South, who protest its worth and demand it recognition – we are the ones who have ducked the difficult, skirted the uncomfortable, caviled at the challenge, resented the necessary, rationalized the unacceptable, and created the day surely when these children would die.

This is no time to load our anguish onto the murderous scapegoat who set the cap in dynamite of our own manufacture.

He didn’t know any better.

Somewhere in the dim and fevered recess of an evil mind he feels right now that he has been a hero. He is only guilty of murder. He thinks he has pleased us.

We of the white South who know better are the ones who must take a harsher judgment.

We, who know better, created a climate for child-killing by those who don’t.

We hold that shoe in our hand, Southerner. Let us see it straight, and look at the blood on it. Let us compare it with the unworthy speeches of Southern public men who have traduced the Negro; match it with the spectacle of shrilling children whose parents and teachers turned them free to spit epithets at small huddles of Negro school children for a week before this Sunday in Birmingham; hold up the shoe and look beyond it to the state house in Montgomery where the official attitudes of Alabama have been spoken in heat and anger.

Let us not lay the blame on some brutal fool who didn’t know any better.

We know better. We created the day. We bear the judgment. May God have mercy on the poor South that has so been led. May what has happened hasten the day when the good South, which does live and has great being, will rise to this challenge of racial understanding and common humanity, and in the full power of its unasserted courage, assert itself.

The Sunday school play at Birmingham is ended. With a weeping Negro mother, we stand in the bitter smoke and hold a shoe. If our South is ever to be what we wish it to be, we will plant a flower of nobler resolve for the South now upon these four small graves that we dug.

Cobb Meeting to Hear Expert on Major Flaws in GA Electoral System

The Problem

6 million Georgia voters’ records exposed: ‘Could have easily been compromised’

CNN – August 14, 2018

(Excerpts) A federal lawsuit accuses Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, currently running as the Republican candidate for governor, of failing to secure his state’s voting system and allowing a massive breach that exposed voter records and other sensitive election information.

“The suit describes how a private researcher discovered the records of more than 6 million registered Georgia voters, password files and encryption keys could be accessed online by anyone looking.”

Election error may have cost Georgia representative his race

CNN – Updated 10:34 PM ET, Mon September 10, 2018

(Excerpts) Election security observers and activists in Georgia say the situation in state Rep. Dan Gasaway’s district adds to growing concerns about the integrity of the state’s voting system and spotlights the way discrepancies in voter data can potentially affect election results.

Court filings in a separate federal lawsuit outline confusing issues at polling places in other parts of Georgia in recent years

What Georgians Can Do about It

Several years ago, Garland Favorito established VoterGA to wage a campaign to remedy the defects in Georgia’s electoral system. He has kept the heat on, despite meeting a wall of resistance from our politicians—most notably, Brian Kemp as the Secretary of State in charge of the system. For a summary, go to VoterGa.org and read Georgia Elections Still Ranked as Worst in America.

Garland will present an update on Georgia’s voting system at a video watch party on Thursday, September 27. Meeting begins at 6:30, presentation at 7:00. The event is scheduled for a private home in Marietta. Prior registration required. For location and registration, contact Carolyn Hadaway at 678 687-7753 or email chadaway.volun@gmail.com.

Surprise! “Braves, Cobb in Legal Dispute over Millions in Stadium Costs”

AJC 9/7/18: “Braves, Cobb in Legal Dispute over Millions in Stadium Costs”

(Excerpt)

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Update on Cobb EMC Elections, Now Underway

Please see our earlier post, Critical Cobb EMC Elections Begin This Weekfor more details and recommendations for challenger candidates to vote for.

Members (i.e., all customers) of Cobb EMC are eligible to vote this month for three seats on CEMC’s Board of Directors. All members by now should have received a paper ballot in the mail. On-line voting is also available now. Members who are signed up to receive CEMC emails have received an email with instructions for on-line voting.

The deadline for submitting your online vote and for receipt of paper ballots is 5 p.m. (EDT) September 12, 2018.  If you use a paper ballot, you should mail it in time to be received by September 12.

You may also vote in person at the Annual Meeting on September 15, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Please note that once a vote is cast by paper ballot or on-line voting, it cannot be changed at the Annual meeting.

If you require assistance, please call Election Services Co (ESC) toll-free (866) 720-4357 during business hours Monday thru Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (ET) or send an e-mail to: cemchelp@electionservicescorp.com.

Please see our earlier post, Critical Cobb EMC Elections Begin This Week, for more details and recommendations for challenger candidates to vote for.

Comment:  CEMC Moving Back to Days of Dwight Brown

IndieDems received the following from Patrick Thompson, an activist in the successful campaign a few years ago  to end the malfeasance under chairman Dwight Brown and to replace the Directors who served under him.

The recent history of ex-CEO Dwight Brown at Cobb Electric Member Cooperative demonstrates what happens when you run a member association as a personal bank with no accountability. This month, the Director election cycle has started again.

(Some Issues members should address are:)
  • Meetings on critical issues have moved to committees where there’s no visibility or input from members.
  • Filming Board meetings so all members can at least see Board proceedings has been struck down along with a member Bill of Rights.

Also, the Board recently chose a new CEO to replace Dwight Brown’s CFO, who remained at the company to help with the financial forensics of a broken organization. The new CEO was chosen after a supposedly exhaustive process but did not involve membership input. The resulting hire, Peter :

  • Is an executive with no real CEO or electrical utility experience who started his career at Enron running risky derivative models.
  • His main experience is with oil and gas at the CFO level and has resulted in bankruptcy after bankruptcy.
  • His last company was one where the main shareholder was a now-jailed Russian oligarch.

In accepting the position, Heintzelman stated he looks forward to growing the organization. Cobb EMC is not shareholder-owned nor is it a growth company. Who would choose this person to run a member-owned organization? And the new CFO’s experience is essentially in gas.

(CEMC’s relation with Gas South needs examining)

Gas South is a competitive shareholder business, so Cobb EMC members aren’t privy to any information on that subsidiary. (One result:) A community solar third-party arrangement, where the stated goal is not to help lower energy costs for members, was chosen without member input and with the personal investment interests of a Board member.

The energy mix of the company is still dependent on dirty energy.  These energy choices strap many retirees, renters, low-income members, and all members on a path to high energy bills. Members can pay an equal amount each month, but the cost is set at the highest billing rate, not a billing average. There is no Upgrade to Save program like other EMCs.

CEMC relies on traditional loan programs for those interested in purchasing more energy efficient equipment and upgrades – restricting improvement to those that can best afford it, not those who could most use it.

180,000 members own this company and they should vote for Directors that will actually work for openness and accountability. Vote the incumbent Directors out – they’ve proven unworthy of managing your utility budget for the long run.

McCain Affair Sends GA Republicans Beyond the Pale with Trump

Donald Trump’s despicable actions regarding John McCain following his death, and the acquiescence of Georgia Republican Congressional delegations in Trump’s actions–Senator Isakson excepted–leaves them nakedly exposed as utterly lacking any integrity, honor, or moral conscience. They crossed a Rubicon that strips the rest of us of any requirement to show them one iota of respect.

Since Donald Trump became President, IndieDems has chronicled the willingness of Georgia’s Republican officeholders to act as his most slavish lapdog lackeys. Our United States Senators and Representatives, and their staffs, are proud members of a Republican Congress dominated by political hacks, moral cretins, and spineless cowards eager to act as Trump’s enablers and legitimizers at all costs.

So what’s new after the McCain affair?  Before we go there, let’s specify whom we are talking about:

  • Senator Johnny Isakson and his Chief of Staff Joan Karr and Immigration Legislative Assistant Michael Black.
  • Senator David Perdue and his COS Derrick Dickey and Immigration LA Drew Robinson
  • Rep. Karen Handel and her COS Muffy Day and Immigration LA Elisabeth Conklin
  • Rep. Barry Loudermilk and his COS Rob Adkerson and Homeland Security LA Susannah Johnston

Trump has given these subalterns some semblance of credibility by saying all his woes are due to fake news, witch hunts, and a conspiracy against him by respected institutions, like the FBI and Justice Department. The transparent nonsense of all this, of course, is evident to anyone with an IQ above 70. Nonetheless, it gave people like those Georgia Republicans straws to grasp.

The McCain imbroglio did away even with the straws. No witch hunt caused Trump to refuse to issue an official statement noting McCain’s death and praising him for his services to America. Fake news did not force Trump to lower the White House flag for only a brief time before returning it to full staff. Conspirators did not make him three times in one day ignore reporters’ questions about McCain shouted to him as they attended official White House ceremonies.

And it took a strong protest by the American Legion and a rising chorus of complaints from the public, his own staff, and elected officials, including some Republicans, to get Trump to finally grudgingly issue some tepid words of praise for McCain.

Of the Republicans named above, only Senator Isakson rose publicly to praise McCain and rebuke those who were degrading him. But Isakson’s distaste over the treatment of a revered American hero only served to highlight his moral turpitude in remaining unwavering in his overall support for Trump.

Can Georgia Republicans truly be so self-deluded that they can witness Trump and his sorry band of anti-McCain Republicans stand alone in showing disrespect for McCain–while prominent voices and ordinary people around the world rise to sing his praise–and still not see Trump for the corrupt, moral cretin that he is?

The McCain episode laid bare the mean, vindictive, petty, narcissistic, immoral character that defines Trump’s innate soul. And it proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that those words also describe the hearts and souls of the Georgia Republicans named above. They have abandoned any claim to respect.

READ MORE

McCain Imbroglio Reveals Extremism, Isolation of Trump & Republicans

Sen. Perdue Clinches Title of Dumbest Senator

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) has called Donald Trump “America’s Winston Churchill.” On August 20 he tweeted @sendavidperdue a fawning accolade of Trump that clinches his position as our dumbest Senator.

“In my business career, I learned the tone at the top matters. @POTUS has demonstrated that he takes seriously his job to uphold & defend the Constitution of the United States. He’s fighting for all Americans.”

This, mind you, one day before Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to violating laws at Trump’s direction, and his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was found guilty on eight counts of felony law violations.

I’m pleased to report that Perdue’s total flight from reality produced, by my count, over one hundred comments—only two of which expressed approval.

The frightening aspect of Perdue’s words, of course, is their demonstration of the almost total separation from reality—the Alternate Universe—in which Trump’s supporters exist. We can only hope that the Republicans’ growing success in slitting their own throats will help defeat them in the November elections.

Isakson, Perdue, Handel, and Loudermilk’s Betrayal 0f America Nakedly Revealed

If you want a quick summary of why IndieDems has nothing by scorn for Donald Trump and his Georgia Republican lapdogs, drop down to Admiral William  McRaven’s letter. His indictment of Trump will ring through the ages. 

Since the day Donald Trump emerged as the front runner to become the Republican presidential nominee, IndieDems has pointed out how his character, personality, and anti-intellectual viewpoint made him unfit to be president. Trump’s lies and his racist, misogynist, xenophobic, and sexist attitudes have become more extreme with every passing week since his inauguration. His lack of intelligence and willful refusal to inform  himself on policy issues have become more pronounced. His daily tweets reveal the personality of an adolescent guttersnipe.

I will not attempt to present here the full indictment of Trump’s disastrous presidency. I have done that in other posts, but much more telling are the voices of true American conservatives who have condemned Trump more virulently and eloquently than any liberals or Democrats. Let me cite some of Trump’s more egregious transgressions:

His utter failure to respond adequately to Russia’s waging in 2016 of cyber attacks and a covert propaganda campaign against the American electoral system in an attempt to sway the vote in favor of Trump. U.S, intelligence services report that Russia is continuing its assault in an effort to influence the November 2018 elections.

  • Trump continues to assert that the allegations are a hoax and that he believes Putin’s denial of any intervention over the conclusions of his own intelligence services.
  • Trump has done virtually nothing to mobilize U.S. agencies to counter the Russian attacks, and he has not proposed not one single new law to provide the resources to counter Russian technical capabilities.
  • Trump’s sucking up to Putin reached a new nadir at a summit conference in July. In a joint press conference, Trump kowtowed to Putin so obsequiously that even Fox News, Newt Gingrich, and the Wall Street Journal issued ringing criticisms.
  • A paid Russian agent in the Oval Office could not have done a better job than Trump in furthering Putin’s strategy to weaken and ultimately destroy the NATO Alliance and the whole network of treaties and practices that have served the international order well since the end of WWII.

Trump in May implemented a disastrous policy of kidnapping thousands of innocent migrant children with no plan for releasing them, forcing the federal courts to intervene to bring about their return to their families.

  • Trump and the Republicans remain indifferent to the fact that over 500 children still remain in detention.

Trump and the Republicans remain indifferent to the massive corruption permeating his Administration (Scott Pruitt, Ben Carson, Wilbur Ross, Tom Price, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, etc)

Trump’s anti-Christian assault on America’s basic moral and democratic values and on common human decency is demonstrated most strikingly in his issuing over 4,000 false or misleading statement since becoming president.

Trump’s by now widely recognized racism reached a new low recently when he called a black female a dog.

Georgia’s GOP Congressional Delegations: Unwavering Support for Trump

Despite Trump’s manifest demonstration of his unfitness for the job, the following members of Georgia’s Republican U.S. Congressional delegations have remained unstinting supporters of Trump. They are:

  • Senator Johnny Isakson and his Chief of Staff Joan Karr and Immigration Legislative Assistant Michael Black.
  • Senator David Perdue and his COS Derrick Dickey and Immigration LA Drew Robinson 
  • Rep. Karen Handel and her COS Muffy Day and Immigration LA Elisabeth Conklin 
  • Rep. Barry Loudermilk and his COS Rob Adkerson and Homeland Security LA Susannah Johnston

Most notably, Isakson, Karr, Black, Perdue, Dickey, Robinson, Handel, Day, Conklin, Loudermilk, Adkerson, and Johnston do not give a two-bit tinker’s dam about Trump’s daily violation of God’s 10 Commandments and Jesus’ Golden Rule.

Senator Perdue spoke for his colleagues when he called Trump “America’s Winston Churchill.”


READ MORE:

Isakson, Perdue, Loudermilk, Handel & Staffs: Natural Swamp Dwellers All Along
The Rising Tide of Racism, Fueled by Trump and His Republicans
True Conservatives Flee Trumpist Republican Party


The Evisceration of the Georgia Republicans’ Apologias for Trump

But whatever twisted logic Georgia Republicans have used to justify their support for Trump and his disastrous Presidency has now been rendered null and void by the reaction to his lawless revocation of the security clearances of former CIA Director John Brennan, and his threat to revoke the clearances of eight more former intelligence and security officials and one serving officer.

Brennan and some of the other officials have exercised their First Amendment right to publicly criticize Trump, without revealing classified information in the process. What all of them have in common is this: they are potential witnesses in Special Counselor Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

But another development has shown the what a bunch of hogwash is behind the Republicans’ apologies for Trump: 60 former CIA officials issued a statement objecting to the Brennan action and stating their belief “that former government officials have the right to express their unclassified views on what they see as critical national security issues without fear of being punished for doing so.”

The line is now drawn between, on the one hand, Isakson, Karr, Black, Perdue, Dickey, Robinson, Handel, Day, Conklin, Loudermilk, Adkerson, and Johnston and their defense of a corrupt, immoral, racist, sexist, and xenophobic President; and on the other, 61 of America’s respected intelligence and security officials who devoted their careers to the service of protecting the United States from it foreign enemies.

IndieDems has no problem choosing between the two groups.

Retired Navy Admiral Delivers the Damning Indictment of Trump

But-there’s more. A separate statement was issued by Retired Navy Admiral William H. McRaven, who commanded the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014. He oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden:

Dear Mr. President:

Former CIA director John Brennan, whose security clearance you revoked on Wednesday, is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.

Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.

Like most Americans, I had hoped that when you became president, you would rise to the occasion and become the leader this great nation needs.

A good leader tries to embody the best qualities of his or her organization. A good leader sets the example for others to follow. A good leader always puts the welfare of others before himself or herself.

Your leadership, however, has shown little of these qualities. Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.

If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken. The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be.

It is on the words of Admiral McRaven that IndieDems rests (for now) the case it has made for over a year against Isakson, Karr, Black, Perdue, Dickey, Robinson, Handel, Day, Conklin, Loudermilk, Adkerson, and Johnston. McRaven has eviscerated these Republicans warped apologias for Donald Trump.

Isakson, Karr, Black, Perdue, Dickey, Robinson, Handel, Day, Conklin, Loudermilk, Adkerson, and Johnston are, truly, the sound of tinkling brass.

READ MORE

Georgia Republicans: Stop Betraying Your Country over Russia
Trump and Georgia Republicans Rush to Bow Down to Putin
Georgia’s Congressional Republicans Shrug Off Trump’s Treason in Helsinki
Christian Hypocrisy Reborn under Trump/Republicans

Lawsuit: Kemp Left GA Electoral System Dangerously Vulnerable

6 million Georgia voters’ records exposed: ‘Could have easily been compromised’

(Excerpts) Georgia’s shotgun-toting, Trump-style Republican candidate for governor Brian Kemp has sought to assure voters that his state’s election system is secure and that any allegations to the contrary are “fake news.”

  • But Kemp, who is also the secretary of state in charge of Georgia’s elections, is now being accused in a federal lawsuit of failing to secure his state’s voting system and allowing a massive breach that exposed voter records and other sensitive election information.
  • The suit describes how a private researcher discovered the records of more than 6 million registered Georgia voters, password files and encryption keys could be accessed online by anyone looking.
  • Days after the lawsuit was filed, technicians erased the hard drives of the server in question.
  • According to the lawsuit, it remains unclear if the state’s election system was infected with malware or breached by foreign hackers—which could have consequences for the midterm elections. (Emphasis added)

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Cobb Democratic Video Watch Party: August 23

Event: Carolyn Hadaway’s Video Watch party

Topic: Single Payer Healthcare – Why the U.S. spends 2 ½ times per person more than any other highly developed country on health care, but has lower life expectancy, fewer physicians per person, higher infant mortality rates, etc.
Date: Thursday, August 23, 2018
Time: 6:30PM
Place: Private home near intersection of Sandy Plains and Snufflegrit Rds, Marietta, GA 30066

POC: Carolyn Hadaway, 678-687-7753, chadaway.volun@gmail.com

RSVP Please include names, phone #s and addresses. Bring finger food if you like.