The Southerner Journal

Long Time …

We’ve steadily ceded our freedom as we age; people are more worried about their new hand-held devil’s box.

I’m trying not to believe we don’t know any other way than to fight and line the pockets of those who make money from war … but the numbers suggest we know little else. If we don’t have an enemy, we make one up just to keep peace at bay.

I don’t agree with the suggestion that the US is the No. 1 enemy to peace, but if we need an enemy and cannot find one, the freedoms of the populace become a convenient target. If focused on the boogeyman, it sure seems a lot easier to take away those freedoms bit by bit so as we don’t even realize until they’re gone.

But it cannot be obvious … we can surely find a foe. Still, how many more homeless veterans do we need? How many more innocents shall we kill with drones (90% – j/s) to drive families to despair and refresh the ranks of our next enemy?

Instead, it’s easier to return to perspective by the second. One can almost numb the reality by watching the lives tick by like sand. Not as depressing … novocaine for the brain.

We’ll always have those willing to send others to die to preserve the freedoms they never planned to share in the first place. History, i.e. his story a.k.a. the story framed by the ‘winner’ so it doesn’t seem as callous and conniving.

Study Suggests Southern Depression

Sitton suggests getting off your arse and seeing Southern beauty to break those blues. You could go someplace like Abrams Falls. (photo by Glynn Wilson)
Sitton suggests getting off your arse and seeing Southern beauty to break those blues. You could go someplace like Abrams Falls. (photo by Glynn Wilson)
The annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index ranks eight Southern states among the bottom 10, with West Virginians taking 50th for the fourth year in a row.

West Virginians were the least likely to be thriving, as was the case in 2011. Also, West Virginians had the worst emotional health in the nation and were more likely to report being diagnosed with depression than residents of any other state.

Residents in West Virginia also had the lowest score on the Physical Health Index, which includes having the highest percentage of obese residents in the nation.

I suggest getting off your arse and seeing Southern beauty to break those blues. You could go someplace like Abrams Falls if you’re in Tennessee. Or you could find someplace closer to home.

As I finish my time in Southeast Arkansas, I plan to knock out my bucket list. Check back to see you can find beauty all over our country, but especially in the South. If you’re sad or unhealthy, folks, you just ain’t trying.

Why a Libertarian Vote Matters

Courtesy of the League of Women Voters
Courtesy of the League of Women Voters
MONTICELLO — In hopes of limiting facebook political rants, I’m blogging for those wishing to consider and discuss.

We just thought it was ugly so far.

Prior to Labor Day weekend, I plan to vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate. In a nutshell, here’s why:

If you want to keep the wars, vote Democlican or Republicrat.
If you want to keep the drug war, vote Democlican or Republicrat.
If you want to remain a slave to the Federal Reserve, vote Democlican or Republicrat.

If you think it’s insanity to continue things more-or-less the way they’ve been while expecting change — well, you know what I think. Just remember: when civil liberties disappear, it’s impossible to correct government.

(Note: I plagiarized myself by writing the previous bit here, posting it to facebook, then deciding to repost it here yet again.)Read more: Why a Libertarian Vote Matters

Show Your Support of The Southerner Journal

Leroy Sitton reads his newspaper, with the top just low enough to see the flat-screen TV on the wall. I’ll always remember dad this way.

MONTICELLO — If you haven’t noticed, this blog represents a labor of love about a region we’ve inhabited the majority of our lives.

Sure, you see blog ads on the side and we may get pennies on the dollar if you click through them. You can contribute directly through PayPal, which makes the best way to support investigative journalism.

But what if you don’t have any money to spare? So what can you do to help, patient reader?

You’ll notice the “Around the South” section features someone reading a newspaper. We show this as a tribute to all of those years folks got their “facts” from trusted newsprint. Some still do, though many are going digital.

If you’d like to appear in The Southerner Journal on your birthday, send us a picture of you reading a newspaper. Better yet, make a pic of you next to a computer screen, iPad or cellphone with The Southerner Journal. Send the photo, your name and birth date to sitron45 at gmail dot com (making sure to write it like an email address) with the subject heading: Southerner Read.

We’ll do our best to use your picture on your birthday if it arrives in time. Just another way of saying THANKS! for continuing to come back for an Independent take on the South in the 21st century.

Something Wrong in West Virginia

‘Adults’ Instigate Kids Beating Missouri Lesbian

What kind of seeds are you sowing, America? How proud you must be.

Perhaps you didn’t see the Southern Poverty Law Center’s info about anti-Gay groups and their propaganda a few years back.

Higher Lottery Sales: Good for Education or Signs of Desperation?

here's hoping
here’s hoping by Robert S. Donovan, on Flickr

Lottery sales keep breaking records this summer: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Some states essentially made the lottery into an education lifeline, but not all of the money goes to education as shown in this South Carolina example. Missouri budgeted for an increase that did not occur. Ohio educators claim education does not receive the money it deserves. With that much money, is it any wonder crime occurs?

What do you think?

Feel free to comment.

Knowledge is Power


Election 2012: Get Informed

Click the above link for info on the quiz to determine which U.S. Presidential candidate most aligns with your views.

Election 2012: Get Informed

Courtesy of the League of Women Voters
Courtesy of the League of Women Voters

Are you among those wishing to break America’s duopoly in national politics?

Do you know if your candidate actually shares your views?

In 2012, don’t vote the party line; vote for the candidate who represents you. Find out through this quiz!
Made by self-proclaimed unaffiliated political enthusiasts, the quiz allows you to expand responses and assign importance to answers.

Once you finish, check each candidate’s support across the nation, or view how each state leans from those who’ve participated. As of Wednesday, July 18, Gary Johnson seems most attuned to Southern voters while Maryland supports Obama and Alabama supports Romney.

AlabamaArkansasFloridaGeorgiaKentuckyLouisianaMarylandMississippiMissouriNorth CarolinaSouth CarolinaTennesseeVirginiaWest Virginia

Alabama Governor Bentley Sticks Foot in Mouth, Again

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley seems to like the taste of his own toes. He sticks his foot in his mouth so often that people down south have taken to calling him “Goober” after the character on the Andy Griffith Show who just could not keep his mouth shut even though he rarely knew what he was talking about.

But that’s Alabama for you, where the state’s history is rife with goofy governors, especially Republicans like Guy Hunt and Fob James.

This time, the mainstream Associated Press picked up Bentley’s comments suggesting that Massachusetts Mormon Mitt Romney might want to release his tax records if he wants to be president as President Barack Obama has been saying regularly on the campaign trail of late. It was Saturday at the National Governors Association conference in Virginia, and a reporter just happened to spot Bentley and ask him whether he thought Romney should release his tax returns. The governor said yes – adding that he believes in transparency and releases his own tax returns every year.

“If you have things to hide, then maybe you’re doing things wrong,” Bentley reportedly said. “I think you ought to be willing to release everything to the American people.”

After Democrats seized on his words and the comments began to be picked up on blogs, Facebook posts and Twitter Tweets, Bentley later stuck his foot even further into his mouth, saying he still believes Romney’s taxes should be released and he believes in transparency, but his staff issued a statement insisting he wasn’t implying that Romney had anything to hide.

“I believe my comments were taken out of context, they were not reported in their entirety, and I want to make sure the record is set straight,” Governor Bentley said in this statement. “I believe in trasparency, and that was the basis for my answer. I personally choose to release my own returns each year, and there was no effort to imply that Mr. Romney has anything to hide.

“While I believe in total transparency, I also believe much of the rhetoric surrounding Mitt Romney’s personal finances is nothing more than an attempt by Democrats to distract from the real issues of the presidential campaign,” Bentley said. “The real issues are the economy, employment and getting America back on the right track. I fully support Mitt Romney and his vision for our country, and I will do everything I can to help get him elected.”

Woops. Too late, and wrong.

Romney’s record on the economy is not only fair game in the campaign, it is sort of critical for voters to know what kind of president he would be if elected. If his record as a business administrator are any indication, he will outsource jobs overseas, hide his personal wealth in overseas accounts, and then lie about it, according to the AP.

Bentley has his own political problems back home in Alabama. Perhaps he should stick to trying to set things right in his home state. He has made the state the butt of national and international jokes once again as a racist place for passing a discriminatory and draconian immigration law in a state where illegal immigrants are hardly a problem at all compared to California, Arizona and Texas.

He presides over a state in which all three branches of government are run by a rapid, right-wing Christian tea party that has damaged the very thing everyone seems to value most: the business recruitment climate. They have ruined public television and are hell bent on destroying the unions, just like the Republicans tried to do in Wisconsin. They are trying their best to run off school teachers and even turn the public schools into Christian schools.

They are going to join a few other so-called conservative states in defying the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, even though a conservative U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law.

All of this begs a few questions on this Sunday morning.

Are people still trying to secede from the rest of the country and the world by creating a safe little poor place for only uneducated, white Christian radicals to live?

Doesn’t it sort of remind you of the Civil War all over again?

Why would any half-way intelligent person want to live and work in Alabama?

Perhaps it’s time to make that move out West, my friends, or at least escape to the mountains of North Carolina or Virginia.

If some smart, progressive Democrats don’t get it together and take back over this state — and soon — they will see a brain drain like nothing they have seen so far. Most of the kids from Alabama who manage to get out and get an education today don’t come back anyway. They know there are better opportunities elsewhere where a higher percentage of the population can at least think for themselves.

While many talented and intelligent people have come from Alabama, it is becoming an almost unbearable intellectual wasteland of morons and dingbats, even on the political left. What is an educated person to do? Get out, that’s what.