19 March 2019

[MB McCart] - Tuesday Odds & Ends: #COV Council Meeting; New Stop Signs; NRCP Follow Up

It's another great day in the home city of Covington, GA - the best darn city on Earth - & we're so glad you've joined us on this beautiful, though currently chilly, Tuesday morning. 

The #COV

So last night was the third Monday of the month so that meant it was Covington Council time! For anybody needing something to do a couple nights a month, I recommend it. Usually the city runs their meetings much more efficiently than the county BOC, and more democratically, giving ample time for the top of the flow chart - The People - to have their say.

Last night ran closer to two hours, so I was pretty disappointed with that; however, they did have a pretty busy agenda, plus a few surprises including "New York the Bounty Hunter," AKA, Maurice Turner, who went on a 5-minute 10-minute diatribe complaining about the city police targeting him. This is is the same Turner that was arrested in December of 2016 for impersonating a law enforcement officer. Later last night, after the meeting, Turner took to Facebook to voice his displeasure:


Apparently he hates white people, and he's armed to the teeth. Just a quick FYI. He's probably harmless, though...maybe we could get Sam Hay to go talk to him. 


But the big news from last night's meeting was that the city, finally, is going to do something about the unfair occupational tax that individual hairdressers & barbers are having to pay on top of the one paid by the establishment they work out of. Apparently a voting-majority consensus for reducing it to $25 is a done deal; Councilman Josh McKelvey would like to see a more nominal fee of $10. I say -0-. Regardless, it's a start, but nothing's happened yet. It still has to go through the process, so everyone needs to stay engaged on this one. 

Stop Signs! 

New, temporary 4-way stops at Church at Conyers; Church at Reynolds; Monticello & Conyers and Monticello & Reynolds. This is a great move. For starters, hopefully we can keep Attorney Turner from getting run over again, and this will HELP TREMENDOUSLY with traffic flow vis-a-vis the Covington Square. Now, if we can just get something done with the Elm & Floyd and Pace & Usher intersections, then we might be good to go! Great move, C-town! The Dude abides. Let's make 'em permanent. 

Newton GOP Situation

Well, my latest piece seemed to just upset more of The Outsiders (previously known as "The Resistance," and prior to that - "The Green Badges"). Well, gosh. The good news is that I will be talking to at least two more of those people, so look for a 3rd report on this situation in the very near future. 

Perrin's latest will be hitting this afternoon, so check back in, good people. 

Okay for now, 

- MB McCart 

18 March 2019

[Bess Tuggle] - Memoirs of Surviving Children: Revisiting "The Equalizer"

I knew it.  I just KNEW it.  The paddle, also know as “The Equalizer,” has yet one more tale to tell.

My children always went to sleep with a “Night Story.”  From the day they were born, it was a given.  That was our wind-down, swap gears from day time to sleepy time ritual.  Our favorite stories were written by Dr. Seuss.  “A B C’s,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” “The Cat and the Hat”…  They are all ingrained in my mind.  Memorized.  Stuck in there forever.  Heaven help me...

Who ever thought Dr. Seuss and The Equalizer would meet?!?

I can’t remember which Thing it was.  I can’t even remember the infraction.  I CAN remember having one of my children over my knees.

They met.  Dr. Seuss and The Equalizer.  I don’t think they intended to, but it happened.

The paddle made its “pop” and stopped.  It didn’t just stop, it stopped –hard-.  

“The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play,” my butt didn’t get paddled on that particular day.  (Paraphrased from “The Cat in the Hat”)

Yes, one of the Things put a book in his pants, over his butt, knowing he was going to get paddled.  It was a Dr. Seuss book, stuffed in the back of his jeans.

It’s really hard to discipline a child when you’re laughing so hard you’re crying.  I have to applaud the ingenuity, though.   

- Bess Tuggle

17 March 2019

[MB McCart] - A 2nd Report on the Newton Co. GOP Situation, One Week After the County Convention

A week ago this publication ran a piece about the results of the Newton County Republican Party (NCRP)'s County Convention in which the current leadership retained control of the organization in the midst of a concerted effort by an alliance of several groups & factions (heretofore known as the "Green Badges"; thenceforward to be known as "the resistance") that wished to "take over" the party for a myriad of reasons.

My piece at the time, and its precursor, created a bit of a fuss & ruffled a few feathers apparently. Well...what can you say? I am me, after all, and this is TPC, so...

Exempting the whole Sam Hay thing (you can go through the 300+ comments on the infamous Facebook thread to get more on that if you care to, though I wouldn't recommend it), in today's write-up I was wanting to wade through all of the the different perspectives & opinions, mainly from the non-current-leadership side, in order to get that REAL Story that I'm always seeking.

Unfortunately, there isn't as much to report as I'd like. Of the seven people I wanted to discuss this with, only one was willing to talk with me. The others seem to have gone radio silent. Oh well.

With all of that said, here's what I've got for you good folks today.

  • Based on what I can gather it seems as if the resistance didn't know what they were doing, that they didn't have even a basic understanding of the Georgia Republican Party (GRP) bylaws, NCRP bylaws, the adopted Standing Rules of the Convention, nor even a casual understanding of Robert's Rules of Order.
  • I've posited this to at least five persons, and only one has responded. When asked if any member of the party, and particularly any member of the current Executive Committee, had said that proxy voting could be used at the Convention, the one person I spoke with admitted that no one had. The resistance had just assumed. No, that's not how it works. Now back in February, each precinct - during their caucus - could write in the names of additional delegates who were not in attendance that day but that could attend the convention in March, but they HAD TO ATTEND. That is how it works.
  • Another thing mentioned was that the resistance didn't really understand the first important vote of the Convention, and that was the adoption of the rules of the convention, though it was explained & a print-out of said rules were made available to all delegates, alternates & spectators. Well, as I said in last week's piece, that's where you really know what numbers you are dealing with. It gives you a feel for the lay of the land, so to speak. To recap, the vote on that was 40 to 25. Later, the vote for Executive Committee was 39 to 29.
  • And to follow up on last week's article - it's all about the numbers. Either you have them, or you don't. 39 is 10 more than 29, and three above a majority. The numbers don't lie; it's all about the numbers.
  • And finally, my question as to whether or not anyone in the resistance offered up a compromise slate? The answer on that apparently was no. 

For what it's worth, I believe a couple of folks were turned off by the fact that at least one person on the resistance side had said that Karen Brooks, part of the Scott Jay slate, was not running for reelection. Based on my research, that was never the case, so either somebody lied, or somebody was misinformed. Either way, folks don't like stuff like that. Actions have consequences.

Finally, in my in-person interview with the one resistance member, it seemed as if they just felt like it was unfair, and that the party should have done more to help explain things such as rules, procedure & how conventions work.

Well..imagine this. Imagine having the numbers 3-to-1, and imagine knowing the rules like the back of your hand, then imagine the ruling party simply broke the rules, or just made up new ones as they went along. Imagine how bad that would suck. Pretty bad, right? That's exactly what happened in 2015 at the Newton Co. GOP County Convention. 2013 was basically the same.

Nobody said life was fair; however, the big difference was this: the convention 8 days ago was done in accordance with all of the rules. It was all on the level. It's all on video & audio & several folks, this writer included, were taking detailed notes.

As I mentioned to a couple of members of the County Committee the night before the meeting, why not look at a compromise slate? I was then reminded that there were several instances in the forms of messages, social media posts, and other communiques that the goal of the resistance was to "take over" the party. The same party that had quadrupled membership over the past three years & that was comprised of many good folks & many "real" Republicans (not damned "libertarians" like me. BTW & FTR - I've not been a member of the Newton GOP since March of 2017; I haven't been a member of the Libertarian Party since 2012).

And that's the rub, I think. It turned a lot of folks off. Actions - and words - have consequences.

Also, why didn't the resistance offer up a compromise slate? That's a good question. Probably because like everything else - they didn't know! I'm sure it wasn't their fault. Individual responsibility? It's 2019 now, who needs any of that. Hell, they could've called me. I would have told them. But none of them did.

To close, I think the biggest problem the resistance may have had is that two of their members may have overplayed their hand. One, a raging bull in the china shop of sensibility & fair play of the home city  for some years now, and the other, a sister of another mister who just can't seem to get out of her own way sometimes.

Creating a Consensus isn't easy; actions have consequences & the numbers don't lie.

Thanks for reading. 

- MB McCart 

[MB McCart] - Covington Council to Discuss Occupational Tax; Possible Changes Hopefully on the Way for Hairdressers & Barbers

Greetings, Citizens.

Hope all is well out there. As this publication has written about a time or two, the practices of the City of Covington as it relates to occupational taxes has drawn the ire & consternation of many for many reasons, namely that the city - unlike just about any other city in Georgia based on my research - exercises in what can only be described as double taxation in which they require that any salons, barbershops, etc. have to to pay for a occupational tax/business license, but then also require all individual hairdressers & barbers working in that establishment pay for their own occupational tax license fee, to the tune of $100, as well. 

C-town Representin'!

If that seems inherently unfair to you, it's because it truly is. 

Why not make anyone out there making money pay an occupational tax? Because, really, in the big picture, that's what the tax is - a tax on anyone undertaking an occupation. Well, they kind of do that actually, they just make the employer pay for it. Every business in town pays a tax every year that includes a maximum flat fee amount (more on that in a future piece) & then an additional amount per employee.

Pretty rotten, right?

To be honest, there's a fair number of folks (and I'm one of them) who simply think that there shouldn't be an occupational tax at all, for anything, but I'm afraid the barn door's wide open on that one, or, if you prefer, that that's a bell that's been rung for far too long (at least given the current dynamics of things), but, if we're being honest here, the City Council with a majority vote could do that very thing...

But let's stay realistic.

So as it is, and based on my research this didn't really get going until a few years ago, but the city decided that all individual hairdressers & barbers - working as independent contractors - should be required to pay this tax, and not just the establishment itself that they worked out of.

So...what's the road ahead? How do we fix this? Well, I'll tell you how it can be fixed. The City of Covington Council can, with a simple majority vote, balance the equities of things by mandating that any independent contractor working out of an establishment that that already pays an occupational tax license fee does not have to pay this fee. It's the only fair & equitable position for the city to take. And to that point...

It was just brought to my attention that this issue will be discussed at the next City of Covington Council meeting: 

| Monday 3/18/19, 6:30PM | 
Covington City Hall
2194 Emory St. Covington, GA 30014

I know many folks are planning to attend this meeting including Ms. Casi Cowan, a hairdresser in town that recently renewed my interest in this situation, as well as the one & only Wain Stowe, with whom I've discussed this issue a few times over the years. I'm definitely planning on being there as well. Hairdressers & Barbers Unite! When it comes to effecting change in the political arena, there is most definitely strength in numbers. Make sure to get to that council meeting tomorrow night & bring the kids, some friends & a few of your kin. At a minimum, it's just good free entertainment (though not really). 

Also, I suggest reaching out to your representation on the council. I know pro-Freedom-Fella & friend-of-the-program Josh McKelvey supports making a change, but he needs at least two others to vote with him. Let's set things right, friends! Be there tomorrow night.

As a final aside, if the city does make this much-needed, no-brainer of a decision, I'm thinking it's going to cost the city anywhere from $10,000 - maybe $15,000 in lost revenue. Out of a $132 million budget, we are talking about a decrease in funds of approx .0001 of the total budget. 

Seems like it should be a slam dunk.

Look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow night.

- MB McCart 

14 March 2019

[Perrin Lovett] - The Most Special Resolution in the World: House Resolution 183 (2019), The Craven Admission of Total Failure Act

*ed.note - as is always the case, just a quick reminder that the views expressed by author P. Lovett do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of The Piedmont Chronicles, nor its staff or Editor, M.McCart. This piece is...heavy, and could very well be construed by some to come across a certain way; however, as a fierce, fierce defender of the 1st amendment, I never had any doubt I wouldn't publish it. Or, if you will, I may not agree with what you say, "but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." As always, we appreciate you reading The Chronicles. - MBM

 The Most Special Resolution in the World:
House Resolution 183 (2019), The Craven Admission of Total Failure Act

Not too long ago, freshman Congress Critter Ilhan Omar (D-Somalia) Tweeted something about “AIPAC,” or the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. It was something about the inordinate amount of influence the group and its constituents wield in the United States Empire. The lovely little lady from Mogadishu (really) has since deleted the Tweet, but not before it caused a considerable stir amongst the perpetually perturbed - a stir replete with 10,001 cries of “anti-Semitism.” You might have heard something about all of this.

What better way to refute claims that Jews in America hold too much power and influence than to have the entire American House of Representatives [SIC] vote to condemn one woman for daring to suggest that Jews in America hold too much power and influence.

That’s just what they did. Find ye HERE the Roll Call vote, number 108, 407 - 23 in favor of House Res. 183, the waaaay-too-long-entitled Condemning anti-Semitism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values and aspirations that define the people of the United States and condemning anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contrary to the values and aspirations of the United States [Act].

The 23 rodents who voted against the Resolution did so because they felt the measure should have concentrated solely upon “anti-Semitism,” rather than on the laundry list of grievance groups actually included. The 407 rodents who voted in favor - including Omar (to her credit?) -  did so only after adding a laundry list of offended minority groups. (More on that in a moment).

Not to suggest, in any way, that Jews really do wield ridiculously outsized power in America, this is the second time, this year, Congress has entertained legislation to affirm Jewish supremacy. The first was S. 1 (2019), which passed the Senate 77-23 and which, should it become law, could conceivably outlaw columns like this one. (Your author simply quakes with fear). Yes, as the numbering insinuates, this was the first Bill brought in the Senate this year - a Bill dedicated to the authority, the supremacy of a foreign power. America first?

Now, for the laundry list:

Whereas the first amendment to the Constitution established the United States as a country committed to the principles of tolerance and religious freedom, and the 14th amendment to the Constitution established equal protection of the laws as the heart of justice in the United States;

Whereas adherence to these principles is vital to the progress of the American people and the diverse communities and religious groups of the United States;

Whereas whether from the political right, center, or left, bigotry, discrimination, oppression, racism, and imputations of dual loyalty threaten American democracy and have no place in American political discourse;

Whereas white supremacists in the United States have exploited and continue to exploit bigotry and weaponize hate for political gain, targeting traditionally persecuted peoples, including African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and others with verbal attacks, incitement, and violence;

… blah, blah, blah, more bullshit …

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) rejects the perpetuation of anti-Semitic stereotypes in the United States and around the world, including the pernicious myth of dual loyalty and foreign allegiance, especially in the context of support for the United States-Israel alliance;

13 March 2019

[Ellis Millsaps] - Let There Be Light

Memoir Chapter IV

Hi kids! What time is it ?”

“It’s Howdy Doody Time/ It's Howdy Doody Time/ It’s Howdy Doody Time/ It's Howdy Doody Time. (Sung to the tune of tra la la boom-de-ay.)

The TV came when I was four years old or possibly younger. I was four years old in 1956, the year Elvis first appeared on Ed Sullivan, an event I remember. The TV came on the back of a flatbed truck, down Summer Hill through the black section rather than from the street we always took to town.
The fact that I remember this from such a young age shows what an impactful event this was in my life. From that day on I watched that box for some part of almost every day until I left for college at seventeen.
Suddenly into my life came Mickey Mouse, Captain Kangaroo, and a new world of Saturday morning cartoons. The Mickey Mouse Club had some boring musical routines, but I was guaranteed a Disney cartoon and episodes of Spin and Marty or The Hardy Boys. Captain Kangaroo was mostly uninteresting, a progenitor of Mr. Rogers, but we did get a cartoon. Saturday morning however was splendid: Mighty Mouse, Fury, Circus Boy, Sky King, Sea Hunt, Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, Rocky the Flying Squirrel, a smorgasbord of entertainment for a preschooler.
There were also Saturday morning westerns: The Lone Ranger, Wild Bill Hickok, The Cisco Kid, Roy Rogers. I watched all these programs and enjoyed them, but not as much as the cartoons.  It wasn't until the deluge of nighttime westerns came in the late 50s that television really changed my worldview.
I didn't then consciously realize that in these TV shows people weren't making decisions based on their fears of the afterlife, but I gladly saw myself living in their world while I simultaneously lived in my church world.
Going to church had always been fun for me. There were kids my age to play with, my father was the hero, and I was doted over by the congregants.  But when it became apparent that prayer meeting kept me from Wagon Train, and Training Union stood between me and Walt Disney Presents, I cast my lot with television over the church, although unless I was lucky enough to run a fever I was always in church.                                                                                                                                                   
And revivals? They could wipe out a whole week of Maverick, Bronco, Wagon Train, Cheyenne, Sugarfoot and Rawhide. These cowboys didn't mess around, no silly “Oh Cisco” and “Oh Pancho” or “Wait for me Bill.” These prime time cowboys were who I wanted to be.                                                                                                                                                 
I wanted to be Flint McCullough. I wanted to be Bret Maverick. I was a cowboy and when cowboys ride into town they don't look for the church. They go to the saloon, a practice I've emulated all my adult life.

11 March 2019

[Bess Tuggle] - Memoirs of Surviving Children: Critters!

Critters have ruled my life for as long as I can remember.  I would say my adult life, but that wouldn’t be fair.  It goes back farther than that, and I’m no spring chicken.

I remember a pet frog.  Can’t say I remember his name, but he was my pet.  I made him a leash and harness (yes, a leash for a frog) and took him –everywhere-, including day-camp in the summer.  My frog saw the pond at day camp and decided to head for higher waters.  He escaped the leash.  I dove in the pond after him, but alas, he preferred the wild.  I, on the other hand, got in trouble for riding my bike back home, soaking wet, smelling like pond water.

Frogs were kind of a thing with me for a while.  If I saw them I had to catch them.  McDonalds had a –really- cool Happy Meal toy that looked like a watch, but you could store stuff in them.  Yep, frogs went in there.  They also went in my pockets.  I know my mother has a strong heart.  I heard her every time she pulled laundry out of the washer, and I forgot to take the frogs out of my pockets.  

We’ve had dogs, we’ve had cats, mice, rabbits, snakes, birds…

My boys’ decided to take down a bird nest once, and they put it in the bathtub.  I’m not sure if their intentions were to take care of the birds or get out of bath time, but there the chicks were.  For anyone that doesn’t know, some baby birds can eat their weight in worms – daily.  It kept the boys’ busy for a summer.  I don’t want to mention the shape it left my bathtub in.  Yuck!

Our current fur-baby is spoiled rotten.  He gets a Milk Bone with Reddi Whip on it every day.  Every single day.  He’ll pout until he gets it, too.  

Critters have just always been normal part of life.

The nuts haven’t fallen far from the tree.  

Supper was a ritual at my home.  Butt’s in the seat at 5:30 p.m.  If you snooze, you lose.  

Thing 4 developed an affinity for bugs.  He wasn’t picky.  As long as the bug couldn’t fly away, he was happy and I was too – I didn’t have to track it down and squish it.  As we sat down to supper, I asked Thing 4 to take the bug out that was crawling up and down his arm.

The answer was “But, Mama – that’s my ‘fwend’!”  Sometimes you just can’t win for losing, and sometimes losing is winning.  

- Bess Tuggle