20 February 2020

A Thursday Check-in From MB: The Tragedy That is Floyd St.; Conspiracy & Collusion (Maybe JC Could Win?); ED

*edited 2/20/20

Howdy, friends. Hope it's all good out there for you fine folks. Things are good on my end, just hoping for a little bit more rain.

FLOYD ST

People have been talking about this for years. The question is this: why are the road conditions of the supposed "Main Street of Covington," Floyd St, flirting with Candler Rd type conditions? I mean, really, why? It makes no good sense.

I think there may be a lesson there, perhaps something about not seeing the forest for the trees? Getting caught up in the weeds & losing sight of the big picture? Hell, who knows? Maybe that's just above my pay grade.

I'll just say this: when folks are weaving in & out of their lane so as to not damage their vehicles, then, maybe, it's time to do something?

I say - "Let's Make Floyd St Great Again!"

Conspiracy & Collusion

There exists, to this day, a certain legal proceeding that's still just sort of dangling in the wind.

The word "conspiracy" has been bantered about pertaining to it.

It has to do with a certain elected official, at the time, and a certain governmental entity. It could really make for some high drama if it actually came to a head. Depositions & subpoenas - A court-mandated search for the REAL Story that could have implications on multiple Newton Co. politicians, a Newton Co. Atty-@-Law*, as well as State of Georgia elected officials & appointees.

Sounds pretty damn good to me...

Economic Development

The Chamber, apparently, has had their Charley James moment? But what of the IDA?

These stories & more are...DEVELOPING...

- MBM 


19 February 2020

From the National Affairs Desk - "Well, Of Course"

As I warned about at TPC two years ago, and as I’ve continued to warn, Mark Zuckerberg wants to control the laws of our nation. To fight “hate,” which I’m sure will be most conveniently defined.
He’s not alone. All of big tech wants to dominate the web and censor unpopular (read: true) speech.
Some of the biggest corporations in the United States are brawling over the future of the law that allows free speech and innovation to thrive online. Under the guise of getting rid of lies and protecting children, they’re working with the Trump administration and top Republicans to undermine Americans’ rights and give the government unprecedented control over online speech.
That they do, and they may well get their way, the words and acts of gentlemen like Ron Wyden notwithstanding. As gatekeepers, they must control the narrative at all costs. As idiots, the majority of the people couldn’t care less.
The day may come – be it long delayed – when this site is silenced. I won’t be. Social media does not suit me and I can’t understand how anyone tolerates it. My columns at TPC, always honest and always based on facts (even the fictional stories, most of them), sometimes stir hesitance. Some things, I am told, while true, are still off-limits or at least touchy. So be it. Things will continue even if I have to print pamphlets from typewriter to printing press.But, the truth will go on. Who’ll hear it?

18 February 2020

[Perrin Lovett] - Graffiti and Tweet: Solving The Case

I visited an interstate rest area sometime within the past few months. There, I observed the philosophical wisdom of a Sharpie Sherpa. His calligraphed message was, “Jews Own You.” Not one to obsess over such advertorial import, even as vile a message of anti-Messianic, anti-American, Europhobic hate, I thought little of it - until last week. Then, someone issued a follow-up thought via Twitter. Therein, I found my suspect.

It was also not for nothing that the American administration has taken this step together with us. In recent years, we have promoted laws in most US states, which determine that strong action is to be taken against whoever tries to boycott Israel. - Hon. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, Feb. 12, 2020

I mean, he’s already under indictment for massive corruption in his own country! Why not vandalize a rest area door in ours? Or, is it really our own? I looked into what was meant by the Graffiti, ink-based and digital.

“Most US states” means 28 out of the 50. I made mention of similar Imperial legislation last year. Ownership? If someone doesn’t necessarily own Congress and the State Houses, then they may at least have a solid lease in place, one sufficient to brag about.

Your beloved Georgia is a majority jurisdiction in this regard, having enacted SB 327 (2016), adding Section 50-5-85 to that statist’s dream known as the Official Code of Georgia. 

The state shall not enter into a contract with an individual or company if the contract is related to construction or the provision of services, supplies, or information technology unless the contract includes a written certification that such individual or company is not currently engaged in, and agrees for the duration of the contract not to engage in, a boycott of Israel.
O.C.G.A. § 50-5-85(b)

There was something - I forget exactly what - in the Old Cornsternation, which forbade “abridging the freedom of speech.” Or something. It’s fuzzy. Something was said to be incorporated as to and against the States. I haven’t visited the museum in a while, sorry. 

Oh yeah! Georgia, like too many other corrupt states, has imposed a loyalty oath to a foreign power, in plain contravention of the rights and freedoms of the American People. Exactly what one would expect from a band of craven con artists and idiots. (A gentle reminder: you did vote for them). 

The manifestation of this abridgment looks like the following, taken from deep in a Georgia Tech procurement contract:

41. Boycott Nonparticipation Certification. Contractor hereby certifies that Contractor is not currently engaged in, and agrees for the duration of The Purchase Order not to engage in, a boycott of Israel as defined in O.C.G.A. 50-5-85(a)(1). [Terms and Conditions, Dec. 2019, Page 23]

The terms and conditions are much the same for other educational establishments. A potential speaker found out about it the hard way at Georgia Southern. Abby Martin is a filmmaker who documented the living conditions of Palestinians in Gaza, conditions which led to (symbolic) Convictions for Genocide, pursuant to the Nuremberg standards (minus the original torture and lack of due process), and which Human Rights Watch calls “severe and discriminatory” in violation of various international conventions. Perhaps something to boycott? We’re still not sure, exactly, as Martin never had the chance to express her freedom of speech. She was barred from speaking at Southern by the above illegal, anti-First Amendment law.

Not one to play dead like an establishment Republican, Martin is suing the University and the Georgia Board of Regents in federal court. READ HER IRON-CLAD COMPLAINT. Quoth the Petition:
The First Amendment protects the rights of all speakers to advocate for all viewpoints on issues of public concern. “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” West Virginia State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 642 (1943).


Yes, the Gold Dome hosts a horde of petty officials. Most don’t know what a constellation is though most nonetheless live to force things on the citizens. Martin will win. She will obtain both the injunction and the declaration she’s after, and her damages, and attorney’s fees. This brand of law has been declared Unconstitutional in Texas and will also be crushed in Georgia - at your expense (here again, you did elect these fools - next time, maybe vote harder?). You’ll be billed for her expenses and those of the AG’s office in losing this ridiculous fight. I’ll peg it early at around $500,000 - just an estimate.

As a cogent aside, her Complaint, seeking relief for violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments, is brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, originally and colloquially known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, being formerly enacted to combat discrimination in places like Georgia. The more things change…

Again, the great and readily preventable shame of this legal matter is that the subject illegal law was enacted at the behest of a foreign power for the express purpose of curtailing the liberties of Americans. Now, for no reason whatsoever, I throw out the following two links:



Just linkin’, yo.

Is it really in the best interests of Israel as a State to give even the appearance of manipulating the laws of another sovereign nation? For the Israeli people, certainly not; for the elected elite, it appears to be a gamble they’re willing to take. Is it in the best interests of American politicians, however stupid, to enact such rubbish? Dunno - and, in their defense (true devil’s advocacy), they may have thought that “BDS” meant “Bringing Depot Scrutiny.” If you’ve ever hung out with the General(ly useless) Assembly gang, then you know. Know also that none of this is in the interests of Americans.

So, in closing, and for morality’s sake, should you see Benjamin Netanyahu at a rest area, with or without a writing instrument, then please call the police. 

*Today’s CFF National Affairs column proudly brought to you by:

THE FIRST AMENDMENT*
*currently unavailable in some areas.

-and by-


17 February 2020

[Bess Tuggle's Memoirs of Surviving Children] - Thinking of Thing 1


I’d planned to write a sequel of “Lake People” this week, but my eldest took over my mind. My first and my worst…

It’s flu season, again, and it’s -really- bad this year. This sh!t can -kill- you! Doesn’t mean kids didn’t take advantage of it, though. They have and they will.

Back in the old days my eldest child learned how to “work it.” I mean the school clinic system, and he did it well.

My eldest, Thing 1, had a “difficult” digestive tract. If he ate fried catfish and followed it up with milk he’d run a fever. His doctor and I were clueless as to why this happened, but it happened every single time… Henderson’s was his favorite restaurant. Go figure.

The child finally started elementary school, but his “digestive” problems didn’t end there. He learned if he drank milk, followed by fruit juice, he’d puke. Yes, vomit. Everywhere. The cafeteria was his favorite place. And yes, Mama got called to school each and every time to check her “sick” child out. That would have been 4th or 5th grade. Not that I didn’t have three others in the school, and had to pick the rest of my crew two hours later... but…

After -months- of checking said child out of school, and becoming good friends with the clinic nurse, my kid finally got called out.

His dad picked him up from school, and he was instantly -cured-!

No more “laying on the couch” watching TV because you’re sick, or doing “chores” because you’re faking it. “Boot Camp 101” hit the FAN. The results were widespread and left a lasting impression. I’ll spare you the details. Just use your imagination. With four little boys’ and three bathrooms, there was never a lack of something to scrub.

Same kid, as a teenager (my mom might -spank- me for this – I’ve never told her), decided to experiment with mushrooms. Mama worked at a ranch, the ‘shrooms grew out of cow poop, word gets out.. what can I say?

The thing about mushrooms is that you can get worms from them. Thing 1 did.

I treated him just like I treated the dogs’ back then. One piece of bread and one to three drops of Ivermectin, depending on body size, for worms. He was bigger than my big dog, so he got the whole three-drop dose.

He wasn’t happy for about a week. The treatment wasn’t pleasant, but once it was done he was worm-free, and he never dragged his butt on the carpet.


16 February 2020

IMHO - The Week in Review by Bess Tuggle: News of Newton & the COV


“Commissioners OK new Eastside fire station.” 
 This just gets tougher and tougher for me every week. Someone needs to start a go-fund-me page for my husband’s mental health. He has to listen to me yell at my papers’, the news, the TV, the internet…

A new fire station is approved for the eastern part of Newton, per our county commissioners.

Yippy-ki-ya!

No mention of getting our old one back up to snuff, but they do talk about new sites that we might have to purchase with our tax dollars. County Road 213, Big Woods Road, Starrsville Road,and Poplar Hill Road are all listed as potential sites.

Why in the Sam-hell (no disrespect to my dear friend) do they not consider the land behind East Newton Elementary?!? Or maybe they have; that would be Elks Club and Starrsville Roads. It’s county owned. Or, if they’re gonna sh!t-can the elementary school and build another, use the existing facilities! I can come up with other sites, but -why- do we have to buy property when we’ve already got an over-abundance of it? And why does Kerr recommend the county bonding the project and consider the establishment of a Newton County Public Facilities Authority to issue bonds? I gotta wonder whose fingers are in that pie. Another “Authority”?!? Money down the drain, once again.

Enough with the negative. It’s time for my “Kudos” for the week.

I have to say I’m –proud- of our CPD for their alcohol compliance checks. I remember working at a convenience store. The rules were they’d pay my first bail ($300) if I messed up; subsequent infractions would be all on me. I never got one.

Note: While I don’t agree with the age requirements for alcohol and tobacco, I do believe if you can vote for your Commander in Chief and potentially die for your County, you should be able to pick your own poisons. I thank my two active Marines for their service.

It’s with regret that I missed the “Active Shooter Training” at UMC. I -REALLY- did want to go to that one. I’m just not a “morning” person. I’ll growl at you before 10 a.m. With that said, please be aware that I didn’t attend when, and if, you approach our front door before 10 a.m.

Congrats to all the new Valentine’s Newly Weds! I wish you all well! For the newlyweds, and us old married couples alike, Mexico Beach is offering a complimentary vow renewal service on April 18, 3 p.m. CT with reception following. Hope to see you all there!

- Bess
PS: My husband is -AWESOME-! He cooked me the best Valentine’s supper ever!!! Hope everyone’s was just as wonderful!




A jack of all trades, Ms. Tuggle has been a Covington resident since the late 70’s. She's been a K-Mart cashier, cabinet builder, vet tech, office manager for a beef cattle ranch and water well company (where she was able to hold benefits for D.A.R.E. and Scouts), a court reporter, business manager, assistant at a private investigation firm, legal assistant, convenience store clerk, landscaper and elementary school substitute teacher.  Her greatest pleasure is being a wife, mother and grandmother.  Her stories are all real, and all names will be withheld to protect the innocent, and also maybe the guilty, depending on the crime & the Statute of Limitations.  

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Your Source for the REAL Story

14 February 2020

Good Cop, Bad Cop - A Novel by Ellis Millsaps: Chapters 4 & 5

http://www.thepiedmontchronicles.com/p/good-cop-bad-cop-novel-by-ellis-millsaps.html

Read Chapters 1 & 2 Here & Chapter 3 Here


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CHAPTER 4


George Bagley


Two days later I called Ronny and told him I would not be his lawyer.  With him away I came to my senses and did what I knew I ought to do to begin with.  I could not be a party to Ronny’s imprisonment; it would tear me up inside and I’d lose my objectivity.  I might make things worse.
“You can’t do this to me, Bagley,” he’d said over and over, but I held firm.  “I’ll help you get Don Samuel or Ed Tolley,” I said, naming some top-notch Georgia criminal-defense attorneys.
“Fuck you G-Bag,”  he’d said, ending the conversation.  I felt bad, of course, but confident I’d done the right thing.
You may be wondering whether the business with Ronny and Shelly figured into my decision.  I’ll leave you to decide that for yourself. I don’t think it did but I can’t be objective when it comes to Shelly, any more than I can with Ronny.
I felt bad about telling Ronny I couldn’t do it, but not nearly bad as I’d have felt if I hadn’t.  It took a load off my mind. I really didn’t need anything else weighing on me because I had plenty to deal with at home without importing problems from Towns County.
Home was where I lived without my wife and son, a large, empty house that echoes with their absence, a hundred-year-old wooden house six blocks off the Clinton town square.  In the kitchen of my house, my fourteen year old son recently told me that he hated me, then got in the car with his mother and left. That was a month ago. I haven’t seen him since.  He won’t talk to me.
He doesn’t hate me, I know, but hearing him say it really hurts.  We’d been best buddies until his mother left, shared interests in sports, “The Simpsons” and rock-and-roll bringing us closer than the usual filial bond, then after she left we were further bound in a conspiracy of two to get her back.
She left last fall, the day the jury freed Jerry Davenport, and came back as soon as the semester ended at Cloister College, where she teaches.  I felt like a man who’d been given reprieve from a sentence of exile and I think Jim felt the same.
She’d left, she said, because she needed to find out who she was.  I guess she found out, because she came back. Six days later she left again, because I found who she was, and told her I would leave if she didn’t.
I’d put seventeen years into a marriage with a woman whom I thought I knew but didn’t, and now that I do, the sight of her pretty face makes me feel like I’ve been tied to the whipping post. Good Lord, I feel like I’m dying.  My son won’t speak to me because she’s told him it’s me who won’t have her, and I can’t tell him why that is.  I fall back on lame shit like, “It just didn’t work out.” Of course I could tell him the truth, but I don’t know whether I should.  You tell me.  
I guess you’ll want more information if you’re going to play Dear Abby.
When I met Ursula Chastain, I was working in the Virginia Highlands section of Atlanta, an area between Emory University and Midtown which in 1980 had just turned the corner from decaying urban squalor to the upscale collection of restaurants and shops it is today.  I was waiting tables at Atkins Park Delicatessen, which had been there through it all, starting as a solid neighborhood pub then descending to seedy juke-joint before reemerging as a trendy restaurant with al fresco seating while somehow retaining some of its hippy-dive ambiance.
Ronny McKay was living in Atlanta too, finishing up an undergraduate degree in Psychology at Georgia State University.  Ronny, like me, had sporadically attended college for ten years, but unlike me he took it seriously when he did and maintained a 3.8 grade point average.  We both lived in Little Five Points, which was then a fairly low rent district, and he’d sometimes stop in at Atkins Park on his way home from school.
When I emerged from the kitchen with a tray of sandwiches this particular October day, Ronny was sitting at a table in the restaurant’s fenced-in alley with the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen close-up and in person.  
I did not tell Ronny McKay, as I had told him about Shelly Ballew twelve years earlier, that I would get me some of that, for Ursula Chastain looked unattainable.  I was no longer Best All Around, and she had the breathtaking look of a movie star--Ingred Bergman or Audrey Hepburn--and though she smiled politely when Ronny introduced us, her attitude seemed imperious.  Still, I fell all over myself being witty and charming, because all one had to do to want Ursula was to see her.
I did my singing waiter routine.  If there’s anything that you want,/ If there’s anything I can do,/ Just call on me and I’ll send it along/ With love from me to you.  I suggested a drink I’d invented which tasted just like the last drink you’d tasted:  The Tequila Mockingbird. I folded napkins into swans and butterflies.
You might wonder why this ravishing woman was with Ronny McKay, but I didn’t. Ronny was good looking enough but he wouldn’t stand out in a crowd.  He was brighter than average, but being a twenty-eight-year-old undergraduate didn’t put him on the fast track to wealth and fame. I’d never heard him rumored to be a great lover, although we had many friends in common and I think I would’ve heard.  What Ronny had that could get you any number of beautiful women in Atlanta, Georgia in 1980, at least for the short haul, was an endless supply of cocaine.  
Not that I blamed Ronny for what a sour-grapes observer might call an unfair advantage.  I didn’t blame him any more than I’d blame someone with an exceptional voice for singing or, a better analogy, someone who’d won a medal for showing it off.  While others of us could chip in a hundred dollars or two for an evening of recreational drug use, Ronny was doing some fairly major dealing and had access to as much coke as his body could stand.  I never knew the extent of Ronny’s dealings. I made it a point not to and he had the good sense to volunteer nothing, but I knew he was taking big risks to live the life he did, so I couldn’t begrudge him its reward the way I would someone born to the silver coke spoon.
Ursula and Ronny drank a pitcher of beer with a bowl of steamed mussels, then she got on a Marta bus and headed off to her apartment on Virginia Avenue.  Before she left I learned that she was in graduate school at Georgia State; she worked part time as a model; she spent a lot of her time at the movies, and that she’d met Ronny through our mutual friend, Liz Lasseter.
“So, you having a thing with Ms. Chastain, McKay?” I asked as we watched her disappear from view.
“Why?  You thinking about making a fool of yourself?”
“Maybe.  I just don’t wanna step on any toes,” I said, standing on the sidewalk she’d just graced.  
“We had a good time one night a few weeks ago.  She hasn’t shown any interest since then. She’s out of our league, G-Bag.  Swimming pools and movie stars. Go for it if you’re a glutton for punishment.”
“I just might,” I said, but wondered if I really had the nerve.  I was a little fish in a big pond, no trophy catch. Shelly Ballew had shown me that big time and I hadn’t forgotten.  My live-in girlfriend had just left me three months earlier. I’d had enough rejection to last me a while.
But I did ask Liz Lasseter about her, Liz who was a friend and sometimes lover to all the boys in my circle and some of the women, but nobody’s sweetheart for long.  I’ve never been sure why that was. “George has got the hots for Ursula C., huh? You and everybody else. Join the club,” she’d said, pushing chestnut-brown hair back from clear blue eyes.
“You think she’d go out with me?” I asked.
“Hell, how should I know, George?  I don’t know her that well. She might, I guess; she’s got quirky tastes.  She kissed me once at a party. Of course we both had straws up our noses. If you’re going to try, now would be the time.  She was living with this writer guy from Asheville--that’s where she’s from--till recently. She usually has a heartthrob boyfriend of some kind.  I wouldn’t wait long.”
“You think you might mention me to her?” I ventured.
“Talk about your big dick and your lust for life?”
“Something like that.  Tell her she might get lucky if she plays her cards right.”
“Sure, I’ll do it.  Old Liz, everybody’s pal.”  She looked at me wistfully. We both knew  she’d be my girl if that were an option. I didn’t know what to say, so I just said, “Thanks, Liz,”  kissed her on the cheek and left.


13 February 2020

A Letter to the Editor by Stan Edwards, 1st District Commissioner of Newton Co.

You may have seen in the paper where the BOC voted to purchase the “Old Cousins School” for $1.19M. I voted in favor of that and here’s why:

1. The rec department has had a recent investment of approximately $1.34M in the football field and the gymnasium. If you haven’t seen them, you should. They are very nice and the need is great and growing for both. I can tell you I experienced this need first hand as a kid that grew up here and a parent of kids that grew up here. We struggled for places to practice and play games. They still do. This alone was enough for me to vote for the purchase. Remember - $1.34M in renovations to gym and football field and purchase price of the entire school for $1.19M. 

2. The property appraised approximately 40% over what we paid. 

3. Current lease payment are $11,400/month for 3 to 4 more years. That math totals about $500,000. We are obligated to pay this amount if we do not purchase. 

4. To a lesser degree I considered space needed by county services, despite available space on the 3rd floor of the admin building. The board of elections, court services, HR, and the county extension office are only a few in need of additional space. I am not totally sold on this aspect and will be reluctant to vote in favor of additional money for this effort unless it significantly eases the burden on taxpayers in terms of services. The county’s EMA is housed there now. 

I voted for $1.19M only to purchase the property based almost solely on the fact that included the baseball field, football field, and the gymnasium. Our rec program (current challenges considered) could not sustain current programming if it were to lose these facilities. I did not vote for any additional money for this property. I realize that the rear wing of the school itself is junk but the front two wings house various tenants now, so there is potential. 

What happens if we don’t purchase the property? We lose the fields and gym all together or we continue to lease them from the purchaser of the property - indefinitely. We would have to find another home for EMA and probably lease other properties for space needs as they arise. 

Factor in that we eliminate the $500,000 in remaining lease payments with a purchase and the logic, for me, increases. 

- Stan Edwards