26 November 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from the Piedmont Chronicles

The Piedmont Chronicles

~ est. 2010 ~

The History of Thanksgiving
By Marshall McCart
*November 2010 edition of "About Covington to Madison" Magazine

Hello everyone! Good to be back with you once again. November already! Hard to believe, isn't it? Fall is in full force; college football is hitting the homestretch (and as a UGA man, I'll be “giving thanks” once this season is finally behind us); and Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

Many people consider Thanksgiving their favorite holiday—myself included. It's all about the gratitude we feel for the things we have and the people we love. Also, the traditional feast of turkey, dressing, and the rest of the fixins is pretty darned good. Some would also argue that while Thanksgiving has the food, family, and fellowship of Christmas, it doesn't have the stress and hustle and bustle that sometimes leads up to the December holiday. Of course, I think the people who say that usually aren't the ones doing the cooking! But what about the history of this wonderful holiday?

We all remember the story we learned in elementary school about the Pilgrims and Indians coming together for the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock. And while it wasn't quite so simple (and maybe not quite completely accurate either), that basic story is pretty much true. In 1621, the Pilgrims, led by William Bradford, had a three day feast to give thanks for their first successful harvest and invited several of the local Wampanoag Indians including their leader Massasoit. Also in attendance was Squanto--the Indian who translated for the Pilgrims and who also taught them how to fish the local rivers and to grow and harvest the corn and other crops that they were celebrating. It was quite a feast and included turkey, deer, lobster, fish, fowl, corn, squash, and cranberries. This type of celebration as well as its Autumnal timing was similar to the harvest festivals that many parts of Europe had been celebrating for centuries.

Going back to the line about the first Thanksgiving not being completely accurate, I say that because most historians agree that it wasn't truly the first one in the new continent. In 1619, English settlers in Berkley Hundred, near Jamestown in the Virginia colony, had a “day of thanksgiving” which was actually more or less a religious ceremony but did not include a feast. However, that still might not truly be the first one either as it has been documented that the Spanish had a thanksgiving celebration starting in the mid 1500's in modern day Florida. Also, in modern day Canada, settlers there started celebrating a “thanksgiving” in the late 16th century. So while the basic story behind the Pilgrims is true, it would be inaccurate to label it as the very first Thanksgiving in what is now America. As an aside, Canada also celebrates Thanksgiving but does so in September.

Another inaccuracy with this holiday is the popular misconception that it disappeared for over two centuries and was brought back to life by Lincoln during the Civil War. While Lincoln did issue a proclamation to make the final Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving in 1863, several earlier presidents had done the exact same thing including George Washington and John Adams. Also, many states, particularly in the North, had officially been celebrating the holiday decades before Lincoln.

Thanksgiving did not become an official national holiday until FDR and Congress did so in 1941. They specifically made the fourth Thursday in November (rather than the last) as the date for the holiday. A couple of years earlier, FDR had tried to move the holiday up a week to help spur Christmas sales during the lean times of the Depression. His idea flopped and many people, especially in the South, still celebrated on the last Thursday and jokingly referred to the earlier celebration as “Franksgiving” while some parts of the country simply celebrated both holidays. So after two years and “four” Thanksgivings, FDR and Congress made the change and it has been that way ever since.

There have been some recent trends with Thanksgiving particularly relating to the preparation of the turkey. The big thing lately has been deep frying the bird in peanut oil. Unfortunately, this has also led to Thanksgiving day becoming the number one day of the year for home cooking fires in our country. The experts stress three things. Make sure you're outside. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed out. And make sure you slowly submerse it—don't just drop it in there.
And finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention one other thing...just in case there is anyone out there who hasn't heard about it yet. In Louisiana, they eat what they call a “turducken”, in which a chicken is stuffed into a duck which is then stuffed into a turkey and then cooked. That's just crazy! Although, I must admit, I really want to try it sometime. There is also a variation called a “gooducken” in which a goose is substituted for the turkey. Strange but true...

Well folks...that's all I got for this one. Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and maybe some of us will be dining on turducken this year!

25 November 2015

Talkin' Tommy Craig, Stanton Springs, et al

The Chronicles
An Editorial

Talkin' Tommy Craig, Stanton Springs, et al

The analogy that has been bantered about is this:

The worker bees busily rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic while Wm. Thomas Craig, Esq. has his finger hovering, with great aim and rank for a goal, over the nuclear option button because he's either got enough on everyone to be able to be in that position or those folks are just too damn embarrassed that they got fleeced by the slick fella so bad that they'd almost actually rather be guilty of something because then at least folks would say - "Well...that happens. Duality of man and all that. Homeboy chose unwisely."

However, for the sake of argument and for your consideration, what if that's not fully true? What if the million dollar attorney is yet another, albeit large and with maybe a bit of dirt under his fingernails, allegedly, pawn in this multi-generational harvesting of our home county.

Per that o'er boy that stay down the street, this old-model, straight-up fleecing that has, allegedly, been going on for at least a few scores of years. Former Sheriffs, former Board members,certain construction companies former...whatever. More times than not, when there's a lot of smoke there is usually at least a bit of fire.

Who? What? Where, and When? Indeed!

The rabbit hole. Where does it stop? Do we want it to stop. Do THEY want it to stop? Who is they? Dark lords? Greedy grubbers? The lieutenants of the scam? The worker bees?

So, is the word on the street true? Is the 4-county JDA the last payday for the power elite types? Who is on the JDA? Who provided the money? The Bank of Madison? What't the tie-in of the Jasper Co. boys? Jordan? The Bank of Monticello?

And where the hell's Walton Co. on this thing. One gets the impression that them folks are just along for the ride and money and they're really happy to be here, thank you very much, and pass the popcorn while we watch this. And, oh yeah, Newton Co - y'all think you control everything? Social Circle is like that monster in Return of the Jedi! We must feed it! Social Circle gonna take over! Everything!  Annexation, FTW! Man, I just don't know. Questions abound!

Has it reached a certain point? Is it the death rattle of the old-model good ole boy network?

In the words of the wise one, Bustwafa - "shoot..ain't no tellin'"

So, where do we go from here when Keith Ellis and Mort Ewing turn against the JDA? What if there's been a monster created that wasn't foreseen? The law of unintended consequences, perhaps? What if Craig is on the right side of this thing? And the wrong side, too! Hey, it's not conflict of interest if everyone knows, right? A great friend of the program just recently said this to us - Newton Co. thrives on chaos. Errbody know that!

Maybe it's just some good old fashioned dumbassedness. And maybe a bit of the Fear...

We'll keep our ear to the ground. Y'all have a great Turkey Day! Gobble, Gobble!


23 November 2015

[TPC] - Newton Co. GOP meeting with guest speaker Sheriff Ezell Brown and some thoughts on the Sheriff

The Piedmont Chronicles

~ est. 2010 ~

The Newton Co. GOP had its regular monthly meeting tonight in Covington. There has been, as of late, some major changes within that particular party which has been addressed here recently, but the main part of this evening was the program given by the Sheriff of Newton Co., Mr. Ezell Brown.

Sheriff Brown covered many things in his almost hour-long presentation. It was very interesting; this newsman enjoyed it immensely. The key parts were these:

  • The Sheriff mentioned the Newton County Sheriff's Office (NCSO)'s recent accreditation from the American Corrections Association. Our department is one of just a few throughout our great land to have it. 
  • He covered the 19 divisions within the department including: 
    • Uniform Patrol - "the first line of service" that deals with some 76,000 calls per year and comprised of 64 uniformed deputies. 
    • The Warrants Division which so far in 2015 has served approx. 4,400 of those. 
    • The Community Outreach Division - his favorite according to his own words - and the C.H.A.M.P.S. program that is aimed towards kids becoming "NBA" starts (NBA - never been arrested). 
    • Special Investigations, Detention Division (the jail, aka the "Ezell Hotel"), SWAT, et al
  • The Sheriff also discussed that while calls and services are way up while budgets have been cut or plateaued, the number of violent crimes, robberies, and burglaries are down. This is info that is confirmed and that this writer was already aware of. 
Again, I greatly enjoyed the Sheriff's presentation. To me,  he's a good man and a good Sheriff. I truly feel he is that guardian of Justice and the keeper of the Peace that he's supposed to be. 


22 November 2015

[TPC] - Introducing The C-town Political Report Radio Show

The Piedmont Chronicles

~ est. 2010 ~

Hey guys,

A quick word from us - the proverbial us - me, your old pal and semi-esteemed editor-in-chief Marshall McCart. Hey!

Gang, I'm super stoked about hosting a new radio show on the Foundation for Christ Radio Network entitled The C-town Political Report, which will air on Mondays at 12 noon and 7PM and also on-demand on my page at the network.

Also in radio news, for the first time in probably two years, I contributed to Thy Brother and Sister's Keeper on WGFS 1430 AM today and interviewed JaNice Van Ness, candidate for State Senate 43.

But yeah...really excited about working with Christopher Williams and his outstanding  internet-based Christian radio station. I'm pumped.

[TPC] - Guest Post by Samuel Hay in re Keith Ellis

The following is a guest post written by Samuel Hay with express permission to be posted here. As always, we appreciate you reading `MM 


With malice and forethought, Ellis presented libelous and slanderous documents to the Board in order to destroy the company which had subcontracted the landscape work for Newton County, Ga, without the first complaint ever, in order that an alleged hand picked new sub could take over the work. It is paramount to note the new sub could not perform the work and turned in invoices which were approved by Ellis and paid, fraudulently as the work was not performed as specified in the contract with the new sub.
Ellis’ own administrative assistants thoroughly researched the smut sheet and returned to him with written confirmation, I have a dated copy, all the so called facts on the smut sheet were false. This is why Hay filed an action to see the public records. This is why open records are so important.
Two days later Ellis himself delivers the smut sheet to the Board of Commissioners as being accurate although he had in hand the truth which he failed to disclose.
Keith Ellis is solely responsible for the lawsuits which have followed his acts and actions and cost the taxpayers of Newton County hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This malice and forethought, being outside the scope of his office, disallows Ellis any legal representation by the taxpayers of Newton County, Georgia and requires he repay the citizens for any and all legal fees already spent, incurred by his negligence.
Therefore, we the citizens of Newton County, Georgia, do offer to Chairman Ellis the opportunity to resign, no later than December 1, 2015. In the event he does not, we will set meetings with the Governor, the Secretary of State and the Attorney General to have Ellis removed from office immediately.
Copies to the local press and Catie Beck 11 alive news.


20 November 2015

[TPC] - NEWS FLASH - Bill Perugino has resigned as Newton Co. GOP Chair; Todd Bowen to become new Chair

The Chronicles
20 November '15

[State of GA]
[Newton Co.]

(Covington, GA) - The Chronicles were made aware of a change of leadership of the Newton
Co. Republican Party late last night; however, the source was second-hand. During the course of the day this publication received multiple corroborations of this turn of events, albeit all second-hand and therefore we were not comfortable in posting any new reports on this issue.

But after having had a lengthy conversation tonight with Todd Bowen, formerly the first Vice-Chair of the Newton Co. GOP, and effective as tomorrow, the new Chair of the aforementioned county party, the Chronicles can report the following:

  • William "Bill" Perugino has resigned as Chair of the Newton Co. GOP. 
  • Todd Bowen is the new interim-Chair and will be the new Chair contingent upon a vote by the County Committee of the party. 
But what County Committee will that be? The one duly elected by the various precincts, or the committee created after, as we understand it to be - the illegal and in-violation-of-the-GA-GOP-bylaws, version of the County Committee after the "purging" of duly elected, dues-paying members of this party? That's the big question. That's the rub...

I will say this - I heard some good things during this conversation. All the right words. Promises of olive branches being extended, but...we've been hearing that for three years. But those were other persons; that was another time. Perhaps things may be different this time around. That is up to Todd Bowen, if confirmed by the Newton Co. GOP's County Committee. We shall see. But if what we hear is true, none of this matters anyway as an appeal is underway of the aforementioned purging that a heavy majority of the the State of Georgia GOP committee is ready to act on in favor of the aggrieved as soon as they are legally able to do so.

So we'll just have to wait and see...

'Til next time,


19 November 2015

Word on the Street: Is Craig Really Done as County Attorney?

In the aftermath of Tuesday night's Newton Co. BOC meeting in which Wm. Thomas Craig was relieved of his duties as county attorney for Newton Co. by a 4-1 vote, recent information has been given to us from an anonymous source. This info has been corroborated by another source of the Chronicles.

That information is this: the various judges presiding over the various cases that Craig is representing the county on would have to sign off on a change of counsel, and the word is that at least a couple of these judges aren't keen to do that at this time. What does this mean? Well, frankly and unfortunately, it could mean that we will be stuck with, and will have to keep paying for, Tommy Craig as our county's attorney for at least a while unless the judges sign off on a change of counsel. It was also mentioned that there could be upwards of a two year backlog of these cases.


Surely this can't be right, right? But then again, according to the one and only Sam Hay, at least one of our Superior Court judges is on a first name basis with Ed Tolley. And that's during court proceedings, no less.  Hmm...

Judges, for the most part, are regarded as sacred cows; however, they are nothing more than partisan, elected officials just like all the other elected officials in our political system. It's funny how an appointment seems to usually turn into a lifetime job. Perhaps that's a problem. Perhaps that's the ultimate problem.

Most interesting....


16 November 2015

[TPC] - Plagiarism Concerns About William "Bill" Perugino

The Piedmont Chronicles

~ est. 2010 ~

[State of Georgia]

[Newton County]

After months of research, this publication has reached a point where it is comfortable to publish the following report:

William "Bill" Perugino is a local Newton Co. citizen. He is also the Republican representative to the Newton County Board of Elections. In addition, he is the appointee of John Douglas for the Newton County Library Board of Trustees, as well as the Chairman of the Newton County Republican Party.

Let's take a step back in time. To early 2013. At the time, Perugino had spent the last year or so writing a weekly column for the Covington News, the legal organ of Newton County. Around January that year, his column abruptly stopped.

There was word on the street as to why this happened, but this column isn't about the word on the street. No, this column is strictly about the facts and wanting to ascertain if an appointed government official, governmental-entity trustee, and an officer of a state-sanctioned political party had committed plagiarism.

Here are the facts:

write-up from The Daily Signal from May 22, 2012:

Compare that to Perugino's article that came out a few days later in the Covington News:

With the exception of the removal of the first word of the article, most of this article appears to be complete copy-and-paste job.

Another example for your consideration:

Here is a column from the New York Times from January of 2013.

Compare that to this column from Perugino that came out just one day later:

Picking up with Perugino's 5th paragraph and comparing it to the other article and one can see that it is completely the same. Word for word, another copy-and-paste job. 

And a third example:

Compare Perugino's Covington News column versus this write-up from Heritage.org: 


According to a source who was involved with the Covington News during this time and who wishes to remain anonymous, a copy editor working at the time was the one who discovered this activity. This same copy editor allegedly wrote a column talking about plagiarism very shortly after Perugino's column abruptly ended. 

The Chronicles received help on this story from another person who also wishes  to remain anonymous who came across these three examples (plus a few others) using a tool that college professors often use to verify if their students are using their own words instead of copying the work of others.

Again, let me stress to the readers that this column did not come quickly nor was it taken lightly. This is big, big stuff - and we so get that - and we wanted to do this the right way. I reached out to Mr. Perugino to ask him about this situation and he responded, "I don't know what you're talking about." The Chronicles had also previously reached out to T. Pat Cavanaugh, who was the Publisher of the Covington News at the time, who said that all he could say was that he would not rehire Perugino at the Covington News.

I will offer no other commentary at this time other than to say this raises many questions about the judgement and character of someone who, as previously mentioned, serves in an official governmental capacity.