STFU or What I Learned in Arkansas

Johnny Cash grew up in Dyess, Arkansas, fifty miles northwest of Memphis. (Pronounced locally – somehow only one syllable – as “Dowus.”) Cross the Mississippi, turn north on I-55; exit at Highway 14, head west six miles, then left on 297 aka Johnny Cash Highway and you’re there. Johnny, known then as J.R., was three years old when he and his parents and four siblings moved into their new Dyess Colony home in 1935.

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Voter-Suppression Factoid

The state of Florida, home to retirees from around the country, voted Republican Rick Scott to two terms as governor. The irony is rich here, as Scott is still the record holder for Medicare fraud. Governor Scott, now running for U.S. Senate, knows that Republicans cannot win elections if everyone votes.

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Finally – Some Help for White People

In this digital age there is little chance of going off on a racist rant or other stupid behavior without someone recording it with a smart phone and causing embarrassment or even loss of employment. Niecy Nash decided it was time to help. Now white folks have a hotline to call when they observe African-Americans doing things that don’t seem to be right for persons of color to be doing.

A Tale of Two Breweries

Tony Magee started out brewing his beer at home. He opened Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma California in 1994. The brand grew quickly and became well known not only for beer but its support of non-profit organizations in Sonoma and Marin counties. Donated Lagunitas beer could be found at most fundraisers in the area. The Petaluma breweries also offered casual dining in a low-key atmosphere with friendly staff and live music at its adjacent outdoor venue.

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The Self-Declared Self-Made Billionaire

Having lived for a couple decades in Sonoma wine country, I’m familiar with the old riddle:

How do you make a small fortune in the wine business?

You start with a large fortune.

I’ve since learned that a version of this joke is also passed around among farmers and ranchers in Texas.

The failing New York Times took a deep dive into how the current occupant of the White House made his fortune. John Cassidy summarized the report in The New Yorker magazine and concluded:

He is a shameless flim-flam man with practically no regard for the truth or the quaint notion that wealthy people like him have a civic duty to pay their fair share of taxes.

The Times even used the F-word.