Saturday, May 21, 2011

Is the Southern accent dying?

Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in 1939 film Gone With the Wind, charmed audiences with her Southern drawl

The distinct drawls and twangs that dominate America's Southeast as we know it may be dying off, new research suggests.

A North Carolina State University study has noted a gradual shift away from the drawn-out vowel pronunciations widely associated with Southern speech, which experts say is 'disappearing'.

Linguists say upper and middle classes in the state capital of Raleigh have adopted a distinctly 'less Southern' drawl in recent years, and it's a trend that will continue........

........The speech changes to the degree that you don't really sound like you're from Dixie anymore.'

Bob Tomb, 70, said the shift makes him reminisce about growing up in the region, when a Southern drawl was more distinct.

'It's very pleasant to run into an older person who sounds like they're from Raleigh. The accent gives the place a little style,' he said.

Is this the inexpensive militia tactical command net radio we've been looking for?

Militia fire-team and squad radios, to the extent that most folks can afford, are GMRS/FRS hand-held "family" sets. On the border with the Minutemen in October 2005, we used these with an antenna range "booster" which consisted of nothing more than a a length of copper wire coiled at the base for attachment to the existing stub antenna. With ear buds and external mics they can be made into a reasonable tool for tactical communication. The problem has been, of course, range. With a capable command set of greater capability and range these can be made into a decent tactical net. The problem has been affordability. I'm not a radio geek by a long shot, but this looks promising:

Islands in the stream: The extraordinary homemade dams holding back the Mississippi as desperate residents try to save their homes

Leaking: This homeowner sealed off the driveway to their house but water has crept in over the back of the makeshift levee - not surprising when the Mississippi River's height has swollen to 56.3 feet - a record high

  • Residents go to extreme measures to save their homes
  • Flooding claims its first death

We've all undertaken home improvements but these residents in flood-stricken Mississippi have had to embark on major construction projects just to protect their houses and livelihoods.

These homes in Vicksburg are all situated along the Yazoo River, a tributary of the overflowing Mississippi River, and their owners have surrounded themselves with tons of earth and sand.

With questions over whether the main levees that protect the area from floods would hold, these farmers took no chances and have so far saved their homes and crops from destruction.

See the video below...


When I was a child in school and was learning about the Great Depression of the 1930′s, I remember seeing pictures of the shanty towns called “Hoovervilles.” Later on in life, I saw individual homes or shanties while visiting Mexico during a cruise, but I thought I would never see one let alone an entire community here in these United States of America. Well now I have seen one and it is near my home.

If you travel south on I-275 in Tampa FL, just before the I-4 interchange, look to the right and you will see about 20 shanties with people living in them. I have attached the picture I took with my cell phone but it doesn’t capture the entire place which is much bigger. Note the old tires on the roofs to help keep them seated during high winds.

I do feel that we are in the beginnings of the “Greatest Depression” and that it started in 2007. Some have argued that it is not true and they point out there are no soup kitchens, etc. as we see in old pictures from the last depression. But, we are better at hiding our poor and downtrodden than before and much better at ignoring it. Soup kitchens have been replaced by food stamps with over 10% of our population on them, and the “hobos” of today are now regulated to patches of woods and homeless camps well out of most people’s chosen view.

I live in an affluent neighborhood, but my block alone has two homeless camps in small patches of woods and though most of my neighbors choose to ignore it, I can’t. Now, in plain view in Tampa Florida, I have seen and photographed my first “Obamaville.” It’s getting harder to ignore and to pretend you just don’t see it.


Senator Paul on President Obama’s Recent Policy Speech

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Sen. Rand Paul today issued the following statement regarding President Obama's speech on American-Middle Eastern policy yesterday.

"President Obama yesterday noted we are at a 'moment of opportunity' in the Middle East right now. If that is in fact true, then it is an opportunity he is wasting.

"We should use the upheaval in this 'Arab Spring' to take a good long look at our foreign policy over the past few decades. Instead, we are watching this President make the same mistakes as previous administrations, but doing so in a far more dramatic and dangerous fashion.

"Our mistakes in foreign policy have always been from hubris. We somehow believe that we can dictate the policies of the world, and enforce them with our military and economic strength. While this might sound like a good idea to many, it has its limits and its consequences.

"For example, instead of seeking proper authority from Congress and the Constitution to go to war with Libya, President Obama empowered the United Nations and the Arab League, two bodies that together endanger the security and sovereignty of our ally Israel.

"It is the United Nations who is threatening to impose a Palestinian state without a guarantee of safety for Israel. It is members of the Arab League who foment hostilities or refuse to recognize the right to safety and security of Israel.

"But far worse than that, today it was an American President who stood before the world and once again demanded Israel act against her own strategic interest in the name of a false peace.

"Peace from weakness or peace from outside coercion of Israel is a fool's errand. Unfortunately, the President today proved himself willing to play that fool.

"Israel and her enemies have fought wars for the better part of the past 60 years. And terror-supporting countries in the region have spent the better part of those years feigning interest in peace while lobbing rockets across borders.

"For President Obama to stand up today and insist that Israel should once again give up land, security and sovereignty for the possibility of peace shows an arrogance that is unmatched even in our rich history of foreign policy

"If we could learn just one thing from our failures to impose policies on the Middle East over the years, it should be this: We aren't very good at it.

"We should stick to what we are good at: promoting freedom, encouraging trade. Inviting those willing to participate in peace and benefit from its prosperity. We should show by example that the sovereignty of other countries must be respected if we wish to have that of our allies respected.

"I agree with the President. This is in fact a moment of opportunity. It is time to seize control of our foreign policy from those who have spent the past decade policing the world, trying in vain to build nations after destroying them, and bankrupting our children and grandchildren in the process.

"This opportunity will pass us by if we simply repeat the same mistakes, over again."