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Leaving the place better than we found it
Seeing with my eyes closed
Thomas Jefferson on gun control
How to lie convincingly
Our hardy heartland
Breaking the cycle
How to catch the sun's comings and goings
Thoughts from the inside
Leveraging the internet to build our walls
Twitters from the past
And the invincibility of youth
Without ego projection
Yet another gift of the road
The charming side of obstinance
The creative part of photography
A movie critic looks in the mirror
We are not alone
As part of the system
Defecting from the rear guard
The end of Kumbaya
The wanderer's poet
Running out of dirt
Striking a balance
The Bay of Fundy, where the sea breathes
How to photograph them with anything, even your cellphone
A simple question we get every day
We may be failing to fail
And why no one should hesitate to examine them
Becoming a hero in one's own life story
A writing assignment
A new discovery of something old
Finding new eyes to see old landscapes
Hick humor
Toys for photographing wild places
Experiencing life with God
You're on this page
Redemption with style
Hidden heroes among us
Resetting our parallel processor
A village with heart
A lesson from the road
The bullet dodged
A soul sparkles
Isolation in style
Painless ways to lose your virginity : 11/12/15
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The Forsaken
A radical thought about our radicals

Traveling around the South's redneck strongholds, I've run across my share of Trump supporters, you know, those bigoted, ignorant, loudmouths. In the ghettos, I've run across Bernie's brethren, you know, those self-absorbed communists looking to stick their mitts in other people's pockets.

Only problem is that I've found both groups full of the most likeable, intelligent, patriotic, inspirational, friendly, and enlightened people on the planet. Seeing how each group spends an appreciable part of their days with their panties in a bunch about the other group, I was left with a conundrum until Billy Joel's "Allentown" made things clear.

The rust belt is full of the disenfranchised who can remember the good old days of fat factory paychecks, and now turn their anger toward the Chinese and Mexicans who have run off with all that. They buy into Trump's "Make America Great Again" because they want to be great again themselves, proud to be making something with their hands and living well from the sweat of their brows.

Bernie's bunch were never great. They've been poor as far back as they can remember. Inequality and injustice are also remembered.

Both groups have been kicked to the curb by the great American economic miracle, Trump's recently, Bernie's forever. We in the middle look at them as extremists since we can't understand why they're so huffy -- and because we don't agree with their solutions.

Trump promises to bring back the past while Bernie promises to rob the rich. Neither promises to retool their truly capable, intelligent, and hard working followers into the economy of the future. As a card-carrying geek, I see technology and science companies begging for talent -- dangling internships, apprenticeships, and ginormous paychecks.

The stock answer is that welders and food stamp collectors are not bright enough to be programmers and analysts. Somehow the welders and food stamp collectors have come to believe this rubbish, as though some of us are born programming and analyzing. The truth is we were all born crapping our drawers.

I've come across farmers with innovative crops, oilfield workers now making solar cells, and inner-city drug dealers now marketing health insurance.

Wouldn't it be truly radical if from among the politicians a statesman emerged who understood both camps to be one forsaken but lovable community? A statesman who didn't pitch threadbare soundbites to collect us-vs-them votes. A statesman who inspired the abandoned and put in front of them more opportunities to reinvent themselves.

All it would take is to love one's followers instead of to just use them

Out on the road, rubbing shoulders with my fellow Americans, I can tell you that this hope is not lost.

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Earth Goddess at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens,
a 20-ft tall mosaic of 18,000 plants

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Water catcher

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Hogging the limelight

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Book club

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Bearded leaf

For more pictures of Georgia, click here.

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