Remembering the 1968 Olympics and scars that won’t heal

For those of us who were alive and watchful in 1968, those two raised fists symbolized a defining moment. And the divisions that ripped us apart during that era have never really healed. Trymaine Lee has written an interesting retrospective (then again, does the past every go away?) in the Huffington Post about the famous protest by Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the medal stand during the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.  It will give you a new perspective–or perhaps solidify your old one–on Brent Musburger, who at the time condemned the two men as “black-skinned stormtroopers” and missed the point by about … oh, 180 degrees. To read Lee’s post, click here. Wikipedia (yes, Wikipedia) has an excellent article on the proteste and its aftermath, as well.

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I’ll be back … at the Decatur Book Festival!

It’s official: I signed up as a publisher at the Decatur Book Festival, so look for the “Thornbriar Press presents Brambleman, The Forsyth County Saga” booth during Labor Day weekend. Stop by and get autographed copies of Brambleman, Chain Gang Elementary (a “Book of the Month” at Indie Books List and “Required Reading” at PTO Today), and the collector’s hardcover, first-print edition of The Way It Was in the South, a Georgia “Book of the Year” and Editor’s Choice at American Heritage magazine. Come see us! I’ll post more later. For updates, contact info@thornbriarpress.com. For information about the nation’s largest independent book festival, visit the DBF website.  

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Attorney General goes after Cumming mayor for violating open meetings law

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens is suing the city of Cumming and Mayor H. Ford Gravitt for allegedly violating the state’s open meetings law, which allows citizens to record open meetings. Olens’s suit,  filed Tuesday in Forsyth County Superior Court, states that, during an April 17 City Council meeting, Gravitt ordered Nydia Tisdale to stop videotaping a city council meeting and ordered her removed by force from chambers, along with her camera; when she returned and attempted to use her cell phone to record the meeting, she was told to stop recording. Olens asks the court to impose fines in excess of $1,ooo for the alleged violations. To see the Associated Press’s coverage of the lawsuit, click here. For background on the…

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My next novel, PARTY TO A CRIME, is on the market

PARTY TO A CRIME is the first-person account of Roland Dole, a burned-out former teacher who serves as jury foreman in a crack-fueled carjacking trial. The case doesn’t end with the jury’s expedient verdict, however. Thanks to a delinquent son, a half-trained attack dog, and his own faulty memory, Dole finds himself locked in a life-and-death struggle with one of the parties in the case. Written with realism and dry (sometimes grim) humor, PARTY TO A CRIME tells the story of one man’s “ordeal by trial” and ultimate redemption against the backdrop of a dysfunctional justice system—where guilt and innocence are cheap commodities, traded in backroom deals. Read more.

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Bail revoked: Judge orders George Zimmerman to jail for lying about finances

George Zimmerman has been ordered back to jail after the judge learned he’d been lying about his finances during his bond hearing. Zimmerman faces second-degree murder charges in the death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman already knew he’d collected more than $100,000 through PayPal contributions to his website, but he told the court he had only limited resources. After the hearing, he was released on a $150,000 bond. Now he may have to spend the next year or two in jail while his trial proceeds. And now his credibility has been punctured. And by the way, Zimmerman has two passports, and had only surrendered one of them to authorities, as was required under the terms of his bond. The Washington Post reports: The judge questioning…

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A “birther” issue in Forsyth County sheriff’s race?

They had a bit of a “birther” issue in Forsyth County recently when it turned out that none of the three Republican candidates for sheriff bothered to submit birth certificates or high-school diplomas to party officials during the qualifying period.  The Republican Party went ahead and qualified them, anyway. County elections officials have been working to straighten the mess out and say that the issue has been cleared up after all three men submitted the necessary documentation. Any voter in the county has until June 8 to file a challenge to the candidacies of Lauren McDonald, Duane Piper and incumbent Ted Paxton. There may be no further repercussions, however, since no Democrat qualified to run for sheriff in Forsyth, Georgia’s most staunchly Republican county. Read more.

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