Category Archives: Down the drain

Trapped at Sea

The Brunswick News story about a couple from Saint Simons who took a cruise on March 7th around the tip of South America to Valparaiso and then the Holland American Liner, Zaandam, was not permitted to dock because of COVID-19 on board and four dead people in the shipboard morgue, reminds me.
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Letter to Leavy from J.R.Smith

Dear Mr. Leavy:

This message is addressed to you as publisher and editor of The Brunswick News.

In the last twenty-four hours, Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, announced that all public gatherings on that entire continent must be limited to no more than two people.

Let us remember that Australia was the setting for Nevil Shute’s 1957 novel “On the Beach” and Stanley Kramer’s 1959 film based on that novel about the last survivors of the human race waiting to die from the radioactive fallout of the nuclear war that killed everyone else around the world.

Nevil Shute took the title for his novel from T. S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men”: “In this last of meeting places/We grope together/And avoid speech/Gathered on the beach . . .”

Although our Glynn County Commissioners told us on March 20th that we can no longer go to the beach on Saint Simons Island and hide our heads in the sand, they did not restrict access to the public beach on Sea Island. In an email sent out yesterday, March 28th, and authorized by Scott Steilen, the President and CEO of the Sea Island Company, we learn that although “our local County Commission . . . ordered the beaches on St. Simons closed . . . that order did not apply to Sea Island’s beach . . . and we strongly encourage you to voluntarily comply with that order”.

The photograph above taken on the beach at Sea Island yesterday documents the poor level of voluntary compliance with that order and with the current national norms for “social distancing”

Having taken part as a Louisiana National Guardsman in the mass burial in a bulldozed trench of some of the hundreds of victims of Hurricane Audrey in 1957 (the same year “On the Beach” was published), I am struck by the ominous image below of the man looking toward a bulldozer. Is there any reason why you can’t publish this image in The Brunswick News?

If you don’t want to publish it as a newsworthy photograph, is there any reason why I cannot pay to have this image published in your newspaper as part of a Public Service Announcement about another kind of “social distancing”—the social distance between those who must follow the rules and those who seem to believe themselves above and beyond such rules?

Julian Smith


1. Don’t use his name
2. Remember this is a regime and he’s not acting alone
3. Do not argue with those who support him–they will not change their minds.
4. Focus on his policies, not his mental state;
5. Keep your message positive; they want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest policies will grow.
6. No more helpless/hopeless talk
7. Support artists and the arts
8. Be careful not to spread fake news. Check it twice.
9. Take care of yourselves; and
10. Resist!

Pelosi’s Patient Purpose

There is not going to be a quick and meaningless trial in the Senate. Donald J. Trump has been impeached for abuse of power and obstructing Congress. So, these are charges that can only be levied against a POTUS.
Judges can be impeached for malfeasance, but only those who “enjoy” a lifetime appointment. Others can, of course, be removed via election or, in some states, a finding of incompetence by a Governor. That is a significant difference.