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The knot that tolls for thee
Staff column
Jeff Whitten NEW
Jeff Whitten is editor of the Coastal Courier. - photo by File photo

Uh-oh. U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter said somebody needs to snatch a what out of who?

Yep. Carter, our congressman, said on live TV that "somebody should go over there to the Senate and snatch a knot out of their (bleep)." He was reportedly referring to Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican same as Carter.

I’ve never met Murkowski, but I have run across Carter a time or two over the years as part of my job. He’s always seemed pretty docile, practically domesticated. What’s more, Carter’s probably about 5-foot-7 and maybe 150 pounds, so I have a hard time picturing him snatching a knot out of anybody’s (rear end) without a ladder.

Maybe he knows kung fu.

Lest anybody think I’m picking on Carter, I’m only about 5-foot-5 and am not smart enough to get into pharmacy school (Carter did), or build a business empire (the man has three pharmacies, I drive a temperamental 2000 Lincoln and work in newspapers).

I’ve never run a city (Carter was mayor of Pooler, which might not be the best advertisement for him, but still) or served a couple terms in the state general assembly before moving on to bigger things. Carter has.

Besides while I may not agree with Carter’s politics (I rarely do), I think that "snatch a knot out of" statement was kind of funny. That’s in part because I grew up watching the Three Stooges and remain a fan. I

t’s also probably because I’m from South Carolina, where somebody actually did snatch a knot on a senator once. That would be Rep. Preston Brooks, a Democrat, who took his cane and whacked an abolitionist Republican senator named Charles Sumner in the U.S. Senate, way back in 1856.

Hopefully, that’s not where Carter’s headed, but if you see him with a stick, watch out.

Onward: If you think you’re getting overdeveloped in your neck of the woods, imagine being in Glynn County, where county commissioners recently approved a developer’s request to put in up to 1,500 septic tanks on 3,000 acres near the Little Satilla River.

Note: it apparently could’ve been worse. The land was originally targeted for 4,000 homes before the developer went into foreclosure.

The measure is opposed by environmentalists and Glynn County Commissioner Bob Coleman, who is quoted in the Brunswick News as saying, "You’re going to bury Glynn County in septic tanks."

The rest of the commissioners apparently didn’t think that was funny. They voted for the development. Still, Coleman is one of my new heroes.

The good news, if you seek a sunny side, is that this is being marketed as an "upper-scale" development, so at least the septic tanks won’t be filled with your run of the mill working man ...stuff. It’ll be "up-scale" ...stuff. Stuff flushed by titans of industry and trophy wives, that sort of thing. The good stuff.

Another note: I need to go reread Sydney Lanier’s "The Marshes of Glynn" and report back to myself.

Sadly the environment doesn’t stand much of a chance these days, no matter where you go. Effingham County just approved a permit for a French turpentine plant that could soon discharge pretreated industrial waste into Ebenezer Creek, a small and beautiful blackwater tributary that meanders around and winds up in the Savannah River.

The state’s Environmental Protection Division, ever mindful of its mission to promote economic growth, approved the permit last week. It will bring 40 jobs to Effingham, or 40 more people to Effingham to work the jobs. You never know until you know. But this depressing news reminds me of a study made some years back by the Coastal Georgia Regional Commission that estimated Georgia’s coast will have about 884,000 people living on it by the year 2030 - largely due to what the commission called "in migration." I know some folks in the Sons of Confederate Veterans who are calling it something less politically correct.

Of course, one former chairman of the Liberty County Commission foresaw this coming many years ago. That would be Jimmy Smith, who once told me, and I quote — "This part of Georgia is in the crosshairs of developers."

That was well before the real estate boom, which went bust and is now boom again.

So, if you think it’s crowded now, just you wait. And it is crowded now, or more than it used to be. Georgia’s current "coastal population" was estimated in 2010 at about 654,000 people spread out among 10 coastal and four inland counties. That’s a lot of people. More coming. Some folks think that’s a good thing, some don’t. I’m conflicted.

Is it college football season yet?

Go Gamecocks.

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