"American Exceptionalism" is a central theme for Mitt Romney and those who gathered this week at the Republican National Convention. For many conservatives, unwavering belief in the inherent goodness, unique character, and global superiority of the U.S. is a minimum requirement for admission to the circle of "real Americans." In their eyes, President Obama's willingness to apologize to other nations and peoples - more so than questions about his birthplace - makes him unworthy of citizenship in "Real America."
Is it me, or has the 2012 Presidential campaign been going since 1912? No doubt, Republicans began plotting to unseat Barack Obama on the morning of November 5, 2008.
That's politics. But, it's 71 long days yet to next national referendum on leadership, and we're just now reaching the nominating conventions. As if the rhetoric wasn't heated enough already.
Forget conservatism versus liberalism, capitalism against socialism, or even Democrats fighting Republicans. In picking Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, Mitt Romney has drawn a new battle line. Throughout his political career, Paul Ryan has been an outspoken crusader in what he calls the "fight between individualism and collectivism."
I wasn't at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, Aug. 1. For the record, I haven't eaten there in at least 60 days. That's not a political statement or a reflection of my food preferences; it's a necessity while trying (with some success) to get my clothes to fit again.
From Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, commercial aircraft were diverted from airspace over the southeastern U.S. when pilots reported hearing loud, persistent beeping in the area. Flights returned to normal once FAA investigators confirmed the beeps were coming from a backup alarm sounding as the State of Georgia shifted into reverse. However, they warn the noise may continue for at least a decade.
I fully understand why President Barack Obama, candidate Mitt Romney, Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid don't want to talk about gun control in the wake of the Aurora, Colo. shootings. I don't want to talk about it either.
Not because I don't think it needs to be discussed, but because we've become inept as a nation talking about anything that stirs emotions. Politicians are concerned with losing votes; I'm concerned about losing the goodwill of friends, neighbors and even family. I'm reluctant to throw more fuel on ...
A crinkled page dangles from a whiteboard in my home office, just beyond my peripheral vision as I work at my desk. The top corners are curled from nearly four years hanging by the same twine that secured it around my neck on the morning of November 5, 2008. While always in sight, this relic was out of mind for years. Lately, though, it haunts me. I hear scratching sounds that make me look up to see only an aging piece of paper fluttering ever so slightly against the blinds in my office window.
Nothing gets friends - or even strangers - more animated than talking about memorable moments long past that survive and even flourish with passing time.
A guitar, a bicycle, a marriage - what do they have in common? The punch line isn't a "ha ha," but it was an "Aha!" for me.
If you've spent many summers in the southern U.S., chances are you've seen them. I'm referring to those huge, wasp-like insects that show up this time of year. They have colors, markings and a body shape kind of like a hornet, only closer in size to a 747 than a Cessna.
Much like Mark Twain, reports of the death of friendship in our society are greatly exaggerated. It's fashionable to lament the demise of real relationships and paint the age of social networking as a sad and lonely time. Well, my personal journey these past two weeks, dealing with the death of my father, has taught me many things. And, chief among them is that friendship, caring, and compassion are alive and well in our time.
My sweet father's life ended just seven days short of this Father's Day. I'll have many opportunities to remember the goodness of his life, and even his passing. But, first I must share an unpublished piece I wrote four years ago.
It's encouraging so many candidates qualified to run for local positions in the upcoming primary elections. These days, nearly everyone has all the answers, until you press them to put those great ideas into practice. Then, the excuses start.