Here's how my Aug. 11, 2003, column began: "Anyone who believes President Bush's Africa initiative, including sending U.S. troops to Liberia, will amount to more than a hill of beans is whistling Dixie. Maybe it's overly pessimistic, but most of Africa is a continent without much hope for its people." More than a decade has passed since that assessment, and little has changed to suggest a more optimistic outlook. Now Ebola threatens the very existence of the West African nations Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Moreover, the deadly disease is likely to spread to neighboring nations.
My mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer in the mid-1970s, when I was in grammar school. Her goal, at that time, was to stay alive to see my older sister Kathy and me graduate from high school. She neither dwelled on the disease, nor on why she was stricken with it, but instead focused on getting rid of the cancer and living for her two daughters.
Ben Bradlee would not have liked me to say so, but he was the living refutation of the Declaration of Independence: All men are not created equal. Certainly, he was not. He was born rich and well-connected, a member of the WASP tribe that once ran much of America and nearly all of its prestigious institutions. He was compellingly handsome and so smart that no crossword puzzle could really challenge him. It's not that he didn't have a weakness. He did. He was a sucker for the underdog.
So as to give some perspective, I'm going to ask readers for their guesses about human behavior before explaining my embarrassment by some of my fellow economists.
Last week Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter shared via this column his vision for public education in Georgia.
To understand the lack of enthusiasm most Americans feel about the midterm elections, it's important to recognize a vital distinction between government and community.
While new and novel might be exciting, routine and habit can help create a structure and framework for success. From eating breakfast, brushing our teeth or exercising every day, much of our lives are driven by routine. This reliance on routine behavior can startle us when we are driving and find ourselves not at our planned destination, but at our routine destination.
Tell me something: What do you think would happen if the United States concludes that Iran has been cheating and delaying and is about to pop a fully functional nuclear weapons program? Would President Obama respond by joining Israel to bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities to smithereens - or would he stall and equivocate? My bet is the latter and so, just to double down, is what I bet the Iranians are betting. They have taken the measure of Obama. He lacks menace.
The Food and Drug Administration can make two types of errors. It can approve a drug that has dangerous unanticipated side effects, or it can reject or delay approval of a drug that is safe and effective. Let's look at these errors, because to err on the side of under- or over-caution is costly.
It's a little thing, but it bugs me a lot.
If I die anytime soon - and I have no plans to do so at the moment - please see that the first paragraph of my obituary reads, "He was past president of the University of Georgia National Alumni Association." You can save for later paragraphs the part about my being often mistaken for Brad Pitt and my uncanny ability to put commas where they don't belong.
Ever since the 1976 election, I've understood the importance of voter turnout. My father was running for United States Congress in rural Georgia, having lost in 1974. He realized in early 1976 that running as a republican in Georgia, while Jimmy Carter was topping the democratic ticket, was going to be a hard feat to pull off, but confident of his ability to work hard, he trudged forward.
This past summer I travelled back home to attend the 50th year reunion of the class of 1964 of St Mary's High in Annapolis Maryland.
In 1913, an entrepreneur "said in many newspapers and over his signature that it would be possible to transmit the human voice across the Atlantic before many years." For that accurate assessment of reality, he was prosecuted for stock fraud. A U.S. District Attorney claimed that, "based on these absurd and deliberately misleading statements, the misguided public ... has been persuaded to buy stock in his company."
The director of the Secret Service, Julia Pierson, was questioned this past Tuesday by members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform regarding lapses in Secret Service Performance. The hearing focused primarily on an incident that took place on September 19. Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, allegedly jumped the White House fence, ran across the White House lawn, ran up a flight of stairs and through the North Portico door. He then allegedly entered the entrance hall, turned left and headed into the East Room, where he was tackled and subdued. A knife was allegedly found in his possession.
Two "leading national security organizations" - that's their own designation, in case you're wondering - have condemned President Obama's "return to the battlefield in Iraq." Their names are a mouthful - the Council for a Livable World and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation - but their statement is worth reading, not for what it says but for what it doesn't. It offers no hint of how anything other than military intervention was going to save those poor people stuck on a mountain in Iraqi Kurdistan, some of them dying of dehydration, some of them already dead and the ...
I just learned of a book called, "Say Goodbye to your Southern Accent." Gosh dang. What is wrong with a Southern accent?
Stories are the soul of human memory. Ancient people listened to lengthy narratives about the legendary exploits of heroes like Beowulf. When literacy came, the stories were written down on animal hides and papyrus plants. Sometimes, they were carved into brick and bronze memorials.
The beginning of school is just around the corner. William Jennings Bryan may not have been able to keep the "monkeys" out of public schools, but Edmund Schemmp (from Abington) and Madalyn Murray O'Hair were successful in getting God out, and the ACLU has been successful in keeping him out.
The tech industry will have a more lasting impact on America's future than Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama combined.
About the time of the Mansfield public hearing the chairman came by to see me. He had heard the strong concerns expressed by the public regarding the 2050 Plan Baseline Ordinance, and I think sincerely realized that those concerns had to be addressed. His idea at the time was to pick a small group of people who would represent the position of the landowners in eastern Newton County and a group who were in favor of the plan, lock them in a room and let them come up with a compromise position which preserve the basics of the plan while ...
August has been a challenging month for my family the last few years. Two years ago, while my children, Maggie and Robert, and I were visiting my sister, Kathy, and her husband, Paul, in Key Biscayne, Florida, our mother ended up in the hospital in critical condition. While she recovered temporarily, she ultimately suffered a stroke right when school started in the fall of 2012.
Richard Nixon is not having an easy time of late. The Washington Post alone has run at least three opinion pieces reminding us all that Nixon was a skunk who 40 years ago this month resigned the presidency and flew off to a short-lived exile in California. There the story of Nixon's nefariousness supposedly ends. But it does not. He remains to this day a major political figure.
Dear Georgia Public School Teachers:
While reading the first chapter of Jason Riley's new book, "Please Stop Helping Us," I thought about Will Rogers' Prohibition-era observation that "Oklahomans vote dry as long as they can stagger to the polls." Demonstrative of similar dedication, one member of Congress told Vanderbilt University political scientist Carol Swain that "one of the advantages and disadvantages of representing blacks is their shameless loyalty. ... You can almost get away with raping babies and be forgiven. You don't have any vigilance about your performance." In my opinion, there appear to be no standards of performance low enough for blacks to ...
On July 1, 2014, I wrote a syndicated column titled "What If Terrorists Used Infectious Diseases." I postulated that America is being placed in mortal danger as illegal aliens, to which I specifically add the tens of thousands of illegal alien children, are flooding our borders.
As I wrote in last week's column about Georgia's U.S. Senate race between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue, it will all boil down to turnout - who turns out to vote. While the Republican candidates are being fair when they tie the Democratic nominee to the Obama administration, they must do more than hope that Democrats can't persuade voters to go to the polls. The Republican candidates need to create and communicate a clear, compelling message for all voters - that will give them a reason and the passion to turn out and vote Republican this ...
Recep Tayyip Erdogan's anti-Semitism is getting the better of him. Once again, the Turkish prime minister has trotted out the Hitler analogy in relation to Israel and what it has done in Gaza. "They curse Hitler morning and night," he said of the Israelis. "However, now their barbarism has surpassed even Hitler's."
The U.S. Senate race this November between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue will be one of the more unusual campaigns we have witnessed in Georgia. Neither has held public office and both are anxious to portray themselves as the ultimate "outsider."