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.
Whose fault is the current debacle in Iraq? It could be Nouri al-Maliki's since he is the country's strongman and has alienated the minority Sunnis. It could be George W. Bush's because he started the whole thing off with possibly the stupidest war in history, the Children's Crusade exempted on account of youth. The one person who is not at fault, we are told over and over again, is the current president of the United States. Like Millard Fillmore, he has kept us out of war.
One of the issues facing you if you're a baby boomer is something that pills and exercise won't help. If your parents are still alive, they're still 18-plus years older than you.
Darcy Olsen, president of the Arizona-based Goldwater Institute, and Richard Garr, president of Neuralstem, a biotech company, wrote "Right to Try experimental drugs" in USA Today (5/28/2014). They pointed out that "this year, more than 5,000 Americans will lose their battle with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease." Up until recently, there was no medicine on the market that significantly improved the lives of ALS patients. But now there is one in clinical trials that holds considerable promise, but it has not been granted Food and Drug Administration approval. The average amount of time it ...
On Tuesday, June 3, I wrote: "Obama is a man on the ropes. He is coming more unhinged. Only a person with deep-seated emotional instability makes the public displays he does. Only a person teetering on the brink of emotional collapse continues to make fallacious statements and then attempts to downplay them by claiming even greater lies." (See: No More Tinkles Down Leg of Chris Matthews)
"Driven to Distraction" is no longer just a title to a book that covers ADHD, but it is also a phrase that describes how many of us feel in our day-to-day lives. The opportunities and choices are enormous and they can easily overwhelm our capacity to make order out of our everyday world.
Before the start of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, Billy Payne, the organization's CEO, reminded everyone that while much of the attention during the games would be focused on the high-profile athletes, not to forget that all 10,000 athletes from the 107 countries represented were and would forever be Olympians - a title very few people in the world would ever attain.
I am into my summer routine, which means I drive to a weekend house, and as I do so, I listen to a book on tape. For the moment, it's Laura Hillenbrand's riveting "Unbroken," the story of Louis Zamperini's ordeal during World War II. He was a bombardier, and after his plane went down in the Pacific, he spent 47 days on a decaying raft, fighting off sharks with his fists, and then survived three years of inhumane imprisonment by the Japanese. His and the lives of other POWs were saved by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima ...
As with many other fields of endeavor, being a legislator requires getting to know some slang. Herewith is a brief primer of some Georgia General Assembly terms and phrases.
I read someplace that everyone at one time or another has his or her 15 minutes of fame. I don't know if that is true or not but I did have a moment in the national spotlight once and of all the good things that I have ever done which could have brought that famous 15 minutes into my life, I earned mine for just having fun.
Most who read my columns think that I'm only annoyed by politicians, growing government and Americans who have little respect or love for liberty and our Constitution. There are other things that annoy me.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, and the long-awaited opening of a western front.
I read with fascination the opinion piece written by Randy Vinson Sunday titled "What Legacy?'. It correctly points out the pride we all feel about the area we call the Square in Covington.
Like a pitcher who has lost his fastball, Barack Obama has lost "the speech." The speech has always been central to the president and his presidency. He established his credentials with the one he delivered to the 2004 Democratic National Convention while still a state senator. He followed that with many others - Berlin, Cairo, Philadelphia on race, etc. - each one greeted with bobby soxer delirium, which Obama fully expected. In 2004, just before he spoke to the convention, he told his friend Marty Nesbitt that the excitement about him was yet to peak. "My speech is pretty good," he allowed.
I wrote recently about the concerns of environmental groups over a proposal by the owners of Sea Island to develop 7.2 acres on the south end of the island. They say that the land is too fragile for the proposed development.
With graduation just a few days behind us, it brought my own days in school to mind.