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Charleston's compassion

A black church, a maladjusted white kid, and the nation moaning, "My God, not again." A few selected politicians, firm believers in the theory of 'never let a good crisis go to waste', exploited the tragedy to push for more gun control on law abiding citizens. Shame on them. Thankfully, the majority of politicians did the decent thing by grieving with the rest of the country and graciously keeping their mouths shut. Condolences and heart-felt words for the fallen were and always will be a proper and suitable way to express sympathy for a heartbreak such as Charleston.

June 28, 2015 | Pete Mecca | Columnists


Prejudice wrong belief system, but not part of country's DNA

Long before last week's killings in Charleston, South Carolina, which appear to have been motivated by racial hatred, at least one expert in belief systems wrote that a person's prejudices can be changed.

June 28, 2015 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Five young men can define a successful life

Five young men, ages 18 to 23. Two college graduates. Two currently attending college. The youngest headed that way this fall. All good students. All excellent athletes. All standing resolutely before a large assemblage to pay tribute to their grandfather, Rob Neely, who passed away recently after a courageous battle with cancer. And what a tribute it was.

June 28, 2015 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


States don’t have rights, people have rights

Next week, we'll be celebrating the 239th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The eloquent cries for freedom and equality voiced in that properly revered document have become what professors Sid Milkis and Marc Landy call the "American Creed." It's a belief that all of us have the right to do whatever we want with our lives so long as we don't interfere with the right of others to do the same.

June 28, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


You're what you say you are

Rachel A. Dolezal, the recently resigned president of the Spokane, Washington, office of the NAACP, has come under a bit of controversy. Both of her parents are white, but for eight years, Dolezal claimed that she was black. In addition to her role as president of an NAACP chapter, Dolezal was an instructor of Africana studies at Eastern Washington University.

June 28, 2015 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Celebrity Politics

It's official. On Tuesday, Donald Trump announced that he is officially running for president of the United States. "And we are going to make our country great again," he added. While I agree with his goal -- making America great again -- it will be interesting to see if his running for the nomination takes us along this path.

June 21, 2015 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


A Lack of Trust

Neither Donald Trump nor Ben Carson will be president of the United States. Having observed political campaigns actively since 1988, neither campaign has the connections, opinion leader support or organizational abilities to win the nomination. But they are candidates who can throw a wrench in the process.

June 21, 2015 | Erick Erickson | Columnists


A Ray of Hope Far from Washington

Listening to the political junkies discuss the 2016 presidential election more than a year ahead of time is enough to depress just about anyone who has a life outside the political bubble. It will get even worse next year with the avalanche of civic pollution known as campaign commercials.

June 21, 2015 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


A Ray of Hope Far from Washington

Listening to the political junkies discuss the 2016 presidential election more than a year ahead of time is enough to depress just about anyone who has a life outside the political bubble. It will get even worse next year with the avalanche of civic pollution known as campaign commercials.

June 21, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Happy 800th birthday, Magna Carta!

What sometimes seem like epic battles to reshape the world generally fade to irrelevance very quickly. To take just one recent example, 20 years ago the Justice Department was trying to break up Microsoft because the software giant was perceived as too powerful to be challenged by other firms. Today, of course, all the talk is of Google and Apple with Microsoft struggling to find a niche.

June 14, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Improving black education is necessary

Last summer's Ferguson, Missouri, disturbances revealed that while blacks were 67 percent of its population, only three members of its 53-officer police force were black. Some might conclude that such a statistic is evidence of hiring discrimination. That's a possibility, but we might ask what percentage of blacks met hiring qualifications on the civil service examination. Are there hundreds of blacks in Ferguson and elsewhere who achieve passing scores on civil service examinations who are then refused employment? There is no evidence suggesting an affirmative answer to that question.

June 14, 2015 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Dangling participles, feds keep close watch on columnist

Last week, Congress passed and President Obama signed legislation that will alter somewhat how federal law enforcement can monitor our phone calls in the future.

June 14, 2015 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Intellectual dishonesty

President Barack Obama's stance, expressed in his 2014 State of the Union address, is that the debate is settled and climate change is a fact. Obama is by no means unique in that view. Former Vice President Al Gore declared that "the science is settled." This "settled science" vision about climate is held by many, including those in academia. To call any science settled is sheer idiocy. Had mankind acted as though any science could possibly be settled, we'd be living in caves, as opposed to having the standard of living we enjoy today. That higher standard of ...

June 07, 2015 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Georgia is trending for the better

As a legislator, I am constantly introduced to studies showing current trends that are impacting Georgia. None of these are as important as demographics.

June 07, 2015 | Dave Belton | Columnists


Kick back and enjoy the unfolding primary season

School is out, Memorial Day is past and summer stretches in front of us. Maybe it's because I live in the South, but summer seems to be a time when everything slows down, as if to pay homage to the heat and humidity that abound. Without the invention of air conditioning, there is not doubt there would be few who would choose to live in the deep South today, at least during the summer.

June 07, 2015 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Our Constitution and the American dream

Fires burn in our embassies overseas, mobs burn our flag and murder American dignitaries. The positions taken by our government, the reporting to the people and the response to those countries where these actions have taken place are totally unacceptable.

September 27, 2012 | William Peruguino | Columnists


Garrett refutes pro-charter claims

With the vote on the charter school amendment just over a month away, the heat is getting intense. I know. I have felt it. I wrote a column a few weeks ago giving the pro-charter folks an opportunity to make their case for the amendment. For my trouble, a number of anti-charter advocates wondered if I was going soft on them and backers of the bill continued to accuse me of giving out "misinformation." I love this job.

September 25, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Hopes of a sewing family tradition

I own a sewing machine. My husband gave it to me as a Christmas gift just after we married so it must be more than 40 years old. It still works, but I have cracked the presser foot and the top of the machine is a bit dented. I have also broken off the back-up button. But it still works just fine.

September 25, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Why not here?

As I write, it's Thursday night in Hancock, Md., and I'm at the end of day four of a six day journey by bicycle from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. With two friends, we biked Monday through Wednesday on the Great Allegheny Passage Rail Trail from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Md. Today, our travels took us onto the historic Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath, which will lead us to the D.C. suburb of Georgetown by Saturday.

September 22, 2012 | Maurice Carter | Columnists


4-H’ers, 4-H’ers everywhere!

Newton 4-H is bursting at the seams, literally.

September 22, 2012 | Terri Kimble | Columnists


Romney’s class warfare

Now, at least, there can be no doubt about who is waging class warfare in this presidential campaign. Mitt Romney would pit the winners against the "victims," the smug-and-rich against the down-on-their-luck, the wealthy tax avoiders against those too poor to owe income tax. He sees nearly half of all Americans as chumps who sit around waiting for a handout.

September 22, 2012 | Eugene Robinson | Columnists


Romney may be the end of the line for the Republican establishment

Mitt Romney's comments about 47 percent of Americans being dependent on government and locked in to vote for President Obama highlight a fundamental reality in American politics today: The gap between the American people and the political class is bigger than the gap between Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C.

September 22, 2012 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Focus should be on facts

The challenge for modern-day campaigns is that the rapid speed of the news cycle ensures that new news is created on a daily basis, even when it is not really news. Blame the hunger for something novel and fresh that can eat up time on the 24-hour cable news channels.

September 20, 2012 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Home again, home again

There's nothing like being away to restore one's body and soul. We were away just last week in somewhat familiar parts of Maine and New Hampshire, itself a brand new experience. The clean air, lack of humidity, brisk breezes, forest-covered mountains, rocky shores and charming small towns, some predating the Revolutionary War, were balm and sustenance. Good friends, good food and good wine provided endless moments to be cherished.

September 20, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Yarbrough: For the legislature, this party may be over

When the gavel bangs to open the 2013 session of the Georgia General Assembly, I would suggest the first order of business be to have Willie Nelson serenade our solons with "The Party's Over." Willie sings that song better than almost anybody and it would be an effective way to remind our intrepid public servants that there is a new sheriff in town.

September 18, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Travis: Common sense threshold

A frequent topic of conversation in the Language Arts teachers' work room of Newton High School more than 20 years ago was something we called the sense threshold. When the administration, county office or other powers-that-be issued an edict that defied common sense, we would exclaim in wonder, discuss the absurdity and intone, "sense threshold, sense threshold."

One year, it was decided that we would not keep official attendance in our roll books; we would mark attendance and tardies on a Scantron form for each class period. In other words, we would bubble in who was tardy and absent on ...

September 18, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Gather information at the local courthouse

The courthouse is a wealth of information for family research. Just like newspapers, court records tell us how our ancestors lived.

September 15, 2012 | Ellen Blakeslee | Columnists


Don’t trust everything you read online

A teacher told me this week, "If only students remembered lessons as well as commercials."

September 15, 2012 | Terri Kimble | Columnists


Let individuals, not politicians, make health care decisions

The health care debate is a great example of why Americans hate politics.

September 15, 2012 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Are you a nutty collector?

Do you collect things? For reasons known only to God and Alan Greenspan, we humans are the only species that collects things just for fun. Penguins don't knowingly collect sports memorabilia; turtles don't collect stamps; and I've yet to meet a dog who owned any artwork - not even an acrylic-on-velvet painting of a fire hydrant. Animals collect berries, nuts, twigs and other practical things, and except for the pack rat, random collecting is a human act, passion and obsession. I'm an admitted collector. I collect teapots, guitar amplifiers and English grammar books, but, I'm not ...

September 15, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


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