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.
One recent Saturday, I was making my way down Floyd Street, headed to pick up produce from the Porterdale Farmers Market. As I approached the square, traffic was backed up more than usual at Elm Street and I wondered what could cause such a delay on a Saturday morning.
With its support for gay marriage, the NAACP has done more than strike a blow for fairness and equality. The nation's most venerable civil rights organization has made itself relevant again.
If you are lucky, you have people who you love in your life. If you're really lucky, you have people who inspire you, as well. I love my sister Kathy, but she also is an incredible inspiration to me - and might be to you, once you hear her story.
Time is flying. It seems like just yesterday I was being sworn in as the mayor of Covington. Now, four months later, I wanted to take some time and share with the citizens of Covington many of the things that are going on in our great city. I also want to again thank you, the citizens, for giving me the opportunity to be the mayor. I must say this has been the most rewarding job I have ever done.
President Obama, new French President Francois Hollande and other political leaders have called for less "austerity" as a way to help the troubled economies on both sides of the Atlantic. That's the polite way of saying they want more government spending and larger deficits.
In 1982, President Ronald Reagan decided not to sign a treaty known as "Law of the Sea," a United Nations convention that would raid America's treasury for billions of dollars, then redistribute that wealth to the rest of the world by an international bureaucracy headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica. The Obama Administration has revived that treaty, and the Senate will hold hearings designed to illustrate its supposed benefits and generate support for its ratification. Without a doubt, Reagan's decision should stand, and LOST should remain relegated to the trash bin of history.
The rationale for LOST is that it ...
I write to applaud you for having made it through another year in Georgia's public schools. Good for you. Frankly, I wonder sometimes why you do what you do and then I remember that you are changing young lives for the better. Not many of us can make that claim.
Your rewards for your efforts are unpaid furlough days, larger class sizes, no pay increases (but increased expenses) and a second-guessing public that seems to feel you should be able to stop all of society's ills at the classroom door. And then there are the politicians who promote ...
Last week, because of the cat that will not die, I had to take down the curtains in my kitchen windows and wash, iron and rehang them. The tops of my windows are a good way up there and I had to use a 5-foot ladder. I was uneasy on the ladder and asked my husband to come and stand next to the ladder. That probably was not smart as I could have done some serious damage if I had fallen on him.
I have painted every room in my house several times, including the molding that is at least ...
This should be a hoot: writing about Christmas in the middle of May. Well, I want to make a strident little point, and I can't wait until we have snow on the ground and elves in the supermarkets to do it. Every Christmas day, Christians all around America say the same thing. They put down their unwrapped trinkets and turn to someone near and dear to them, and say, "You know... the real meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with all these gifts, and the ham, and the eggnog. You know it's all about Jesus...right?" Having ...
Mitt Romney has pulled a point or two ahead of President Obama in polls of likely voters. In polls of registered voters, Obama has the advantage. The president's job approval ratings are hovering in the upper 40 percent range, which suggests a close race.
Looking at this information, partisan activists come to wildly different conclusions about what to expect on Election Day. Democrats tend to believe Obama will be re-elected, while Republicans are more likely to think he will be a one-term president.
As a child, I was a voracious reader, mostly of fiction. I would read during class, during lunch, during the bus ride. When I was reading, I was not part of my boring normal life, but part of a deeper, more compelling story.
Fiction has the ability to transport the reader into a different world. The same holds true for movies and television shows. Stories of all types capture our attention and imagination. Even news is told in story fashion.
Republicans say they're eager for the presidential campaign to turn away from "distractions" and focus instead on the economy. Someone should warn them that if they're not careful, they might get their wish.
It is true that voters' unhappiness with high unemployment and slow growth poses a challenge for President Obama as he seeks re-election. But for Mitt Romney and the GOP to take advantage of this potential opening, they'll have to do more than chant the word "economy" like a mantra. They have to make the case that their policies will work better than Obama's.
I watch "The Blind Side" anytime I come across it flipping channels. It's a movie that still brings a tear to my eyes, no matter how many times I see it.
I don't usually cry over football films - unless it's a replay of Reggie Ball throwing away the ball (and Tech's chances) on the fourth down in Sanford Stadium in 2004. But, anyone who's seen "The Blind Side" knows it's more than a football story. It's the true life tale of Michael Oher, a 17-year-old, homeless black boy from a broken home who ...
Examine me, God! Look at my heart! Put me to the test! Know my anxious thoughts! Look to see if there is any idolatrous way in me, then lead me on the eternal path!
Every generation pines for the way things used to be. We may even look back a couple of generations longing for times we think were better than these. However, in many ways, these are the best days ever seen in the history of the world: consider increased longevity, extensive medical research and advances, and more diversity so that more among us - those who are physically challenged, for example - feel fully vested in our society. Agriculture is finding new ways to feed more people, and good thing. Social media outlets are connecting millions and billions around the world, millions and billions ...