At the age of 91, Henry Kissinger has published yet another book - his 17th in 60 years, according to his biographer Walter Isaacson. In that sense, "World Order" is something of a miracle, but it is also a swell read. So, I initially thought, was a review of it in The New York Times by John Micklethwait, the editor-in-chief of the admirable Economist magazine - and I praised it to him in an email. A bit later, I did a double-take. I still like the book, but Micklethwait's review is a different matter.
The Woman Who Shares My Name instructed me that this week's column was to be about positive things. She says she is tired of bad news and thought you felt the same way. "Surely, you can find some positive things to write about," she said, "and temporarily take people's minds off all the terrible things going on in the world. I think your readers would appreciate that."
At a July fundraising event in Chicago, Mrs. Michelle Obama remarked, "So, yeah, there's too much money in politics. There's (sic) special interests that have too much influence." Sen. John McCain has been complaining for years that "there is too much money washing around political campaigns today." According to a 2012 Reuters poll, "Seventy-five percent of Americans feel there is too much money in politics." Let's think about money in politics, but first a few facts.
President Obama's health care law is the gift that keeps on giving to the GOP.
According to a Gallup Poll released this week, "Americans' trust in the federal government to handle international problems has fallen to a record-low 43 percent, ... Separately, 40 percent of Americans say they have a 'great deal' or 'fair amount' of trust in the federal government to handle domestic problems, also the lowest Gallup has measured to date." (Poll conducted September 4-7, 2014, with 1,017 adults, 95 percent confidence level, +/- 4 points).
What is it that makes so many blacks so angry? What is it that makes so many of them blame the realities of life that beset everyone, e.g., debt, disappointment, etc., a result of their being black?
Remember the story of "The Little Engine That Could?" That could very well describe the city of Dalton, a town of some 34,000 nestled in the corner of Northwest Georgia, not far from the Tennessee line.
"All politics is local," the late Speaker of the House Tip O' Neill famously said. How right he was. The world today is suffering from the failure of President Obama to apply a school of law enforcement that happened to originate in O'Neill's hometown, Boston, and goes by the moniker "broken windows." The problem, simply stated, is that Obama was deaf to the sound of tinkling glass.
The lovable legend of Robin Hood with his band of Merry Men making life difficult for the Sheriff of Nottingham offers a great way to understand the politics of 21st century America.
What a difference a year makes. Last September, the Obama administration and the media were cheering happenstance as victory. A quick review of last year's events: the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on civilians, tough talk by President Barack Obama, an administration push for a congressional vote for use of force, Secretary of State John Kerry's off-the-cuff remark regarding Syria giving up chemical weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin leveraging the remark into action, the Obama administration claiming a great solution.
A recent column on Vox.com may have inadvertently highlighted the gap between the nation's political elites and the rest of the nation. Vox is an "explanatory journalism" site founded by former Washington Post columnist and blogger Ezra Klein.
Can it be? Is it September already? One of my favorite tunes, "September Song," was written by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson for a Broadway musical in 1938 called "Knickerbocker Holiday. The lyrics could apply today to the current political season in Georgia - "For it's a long, long time from May to December, but the days grow short when you reach September."
America rarely does time capsules anymore, but the ones it does should include videos from February 2011 of American TV reporters exulting in the triumph of the Arab Spring. "This is the sound of a people rising," ABC's Terry Moran told us from Cairo. For Egyptians, it was a day "when a people rose and made themselves a new country, a new world, a new life."
Though racial discrimination exists, it is nowhere near the barrier it once was. The relevant question is: How much of what we see today can be explained by racial discrimination? This is an important question because if we conclude that racial discrimination is the major cause of black problems when it isn't, then effective solutions will be elusive forever. To begin to get a handle on the answer, let's pull up a few historical facts about black Americans.
As the character Cecily said to Miss Fairfax in a play written by Oscar Wilde entitled "The Importance of being Earnest": "When I see a spade I call it a spade."
George Leef, director of research for the North Carolina-based John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, authored a Forbes op-ed article titled "Obama Administration Takes Groupthink To Absurd Lengths." The subtitle is "School Discipline Rates Must Be 'Proportionate.'" Let's examine some of the absurdity of the Obama administration's take on student discipline.
My father, Newt Gingrich, ran for congress in rural, west, middle Georgia in 1974. At the time, Georgia was dominated by the Democratic Party, there were few Republicans in the state and Watergate was in full swing. Somehow, against this headwind, he managed to garner 49 percent of the vote. He never stopped running, waking up the day after the election to shake hands at the Ford Factory as their shift changed.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but what has Rand Paul ever done? Oh, sure, he's a member of the U.S. Senate, but only a freshman, and it's the only political office he has ever held. He's an ophthalmologist, a father, a husband and the son of Ron Paul, who used to run for president. So now it is son Rand who is doing so. Aside from family tradition, the question is why?
I wish I had been there. In Jerusalem. With Jesus.
A front page article in Sunday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution discussed the fate of former Atlanta School Superintendent Beverly Hall and her impending trial.
Conservatives and liberals had entirely different reactions to the recent confrontation between Attorney General Eric Holder and Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert. After the event, Holder expressed his view that no previous attorney general or president had ever had to deal with such treatment and that the reason had to do with race. Gohmert, on the other hand, said he was just performing congressional oversight because he didn't think Holder was doing his job.
If you are considered to be the first of the baby boomers you are in your 60's.
There is a moment, a mere moment, when Donald Rumsfeld's eyes well up and he chokes a bit. This comes in Errol Morris' documentary "The Unknown Known," in which Rumsfeld mentions visiting the wounded of the Iraq War. It is then that we get a glance at the man behind the word-playing frat boy who should not be able to sleep at night but from all the evidence does -- soundly. Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living. Maybe. But in Rumsfeld's case, it is certainly worth watching.
I am an optimist. I believe that America's best days are still to come and today's children will live a life far better than their parents and grandparents.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Georgia, as proclaimed by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. Child abuse is a subject I don't like to think about, let alone write about and you would probably just as soon not hear about. But it is there and we need to acknowledge it and demand some solutions.
The following is an excerpt from my forthcoming new book, which as yet is untitled.
There was a story on the news recently that the Obama administration is freeing almost as many illegal immigrants as they are rounding up on our western boarders.
He was known as "Engine Charlie." And while Charles Erwin Wilson was both the longtime president of General Motors and Dwight D. Eisenhower's secretary of defense, he has come to a deserved rest in Bartlett's for saying, "What is good for the country is good for General Motors, and what's good for General Motors is good for the country." I couldn't agree more. What would be good for both is if the proper parties are condemned to drive the cars they made.
Our two children are into the second week of their final quarter of the school year. Warm weather, longer days and budding plants are pushing their thoughts toward summer. For them, summer equates to vacation, travel, sleeping late and the absence of homework, quizzes and tests.
Even by my impossibly high standards, this has been a good week. It began with a whack upside the head from a reader in South Georgia after I opined that those who want to change the way we teach our children in public schools ought to have their kids in public schools. I was referring to the efforts led by Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) to overturn the Common Core curriculum in the recent legislative session.