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Freedom First!

The Fourth of July we celebrate this weekend heralds a document proclaiming both our nation's independence and our unwavering commitment to freedom.

July 05, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Constitutional ignorance and dereliction

The nation's demagogues and constitutionally ignorant are using the Charleston, South Carolina, AME church shooting to attack the Second Amendment's "right of the people to keep and bear Arms." A couple of years ago, President Barack Obama said, "I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations."

July 05, 2015 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Mass Hysteria in America

In the 1400s, a nun in a French convent started making sounds like a cat. Other nuns began to do the same. Eventually, they started biting one another. As word of the bitings spread, so, too, did the bitings. They swept through other convents all the way to Rome.

July 05, 2015 | Erick Erickson | Columnists


Former UGA president heads back to Malibu and all is well

Dr. Michael Adams, former president of the University of Georgia, has announced he is returning to Pepperdine University, located in the wilds of Malibu, California, to become chancellor, effective Aug. 1. He had once been that institution's vice president of university affairs.

July 05, 2015 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Former UGA president heads back to Malibu and all is well

Dr. Michael Adams, former president of the University of Georgia, has announced he is returning to Pepperdine University, located in the wilds of Malibu, California, to become chancellor, effective Aug. 1. He had once been that institution's vice president of university affairs.

July 05, 2015 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


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


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Carter: A wonderful world endures

My sweet father's life ended just seven days short of this Father's Day. I'll have many opportunities to remember the goodness of his life, and even his passing. But, first I must share an unpublished piece I wrote four years ago.

June 16, 2012 | Maurice Carter | Columnists


Cushman: My children’s father

In January 1995, I made a list of 18 attributes that described the type of man I wanted to marry. The list included "wants children," "high family ties - loves his mother," "secure in himself" and "social."

Three years later, I married such a man. A man who more than met the list, Jimmy Cushman.

June 16, 2012 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


McCoy: Life before the mirror

I hate mirrors. There's one in each of our bathrooms, and there's a mirror in the hall, and there's supposed to be one in our bedroom, but I haven't put it up since we moved in last year. Why would I want another mirror? The ones I already have hate me as much as I hate them. It's like they are all saying, "Hey, David...look over here!" and when I do, I see an old man staring back at me. And that old man is me. And I don't like what I see ...

June 16, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


Rasmussen: Collapse of household net worth isn’t news to most Americans

The new Federal Reserve report showing that household net worth collapsed between 2007 and 2010 quickly became campaign fodder for both sides.

Republicans seized on the data to claim that the current administration is out of touch. President Obama helped the GOP with his comments that the private sector is doing fine and that small businesses will not be affected by his health care plan.

June 16, 2012 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Historian fondly remembered

There was a lot to love about Charlie King who died Saturday at the age of 96. Former Covington City Manager Frank Turner put it as well as anyone could: "There's no one who didn't love Charlie King."

June 14, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Politicians fiddle, Rome burns

The state of affairs in Newton County deteriorates but avoids the attention of key office holders like the Board of Commissioners and Board of Education. We are awash with discussions that hold our attention with notions of discretionary endeavors for Civic Centers, Green Parks, Hiking Trails and other niceties. These type projects are worthwhile when held in their proper place. When will we learn fiscal discipline with a proper order of priorities that focus our energy, resources and devotion to improving the basic quality of life? A county with employment opportunities, a safe environment, schools that produce smart productive citizens ...

June 14, 2012 | William Peruguino | Columnists


Odds are Will ‘the Winner’ Rogers wishes he was Mork from Ork

For a guy more uptight than a bullfrog in boiling water, State Sen. Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, can be a hoot. I first discovered this when he and another senator named Chip (Pearson, from Dawsonville) teamed up a few years ago to pass a bill in the Senate banning our body parts from being micro-chipped without our permission. I thought that was pretty funny: Chip, Chip and Microchip. Get it?

I wrote that when the bill passed the senate, Rogers was so ecstatic, he was seen running up and down the halls at the capitol yelling, "I am Mork ...

June 12, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Numbers and numerators

Recently, someone asked me the phone number of one of my daughters. I had to get out my cell phone and look up the number. I didn't know it by heart.

I was embarrassed at first, but when I thought about it, I realized that I only know five phone numbers by heart - my home phone, my cell phone, my husband's cell phone, my sister's home phone and the home phone number of one of my friends. And three of those numbers I knew before my husband or I had a cell phone. I had to look ...

June 12, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Have boat? Will borrow

Today was wonderful. I've just returned from a feast at the Blue Willow Inn, out in Social Circle, where I had the Charleston Room at my disposal. I enjoyed sweet tea, roast beef, and two helpings of my favorite dessert, banana pudding. This has been a perfect day, but then everyone knows Memorial Day is always the start of warm weather fun. The grills come out; the convertible tops go down; and boat owners everywhere race to the lakes to enjoy their expensive hobby. Yeah. Boats are on my mind.

June 09, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


Maximizing our returns

This year as we prepare the budget, the district Commissioners requested the county manager prepare a budget not to exceed the tax dollars generated by the current 10.91 millage rate. In other words, no tax increase. This is an admirable goal and I agree with them; no one wants to raise taxes.

June 09, 2012 | By Kathy Morgan | Columnists


Pants on fire Romney

There are those who tell the truth. There are those who distort the truth. And then there's Mitt Romney.

June 09, 2012 | Eugene Robinson | Columnists


Sorry seems to be the hardest word

Being in the right place at the right time is sometimes less about luck than it is heeding a call. And, rather than fame or fortune, the result can be something far more precious.

June 09, 2012 | By Maurice Carter | Columnists


Words matter

Words have power; they create images and possibilities, and provide a window into the future of what could be.

June 09, 2012 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


The pursuit of perfection

What is it in human beings, in general, that inspires the sometimes-lifelong pursuit of perfection? Perfection is an elusive thing - if it even exists. The pursuit is like chasing an ephemeral sprite through a darkening forest. Now you see it. Now you don't. What seems perfect in one moment can be altered in an instant by a change in one's emotions, the arrival of new information or a new light that is shined on what was thought to be a flawless object.

June 07, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


High jinks are for kids

I sponsored the school newspaper at Newton County High School for many years. It was, for the most part, an enjoyable experience. The students were enthusiastic and often had visions of publishing great exposés about various school activities. They were disappointed to learn that stories actually had to be based on fact and that there was little or nothing at the school that would be suited to an exposé.

June 05, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


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