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.
Turn your mind to the late Karen Carpenter's clear voice and listen for her lilting version of "There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays": "Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays, 'cause no matter how far away you roam - if you want to be happy in a million ways, for the holidays - you can't beat home sweet home. For the holidays, you can't beat home sweet home."
Christmas memories fill our Christmas tree. It stands in our living room, filled with white lights and ornaments. Our ornaments reflect the life of our family: varied and interesting, some old, some new, some precious and some common.
'Tis just before Christmas, and here in my house
It's time to start thinking about Christmas dinner. I'm cooking, and I am dreading the annual discussion I have with my husband about what to serve.
I am pleased to announce that beginning with the New Year, Junior E. Lee, general manager of Round or Square Polls, a division of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company located in Greater Garfield, will be offering exclusive analysis of the upcoming presidential election that can be seen only in this space. In addition, if you are bothered with termites, Junior is your man there, too. (He asked me to add that. Junior doesn't want to be seen as a one-trick pony. He is as proud of his reputation as an industry leader in termite eradication as ...
We all make mistakes.
The season of - well of - 'Tis the season and shopping is upon us.
My first paying job was cleaning the bathrooms of the First Baptist Church of Carrollton, Ga. This was also my sister's first job. The money we made was our money. We could decide how to spend it: clothes, records, books, eight-track tapes, whatever we decided.
This is a letter to the community hoping that it will be read by people who are having a difficult time accepting the unknown about children and adults with disabilities. I am encouraged to write to inform the public about what they might see from time to time in stores, in malls, at fast food restaurants, in barbershops and in grocery stores.
The good news is that Christmas is less than 10 days away! On the other hand, the bad news is that Christmas is less than 10 days away. It's bad when the decorating isn't finished and the house hasn't been cleaned, and you've got 30 or so women from church coming tonight for Ladies' Night Out. It's bad when you haven't decided on the first Christmas gift except for the gift bought for the newest great-niece who shares my middle name. It's bad that if something needs to be ordered, it hasn't ...
I have four granddaughters ranging from first grade to fourth grade. Stair steps. Last weekend, the first grader, my youngest, read to me a book about Red Riding Hood. When she got to the part of the story where the wolf was in grandmother's bed, she stopped to show me the picture. I asked her if Red Riding Hood knew it was the wolf and not her grandmother.
Dear Valued Reader:
Curiosity is up and gone.
The other day, I met a nice older couple who had about 200 coupons in their possession, and they were using a good portion of them at the checkout counter. I paid for my few purchases, and when I finished, they were still presenting coupons. I was really impressed with their organizational skills and moxie! They had "couponing" down to a fine art, and this made me wonder: What would happen if coupons were used in all walks of life?
Last month, I wrote a column providing a midterm life update based on a question by David Brooks.