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.
Pop culture is a better indicator of the public mood than political talking points, so it's interesting to see how two top-rated and long-running CBS television dramas have recently dealt with the issue of inequality. They suggest it's a real issue, but not in the way politicians talk about it.
Mother, Mom or Mommy, the name matters not to me; it's the person who matters. My earliest memories of my mother were of her holding me in her lap, tight against her ample chest and soothing me when I was upset. She was my comforter, even when she was the one who had just disciplined me. In her lap, with her arms around me, I felt loved, safe and secure.
On April 26, 2014, the Newton County Board of Commissioners (BOC) met for its second work session to discuss the structure of county government. For those who have not followed this issue closely, the BOC is currently operating under a county manager form of government that is contrary to the county's charter, which is also called its "enabling legislation." The current charter calls for a full time commission chairman to be the county's chief executive officer rather than that role being filled by a county manager. Recent action by the BOC to appoint a "county manager in waiting ...
For the past week, instead of the major media writing about the economy, worrying about the apparent lying in our federal government or bringing to light proper care of veterans, it has focused its attention on Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
The seniors in our 1965 Bartlett High School class were archetypal of the era, anxious to graduate and make our mark in the world or take advantage of parental aspirations desiring their baby-boomer cherubs to earn another sheepskin at the college level. Vietnam was an obscure apprehension, except for a few senior boys that received an induction notice from Uncle Sam.
June 21 is officially the first day of summer, but - as happens during any election year - the heat is going to set in well before then. It's going to be a long, hot spring and an even longer, hotter summer.
Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day has passed. But then, as far as I'm concerned, it is always Holocaust Remembrance Day - a perpetual and frustratingly futile attempt to come to terms with murder so vast and incomprehensible it is like pondering what came before the Big Bang. And yet in a corner of the world, the Holocaust is considered no mystery at all. The Jews did it to themselves to foster the creation of Israel. This is what Hamas believes.
The scene: The office of Teya Ryan, president of GPB.
In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ended legal segregation in public schools with a unanimous 9-0 decision in Brown v. Board of Education. While the ruling paved the way for future integration of American society, the court itself was far from integrated. The decision was reached by nine white men.
History refers to a particular confederation of GIs as veterans of "The Forgotten War," a war that tested the very best America could field, both experienced and untried.
I love to explore historical towns. I especially enjoy comparing old town photos to the current locations. Hanging on the walls in Gritz Family Restaurant in McDonough are photos of the old city. Could some of my relatives be in these photos? The specific picture I examined was an aerial photo covering a huge swath of the town square.
Spring in Covington is always a gorgeous sight. The dogwoods, other flowering trees and azaleas all put on quite a show.
It's amazing, in a short 68 years since the beginning of the baby boomer age, how attitudes and meanings have changed so dramatically.
"President Obama vows zero tolerance on gender wage gap," read one headline. Another read, "Women still earned 77 cents on men's dollar in 2012." It's presumed that big, greedy corporations are responsible for what is seen as wage injustice. Before discussing the "unjust" wage differences between men and women, let's acknowledge an even greater injustice - which no one seems to care about - age injustice.
This week marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day. In years past, the day has been marked with great media fanfare and attention. This week, it marched by with little mention. This is not so much a reflection of any lack of interest in the Earth, but a reflection of how mainstream and ongoing the topics of recycling, reclaiming and sustainability have become. They are now part of our daily lives, rather than a topic to be raised once a year.