I am far more pessimistic about our political system than most Americans. At the same time, I am very optimistic about the future of our nation. That may seem like an odd combination to some, but I am optimistic because I recognize that Washington, D.C., does not lead the nation.
Though Wal-Mart remains fixed in the American conscience as Sam Walton's business, it is less and less that. Walton was folksy and relatable to the Americans who shopped at Wal-Mart. Everyone could imagine Sam Walton shopping there, too. But over the years, Wal-Mart's management has passed out of the direct hands of Walton's family.
The last day of my first session was thrilling and exhausting. I worked from 7 in the morning to midnight to get "Kelsey's Law" over the finish line. Only 13 minutes remained before the official "Sine Die" when all work must cease until next year. But I am incredibly grateful that my work, and the work of Newton Representatives Pam Dickerson and Doug Holt before me, finally came to fruition after four long years. More importantly, I am humbled to be just a small part of courageous Kelsey's fight to protect fellow teenage girls.
Fortune Magazine has announced its list of the World's Greatest Leaders for 2015 and would you believe that I got snubbed again this year?
The gay rights movement has tended to be a well-choreographed stage production over the last number of decades. Over time, behind the scenes, they pushed hard for gay characters in film and television. They pushed gay actors out of the closet and encouraged celebrations of diversity.
In recent weeks, I've written about how the "Bootleggers and Baptists" dynamic corrupts regulatory politics. Bruce Yandle developed this concept decades ago. He observed that Prohibition became reality because Baptists wanted people to stop drinking while the ban on legal alcohol put money in the Bootlegger's pockets. The do-gooders succeeded only because the money-grubbers joined their effort.
It seems every day now some famous personality or former friend has passed away and at 68 it makes me think sometimes of my own mortality.
I recently highlighted an important book that describes how politics really works. "Bootleggers and Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics," by Adam Smith and Bruce Yandle, showed that prohibition became reality because it appeared to satisfy both Baptists and Bootleggers.
Approximately 1,982 years ago, a man died. In fact, many men died that day. We know for sure of three men. Two were tied to crosses and crucified. One was nailed to the cross. Had that been the end of it, it would have just been like so many other Roman crucifixions. But, unbeknownst to most anyone at the time, the first Easter weekend would become the most important weekend in the history of the world.
It was a great week for Newton County! I am ecstatic to tell you that "Haleigh's Law," the medical cannabis oil bill, passed both the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor this week. Also my bill, "Kelsey's Law," passed unanimously in the Senate near midnight on the last night. I was also very excited that Newton County Representative Pam Dickerson's cyber-bullying law passed both the House and the Senate.
The headline to this story is an adage taught by journalism schools throughout the country. News is supposed to be based on facts and reported without bias. But alas, reporters are human and have biases, acknowledged or not. If they are blatant and obvious, then we can dismiss them out of hand, (example: Chris Matthews saying, "I felt this thrill going up my leg," when listening to a speech given by then-presidential candidate Barack Obama).
The death of Leonard Nimoy saddened millions of Trekkies around the world (including me). But it wasn't just Trekkies who mourned. In the past month, it has become clear that Mr. Spock - the character Nimoy brought to life - had become a cultural icon extending far beyond the Trek universe.
I spent last week helping to assess a group of people for a job I couldn't do if my life depended on it. Actually, what they were seeking is not a job; it is a calling. And my life here and in the hereafter depends on how well they do it.
It's apparent to anyone willing to look that a wide gap has grown between a Washington/Wall Street political class and the nation they want to rule. Less clear to many is the reason why.
I know this probably sounds strange, but one of the most profound moments of my entire Christmas season happened while I was in the kitchen, making candy.
Scientists everywhere are decoding the human genome to see what we're made of and how we can make ourselves better. I'm no geneticist, but I know a little bit about southerners, and I'll certify that there is a special part of our DNA that makes us what we really are. We may be talking about just a few genes, but we southerners are programmed in a way that makes our lives much better here in our little part of the world.
There are few holidays that speak to family memories and traditions more than Christmas. The type of tree, when to put it up, when to take it down, what ancient family ornament goes where, the Christmas morning breakfast, Christmas Day dinner and when to open gifts all are ingrained in our family histories.
I have always loved Christmas and its traditions; even as I have grown older, I find that really deep in my heart I still believe in Santa Claus and the spirit of the whole season, and I just can't wait until I see the "Frosty the Snowman" and "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" re-runs at this time of year with the grandchildren.
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.