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."
My slow cooker died recently. I went to buy a new one, a task I thought would be relatively simple. But, no. Slow cookers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, apparently one size does not fit all. Once I had sorted out size and shape, I then had to choose from a variety of bulbous protuberances on the sides of the cookers which would allow me to program the amounts of time and start times.
Before we leave the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Towers the Pentagon and Flight 93 over Shanksville, Pa., allow me a couple of parting thoughts.
It was slightly more than six weeks after my second child had been born by way of emergency C-section. Sleep-deprived and tired, I had left my two under the age of two at home with a sitter to get out and get some exercise.
Etiquette is a hard word to spell. It's French, and I'm pretty lousy with their language, even though I love their cheese, and I almost bought a new Peugeot back in 1987, right before they pulled out of the US car market. That was close. Anyway, I've reviewed a few etiquette columns, and I think I'll try my hand at one. A guy's perspective is just what we need to balance all those dainty responses I've read. Here goes.
As we leave the Labor Day weekend behind we are greeted with the grand news Congress is returning to work.
A few weeks ago, I had what seemed to me a small medical problem, so I phoned my primary physician. However, after we discussed the problem, he directed me to a specialist.
We make a mistake whenever we believe weather forecasters, don't we? At least that's my opinion. Most of them lost credibility with me a long time ago. The promise of a deluge of rainfall here over the long weekend evaporated like a drop of water on a hot stove. The beloved columnist Lewis Grizzard famously discounted meteorologists and wrote that he knew more about the day's weather just by holding his finger in the air.
Bill White, the Big Canoe Tree Czar - he is the guy you had better talk to before you pluck a pine cone in the place - told me about a bumper sticker he saw recently that sums up the frustration many of us are feeling these days.
I never watched his TV show, "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader," but I've always liked Jeff Foxworthy, especially since he's a Georgia Tech man. We Tech guys think we're pretty smart, but tonight I wasn't so sure how I'd stack up against one of those 5th graders. You see, I was driving home, and I drove right past my house. I suppose -on one hand - I'm smarter than a 5th grader, because I can drive a car. Let's see a little kid do that. But, a 5th grader would be smart ...
The General Assembly spent Aug. 15 through Aug. 31 in what is called a special session. It is referred to as "special" because it is outside of the normal 40 legislative day period, specified in the state constitution, that starts in January. Special sessions can only be convened by a formal proclamation of the governor, referred to as "the call." These sessions are also restricted to legislating only on the topics the governor specifically includes in his call. Governor Deal's call for this session included three topics. First and primary was legislative and congressional redistricting. The second topic was ...
In my hands was a small, multicolored clay turtle that I had made and painted at elementary school. I carefully walked up the steps to the front of our home, excited to show my mother what I had made and give it to her. As I opened the screen door, I dropped my handcrafted treasure, and it broke into pieces. I sat down and cried.
Sensational stories about the application of Sharia (Islamic) law are easy to find. The vast majority of the stories aren't really about Sharia but about abuse of Islamic law. Every time I read one of those stories, I am glad the Sharia isn't being enforced in the United States.
Many in the media are saying how unusual it is for our economy to be so sluggish for so long, after we have officially emerged from a recession. In a sense, they are right. But, in another sense, they are profoundly wrong.
Ronald Reagan was always good for a funny, dry, wry or totally off-base comment. Even if he got facts or history wrong, he kept on smiling. "Politics," he said, "is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book." Take that, Dick Cheney, who's self-aggrandizing new book may do little to rehabilitate his image as a cold-hearted, vengeful warmonger, among other things. Reagan would seem to have been remarkably prescient.
I know students don't like tests. But sometimes teachers don't either. First you have to make them up, that means deciding what content you want to cover and what format you want to use. Essay - hard to grade but easy to create. Short answer or multiple choice - easy to grade but hard to create. Though it's a lot easier now with computers. We had to type them on a stencil and run them off on the mimeograph machine. And as soon as you handed them out, the students would smell them. Apparently, the fumes are somewhat toxic.