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."
The news from Ferguson, Missouri, has brought back unpleasant memories from the long-ago riots in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It was the summer of 1970, and I was a young teenager close enough to the action to be appropriately frightened.
My first paying job was cleaning the bathrooms at the First Baptist Church of Carrollton, Georgia, where I was a member. I was 14, the minimum age for "children" to work. This was neither glamorous nor exciting work, but useful and needed work. On Sundays I often over heard the "little old ladies" of the church commenting on the cleanliness of the bathroom. I remember my subsequent feeling of pride. While not a glamorous work, my actions were helpful and appreciated by those who used the facilities. For providing this useful service I earned minimum wage in 1981, ($3.35 ...
As Hannah Arendt foresaw, we are once again up against the question of evil. An American photojournalist, James Foley, was presented to the camera and methodically decapitated. The instrument was not the ax reserved for royalty or the whooshing blade prompted by that reformer Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, but an ordinary looking knife. Death would be neither swift nor painless. This, somewhere in the bleached desert, was pure evil.
It is a potential killer whose numbers rival the deadly Ebola virus and it doesn't get near the attention it should. Unlike the dreaded illness currently ravaging West Africa this is one with a quick cure.
The structure of county government is once again on the agenda of the Board of Commissioners (BOC), which has scheduled a work session for Aug. 26, 2014. As readers may recall, this has been a topic of discussion for several months and the BOC has met with experts from both the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) and the regional planning agency. Representatives of both clearly have indicated that the current "hybrid" system of having both a full time Commission needs to be changed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of county government.
The other day I found myself thinking on how long I have been a part of the newspaper industry - it turns out that this will be my 50th year, with one year of my life working with mentally challenged adults and two working with people going into their final sunset, through Hospice.
While we might like to think that voters research the issues, review the candidates, and then vote for the candidate that best reflects their views, the reality, based on political science research, is much different. A
According to College Board, average tuition and fees for the 2013-14 school year totaled $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for in-state residents at public colleges and $22,203 for out-of-state residents. Many schools, such as Columbia University and George Washington University, charge yearly tuition and fees close to $50,000. Faced with the increasing costs of higher education, parents and taxpayers might like to know what they're getting for their money.
Rap! Rap! Rap!
Back in 1980, an Israeli diplomat met with Ronald Reagan as he was running for president. Reagan was furious over the hostages being held in the American embassy in Iran and told the diplomat he could not understand why the U.S. didn't do what Israel would have done: land troops on the embassy roof and take the Americans out. The dismayed diplomat nodded disingenuously. Yes, that's exactly what Israel would do.
As I get older unfortunately death rears its ugly head more than I would like to see.
A great American author by the name of Samuel Clemens has been in the news a lot recently. Quite a while ago, under his more popularly known monicker of Mark Twain, Clemens wrote a tome about a couple of kids named Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Now, some book publisher in Alabama has decided to print copies of the American literary classic, but is leaving out a racial slur in order to be more politically correct in 2011.
Sunday, The News asked: "What will it take to make Newton County healthier?" The question was prompted by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report ranking Newton 143rd of 159 Georgia counties in community health factors. The question is being asked anew, but answers have been documented as long as they have been ignored by a majority of our local elected leaders. Health begins and ends with personal responsibility, but healthy living thrives in a healthy environment. Despite more than a decade of public demand for green space and more recreation options, Newton County ranked 110th for physical environment in the ...
Last week, I wrote about how current affairs and catastrophes in this world -outside our ability to predict or comprehend - suggest to some that we surrender all pretense of control and turn to things of the spirit - those things that change not despite the contractions and contortions of the world: love, truth, compassion, care and forgiveness.
The squabble between the Democrats and Republicans over taxes leaves me puzzled as to whether I am ahead or behind. There is little detail in the debate and lots of hot air, misrepresentations and outright lies.
By failing to pass a 2011 budget last fall while still in charge of the House, Senate and presidency, the Democratic Party set up the potential for the Democrats to blame the Republicans.
Let's dip into the mailbag today, boys and girls, and see what is on the minds of discerning readers.
The wind wailed more like a hurricane than roared like a train when it whipped through Newton County early Tuesday.
It's time to abolish the Federal Department of Education, along with the Georgia Department of Education.
Our President bemoans how American students have fallen behind the rest of the world. And it's a fact that Georgia's public schools consistently rank near the bottom of the 50 states. We could save billions of dollars by abolishing the U. S. Department of Education, and Georgia's.
The assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan occurred 30 years ago Monday, when John Hinckley shot the president as he was departing the Washington Hilton after delivering a speech for his economy-recovery package.
We are closing in on the end of the session, and a lot of the most important work is coming to a close. One major task for the year remains, however. Since the U.S. Census has just distributed the data necessary for legislative redistricting, that work has only just begun. It looks like a special session in August or September will be necessary to complete that constitutional obligation.
The numbers were impressive: Some 600 Newton County residents gathered on a soggy Saturday to help clean up the county.
Dear Governor Deal:
If you're burned out, or stressed out, or your spirit is low; What you need the most is to get up and go - Get some exercise!
Thank you to the voters of Newton County for entrusting us with your tax dollars to fund capital improvements much needed for the services provided by the county. It is important now more than ever that we be good stewards of your money and that we continually work to earn your trust.