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.
An old English nursery rhyme from the 16th century begins with the words: "If wishes were horses, then beggars (or poor men) would ride."
The first news report on what turned out to be the assault on the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was hiding apparently was a tweet from a guy complaining about all the helicopter noise late at night.
Sheila the Family Wonderdog is one proud pooch today.
Today is Mother's Day, and just like most of you, Molly and I have dispatched flowers and candy to my mother to tell her we were thinking about her and to show our love.
One can only imagine the joy in Munchkin Land when Dorothy's house dropped out of the sky and killed the Wicked Witch of the East. No longer did the innocent little people in Hollywood's magnificent 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz" have to live in dread of the evil one. "Ding dong, the witch is dead!" they sang as they danced with glee.
February 11 is now known as the Day of Departure among Egyptians.
I discovered quite by accident that this was nurses' week.
Wasn't it all just too beautiful?
The granddog Sophie takes me to some interesting places.
Osama bin Laden is deader than a doornail and sleeping with the fish. May he rot in Hell and may those who danced and burned American flags after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, which killed more than 3,000 innocent people end up there with him, minus their virgins. Applause to President Barack Obama, who changed a lot of opinions about his personality and his leadership abilities. It was on his orders that a group of Navy Seals stormed into a compound outside Islamabad, the capital city of a joke called Pakistan, and took out bin Laden and ...
"Every society produces its own cultural conceits," Jack Weatherford wrote in "The Secret History of the Mongol Queens," "a set of lies and delusions about itself that thrives in the face of all contrary evidence. The Mongols believed that they could not be completely defeated."
Last week the White House released a long-form official Hawaiian birth certificate purporting to lay to rest ongoing controversy regarding Barack Hussein Obama II's qualification by birth to fill the office of president of The United States of America. At the heart of the matter has been rampant speculation that the conditions of the birth of the 44th president did not satisfy requirements set forth in the supreme law of the land, The Constitution of The United States of America.
The ghostly visage of a grand four-columned, two-story home alone in a broad field of alfalfa appears in a photograph likely taken sometime in the first quarter of the 20th century. It sat beyond the eastern edge of Covington, now at the end of Floyd Street and behind the Newton County Library, but at the time the house was built -sometime between 1910 and 1918, it is thought - Floyd Street went only as far as Adams Street, according to local historian Charles King. Copies of the photo belong to Mrs. Nell Mundy and to Stanley Edwards, who found them in ...
A lot of press, including this publication, has been dedicated to trying to figure out why gas prices, already high, are headed further upward due to an increase in state and local sales taxes, effective Sunday.
I feel like a failure. For years, I have told you what a privilege it is to live in Georgia.