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.
It has been over a year since I have talked to Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter's Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Greater Metropolitan Pooler.
Even though we may ignore reality, somehow the stark truth shines through even the deepest denials. This is where we are now when we look at the relationship between domestic Islamic terrorists and members of the Obama administration.
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: