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Articles by Section - Columnists


First session finishes with a flourish

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.

April 12, 2015 | Dave Belton | Columnists


Columnist no ‘Playtoe,’ but irked by lack of respect

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?

April 12, 2015 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Gay rights movement is totalitarian

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.

April 12, 2015 | Erick Erickson | Columnists


Technology will trump ‘Bootleggers’ mentality

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.

April 12, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Living through the times

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.

April 05, 2015 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


GE and America’s corporate bootleggers

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.

April 05, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


The weekend that changed the world

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.

April 05, 2015 | Erick Erickson | Columnists


Newton Co. legislators busy with successful legislation

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.

April 05, 2015 | Dave Belton | Columnists


Growing jobs, investing in the community and trading squirrel pelts

Dear Editor,

March 29, 2015 | Ronnie Johnston | Columnists


If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out

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).

March 29, 2015 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


President Spock?

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.

March 29, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Thankful for a new generation of committed Methodist ministers

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.

March 22, 2015 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Baptists and Bootleggers:

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.

March 22, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


‘A great week for the children’

It was a great week for the children of Georgia. Not only did my bill to protect teenage girls from having their phone number put on a pornographic website ("Kelsey's Law") pass unanimously, but a Cyber Bullying measure by my fellow Newton delegate Rep. Pam Dickerson also passed. Overall, there were many bills to protect children including the "Hidden Predator Act" which lengthens the amount of time a victim may bring a sexual abuse perpetrator to civil court. This bill moves Georgia from the fourth worst in the nation to where most states are now. There was also a ...

March 22, 2015 | Dave Belton | Columnists


Our thoughts: Election smearing

There has begun a stirring of potential political candidates for the 2016 election, we know this because already there is already a sense of mud being mixed in order to smear folks.

March 22, 2015 | Staff Report | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Harwell: Love of land transcends risk

I've been drawn to San Francisco ever since I first laid eyes on the place in the 1950s. Some family friends moved there and would send postcards or letters containing Polaroid snapshots. The place just called to me.

March 20, 2011 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


Durusau: The bare truth: Different party, same story

Even in a family newspaper sometimes unpleasant things must be discussed. Women and children should stop reading now.

March 18, 2011 | Patrick Durusau | Columnists


Morgan: Charlie King a local treasure

Most everybody around here knows 95-year-old Charlie King, and if you don't know him personally, you've at least heard of Newton County's amiable historian emeritus. Oh, the tales he can tell about almost anyone and everything that's gone on in town since he was born here in 1915.

March 18, 2011 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Giddens: Another reason to celebrate

I'll be wearing green and a big smile this St. Patrick's Day.

March 15, 2011 | Tharon Giddens | Columnists


SPLOST will help retire county debt

Our 2011 SPLOST referendum will be voted on Tuesday.

March 13, 2011 | Sam B. Hay III Guest Columnist | Columnists


Lessons from the slope

This week, along with many other Americans, our family is on spring break. After years of beach vacations, we decided to brave something new and take our family skiing. After turning in points for flights, and determining what location might provide the best value, we are finally midweek into our vacation.

March 13, 2011 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Harwell: Tying up loose ends

Tying up loose ends is always difficult, isn't it? Humans wish to project some sense of permanency - some evidence proving that we once actually mattered - into our existence. We are mortal, and we know it, yet we throw up obstacles to prevent us confronting the abyss yawing before us. We will all die, and that scares us. We don't know how to deal with the fact that we - all of us - will perish.

March 13, 2011 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


House takes on immigration, HOPE

The pace really picked up in the House last week. H.B. 87 is a major anti-illegal immigration bill.

March 13, 2011 | Doug Holt R-Social Circle | Columnists


Durusau: “No” to organ donation a last indignity

Have you ever heard of an organ donor being turned down?

March 11, 2011 | Patrick Durusau | Columnists


Black dog in need of a good home

The first time I saw the little black dog, he was a blur streaking down the street past our house with our black and white border collie in hot pursuit.

March 11, 2011 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Giddens: Uniform response not always same

I'm in uniform today: Boat shoes, khaki slacks, a light blue Oxford shirt and tie.

March 09, 2011 | Tharon Giddens | Columnists


Tax reformer miffed with legislators

A.D. Frazier is not a happy camper. My friend and former Atlanta Olympic colleague spent last summer chairing the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians, a 10-member council appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston.

March 09, 2011 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Legislation moving forward

It's now at the point in the legislative session where the General Assembly is pushing into the phase where we press to move bills out of each chamber (House and Senate) and over to the other before crossover day. Crossover day is legislative day 30, the last day we can pass a bill out of one chamber and still be able to move it in the other.

March 06, 2011 | By Doug Holt | Columnists


Harwell: Things I know no longer matter

The older I get the more I feel that a good bit of information I've spent a lifetime accumulating may border on the insignificant. I hope I'm wrong, as it's a terrible thing to contemplate having expended enormous effort and priceless, irreplaceable time in the pursuit of knowledge which doesn't matter. But it's important to me, especially in winter, to know that the hot water won't reach the shower head until I've sung the horn line introduction to Sam and Dave's 1967 "Soul Man."

March 06, 2011 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


SPLOST paves way to growth for county

Many of you reading this will remember when Newton County was primarily an agricultural community where cotton, orchards, hay fields, cattle, dairies and family gardens dominated the landscape. Others will cherish memories of those days as related by parents and grandparents. Roads that linked farms and homesteads were rutted dirt roads, even the most well-traveled.

March 06, 2011 | By Billy Fortson | Columnists


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