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Articles by Section - Columnists


Dalton State College a major player in area’s economic rebound

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.

September 10, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Blind to the world’s broken windows

"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.

September 10, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


Robin Hood and the Digital Revolution

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.

September 06, 2014 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Applying smart power vs. don’t do stupid stuff

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.

September 04, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Vox explanation highlights gap between political world and everybody else

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.

September 04, 2014 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Pumpkins growing weary

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."

September 02, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Try realism in the Middle East

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."

September 02, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


Blacks must confront reality

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.

August 30, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Time to call a spade a spade

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."

August 30, 2014 | Mychal massie | Columnists


In 1970, we had a riot; Ferguson looks like war

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.

August 28, 2014 | Staff Report | Columnists


The Value of Work and Labor Day

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 ...

August 28, 2014 | Staff Report | Columnists


Family’s tragedy: text less, live more

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.

August 26, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


The new face of evil

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.

August 26, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


Decision Pending on Newton’s Government Structure

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.

August 23, 2014 | Larry McSwain | Columnists


50 years in newspaper industry

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.

August 23, 2014 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


I support the rollback rate

Let me be perfectly clear. As Newton County Commission Chair, I am strongly in support of the rollback millage rate of 10.9 mils. For 10 years, the millage rate has remained at 9.73, adequate during our flush times but far from adequate as this county struggles with a dramatically reduced tax digest down some 24 percent since I took office 18 months ago. If three district commissioners vote to continue that rate and not adopt the rollback rate, they will be contributing mightily to an unnecessary decline in critical areas of county services.

June 13, 2010 | By Kathy Morgan | Columnists


Good friends, girl friends

Once upon a time, from 1980-88, a man I regard as one of the four greatest to serve as President of The United States of America inhabited the White House. Ronald Wilson Reagan, former actor, figuratively rode into Washington, D.C. on a white horse right out of his old Western movies and led America back from the brink of economic oblivion, skyrocketing inflation, staggering unemployment and Jimmy Carter's attempt to downsize our Navy to under 200 ships.

June 13, 2010 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


Don't let the people perish

"Where there is no vision, the people perish." Thus says Proverbs. And I'm feeling it sometimes these days as an observer of local politics.

Roy Varner just died, beloved as a man and revered as Newton County Commission chair for 16 years. A friend said of him: "It seems like most politicians today, their agenda is a personal agenda, and what they can get out of it for themselves. Roy was a person trying to do good for his community. He didn't care who got credit so long as it got done." Son Aaron quoted him: "He said ...

June 11, 2010 | Barbara Morgan Columnist | Columnists


Not quite an eye for eye

When I first heard the name Melbert Ray Ford, it meant very little to me. But I think that once you've watched a man die, you are cursed to remember his name forever. After learning of his crimes and watching his obvious lack of remorse until the bitter end, remembering Melbert Ford is indeed a curse that I will have to carry.

June 11, 2010 | Amber Pittman | Columnists


We stand alone together

Whenever June 6 falls on a Sunday, my column subject will most likely be that longest of days in 1944 when Allied forces assaulted Nazi Germany's "Fortress Europe." Operation Overlord, history's largest naval invasion, still staggers the mind when considering logistics, alone.

June 06, 2010 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


Arizona is in America

Would somebody tell that guy that runs Mexico to buy a map?

June 02, 2010 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Georgia schools face a class struggle

One by one, the members of the state Board of Education voted last week to decide one of the most important issues they will ever face as they make policy for Georgia's public education system.

June 02, 2010 | Tom Crawford | Columnists


Honoring the fallen

"I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did."

May 30, 2010 | Staff Report | Columnists


If government is like a business...

About 3 mills in property taxes will make the difference between a third-world Newton County and Newton County as we enjoy it today.

For 3 mills, 120 county employees, our friends and neighbors, will provide for their families.

May 28, 2010 | Patrick Durusau | Columnists


The end of an era

It's been a few years since I graduated from anything, so it was really nice to have my name called on May 8 and have people clap because I had finished something. That something I finished was an eight-month endeavor called Leadership Newton County.

Waking up two hours earlier than I usually do for our monthly class day was never enjoyable, but by the end of the day it was worth the lost sleep because of the information I gained throughout the day.

May 28, 2010 | Jennifer T. Long | Columnists


Bipartisanship, finally

President Obama keeps saying that he wants more bipartisanship in government. Not to be outdone, the Republicans also sing the mantra of bipartisanship.

Unfortunately, both sides mean, "agree with me," as bipartisanship. That resulted in precious little bipartisanship, at least until the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil spill.

May 21, 2010 | Patrick Durusau | Columnists


Age is just a number

"Age-defying perfume," read the blurb in a recent Sunday paper. Hmmmm, I said to myself. "Shave eight years from your perceived age," it read, with a new "anti-age perfume." The perfume and maker were named, but I was familiar with neither. The item continued: "Research has shown the breakdown of fatty acid in the skin causes a greasy, grassy odor that grows more prominent after 40. Clinical studies revealed the main ingredients" in this age-defying perfume "mix together to evoke thoughts of youth."

This incensed me. Being far past 40, I - and most women over 40 - take real offense at ...

May 21, 2010 | Staff Report | Columnists


Healthcare chess

Last week, my 8-year-old son beat me in chess. He understands that a move by him leads to a move by me, and so on. He is thinking several moves ahead. His goal is to create a series of moves that inevitably leads to his declaring checkmate.

His strategy worked.

May 16, 2010 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


2010: a space odyssey

I was 10 years old when a young Catholic man, a World War II Navy hero, appeared on television challenging America to send a man to the moon and return him safely to the earth before the decade expired. It was 1961, and the moment President John Fitzgerald Kennedy spoke those words I fell helplessly, hopelessly in love with the idea of flying.

I dove into our town library's summer reading program and checked out every book I could find about flying. "God is my Co-Pilot," by Robert L. Scott, was one of the first. I remember absorbing, soaking ...

May 16, 2010 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


Where’s the mail?

Our trusty little mail truck has for years shown up just in time for lunch, but no more. It was until recently a pleasant surety in otherwise unpredictable days. We counted on an influx of catalogs or magazines for a quick read over a bowl of soup or leftovers for lunch. Notices, bills, alerts and warnings could be dealt with on the same day they were received.

May 14, 2010 | By Barbara Morgan | Columnists


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