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Articles by Section - Columnists


Thinning out the alternatives for Jekyll Islander

I have one of the most interesting jobs in the world. One day I am advising world leaders on the nuances of international monetary policy. The next day I am consoling a distraught reader who thinks I need to "look within myself spiritually." The last time I looked within myself, I saw my navel. It was full of lint. Never again.

September 23, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


A policy developed in spurts

Of all the experts I have read or consulted lately about the situation in the Middle East, the one who made the most sense was quoted recently in The New York Times. She's Jennifer Shelton-Armstrong, identified as a 45-year-old Democrat in Mission Viejo, California, who participated in a poll about President Obama's handling of foreign policy and terrorism. This is what she said: "He is ambivalent, and I think it shows. There is no clear plan."

September 23, 2014 | Staff Report | Columnists


An exhausting retirement

I have a friend who recently retired.

September 20, 2014 | Paula Travis | Columnists


The tech-inspired future of education

In 21st-century America, hope and change comes from tech-inspired entrepreneurs.

September 20, 2014 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Kissinger’s support for Israel runs deep

At the age of 91, Henry Kissinger has published yet another book - his 17th in 60 years, according to his biographer Walter Isaacson. In that sense, "World Order" is something of a miracle, but it is also a swell read. So, I initially thought, was a review of it in The New York Times by John Micklethwait, the editor-in-chief of the admirable Economist magazine - and I praised it to him in an email. A bit later, I did a double-take. I still like the book, but Micklethwait's review is a different matter.

September 16, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


Trying to find the positives in this world can be a negative

The Woman Who Shares My Name instructed me that this week's column was to be about positive things. She says she is tired of bad news and thought you felt the same way. "Surely, you can find some positive things to write about," she said, "and temporarily take people's minds off all the terrible things going on in the world. I think your readers would appreciate that."

September 16, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Favors and Loot for Sale

At a July fundraising event in Chicago, Mrs. Michelle Obama remarked, "So, yeah, there's too much money in politics. There's (sic) special interests that have too much influence." Sen. John McCain has been complaining for years that "there is too much money washing around political campaigns today." According to a 2012 Reuters poll, "Seventy-five percent of Americans feel there is too much money in politics." Let's think about money in politics, but first a few facts.

September 13, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Health Care Law is Obama’s Gift to GOP for 2016

President Obama's health care law is the gift that keeps on giving to the GOP.

September 13, 2014 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


So long ago, and yet so near

According to a Gallup Poll released this week, "Americans' trust in the federal government to handle international problems has fallen to a record-low 43 percent, ... Separately, 40 percent of Americans say they have a 'great deal' or 'fair amount' of trust in the federal government to handle domestic problems, also the lowest Gallup has measured to date." (Poll conducted September 4-7, 2014, with 1,017 adults, 95 percent confidence level, +/- 4 points).

September 11, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Blacks should be angry with themselves

What is it that makes so many blacks so angry? What is it that makes so many of them blame the realities of life that beset everyone, e.g., debt, disappointment, etc., a result of their being black?

September 11, 2014 | Mychal Massie | 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


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Archive By Section - Columnists


No more texting while driving

This time of year is referred to as "Dog Days." That is because state government feels that in appreciation for your tax contributions this is a great time to hound you with a bunch of new laws, regulations and similar irritations that usually become effective July 1. Hence, Dog Days.

Perhaps the most noted change is the fact than in Georgia one can no longer text while driving, thus depriving us of a plethora of LOLs, OMGs and BTWs. Now, if we can just ban self-important yuppies from yakking on their cell phones in restaurants while I am trying to ...

July 07, 2010 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Freedom, responsibility — people have the power

My children, who are 8 and 10, are five weeks into their 12 weeks of summer vacation. With the advent of summer comes an increase in their freedom. They do not have to walk out of the house to go to school at 7:30 in the morning. This means that they can stay up after 8 p.m. and sleep past 6:30 a.m.

July 04, 2010 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


The best birthday gift

Today's the 234th birthday of The United States of America. Born July 4, 1776, as 56 brave men signed a pledge birthing government of the people, America received her first birthday present.

July 04, 2010 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


Education system needs some work

Of some 15,000 school systems in the United States only one has lost accreditation in the past four decades. In August 2008, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools denied accreditation to Clayton County.

June 30, 2010 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Saxby and Johnny could wreck the state budget

In normal times, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson would not have anything to do with drafting the state budget.

June 30, 2010 | Tom Crawford | Columnists


Sad, sorry situations

Tunica, MS - My wildest dreams of traveling the world to exotic locales never included Tunica, Miss. But my wife, along with her mother and aunt, accepted a free week's trip to a resort, airfare included.

June 27, 2010 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


A nose for news (and opinion)

We are flooded with news and what-appears-to-be news on a non-stop basis. The news consumer can spend hours a day between newspapers, TV, radio and online, viewing multiple websites that include wanna-be-news sites called blogs, or more accurately, opinion.

June 27, 2010 | By Bob Furnad | Columnists


Newton’s dreamers

It's easy for some who call themselves rational thinkers to dismiss dreamers and their dreams. Dreamers are viewed as starry-eyed loafers with an aversion to a hard day's work. But think of dreamers like Henry Ford, Ted Turner, Bill Gates. Without dreamers, there'd have been no United States of America. This world needs its dreamers.

June 25, 2010 | By Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Random thoughts on random subjects

Not only is Vince Dooley a Hall of Fame football coach but he is a Master Gardener, too. I just got a copy of his new book, "Vince Dooley's Garden: The Horticultural Journey of a Football Coach." (Looking Glass Books) How many people do you know who have had a hydrangea named after them (Hydrangea Macrophylla, also known as the "Dooley") and can recognize an over/under 4-3 defense?

June 23, 2010 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


In the moment

Call it "Mis-place-ism." Call it "Lose-itis." It really doesn't matter, but I'm here to report an epidemic of it and not just at our house. I hear about it daily from one friend or another.

For example, one friend, looking for a safe place to put a ring out of sight while workers were in the house, dropped it into her coin purse. Later that day at the market, a soft ball team was bagging groceries for donations. My friend turned the contents of her coin purse upside down into the collection jar and walked away with her ...

June 18, 2010 | Barbara Morgan Columnist | Columnists


Perdue did the right thing

Gov. Sonny Perdue reached a significant milestone last week as he finished the process of signing or vetoing the bills and resolutions passed by legislators this year.

Barring an emergency that requires him to call a special session of the General Assembly, those will probably be the last pieces of legislation Perdue signs during his two terms as Georgia's chief executive.

June 16, 2010 | Tom Crawford | Columnists


The best option for our county

The budget process for the Board of Commissioners is entering the final countdown. A budget must be set and voted on by June 15; however, there are major decisions yet to be made. Citizens, county employees and BOC members are all keenly aware that Newton County faces a major revenue shortfall. Yet to be seen is how the BOC will determine a final budget and subsequently set a millage rate that will generate funds enough to provide modest services above and beyond those that are mandated.

June 13, 2010 | By Nancy Schulz | 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


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