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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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."
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.
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 ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
According to College Board, average tuition and fees for the 2013-14 school year totaled $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for in-state residents at public colleges and $22,203 for out-of-state residents. Many schools, such as Columbia University and George Washington University, charge yearly tuition and fees close to $50,000. Faced with the increasing costs of higher education, parents and taxpayers might like to know what they're getting for their money.
While we might like to think that voters research the issues, review the candidates, and then vote for the candidate that best reflects their views, the reality, based on political science research, is much different. A
I wonder how Leroy Jones, the black Chairman of the Essex County Democrat Committee, looks at himself in the mirror. I wonder how he looks at his family and the members of his community. I wonder how he feels as he sits in the pews of the black church he attends, and how he feels while sitting in the black barbershop. More specifically, I wonder how the people of Essex County, New Jersey as a whole, feel about Jones.
A friend of mine worked for a small-town newspaper years ago and had to write the weather report. The county fair was approaching but the prediction was for rain. So the editors, fearing the wrath of local merchants, ordered my friend to change "rainy" to "sunny." That was the newspaper's policy. It has since been adopted by much of the Republican Party.
The things you learn while surfing the Internet in desperation for column material. Did you know that there is a National Association for the Humor-Impaired? May Jimmy Carter (speaking of the humor-impaired) wash my socks if I am not telling the truth.
Many view America's education as a failure, but in at least one important way, it's been a success - a success in dumbing down the nation so that we fall easy prey to charlatans, hustlers and quacks. You say, "Williams, that's insulting! Explain yourself." OK, let's start with a question or two.
With trouble brewing big time in the Middle East again, it got me thinking of a time when we had similar issues in Asia.
It's an off-year election, and the White House is securely in the Democratic camp for two more years. That means the focus is turning instead to down-ballot races.
Let me begin by saying that I regard Randy Vinson as intelligent, articulate, insightful and a sincerely good person, but I never forget Randy is a planner with one concept of how the world should be planned.
In my home hangs a photograph of a rather large and deep hole on the side of an asphalt road. It is the aftermath of an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) - or in more simple terms, a homemade bomb - that went off just as the Humvee in which I was riding passed over it.
This is a splendid time to remember the First World War. It started 100 years ago this month with the June 28 shooting of the Austrian archduke and his wife. By the end of the summer, much of Europe was engaged in a war that lasted about four years, toppled four empires, precipitated the communist revolution, created by fiat the modern Middle East, recognized Zionism, made the U.S. a world power and cost the lives of about 10 million fighting men. Historians are still trying to figure out what happened.
For We the People, Obama's time in office has thus far been tantamount to a march through hell with the complete deconstruction of America strapped to our backs, and with despair and immiseration clinched in our teeth. And for the privilege of being unwilling participants in this death march, Obama believes we should be grateful. Obama has usurped and overrun Congressional authority in less time than it took for the Kudzu vine to overrun the South.
ROME - Birthdays have always been a big deal in my family. When I was growing up, the birthday girl (or man, in the case of my father) would be regaled with a rendition of "Happy Birthday" during breakfast. The special attention continued throughout the day and included letting the honoree choose the dinner menu and being the center of family conversation. Birthdays were not about presents, but about being the center of attention.
I have said it before but it bears repeating: If I don't qualify for heaven (a distinct possibility), my preferred alternates are: (a.) Athens, Georgia, on a crisp fall Saturday afternoon; (b.) Athens, Georgia, on a warm spring day or (c.) Athens, Georgia, on any day. As you no doubt know, Athens is home to my alma mater, the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in all the land.
Whose fault is the current debacle in Iraq? It could be Nouri al-Maliki's since he is the country's strongman and has alienated the minority Sunnis. It could be George W. Bush's because he started the whole thing off with possibly the stupidest war in history, the Children's Crusade exempted on account of youth. The one person who is not at fault, we are told over and over again, is the current president of the United States. Like Millard Fillmore, he has kept us out of war.
One of the issues facing you if you're a baby boomer is something that pills and exercise won't help. If your parents are still alive, they're still 18-plus years older than you.
Darcy Olsen, president of the Arizona-based Goldwater Institute, and Richard Garr, president of Neuralstem, a biotech company, wrote "Right to Try experimental drugs" in USA Today (5/28/2014). They pointed out that "this year, more than 5,000 Americans will lose their battle with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease." Up until recently, there was no medicine on the market that significantly improved the lives of ALS patients. But now there is one in clinical trials that holds considerable promise, but it has not been granted Food and Drug Administration approval. The average amount of time it ...