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Articles by Section - 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


Tuition pays for this

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.

August 21, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Political stereotyping

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

August 21, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Unsolicited advice for senatorial candidates from a nattering nabob

To David Perdue, Jack Kingston and Michelle Nunn: Congratulations on making it this far in your quest to become our newest U.S. Senator. As you prepare for the next phase of your campaign, I thought I would pass along to you some unsolicited advice for your consideration. Please don't thank me. It was either this or make an effort to clean out my sock drawer.

May 27, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


America’s budding tyrants

From the Nazis to the Stalinists, tyrants have always started out supporting free speech, and why is easy to understand. Speech is vital for the realization of their goals of command, control and confiscation. Basic to their agenda are the tools of indoctrination, propagandizing, proselytization. Once they gain power, as leftists have at many universities, free speech becomes a liability and must be suppressed. This is increasingly the case on university campuses.

May 24, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


THE VA FIASCO

Fiasco correctly describes the unmitigated disgraceful conduct of the Veterans Administration unfolding before our very eyes on national television. Criminal neglect, criminal incompetence, criminal rationale and criminal bureaucrats dressed in business suits collected unearned bonuses after directly, or at best indirectly, causing the deaths of our sick and ailing veterans.

May 24, 2014 | Pete Mecca | Columnists


Donald Sterling has been treated unfairly

Donald Sterling has been treated unjustly; I've said it before, and I remain incalcitrant pursuant to that opinion. Mr. Sterling is being used by race-mongers and melanin pimps as validation of institutional racism - which loosely translated means the modern day equivalents of Joseph Goebbels are using Mr. Sterling's private conversation as proof that in America rich white men are impeding progress for blacks.

May 20, 2014 | Mychal Massie | Columnists


Some random thoughts on some random subjects

How's this for a conflict? This past weekend I had to choose between going to New York and attending the prestigious Peabody Award ceremonies sponsored by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia, or participate in the 14th annual Washpot Festival in Garfield.

May 20, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Covington primed for more success

This is a guest column from Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston. Newton County and Covington's leaders are invited to share their thoughts with The News and our community.

May 17, 2014 | Ronnie Johnston | Columnists


Politicians need thicker skins and real commitment

I have always, as far back as I can remember, had a fascination for politics.

May 17, 2014 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


Doctors must serve patients, not society

When we go to the doctor, most of us expect to receive the best possible advice on whatever ails us.

May 17, 2014 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Voter turnout is key

It's spring, an election off year and primaries are in full swing across the country. In my home state of Georgia, the primary is less than a week away, and the ballot is chock full of hotly contested primaries. In the race for the open U.S. Senate seat, a slew of Republican candidates are vying for one of the two spots for the July 22 runoff. These candidates include three sitting congressmen - Paul Braun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston. The top three candidates in this primary are David Perdue, Jack Kingston and Karen Handel; only one of the ...

May 15, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


No place for nuance

The term "moral suasion" has fallen into disuse. Its heyday came during the Eisenhower administration when the genial president, a bit soft on institutional racism, failed to denounce the continuing attempt of Southern politicians to keep their schools - and everything else - segregated. Now, I'd like to revive it and apply it to Barack Obama. With some moral suasion, he could end America's shameful practice of capital punishment.

May 15, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


There is no question whether Answer Man knows his stuff

It is the Merry Month of May, and you know what that means, boys and girls. It is time for Answer Man! You ask it, we answer it. Please know that all answers have been authenticated and hermetically-sealed by Funk and Wagnall - no, not that Funk and Wagnall. This is Elrod Funk and Jim Bob Wagnall. I don't know them all that well but they knocked on the door and said they needed work and wanted to cut my grass. I told them I had a better idea.

May 13, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Cavanaugh: Unconditional love of grandmothers, mothers

This is a tough Mother's Day for me as I am sure it is for any of you whose mom might be suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's. Molly and I were talking about what to send my mother this year and there really isn't anything that I know of that she needs. Actually sending gifts is a way for us to feel good about ourselves anyway.

May 10, 2014 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


Pop culture sheds different view on inequality debate

Pop culture is a better indicator of the public mood than political talking points, so it's interesting to see how two top-rated and long-running CBS television dramas have recently dealt with the issue of inequality. They suggest it's a real issue, but not in the way politicians talk about it.

May 10, 2014 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Mother's Day

Mother, Mom or Mommy, the name matters not to me; it's the person who matters. My earliest memories of my mother were of her holding me in her lap, tight against her ample chest and soothing me when I was upset. She was my comforter, even when she was the one who had just disciplined me. In her lap, with her arms around me, I felt loved, safe and secure.

May 08, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Newton Board of Commissioners: Making Progress?

On April 26, 2014, the Newton County Board of Commissioners (BOC) met for its second work session to discuss the structure of county government. For those who have not followed this issue closely, the BOC is currently operating under a county manager form of government that is contrary to the county's charter, which is also called its "enabling legislation." The current charter calls for a full time commission chairman to be the county's chief executive officer rather than that role being filled by a county manager. Recent action by the BOC to appoint a "county manager in waiting ...

May 06, 2014 | Larry McSwain | Columnists


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