Stories are the soul of human memory. Ancient people listened to lengthy narratives about the legendary exploits of heroes like Beowulf. When literacy came, the stories were written down on animal hides and papyrus plants. Sometimes, they were carved into brick and bronze memorials.
August has been a challenging month for my family the last few years. Two years ago, while my children, Maggie and Robert, and I were visiting my sister, Kathy, and her husband, Paul, in Key Biscayne, Florida, our mother ended up in the hospital in critical condition. While she recovered temporarily, she ultimately suffered a stroke right when school started in the fall of 2012.
About the time of the Mansfield public hearing the chairman came by to see me. He had heard the strong concerns expressed by the public regarding the 2050 Plan Baseline Ordinance, and I think sincerely realized that those concerns had to be addressed. His idea at the time was to pick a small group of people who would represent the position of the landowners in eastern Newton County and a group who were in favor of the plan, lock them in a room and let them come up with a compromise position which preserve the basics of the plan while ...
Dear Georgia Public School Teachers:
Richard Nixon is not having an easy time of late. The Washington Post alone has run at least three opinion pieces reminding us all that Nixon was a skunk who 40 years ago this month resigned the presidency and flew off to a short-lived exile in California. There the story of Nixon's nefariousness supposedly ends. But it does not. He remains to this day a major political figure.
While reading the first chapter of Jason Riley's new book, "Please Stop Helping Us," I thought about Will Rogers' Prohibition-era observation that "Oklahomans vote dry as long as they can stagger to the polls." Demonstrative of similar dedication, one member of Congress told Vanderbilt University political scientist Carol Swain that "one of the advantages and disadvantages of representing blacks is their shameless loyalty. ... You can almost get away with raping babies and be forgiven. You don't have any vigilance about your performance." In my opinion, there appear to be no standards of performance low enough for blacks to ...
As I wrote in last week's column about Georgia's U.S. Senate race between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue, it will all boil down to turnout - who turns out to vote. While the Republican candidates are being fair when they tie the Democratic nominee to the Obama administration, they must do more than hope that Democrats can't persuade voters to go to the polls. The Republican candidates need to create and communicate a clear, compelling message for all voters - that will give them a reason and the passion to turn out and vote Republican this ...
On July 1, 2014, I wrote a syndicated column titled "What If Terrorists Used Infectious Diseases." I postulated that America is being placed in mortal danger as illegal aliens, to which I specifically add the tens of thousands of illegal alien children, are flooding our borders.
The U.S. Senate race this November between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue will be one of the more unusual campaigns we have witnessed in Georgia. Neither has held public office and both are anxious to portray themselves as the ultimate "outsider."
Recep Tayyip Erdogan's anti-Semitism is getting the better of him. Once again, the Turkish prime minister has trotted out the Hitler analogy in relation to Israel and what it has done in Gaza. "They curse Hitler morning and night," he said of the Israelis. "However, now their barbarism has surpassed even Hitler's."
Following the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision, one of the key talking points that emerged from enraged opponents of the ruling was: "My boss shouldn't be involved in my health care decisions." California State Senate candidate Sandra Fluke says on her official website that such a perspective is "common sense."
Earlier this month, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act was celebrated. During the act's legislative debate, then-Sen. Hubert Humphrey, responding to predictions, promised, "I'll eat my hat if this leads to racial quotas." I don't know whether Humphrey got around to keeping his promise, but here's my question: Is it within the capacity of black Americans to make it in this society without the special favors variously called racial preferences, quotas, affirmative action and race-sensitive policies? What might a "yes" answer to that question assume and imply about blacks? Likewise, what would a "no ...
Israel fought its first war, in 1948, against five Arab nations - Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan - as well as the Palestinians. In the prediction of the fairly new CIA, the outcome was never in doubt: "Without substantial outside aid in terms of manpower and material, they [the Jews] will be able to hold out no longer than two years." It has now been 66 years, but I fear that sooner or later, the CIA's conclusion could turn out to be right.
Last week I attended two informal meetings of citizens and two Chamber of Commerce moderated meetings on the 2050 Plan and a meeting on the Highway 278 Community Improvement District. I came away with an appreciation of just how similar is the end result most of us want for Newton County and yet how distant are the means that we would employ to accomplish that end.
In January 1995, I made a list of 18 attributes that described the type of man I wanted to marry. The list included "wants children," "high family ties - loves his mother," "secure in himself" and "social."
Three years later, I married such a man. A man who more than met the list, Jimmy Cushman.
I hate mirrors. There's one in each of our bathrooms, and there's a mirror in the hall, and there's supposed to be one in our bedroom, but I haven't put it up since we moved in last year. Why would I want another mirror? The ones I already have hate me as much as I hate them. It's like they are all saying, "Hey, David...look over here!" and when I do, I see an old man staring back at me. And that old man is me. And I don't like what I see ...
The new Federal Reserve report showing that household net worth collapsed between 2007 and 2010 quickly became campaign fodder for both sides.
Republicans seized on the data to claim that the current administration is out of touch. President Obama helped the GOP with his comments that the private sector is doing fine and that small businesses will not be affected by his health care plan.
There was a lot to love about Charlie King who died Saturday at the age of 96. Former Covington City Manager Frank Turner put it as well as anyone could: "There's no one who didn't love Charlie King."
The state of affairs in Newton County deteriorates but avoids the attention of key office holders like the Board of Commissioners and Board of Education. We are awash with discussions that hold our attention with notions of discretionary endeavors for Civic Centers, Green Parks, Hiking Trails and other niceties. These type projects are worthwhile when held in their proper place. When will we learn fiscal discipline with a proper order of priorities that focus our energy, resources and devotion to improving the basic quality of life? A county with employment opportunities, a safe environment, schools that produce smart productive citizens ...
For a guy more uptight than a bullfrog in boiling water, State Sen. Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, can be a hoot. I first discovered this when he and another senator named Chip (Pearson, from Dawsonville) teamed up a few years ago to pass a bill in the Senate banning our body parts from being micro-chipped without our permission. I thought that was pretty funny: Chip, Chip and Microchip. Get it?
I wrote that when the bill passed the senate, Rogers was so ecstatic, he was seen running up and down the halls at the capitol yelling, "I am Mork ...
Recently, someone asked me the phone number of one of my daughters. I had to get out my cell phone and look up the number. I didn't know it by heart.
I was embarrassed at first, but when I thought about it, I realized that I only know five phone numbers by heart - my home phone, my cell phone, my husband's cell phone, my sister's home phone and the home phone number of one of my friends. And three of those numbers I knew before my husband or I had a cell phone. I had to look ...
Today was wonderful. I've just returned from a feast at the Blue Willow Inn, out in Social Circle, where I had the Charleston Room at my disposal. I enjoyed sweet tea, roast beef, and two helpings of my favorite dessert, banana pudding. This has been a perfect day, but then everyone knows Memorial Day is always the start of warm weather fun. The grills come out; the convertible tops go down; and boat owners everywhere race to the lakes to enjoy their expensive hobby. Yeah. Boats are on my mind.
This year as we prepare the budget, the district Commissioners requested the county manager prepare a budget not to exceed the tax dollars generated by the current 10.91 millage rate. In other words, no tax increase. This is an admirable goal and I agree with them; no one wants to raise taxes.
There are those who tell the truth. There are those who distort the truth. And then there's Mitt Romney.
Being in the right place at the right time is sometimes less about luck than it is heeding a call. And, rather than fame or fortune, the result can be something far more precious.
Words have power; they create images and possibilities, and provide a window into the future of what could be.
What is it in human beings, in general, that inspires the sometimes-lifelong pursuit of perfection? Perfection is an elusive thing - if it even exists. The pursuit is like chasing an ephemeral sprite through a darkening forest. Now you see it. Now you don't. What seems perfect in one moment can be altered in an instant by a change in one's emotions, the arrival of new information or a new light that is shined on what was thought to be a flawless object.
I sponsored the school newspaper at Newton County High School for many years. It was, for the most part, an enjoyable experience. The students were enthusiastic and often had visions of publishing great exposés about various school activities. They were disappointed to learn that stories actually had to be based on fact and that there was little or nothing at the school that would be suited to an exposé.
Have you ever heard of Florida International University? I must admit they don't come to mind when talking about institutions of higher learning. Perhaps that is because I think first of the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, current state football champions and home to 18 Rhodes Scholars. Woof! Woof!