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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


It’s a great time to be mayor

Time is flying. It seems like just yesterday I was being sworn in as the mayor of Covington. Now, four months later, I wanted to take some time and share with the citizens of Covington many of the things that are going on in our great city. I also want to again thank you, the citizens, for giving me the opportunity to be the mayor. I must say this has been the most rewarding job I have ever done.

May 26, 2012 | By Ronnie Johnston | Columnists


“Austerity” talk is just a political cover

President Obama, new French President Francois Hollande and other political leaders have called for less "austerity" as a way to help the troubled economies on both sides of the Atlantic. That's the polite way of saying they want more government spending and larger deficits.

May 26, 2012 | By Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Perugino: LOST – Our sovereignty of the seas

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan decided not to sign a treaty known as "Law of the Sea," a United Nations convention that would raid America's treasury for billions of dollars, then redistribute that wealth to the rest of the world by an international bureaucracy headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica. The Obama Administration has revived that treaty, and the Senate will hold hearings designed to illustrate its supposed benefits and generate support for its ratification. Without a doubt, Reagan's decision should stand, and LOST should remain relegated to the trash bin of history.

The rationale for LOST is that it ...

May 24, 2012 | William Perugino | Columnists


Yarbrough: An open letter to Georgia’s school teachers

I write to applaud you for having made it through another year in Georgia's public schools. Good for you. Frankly, I wonder sometimes why you do what you do and then I remember that you are changing young lives for the better. Not many of us can make that claim.

Your rewards for your efforts are unpaid furlough days, larger class sizes, no pay increases (but increased expenses) and a second-guessing public that seems to feel you should be able to stop all of society's ills at the classroom door. And then there are the politicians who promote ...

May 22, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Travis: Advice for high school grads

Last week, because of the cat that will not die, I had to take down the curtains in my kitchen windows and wash, iron and rehang them. The tops of my windows are a good way up there and I had to use a 5-foot ladder. I was uneasy on the ladder and asked my husband to come and stand next to the ladder. That probably was not smart as I could have done some serious damage if I had fallen on him.

I have painted every room in my house several times, including the molding that is at least ...

May 22, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


McCoy: The true meaning of Christmas

This should be a hoot: writing about Christmas in the middle of May. Well, I want to make a strident little point, and I can't wait until we have snow on the ground and elves in the supermarkets to do it. Every Christmas day, Christians all around America say the same thing. They put down their unwrapped trinkets and turn to someone near and dear to them, and say, "You know... the real meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with all these gifts, and the ham, and the eggnog. You know it's all about Jesus...right?" Having ...

May 19, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


Rasmussen: Election Day Economics

Mitt Romney has pulled a point or two ahead of President Obama in polls of likely voters. In polls of registered voters, Obama has the advantage. The president's job approval ratings are hovering in the upper 40 percent range, which suggests a close race.

Looking at this information, partisan activists come to wildly different conclusions about what to expect on Election Day. Democrats tend to believe Obama will be re-elected, while Republicans are more likely to think he will be a one-term president.

May 19, 2012 | Scott Rasmussen Columnist | Columnists


Cushman: Addiction to story, morals and all

As a child, I was a voracious reader, mostly of fiction. I would read during class, during lunch, during the bus ride. When I was reading, I was not part of my boring normal life, but part of a deeper, more compelling story.

Fiction has the ability to transport the reader into a different world. The same holds true for movies and television shows. Stories of all types capture our attention and imagination. Even news is told in story fashion.

May 19, 2012 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Robinson: Romney is short on specifics

Republicans say they're eager for the presidential campaign to turn away from "distractions" and focus instead on the economy. Someone should warn them that if they're not careful, they might get their wish.

It is true that voters' unhappiness with high unemployment and slow growth poses a challenge for President Obama as he seeks re-election. But for Mitt Romney and the GOP to take advantage of this potential opening, they'll have to do more than chant the word "economy" like a mantra. They have to make the case that their policies will work better than Obama's.

May 19, 2012 | Eugene Robinson Columnist | Columnists


Carter: Make a difference with Washington St

I watch "The Blind Side" anytime I come across it flipping channels. It's a movie that still brings a tear to my eyes, no matter how many times I see it.

I don't usually cry over football films - unless it's a replay of Reggie Ball throwing away the ball (and Tech's chances) on the fourth down in Sanford Stadium in 2004. But, anyone who's seen "The Blind Side" knows it's more than a football story. It's the true life tale of Michael Oher, a 17-year-old, homeless black boy from a broken home who ...

May 19, 2012 | Maurice Carter Columnist | Columnists


McCoy: Exam-ine your life

Examine me, God! Look at my heart! Put me to the test! Know my anxious thoughts! Look to see if there is any idolatrous way in me, then lead me on the eternal path!

Psalm 139:23-24

May 17, 2012 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Embracing and planning for the future

Every generation pines for the way things used to be. We may even look back a couple of generations longing for times we think were better than these. However, in many ways, these are the best days ever seen in the history of the world: consider increased longevity, extensive medical research and advances, and more diversity so that more among us - those who are physically challenged, for example - feel fully vested in our society. Agriculture is finding new ways to feed more people, and good thing. Social media outlets are connecting millions and billions around the world, millions and billions ...

May 17, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Perugino: T-SPLOST: A tax trapdoor

There is no "free lunch" and as I have often stated in previous columns, "It's the Spending, Stupid!" The control of spending must begin at home, here in Newton County, in order to regain control of government spending. The economies of project costs are best managed through local control. Our country and in turn our county are in fiscal crisis and we must not layer on more taxes. It is our responsibility as citizens to demand that all spending is painful and absolutely necessary.

Home rule is just local self-government. The State Constitution of Georgia advocates Home rule. The ...

May 17, 2012 | William Perugino | Columnists


Security protocols changing the pace of travel

When relationships go bad, an early warning sign is that one side doesn't really hear what the other is saying. That's certainly the case today in the relationship between voters and America's political class.

May 12, 2012 | By Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Morgan: Dining in the dark

It was completely dark under my blindfold. A voice I didn't know told me to take the arm offered by another person whom I happened to know but couldn't see. He told me he was leading me through an open door, down a corridor, into a meeting hall and to a table where I gripped the edge until my guide placed a chair beneath me and invited me to sit. I could hear conversations echoing in a cavernous room until the meeting was called to order by a voice I did know, that of Jim Windham, president of ...

May 10, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


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