Even by my impossibly high standards, this has been a good week. It began with a whack upside the head from a reader in South Georgia after I opined that those who want to change the way we teach our children in public schools ought to have their kids in public schools. I was referring to the efforts led by Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) to overturn the Common Core curriculum in the recent legislative session.
It was passed by Congress, signed by the president and upheld by the Supreme Court. But the individual mandate - a requirement that every American buy the kind of insurance deemed appropriate by the federal government - is being repealed by the American people.
Some statements and arguments are so asinine that you'd have to be an academic or a leftist to take them seriously. Take the accusation that Republicans and conservatives are conducting a war on women. Does that mean they're waging war on their daughters, wives, mothers and other female members of their families? If so, do they abide by the Geneva Conventions' bans on torture, or do they engage in enhanced interrogation and intimidation methods, such as waterboarding, with female family members? You might say that leftists don't mean actual war. Then why do they say it?
The other day I was listening to a group of millennials (birth years ranging from 1980s to the early 2000's) being interviewed by a person who does such things and, with the exception of one person, almost every ideal they discussed was different than the ideals we were brought up on.
"Sophie, Sophie, don't die! Stay alive for the children,' the dying Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand urged his wife as she slumped over him in the open-topped sports car. But Gavrilo Princip's shot had already killed her. A bodyguard asked Franz Ferdinand if he was in pain. 'It's nothing!' he replied repeatedly. Those were his last words."
As a mother, I often dwell on my role and that of my husband in influencing our children. I also think about the roles their peers and their environment play in affecting their growth.
Since the policy of the federal government seems to be to snoop on the conversations of private citizens, I thought it would be appropriate if we turned the tables on them. So, I authorized my columnist commandos to infiltrate the White House disguised as Teleprompters and get the real scoop on the latest developments in Ukraine.
The political community is abuzz about the growing possibility that Republicans might win control of the Senate this November. But little attention has been paid to a larger and more significant trend.
Georgia's 2014 legislative session closed last week, with the House working through two day-long floor sessions. During that time, we considered 44 Senate bills and resolutions, along with dozens of votes to resolve differences between House and Senate versions of bills. The House had already worked on most of the more notable pieces of legislation in play during preceding weeks, but we did see several that were significant, or of interest, during those final two days.
California is the poster child for failed socialist policies. It's the place where hippies and communalists went to create their idea of utopia, but, instead, ended up with a hyper-dystopian society. Quoting George Kelly from his book on Personal Construct Theory, the problem, for them, these many years later is "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation is a psychological disorder."
The truth of the matter is that most of us have a great deal to be thankful for of all the discoveries that have made modern medicine a pure miracle.
Georgia may appear at first glance to be a red state, solidly Republican, but its history is more complex. Those unfamiliar with its political history might be surprised to learn that, for 90 years, the Democratic Party so dominated Georgia that no Republican would run for the governor's office.
In the war between the rich and the poor, I'm enlisting on the side of the underdog - the rich. What a drubbing they've been taking! Across the nation, but particularly in cities such as New York and Washington, the rich are incessantly accused of being slyly manipulative and self-serving. For instance, they support charter schools. Apparently, there is nothing worse.
An officer of the law asked if he could share the table where I was chowing down on a mound of North Georgia BBQ. It was a big table, and the joint was packed, so the other diners and I scooted over and let our new guest settle in. "Y'all aren't carrying guns, are ya?" asked the man in uniform. When we assured him we'd left our firearms at home, he said, "I feel naked if I don't have my gun with me." We ate, enjoying our small talk and the best BBQ I've eaten ...
I was at the sausage-making plant last week, better known as the Georgia General Assembly. I was there for a good cause. The state Senate was honoring Dick Pettys, one of the finest journalists to walk through the doors of the state Capitol, and I was asked to be a part of that special day.
I know this probably sounds strange, but one of the most profound moments of my entire Christmas season happened while I was in the kitchen, making candy.
Scientists everywhere are decoding the human genome to see what we're made of and how we can make ourselves better. I'm no geneticist, but I know a little bit about southerners, and I'll certify that there is a special part of our DNA that makes us what we really are. We may be talking about just a few genes, but we southerners are programmed in a way that makes our lives much better here in our little part of the world.
There are few holidays that speak to family memories and traditions more than Christmas. The type of tree, when to put it up, when to take it down, what ancient family ornament goes where, the Christmas morning breakfast, Christmas Day dinner and when to open gifts all are ingrained in our family histories.
I have always loved Christmas and its traditions; even as I have grown older, I find that really deep in my heart I still believe in Santa Claus and the spirit of the whole season, and I just can't wait until I see the "Frosty the Snowman" and "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" re-runs at this time of year with the grandchildren.
Turn your mind to the late Karen Carpenter's clear voice and listen for her lilting version of "There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays": "Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays, 'cause no matter how far away you roam - if you want to be happy in a million ways, for the holidays - you can't beat home sweet home. For the holidays, you can't beat home sweet home."
Christmas memories fill our Christmas tree. It stands in our living room, filled with white lights and ornaments. Our ornaments reflect the life of our family: varied and interesting, some old, some new, some precious and some common.
'Tis just before Christmas, and here in my house
It's time to start thinking about Christmas dinner. I'm cooking, and I am dreading the annual discussion I have with my husband about what to serve.
I am pleased to announce that beginning with the New Year, Junior E. Lee, general manager of Round or Square Polls, a division of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company located in Greater Garfield, will be offering exclusive analysis of the upcoming presidential election that can be seen only in this space. In addition, if you are bothered with termites, Junior is your man there, too. (He asked me to add that. Junior doesn't want to be seen as a one-trick pony. He is as proud of his reputation as an industry leader in termite eradication as ...
We all make mistakes.
The season of - well of - 'Tis the season and shopping is upon us.
My first paying job was cleaning the bathrooms of the First Baptist Church of Carrollton, Ga. This was also my sister's first job. The money we made was our money. We could decide how to spend it: clothes, records, books, eight-track tapes, whatever we decided.
This is a letter to the community hoping that it will be read by people who are having a difficult time accepting the unknown about children and adults with disabilities. I am encouraged to write to inform the public about what they might see from time to time in stores, in malls, at fast food restaurants, in barbershops and in grocery stores.
The good news is that Christmas is less than 10 days away! On the other hand, the bad news is that Christmas is less than 10 days away. It's bad when the decorating isn't finished and the house hasn't been cleaned, and you've got 30 or so women from church coming tonight for Ladies' Night Out. It's bad when you haven't decided on the first Christmas gift except for the gift bought for the newest great-niece who shares my middle name. It's bad that if something needs to be ordered, it hasn't ...
I have four granddaughters ranging from first grade to fourth grade. Stair steps. Last weekend, the first grader, my youngest, read to me a book about Red Riding Hood. When she got to the part of the story where the wolf was in grandmother's bed, she stopped to show me the picture. I asked her if Red Riding Hood knew it was the wolf and not her grandmother.