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.
"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.
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.
Just when my life seemed to have lost all meaning, up jumps our Ambassador to Outer Space Cynthia McKinney, who has announced her intentions to run for Congress as a member of the Green Party this fall in Georgia's 4th District.
This is quite a comedown for Miss Moonbeam, who was the Green Party's candidate for president in 2008. But incumbent Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson has impressive space cadet credentials himself. In 2010, Johnson expressed concern in a congressional hearing about a planned military buildup on the Pacific island of Guam, saying, "My fear is that the whole ...
This week is teacher appreciation week. If you don't have children in school, you probably haven't heard of it. If you do, you have probably been asked to send some small token to school with your children for their teachers.
I'm all for teacher appreciation. But they need more than a thank you. According to the article "Public Education Faces a Crisis in Teacher Retention" published in 2005 on Edutopia, of the 200,000 new teachers hired each year, 22,000 quit after one year.
I'm pleased to report that our household has a new Minister of Electricity! Yes, you read that correctly. Our youngest son is the new Minister of Electricity for the McCoy family. You see - we're just like one of those third-world dictatorships. We have ministerial positions in the household, and we grant them exclusively to our family members. Except for the military uniforms, mirrored sunglasses, and overbearing Mercedes limos, we're no different from any other nepotistic bureaucracy. All hail the new Minister of Electricity! May no light bulbs go dark under your tenure and service to our fair ...
In case you haven't noticed, Roger "The Rocket" Clemens is on trial for lying to Congress about whether or not he used performance enhancing drugs and Human Growth Hormone during his illustrious baseball career.
When testifying before Congress about steroid use, Clemens vehemently denied using such substances, despite claims by a teammate that Clemens confessed to him he did use human fuel additives. Clemens' response was that his teammate "misremembered" their conversation.
Since becoming a regular columnist, I've avoided writing about trails or bicycles. I get type-cast as an advocate, and there are so many other great topics. But, it's Bike Month, so I can't resist reflecting on the wonders of two-wheeled, self-propelled transportation.
The League of American Bicyclists declared May National Bike Month in 1956 and they've celebrated for 55 years. Today, at 3 p.m. on the square, Mayor Ronnie Johnston will proclaim May 2012 Bike Month in Covington, before the monthly Community Bike Ride. It's a gentle, family-friendly ride, suitable for kids and adults ...
One hundred years ago, the European powers were hurtling down a path leading to World War I. Trench warfare became the dominant image of that war, as both sides dug in and the battle lines barely moved. Many called it the "War to End All Wars," but in the end it merely set the stage for World War II.
Election 2012 is shaping up to be the political equivalent of trench warfare that fails to resolve anything.
Last night, President Obama visited Afghanistan and stood on the shoulders of the U.S. military to trumpet his foreign policy. But that military is being eviscerated under the president's budget cuts, creating a hollow force and exacerbating today's readiness crisis.
These days I'm just waiting to see what institution, individual or entity will be the next disgraced by scandal, lies or cover-ups. How the mighty do fall, and they seem to be falling in ever more rapid succession in a 24/7 news environment and the exploding social media universe. In many cases, we "know" way too much about a possible scandal before the facts can prove it right or baseless.
The spring weather has tempted all of us to get outdoors. I think everyone has decided to enjoy the nice weather before it gets so hot that going outdoors results in immediate heat prostration. I was going to mention getting hot and sweaty, but I read somewhere, I can't give you an attribution, that ladies don't sweat; they glow. In fact, a friend of mine swears that her mother belonged to a garden club called Hoe and Glow.
I see many families, groups of ladies and solitary walkers on the sidewalks around town. Mothers with strollers and walkers ...
As the U.S. Supreme Court wrestles with the Obama administration's challenge of Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigration, the overall issue of immigration remains misunderstood by both political parties in Washington.
I have recently found myself thinking about these questions: "Can one person really have an impact on our local economy? Can one person's vision, ideas, influence and labor really change the direction of a whole community or does our future and economy just happen to us?"
"Our Thoughts" last Sunday raised an interesting question: Is Newton County part of Metro Atlanta? For the Editorial Board of the Covington News, commenting on reporting of the Baxter International announcement, the answer was a resounding "no." But, as far as the rest of Georgia is concerned, "it depends."
The trial of John Edwards - former everything, including senator, vice-presidential candidate, presidential candidate and Father of the Year - is getting underway in North Carolina.
Monday night, my husband came home around 8:30 p.m. and was surprised to find me painting my office. Early that morning, as I lay in bed, unable to sleep, I decided to paint my office. The deadline was driven by a Tuesday installation appointment for a TV. After all, why hang the TV on a wall with old paint, nail holes and patches of paint missing where the dry-erase squares had been removed?
Only six years ago, Shannon Davis was the petite, pretty and pert front desk manager at the Newton County Chamber of Commerce, a part-time employee. Today she's one of the local faces of the state and regional team that landed a $1 billion investment by Baxter International at Stanton Springs industrial park that will put 1,000-1,500 people to work by 2018.