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Scholar-athlete charade

Last year's column "Dishonest Educators" (1/9/2013) reported on the largest school cheating scandal in U.S. history. In more than three-quarters of the 56 Atlanta schools investigated, teachers changed student answers on academic achievement tests. Cheating orders came directly from school administrators. The cheating was brazen. One teacher told a colleague, "I had to give your kids, or your students, the answers because they're dumb as hell." Atlanta's not alone. Teacher cheating has been discovered in other cities, such as Philadelphia, Houston, New York, Detroit, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Washington.

November 08, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Peace before sunset

Last week a neighbor friend passed on to his own personal sunset.

November 08, 2014 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


Cushman: Getting stuff done

Prognosticators are predicting a Republican takeover of the United States Senate, and a pickup of a few seats in the House of Representatives. Driven in large part by the unpopularity of President Barack Obama (latest Gallup poll 42 percent approve, 53 percent disapprove of Obama), this potential change in control provides both an opportunity and a risk for Republicans.

November 01, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Rasmussen: Election 2014 in context

Political pundits often miss the forest for the trees, and it's amazing how things look when you pause for a moment to look at the broader context of the 2014 midterm elections. The short-term discussion among political junkies is all about whether Republicans can win control of the Senate and just how many seats they will win.

November 01, 2014 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Williams: Africa, A Tragic Continent

Here's how my Aug. 11, 2003, column began: "Anyone who believes President Bush's Africa initiative, including sending U.S. troops to Liberia, will amount to more than a hill of beans is whistling Dixie. Maybe it's overly pessimistic, but most of Africa is a continent without much hope for its people." More than a decade has passed since that assessment, and little has changed to suggest a more optimistic outlook. Now Ebola threatens the very existence of the West African nations Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Moreover, the deadly disease is likely to spread to neighboring nations.

November 01, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Yarbrough: A salute to one trying to make this a better world

A wise man once said that our only reason for occupying space on this earth is to leave things better than we found them. Unfortunately, not enough of us will. Len Pagano is an exception.

November 01, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Africa: A tragic continent

Here's how my Aug. 11, 2003, column began: "Anyone who believes President Bush's Africa initiative, including sending U.S. troops to Liberia, will amount to more than a hill of beans is whistling Dixie. Maybe it's overly pessimistic, but most of Africa is a continent without much hope for its people." More than a decade has passed since that assessment, and little has changed to suggest a more optimistic outlook. Now Ebola threatens the very existence of the West African nations Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Moreover, the deadly disease is likely to spread to neighboring nations.

October 27, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


The power of positive beliefs

My mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer in the mid-1970s, when I was in grammar school. Her goal, at that time, was to stay alive to see my older sister Kathy and me graduate from high school. She neither dwelled on the disease, nor on why she was stricken with it, but instead focused on getting rid of the cancer and living for her two daughters.

October 25, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich-Cushman | Columnists


Ben Bradlee was a leader and a friend

Ben Bradlee would not have liked me to say so, but he was the living refutation of the Declaration of Independence: All men are not created equal. Certainly, he was not. He was born rich and well-connected, a member of the WASP tribe that once ran much of America and nearly all of its prestigious institutions. He was compellingly handsome and so smart that no crossword puzzle could really challenge him. It's not that he didn't have a weakness. He did. He was a sucker for the underdog.

October 25, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


Embarrassing economists

So as to give some perspective, I'm going to ask readers for their guesses about human behavior before explaining my embarrassment by some of my fellow economists.

October 25, 2014 | Walter E. Williams | Columnists


Gov. Deal pledges 'everything on the table' public education reform

Last week Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter shared via this column his vision for public education in Georgia.

October 25, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Americans love community, hate politics

To understand the lack of enthusiasm most Americans feel about the midterm elections, it's important to recognize a vital distinction between government and community.

October 25, 2014 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Cushman: Exercise, routine and life

While new and novel might be exciting, routine and habit can help create a structure and framework for success. From eating breakfast, brushing our teeth or exercising every day, much of our lives are driven by routine. This reliance on routine behavior can startle us when we are driving and find ourselves not at our planned destination, but at our routine destination.

October 18, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Cohen: A president lacking menace

Tell me something: What do you think would happen if the United States concludes that Iran has been cheating and delaying and is about to pop a fully functional nuclear weapons program? Would President Obama respond by joining Israel to bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities to smithereens - or would he stall and equivocate? My bet is the latter and so, just to double down, is what I bet the Iranians are betting. They have taken the measure of Obama. He lacks menace.

October 18, 2014 | Staff Report | Columnists


Williams: Officially killing Americans

The Food and Drug Administration can make two types of errors. It can approve a drug that has dangerous unanticipated side effects, or it can reject or delay approval of a drug that is safe and effective. Let's look at these errors, because to err on the side of under- or over-caution is costly.

October 18, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Cushman: My children’s father

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.

June 16, 2012 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


McCoy: Life before the mirror

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 ...

June 16, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


Rasmussen: Collapse of household net worth isn’t news to most Americans

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.

June 16, 2012 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Historian fondly remembered

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."

June 14, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Politicians fiddle, Rome burns

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 ...

June 14, 2012 | William Peruguino | Columnists


Odds are Will ‘the Winner’ Rogers wishes he was Mork from Ork

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 ...

June 12, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Numbers and numerators

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 ...

June 12, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Have boat? Will borrow

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.

June 09, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


Maximizing our returns

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.

June 09, 2012 | By Kathy Morgan | Columnists


Pants on fire Romney

There are those who tell the truth. There are those who distort the truth. And then there's Mitt Romney.

June 09, 2012 | Eugene Robinson | Columnists


Sorry seems to be the hardest word

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.

June 09, 2012 | By Maurice Carter | Columnists


Words matter

Words have power; they create images and possibilities, and provide a window into the future of what could be.

June 09, 2012 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


The pursuit of perfection

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.

June 07, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


High jinks are for kids

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.

June 05, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Georgia's Golden Isles don't need Dr. Beach's approval

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!

June 05, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


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