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Articles by Section - 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


Tuition pays for this

According to College Board, average tuition and fees for the 2013-14 school year totaled $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for in-state residents at public colleges and $22,203 for out-of-state residents. Many schools, such as Columbia University and George Washington University, charge yearly tuition and fees close to $50,000. Faced with the increasing costs of higher education, parents and taxpayers might like to know what they're getting for their money.

August 21, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Political stereotyping

While we might like to think that voters research the issues, review the candidates, and then vote for the candidate that best reflects their views, the reality, based on political science research, is much different. A

August 21, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Morgan: All work, no play

Outside of Chinese sweat shops, Americans are by-and-large regarded as the hardest working people on earth. This is particularly true when compared to the long-time history of less-work-and-more-play written into law in major European nations. That practice may be on the decline because of the massive government debt crises in places like Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece, among others. Ample pensions, early retirement and long vacations contribute to the imbalance in government revenues that is threatening the stability of those countries - and leading to riots in many places contesting the cuts to pensions, play and pay.

April 12, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Perugino: Ryan budget returns to founding principles

The United States House of Representatives has passed a Budget for Fiscal Year 2013 authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan. His budget has been dubbed "The Path to Prosperity" which is aptly named since it starts the reversal of current trends and knifes through the controversy. The Ryan budget is not just a blueprint for spending. It's a platform for governing that deliberately and self-consciously advances "the timeless principles of the American Idea"- among them limited government, free enterprise and economic liberty.

April 12, 2012 | | Columnists


Yarbrough: Daydreaming about clouds and wished-for headlines

I tend to daydream. Sometimes I look at the shape of the clouds above me and I can see a tea kettle or maybe the little fat guy that used to run North Korea. And then sometimes I just close my eyes and think of headlines I would like to see, such as:

President Obama says teleprompters make him say dumb things

April 10, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Travis: My choice for most utilized kitchen invention

There have been many scientific discoveries in my lifetime. Some helpful, some not.

Certainly the fruition of John Kennedy's promise to put a man on the moon should be near the top of the list. Then there was the ability to create and harness atomic energy. I'm not sure if that can be categorized as helpful or not helpful.

April 10, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Dalton: The power of a word

We are taught at a very early age, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all."

April 07, 2012 | Dawn Dalton Guest Columnist | Columnists


Latarski: Distracted idiot

It's one of those things so positively stupid it makes you think it might not be a bad idea.

April 07, 2012 | Ric Latarski Columnist | Columnists


Rasmussen: And they wonder why voters are angry

As Mitt Romney assumes the role of presumptive Republican nominee, polls suggest a competitive general election matchup between the former Massachusetts governor and President Obama. Typically, both candidates poll in the mid-40s, while 10 to 12 percent remain uncommitted to either side.

Among these uncommitted voters, Rasmussen Reports polling shows that just 22 percent approve of the way the president is handling his job. Seventy-two percent (72 percent) disapprove. As for intensity, just 2 percent strongly approve, and 40 percent strongly disapprove.

April 07, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


McCoy: Strangers who have saved my life

I'd like to think I'm in complete control of my life, but I'm wise enough to know that it would just be a fancy-pants illusion - a convenient myth to help me survive another night without screaming into my pillow in a major case of self-pity. I know I'm not in charge of my life. If those people are right, and it really "takes a village," then I'm just another hapless village idiot, relying on strangers and their beautiful gifts of kindness to help me through the day. In fact, I probably owe my life to ...

April 07, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


Morgan: A look back on Ballard's career

The best advice longtime local attorney Don Ballard ever got came from an unusual source, and he's never veered from it. It became his personal, professional and political mantra that he follows to this day. Back in 1952, Ballard set up his law practice in partnership with the late Col. C. C. King in downtown Covington. Col. King was the father of beloved local historian, Charles C. "Charlie" King Jr., now 97.

Not long afterwards, Ballard won a seat in the state House of Representatives, in a district that included Newton, Rockdale, Morgan, Jasper and Putnam Counties. "I had ...

April 05, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Perugino: What is the energy plan of this administration?

Recently the Obama Administration effectively outlawed coal as a fuel source and it underscores the importance of Congress severely curbing the authority of regulatory agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new rule to regulate CO2 emissions from power plants, which would effectively ban new coal power plants, as its emissions standards are too low to be met by conventional coal-fired facilities.

Once again the Obama administration has usurped the power of Congress, denied the Constitution and used dictatorial powers to issue self serving regulations through his Federal agencies. Our freedom is being chiseled away on a daily and ...

April 05, 2012 | Willliam Perugino | Columnists


Legislature doesn’t always do what it says

Do you really think if the state takes control away from local school boards to establish charter schools as the upcoming constitutional amendment proposes, they will do it better? If so, you are smoking rope. Once our legislators get control of the process, there is no guarantee that they will do what they say.

As evidence, look at how the Legislature has gone back on its word regarding special fees that were to be collected and spent for such things as environmental cleanup, drivers' education and other purposes.

April 03, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Legislature doesn’t always do what it says

Do you really think if the state takes control away from local school boards to establish charter schools as the upcoming constitutional amendment proposes, they will do it better? If so, you are smoking rope. Once our legislators get control of the process, there is no guarantee that they will do what they say.

As evidence, look at how the Legislature has gone back on its word regarding special fees that were to be collected and spent for such things as environmental cleanup, drivers' education and other purposes.

April 03, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Men do more around the house now

I have been musing lately about the different responsibilities that men assume or assist with in the running of a household. There is a large gap between men of my husband's age and men of my daughters' ages.

My husband assumes responsibility for mowing the lawn, at least the middle of the lawn or what can be reached by a riding lawn mower. But most other yard chores belong to me. I prune, weed and water. He does, however, maintain a vegetable garden and is justifiably proud of its produce. My husband is in charge of the car and ...

April 03, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


That's a wrap: Session is out for the year

Last week saw the conclusion of the 2012 legislative session. The House finished voting on most of the remaining Senate bills, and then worked through the many situations where differing versions of bills had passed in the House versus the Senate. These are resolved by either agreeing with the other chamber's version of the bill, or by standing firm and appointing legislators to what is called a "conference committee." The conference committees try to reach a compromise version of a bill, which must then be approved by both chambers. However such differences are resolved, the final few days of ...

March 31, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Exploring the deep blue

James Cameron - filmmaker and Hollywood superstar - just took a trip to the bottom of the ocean.

March 31, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


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