I wonder how Leroy Jones, the black Chairman of the Essex County Democrat Committee, looks at himself in the mirror. I wonder how he looks at his family and the members of his community. I wonder how he feels as he sits in the pews of the black church he attends, and how he feels while sitting in the black barbershop. More specifically, I wonder how the people of Essex County, New Jersey as a whole, feel about Jones.
We declared our independence from Great Britain 238 years ago this week. It was a declaration long in coming, brought about by the overreaching rule of King George III and Britain's insistence on taxation without representation.
The things you learn while surfing the Internet in desperation for column material. Did you know that there is a National Association for the Humor-Impaired? May Jimmy Carter (speaking of the humor-impaired) wash my socks if I am not telling the truth.
A friend of mine worked for a small-town newspaper years ago and had to write the weather report. The county fair was approaching but the prediction was for rain. So the editors, fearing the wrath of local merchants, ordered my friend to change "rainy" to "sunny." That was the newspaper's policy. It has since been adopted by much of the Republican Party.
With trouble brewing big time in the Middle East again, it got me thinking of a time when we had similar issues in Asia.
Many view America's education as a failure, but in at least one important way, it's been a success - a success in dumbing down the nation so that we fall easy prey to charlatans, hustlers and quacks. You say, "Williams, that's insulting! Explain yourself." OK, let's start with a question or two.
Let me begin by saying that I regard Randy Vinson as intelligent, articulate, insightful and a sincerely good person, but I never forget Randy is a planner with one concept of how the world should be planned.
It's an off-year election, and the White House is securely in the Democratic camp for two more years. That means the focus is turning instead to down-ballot races.
This is a splendid time to remember the First World War. It started 100 years ago this month with the June 28 shooting of the Austrian archduke and his wife. By the end of the summer, much of Europe was engaged in a war that lasted about four years, toppled four empires, precipitated the communist revolution, created by fiat the modern Middle East, recognized Zionism, made the U.S. a world power and cost the lives of about 10 million fighting men. Historians are still trying to figure out what happened.
In my home hangs a photograph of a rather large and deep hole on the side of an asphalt road. It is the aftermath of an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) - or in more simple terms, a homemade bomb - that went off just as the Humvee in which I was riding passed over it.
ROME - Birthdays have always been a big deal in my family. When I was growing up, the birthday girl (or man, in the case of my father) would be regaled with a rendition of "Happy Birthday" during breakfast. The special attention continued throughout the day and included letting the honoree choose the dinner menu and being the center of family conversation. Birthdays were not about presents, but about being the center of attention.
For We the People, Obama's time in office has thus far been tantamount to a march through hell with the complete deconstruction of America strapped to our backs, and with despair and immiseration clinched in our teeth. And for the privilege of being unwilling participants in this death march, Obama believes we should be grateful. Obama has usurped and overrun Congressional authority in less time than it took for the Kudzu vine to overrun the South.
Whose fault is the current debacle in Iraq? It could be Nouri al-Maliki's since he is the country's strongman and has alienated the minority Sunnis. It could be George W. Bush's because he started the whole thing off with possibly the stupidest war in history, the Children's Crusade exempted on account of youth. The one person who is not at fault, we are told over and over again, is the current president of the United States. Like Millard Fillmore, he has kept us out of war.
I have said it before but it bears repeating: If I don't qualify for heaven (a distinct possibility), my preferred alternates are: (a.) Athens, Georgia, on a crisp fall Saturday afternoon; (b.) Athens, Georgia, on a warm spring day or (c.) Athens, Georgia, on any day. As you no doubt know, Athens is home to my alma mater, the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in all the land.
Darcy Olsen, president of the Arizona-based Goldwater Institute, and Richard Garr, president of Neuralstem, a biotech company, wrote "Right to Try experimental drugs" in USA Today (5/28/2014). They pointed out that "this year, more than 5,000 Americans will lose their battle with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease." Up until recently, there was no medicine on the market that significantly improved the lives of ALS patients. But now there is one in clinical trials that holds considerable promise, but it has not been granted Food and Drug Administration approval. The average amount of time it ...
Our democratic republic is founded on the basis that there is an informed active and participating citizenry. Somehow through the years our society has become apathetic and lazy in the responsibility to stay aware of issues in our government and intellectually curious enough to seek the facts and actions of our elected leaders.
You knew this column had to be written. It's just too obvious. I can't turn and look the other way. The topic just fell into my lap, so who could ignore it or pretend it didn't happen and just go on as before? Nobody, I say, and least of all, me.
State School Superintendent John Barge knows what teachers can do, given the opportunity. "A teacher turned my life around," he said in a recent telephone conversation. Monty Fountain, a teacher and a coach at Alexander High School in Douglas County became a father-figure and set him on his career path.
Part of the joy of a presidential campaign is visiting different parts of the country. This past week was New Hampshire week. I've been to New Hampshire about a half-dozen times. It's a beautiful state. Mountains, ocean, beautiful forests and normally snow this time of year. However, we were snowless.
Rattling around in my brain is politics...and more.
It's January. The holidays are over and most of us have taken down the holiday decorations and returned to normal. I say most of us because I have a friend who will tell me for the next two months that she has to find the time to dedecorate. Her husband says he finds Christmas decorations in July. But she usually gets it done by March. I like her use of dedecorate. It's not a word, but it gets the point across. And she has been dedecorating for at least the last 15 years.
Have you noticed how some things just naturally go together? Take honey and biscuits, for example. Whenever I visit one of those "breakfast anytime" restaurants, I make a pig of myself with their biscuits, and I make sure to have plenty of honey to spread on them. Life offers up so many wonderful pairings: salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, grits and butter, and too many others to list. Life seems better when it's done in pairs.
Twenty one years ago today, I stood before a handful of friends and family in a little church and said, "I do," to the man of my dreams.
Her beloved husband Ben had just been buried, when the very next day, deep in her sadness, Bobbie Banks was handed the gift of a tiny handful of white fur, a Bichon she would name Maggie. Four years later, she calls "Miss Maggie" a "godsend" in her life. "She means everything to me," she said. Maggie, a "rotten to the core" and affectionate lapdog, "is as close to being human as a dog can be. We talk about everything, and she never gives me any backtalk," Bobbie laughed.
"We, the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution." - Abraham Lincoln
The folks at Lake Superior State University in Michigan have just released their recommendation for words and phrases that should be erased from our vocabulary in its annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness.
It is an amazement to me that people seem to find columns about grammar interesting. I feel, every time I write one, that I am back teaching school and I can envision my readers falling asleep as they read a somewhat esoteric discussion about a grammar question.
Now that the Iowa Caucus is over, we can go ahead and celebrate the real start of the presidential primary season.
The good news is this is our democracy in action; the bad news is, it will be in action for the next nine months.
Your parakeet may be the only one who noticed, but I didn't write my column last week. I'd planned to offer some snappy New Year's resolutions, but I procrastinated and the next thing I knew, my first grandson - Daniel Christopher McCoy - was on his way, and I was off to the hospital to meet him. Yep, I'm a grandfather now, and my whole life is changing. I was expecting to be able to handle this title with ease, but being a grandfather is more powerful and transformative than I knew. If you have grandkids, you'll ...
Some things just never change. We shake off the stresses and excesses of the holiday season that began way back at Thanksgiving and then ring in the New Year with sometimes-forced merry-making and excesses of another kind. (Here's hoping you chose ABC's Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark, bless his heart, as late night companions over CNN's Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin on CNN. Oh my aching head, and it wasn't the champagne!)