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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


4-H, FFA hit the ring in free show Saturday

The finest examples of beef cattle, hogs and breeding ewes in Newton County go head to head on Saturday, Feb. 11, as 4-H'ers and FFA members compete at the Newton Classic Livestock Show.

February 05, 2012 | Terri Kimble | Columnists


Violating Religious Freedom

The very essences of the principles devoted to the founding of our country were steeped in the preservation of religious freedom. Our founding fathers fled their homes in Europe and England to find a land where they were free to worship God as they believed and pursue their lives as they wished in happiness and peace. They died to gain their freedom of religion.

February 03, 2012 | William Perugino Columnist | Columnists


Hollywood wasn’t his home

"I'm not James Taylor," laughs Mansfield's singer/songwriter Johnny Roquemore, known more for his humorous, bluegrass-inspired compositions than the smooth ballads delivered by tweed-clad Taylor. Growing up in DeKalb County, Roquemore picked up an electric guitar at 14 and with a neighborhood band made some "big noise," he recalled. "All I ever wanted was an amp taller than me." In college, he played frat parties in another band, but at the same time, he got hooked on acting and enjoyed a memorable run in the Atlanta theater scene, including a lead in an Alliance Theater production.

February 03, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Nothing like retail therapy

On the rainy weekend a few weeks ago I indulged in some retail therapy - shopping. A rainy weekend with nothing to do seemed the perfect occasion to shop. I don't know many women who dislike shopping, especially if they can score a bargain.

February 01, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Classic games bring good old-fashioned fun

Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned fun? I'm here to tell you, friends. Nothing happened. Good, old-fashioned fun is waiting for you and your family right outside your back door. Not only can you have hours of fun together, but you can do it for free while getting (dare I say it?) exercise, too! Like some cosmic added bonus, you'll all get to unplug from screen time - cell phones, television, computers, eReaders, iWhatevers. You can have a blast together no matter how old your kids are or how un-athletic you may be. Goodness knows, I'm as uncoordinated as ...

February 01, 2012 | Beth McAfee-Hallman | Columnists


Straight from the heart

Whew! That was close! I almost became a Baptist the other day. Not just any Baptist, but a (gulp!) Southern Baptist.

February 01, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Sweating in South Carolina

The sweat somehow made the moment more real. There we were, standing on the stage at the Hilton Hotel in Downtown Columbia, S.C., on Saturday night with my dad, Newt Gingrich, celebrating his primary victory. It was the sweat rolling down the faces and dripping off the noses of the television cameramen, photographers, audience members and even those on stage celebrating that transformed the almost surreal scene into reality.

January 29, 2012 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Could scientists discover life in S.C. primary?

In case you missed this, a scientist, Leonid Ksanfomaliti, at the Space Research Institute of Russia's Academy of Science, announced he analyzed photographs from a 1982 probe of Venus and thinks they may reveal life on the planet.

January 29, 2012 | By Ric Latarski | Columnists


Bring on the end of time

Unless you've been under a rock for the past couple of years, you know about predictions from some quarters that the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012. That date marks the end of a 5,125-year cycle as calculated by the now dead Mayan culture that once inhabited parts of southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras. While the Mayans themselves marked the end of one of their time cycles with celebration, many interpretations of Mayan hieroglyphics say the planet will be destroyed in violent earthquakes and other cataclysmic events next December. Once relegated to the fringes ...

January 27, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Politics, journalists and the birthday girl

State Sen. Tommie Williams (R-Lyons), one of our two unelected lieutenant governors - Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) is the other - sent out a puff piece taking much credit for authoring a bill to require local school boards to consider a teacher's "effectiveness," not seniority, when getting rid of teachers. People both inside and outside state government tell me that Williams has solved a problem that doesn't exist. Many school boards are already doing this. Seniority is a big issue in the Northeast, where there are teachers' unions. We have none in Georgia. I wish Williams and/or Rogers would share ...

January 25, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Try geocaching for some extra scratch

Recently, my Littles and I were foraging through some woods out in the wilds of Newton County in search of a geocache. Doesn't that already sound like something wonderful? Just say it with me one time…. "geo-cassshhhhh." See? Doesn't that word just reek of adventure and good times? If you don't know the first thing about geocaching, that's OK. I'm here to tell you a thing or two and why I think it's one of the most awesome activities a family can do together. Geocaching is like treasure hunting made even more fabulous because ...

January 25, 2012 | Beth McAfee-Hallman | Columnists


Teaching vs. the Internet

I don't know what the state curriculum requires now, but when I taught, the Language Arts curriculum required students to write a term paper or research paper in the 10th and 11th grades. It was difficult enough then, but it must be impossible now with the blessing and the curse of the Internet.

January 22, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


4-H projects start youth on a path to the future

Rock Eagle 4-H Center continues to change as cabins are gutted, torn down and replaced with beautiful new cabins.

January 22, 2012 | Terri Kimble | Columnists


Latarski: Three primaries and we're done

As the man said who watched the mule dance: "That just ain't right."

January 21, 2012 | Ric Latarski Columnist | Columnists


McCoy: Late night gone by

Even now - far removed from the original passions - I can still remember that my friends and I were once young and vibrant. When we were just approaching our 20s, we were night owls, prowling the Atlanta New Wave music scene when we should have been doing calculus homework. On a typical weekend in our suburban town, we'd finish our work at the mall or any of a dozen other places desperate enough to hire us, and we'd start out on our night crawls, down to the big city of Hotlanta. Hotlanta was what my out-of-state friend called it ...

January 21, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


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