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Republican gains deep and wide

Little noticed by the Washington press corps is the extent of the Republican State legislative gains in Election 2014. A quick trip to the enormously informative Ballotpedia.org website provides the numbers that the DC reporters overlooked.

November 08, 2014 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Now, it's about governing not politics

Part of the allure and fascination of politics is that you don't know what's going to happen until election night is over and all the votes have been counted. It is real-life, high-stakes drama. In the 1970s, it was volunteers who would call in the vote tallies from the precincts. They would be written on the blackboard and the totals calculated as the votes were called in.

November 08, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


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


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Archive By Section - 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


Travis: 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 21, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


The responsibilities of voting

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.

January 20, 2012 | William Perugino | Columnists


Morgan: Food for thought

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.

January 20, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Life's changers

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.

January 18, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Tagging along the campaign trail

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.

January 15, 2012 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


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