I have one of the most interesting jobs in the world. One day I am advising world leaders on the nuances of international monetary policy. The next day I am consoling a distraught reader who thinks I need to "look within myself spiritually." The last time I looked within myself, I saw my navel. It was full of lint. Never again.
Of all the experts I have read or consulted lately about the situation in the Middle East, the one who made the most sense was quoted recently in The New York Times. She's Jennifer Shelton-Armstrong, identified as a 45-year-old Democrat in Mission Viejo, California, who participated in a poll about President Obama's handling of foreign policy and terrorism. This is what she said: "He is ambivalent, and I think it shows. There is no clear plan."
I have a friend who recently retired.
In 21st-century America, hope and change comes from tech-inspired entrepreneurs.
At the age of 91, Henry Kissinger has published yet another book - his 17th in 60 years, according to his biographer Walter Isaacson. In that sense, "World Order" is something of a miracle, but it is also a swell read. So, I initially thought, was a review of it in The New York Times by John Micklethwait, the editor-in-chief of the admirable Economist magazine - and I praised it to him in an email. A bit later, I did a double-take. I still like the book, but Micklethwait's review is a different matter.
The Woman Who Shares My Name instructed me that this week's column was to be about positive things. She says she is tired of bad news and thought you felt the same way. "Surely, you can find some positive things to write about," she said, "and temporarily take people's minds off all the terrible things going on in the world. I think your readers would appreciate that."
At a July fundraising event in Chicago, Mrs. Michelle Obama remarked, "So, yeah, there's too much money in politics. There's (sic) special interests that have too much influence." Sen. John McCain has been complaining for years that "there is too much money washing around political campaigns today." According to a 2012 Reuters poll, "Seventy-five percent of Americans feel there is too much money in politics." Let's think about money in politics, but first a few facts.
President Obama's health care law is the gift that keeps on giving to the GOP.
According to a Gallup Poll released this week, "Americans' trust in the federal government to handle international problems has fallen to a record-low 43 percent, ... Separately, 40 percent of Americans say they have a 'great deal' or 'fair amount' of trust in the federal government to handle domestic problems, also the lowest Gallup has measured to date." (Poll conducted September 4-7, 2014, with 1,017 adults, 95 percent confidence level, +/- 4 points).
What is it that makes so many blacks so angry? What is it that makes so many of them blame the realities of life that beset everyone, e.g., debt, disappointment, etc., a result of their being black?
Remember the story of "The Little Engine That Could?" That could very well describe the city of Dalton, a town of some 34,000 nestled in the corner of Northwest Georgia, not far from the Tennessee line.
"All politics is local," the late Speaker of the House Tip O' Neill famously said. How right he was. The world today is suffering from the failure of President Obama to apply a school of law enforcement that happened to originate in O'Neill's hometown, Boston, and goes by the moniker "broken windows." The problem, simply stated, is that Obama was deaf to the sound of tinkling glass.
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.
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.
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.
I wish I had a cup of coffee for every time someone has advised me to drive in the right-hand lane on the interstate. Actually, that would be too many coffee cups to wash, so I'll settle for a few pounds of coffee beans, and I'll brew it myself. The fact is, I've heard this comment over and over: "Stay right! It's safer!" I'm sure there are safety advantages to consider, and - as my wife reminded me - traffic laws often require you to drive in the right-hand lane. So, I'm not about to offer ...
I heard a modern version of the Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael story this week. You may remember Abraham, who turned Hagar and Ishmael out into the desert, with bread and a skin of water. (The Abraham of Ishmael and Issac.) Both of which were soon exhausted.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is moving into its third month across the country. While the original goals of the group may have had a bit of merit, their tactics and stubborn refusal to work with those they attack and to seek real solutions exhibits their true colors, anarchy and destruction.
Does evil exist in the world? Is there really a devil that competes with God for control of the human mind? Are there unseen evil spirits that wreak havoc on the affairs of human beings? There is no simple answer to any of these questions or one that will satisfy all of us. All of the world's major religions wrestle with the subject of evil, even Buddhists who believe that evil exists only in a person's mind and can be overcome with practice.
Today, I ask for a moment of personal privilege. It was two years ago this week that I wrote about the Three Wise Men that have so greatly influenced my life: Roy Hodnett, a real estate magnate on Saint Simons Island; Dr. Raymond Cook, my college professor, now residing in Valdosta; and John W. Jacobs, Jr., a broadcast pioneer and philanthropist from Gainesville. All three in their 90s or close to it. All three a part of the Greatest Generation. All three family men of faith. I could not have asked for better role models.
A bank-o-mat ate my debit card in Bratislava. I bet you have never made that statement before. I had to make it twice and then explain it to a teller last April.
Did you know that Jim Crow is coming back? Just in time for the holidays. Not the Jim Crow I grew up with in the Deep South but a financial Jim Crow.
Thanksgiving is the great American holiday: no flag-waving, gift-giving, fireworks or lights, just family, friends and food.
The first "official" Thanksgiving was celebrated 222 years ago. President George Washington's first presidential proclamation designated the 26th day of November to be set aside for giving thanks.
Let's peek in on a classroom in the year 2411 where they're studying Ancient Earth History 101. Today's topic is, "The Origin of Thanksgiving."
Only two days before Thanksgiving, there I was with Christmas on my mind, and I set out to scour a few nearby retailers for something new to add to my worn-around-the-edges holiday décor. As I race-walked up and down those aisles, hoping something would catch my eye, it just didn't feel right. The mass-produced Christmas décor - snowmen, tabletop trees, Santas in every shape and size, sparkling deer, boxed ornaments in fuchsia and purple and all made in China - felt soul-less. The look on the faces of the Santas and snowmen was more sober, fixed and shocked than ...
You might wonder about the title of this article if you're anything like me. You see, I struggle with portion control. So Thanksgiving can be a real problem for me. I'm guessing I'm not alone. I'm pretty sure that there are very few people reading this who limited their calorie intake to the recommended daily amount yesterday. And even though I'm writing this before Thanksgiving, I'm pretty confident that this will prove to be a true statement. I ate a lot on Thanksgiving.
My article "Have We Lost Our Civility in Politics," printed on Nov. 18, has drawn some criticism in the form of Letters to the Editor penned by Bob Furnad and Maurice Carter.
Junior E. Lee is one of my most valued associates, but he can be a load to manage and a bit of a know-it-all.
I have a birthday this week. A big one. Reaching this day has caused me to muse about some of the changes that accompany reaching such a milestone.