Happy Fourth of July!
I would like to provide a brief history on the intent and origin of the 2050 Plan that I think is important as we begin the public input sessions on the Base Line Ordinances (BLO).
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.
Just in case you missed this, scientists have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is in what they call the Goldilocks Zone - not too hot, not too cold - which makes it a possible place for life to form.
Grocery shopping has become a frustrating experience. It's not that it's hard to find wonderful items to buy, not with all the great choices in the stores. I'm a smart shopper. I buy fruits, and juices, and healthy veggies; I'm an angel in the meat department, just looking at the ribeye steaks and not poking them too much; and I'm especially careful to close my eyes in the candy and cookie aisle. My problem isn't with the actual shopping itself. I always find great things to eat. What dismays me is the self-service checkout ...
Those who are impressed by words seem to think that President Barack Obama made a great speech to Congress last week. But, when you look beyond the rhetoric, what did he say that was fundamentally different from what he has been saying and doing all along?
A few years back, we lived on a beautiful tract of land in the country outside of Social Circle. Oh, you should have seen it: a gurgling creek behind our house that was set in an open meadow, thick stands of hardwood encircling the property and a driveway so long the existence of our house was unknown to passersby on the country road that fronted our place. Fetching the morning paper for Bob before he headed off to work involved cranking the car and heading up a steep hill on the driveway before it opened out into a wide and ...
My slow cooker died recently. I went to buy a new one, a task I thought would be relatively simple. But, no. Slow cookers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, apparently one size does not fit all. Once I had sorted out size and shape, I then had to choose from a variety of bulbous protuberances on the sides of the cookers which would allow me to program the amounts of time and start times.
Before we leave the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Towers the Pentagon and Flight 93 over Shanksville, Pa., allow me a couple of parting thoughts.
It was slightly more than six weeks after my second child had been born by way of emergency C-section. Sleep-deprived and tired, I had left my two under the age of two at home with a sitter to get out and get some exercise.
Etiquette is a hard word to spell. It's French, and I'm pretty lousy with their language, even though I love their cheese, and I almost bought a new Peugeot back in 1987, right before they pulled out of the US car market. That was close. Anyway, I've reviewed a few etiquette columns, and I think I'll try my hand at one. A guy's perspective is just what we need to balance all those dainty responses I've read. Here goes.
As we leave the Labor Day weekend behind we are greeted with the grand news Congress is returning to work.
A few weeks ago, I had what seemed to me a small medical problem, so I phoned my primary physician. However, after we discussed the problem, he directed me to a specialist.
We make a mistake whenever we believe weather forecasters, don't we? At least that's my opinion. Most of them lost credibility with me a long time ago. The promise of a deluge of rainfall here over the long weekend evaporated like a drop of water on a hot stove. The beloved columnist Lewis Grizzard famously discounted meteorologists and wrote that he knew more about the day's weather just by holding his finger in the air.
Bill White, the Big Canoe Tree Czar - he is the guy you had better talk to before you pluck a pine cone in the place - told me about a bumper sticker he saw recently that sums up the frustration many of us are feeling these days.
I never watched his TV show, "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader," but I've always liked Jeff Foxworthy, especially since he's a Georgia Tech man. We Tech guys think we're pretty smart, but tonight I wasn't so sure how I'd stack up against one of those 5th graders. You see, I was driving home, and I drove right past my house. I suppose -on one hand - I'm smarter than a 5th grader, because I can drive a car. Let's see a little kid do that. But, a 5th grader would be smart ...
The General Assembly spent Aug. 15 through Aug. 31 in what is called a special session. It is referred to as "special" because it is outside of the normal 40 legislative day period, specified in the state constitution, that starts in January. Special sessions can only be convened by a formal proclamation of the governor, referred to as "the call." These sessions are also restricted to legislating only on the topics the governor specifically includes in his call. Governor Deal's call for this session included three topics. First and primary was legislative and congressional redistricting. The second topic was ...
In my hands was a small, multicolored clay turtle that I had made and painted at elementary school. I carefully walked up the steps to the front of our home, excited to show my mother what I had made and give it to her. As I opened the screen door, I dropped my handcrafted treasure, and it broke into pieces. I sat down and cried.