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.
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."
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."
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.
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."
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.
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 ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
I know students don't like tests. But sometimes teachers don't either. First you have to make them up, that means deciding what content you want to cover and what format you want to use. Essay - hard to grade but easy to create. Short answer or multiple choice - easy to grade but hard to create. Though it's a lot easier now with computers. We had to type them on a stencil and run them off on the mimeograph machine. And as soon as you handed them out, the students would smell them. Apparently, the fumes are somewhat toxic.
A man of the cloth by the name of Markel Hutchins is suing the estate of the late Kathryn Johnston for a half-million dollars.
It takes a lot of guts or a lot of stupidity to bring up the topic of women's panty hose; but I'm going to do it anyway and address a simple wardrobe question to the ladies. "Women, how do you feel after you buy a brand new pair of panty hose and get a ruinous run in them before they're even a day old?" Has that happened to you, before? I hear that's a common experience you ladies face. You spend five or six bucks, you go about your daily business, you snag something, you look ...
Just in case you missed this, the escaped monkey from Yerkes is still on the loose and officials have called off the search for the elusive creature. It has not been officially determined if the animal could be found hiding under the Gold Dome.
It's late summer, almost Labor Day, and for those with school-age children, it is time to get back to school, back to activities and back to routine. After 11 weeks of vacation, routine sounds more welcoming and stable than oppressive and stifling, as it did at the end of this past spring.
Another one bites the dust. It is with great regret that I have to inform you that Muammar Gaddafi has fallen from power in Libya. Not that I knew him or thought that he was good for Libya or the world in general. Rather my regrets are for the manner of his passing from the world stage.
The movie "A Few Good Men" in 1992 starred Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise as Marines facing off in the courtroom. Lt. J.G. Daniel Kaffee (Cruise) is defending two Marines accused of murder at Guantanamo Bay. Col. Nathan Jessep (Nicholson) is the Base Commander. In a pivotal scene, the gruff Jessep is the witness, pressured by the inexperienced Kaffee who is demanding a truthful answer from Jessep. In a full Jack Nicholson over-the-top roar, Jessep scorches the screen with his answer: "You can't handle the truth!"
Long-time readers will remember several years ago when I talked about a beautiful little lady I had met when she was just 2-years-old and who possessed the most crystal blue eyes I had ever seen. Her name was Abby Smith and she was a knockout.
The story in last week's News about the groundbreaking for a new building for Newton High School brought back many memories of the quirks of the old building.
I love science fiction, but I've noticed the genre often misses some obvious elements of the future. The authors write about space ships, ray guns, teleportation and aliens, but they seem to blow it when it comes to three common themes: tailoring, trash and tattoos.
This spring and summer have found me doing a lot of walking as I break in a new knee and hip joint from Peachtree Orthopedics in Atlanta. My long time pharmacist, Bob Richardson, correctly advised me to stick with walking since I couldn't run a lick in high school. Newton Drive is a favorite route and I made 50 miles in July, not bad for a gimpy, 62-year-old pudgy guy.
It's vast, it's crowded, it's fattening and it's fun. "Nothing Compares to the Iowa State Fair." The slogan is aptly deserved.
There's something about August in the mountains that appeals to me, no less than the beach calls to me in October. By August, we all start to breathe a little easier, knowing the majority of the heat is behind us but also knowing that high temperatures will continue to bedevil us for at least another month. In August, there seems to be a subtle shift in consciousness that occurs in my head, even in nature, as the allure of fall in Georgia appears on the horizon. The esteemed outdoor writer Charles Seabrook described the changes August brings in last ...
Someone at long last has had the courage to tell the plain, honest truth about race.
Douglas McArthur quoted an old barracks song in a speech to Congress, saying, "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away."