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Articles by Section - Columnists


Dalton State College a major player in area’s economic rebound

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.

September 10, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Blind to the world’s broken windows

"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.

September 10, 2014 | Richard Cohen | 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


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Archive By Section - Columnists


An open letter to public school teachers

Dear Public School Teachers in Georgia:

August 17, 2011 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Cushman: Needed — morning in America

Last week, over a long, late dinner with friends, our discussion turned to their recent trip to Australia. They remarked that the country appeared to be full of "optimism," "energy" and "enthusiasm." People were on the move, getting to work and prosperity was in the air.

August 14, 2011 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Durusau: Investors in our government

The global finance news is grim these days. Several members of the European Union are in trouble. The credit rating of the United States has been downgraded. In some countries, severe austerity measures have been adopted. To satisfy demands by "investors" that their financial houses be put into order.

August 14, 2011 | Patrick Durusau | Columnists


Life-saving cancer care must be protected

As a radiation oncologist at Covington's Radiotherapy Centers of Georgia - Newton County, every day I am able to witness the positive impact that innovations in cancer care have on patients' lives, particularly in the field of radiation oncology. Recent advancements in technology have extended and greatly enhanced the quality of life for many people right here in our community who have been diagnosed with potentially deadly cancers.

August 14, 2011 | Frederick Schnell, M.D. Guest Columnist | Columnists


Latarski: The home of wayward bats

This was one of those things that cause you to say, "Ah, Shucks" or something similar.

August 13, 2011 | Ric Latarski | Columnists


A Pyrrhic ‘victory’

In Don Marquis' classic satirical book, "Archy and Mehitabel," Mehitabel the alley cat asks plaintively, "What have I done to deserve all these kittens?"

August 12, 2011 | Thomas Sowell | Columnists


On a mission with a vision

Take one disgruntled trails supporter and point her toward a little town where a river runs through it, and you've got the makings of a whole new definition for the word "trail." Just call it a "blue trail," the wet equivalent of a multi-purpose trail. The disgruntled trails supporter is creative Covington resident Kimberly Brown; the little town is Porterdale, where the word "never" is never uttered; and the river is the Yellow River, for long a despoiled stretch of water that is now enjoying a blossoming re-birth.

August 12, 2011 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Yarbrough: Let’s send August where it belongs

I usually try to run the big decisions by you before I take action, but I know you have been distracted over the past weeks watching our selfless public servants in Washington put our interests and those of our nation above petty, partisan political sniping in the debt ceiling debate and marveling at how our crackerjack president, Mr. Swivelhead, makes Jimmy Carter's woebegone administration look like a cross between the Garden of Eden (pre-apple tasting) and Brigadoon.

August 10, 2011 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Travis: ‘I be thanking you for my troubles’

At one time part of the tenth grade curriculum involved teaching business letters - a skill which, no doubt, is no longer relevant, just like teaching cursive.

August 09, 2011 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Worth your weight in gold?

People love cliches like, "He's worth his weight in gold!" I'll bet we've all used that famous phrase when we wanted to praise someone or something. We'll say things like, "My fancy, new cordless electric drill is worth its weight in gold," even though no one would be dumb enough to pay that much for one as long as Sears is still in business. Still, it seems perfectly acceptable to compare things to gold. Gold is rare and valuable. It wouldn't do to use a measure of questionable value, would it? Would you say, "My ...

August 07, 2011 | David McCoy | Columnists


The return of Tiger

As of this writing Tiger Woods - who has been more like Bear Woods in recent months - has recovered from his injuries and coming out of hibernation to return to competitive golf.

August 07, 2011 | By Ric Latarski | Columnists


Worth discussing again

There is no question that we have had one hot and steamy summer. It's a summer that has put a financial squeeze on many of our local residents as the costs to keep cool have been almost as unbearable as the summer heat.

August 07, 2011 | Staff Report | Columnists


Changing tides

It's the last few weeks of summer. For those of us with children in school, this is our last chance to get away before becoming engulfed in school schedules, homework, activities and carpool. For children, it is their last chance to be carefree, sleep in and play with friends.

August 07, 2011 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Misleading words

Many years ago, the Saturday Evening Post was one of the best-known magazines in America. But somehow I learned that the Saturday Evening Post was actually published on Wednesday morning. That was a little disconcerting at first. But it was one of the most valuable lessons, that words do not necessarily reflect reality.

August 05, 2011 | Thomas Sowell | Columnists


Just about to burst

For most of us most of the time, the days of our lives go rolling along placidly and maintain a predictable pace. The paper arrives at 5:30 a.m. The garbage truck comes on, say, Thursdays, and most of us manage to get the Herby Curby out the night before. (It's hit or miss here.) The laundry gets picked up on Saturdays, and Wednesday is Senior Citizen's Day at the local grocery.

August 05, 2011 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


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