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.
School starts this week. I taught high school English (or language arts as it is now called) for over 30 years and have been retired for over 10 years.
The 15th anniversary of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games has come and gone with barely a whimper. Looking back, the Olympic Games were not the City of Atlanta's finest hours - or days. They were given a unique gift and didn't know what to do with it. I know. I was managing director - communications and government relations for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games - and had a front row seat to all the action.
Think about it: Do you ever go through your days or weeks responding to situations or to the people in your life as if you were a robot? My answer, regrettably, would be "yes." I'm definitely not a pilot, but you could call me an "autopilot." My responses, decisions and actions often derive from instinct or intuition, habit, cues from the people with whom I come in contact or commonly perceived expectations in certain situations.
The big news, as far as the media are concerned, is the political game of debt-ceiling chicken that is being played by Democrats and Republicans in Washington. But, however much the media are focused on what is happening inside the Beltway, there is a whole country outside the Beltway - and the time is long overdue to start thinking about what is best for the rest of the country, not just for right now but for the long haul.
In her July 22 column, Barbara Morgan tells us that "bold, well spoken retiree" Bill Hoosen is upset that the Newton County Board of Commissioners did not recently raise property taxes. According to Morgan, Hoosen believes the lack of a tax increase "will harm the county."
There is a fallacious, salacious and slightly audacious rumor afloat that I can be a tad politically-incorrect at times. Moi? Knock me over with a (organically-grown) goose feather. I'll have you know that some of my best friends are (fill in the blank) and (fill in the blank), not to mention (fill in the blank.) On rare occasions, I have even been seen in public with (fill in the blank.)
There are a number of undisputed facts in the current debt ceiling debate.
SEA ISLAND, Ga. - Normally, the surf can be heard faintly throughout our family's house on the coast of Georgia.
As of this writing the space shuttle has left the International Space Station for the last time and the program has officially ended.
Life has many good things. The problem is that most of these good things can be gotten only by sacrificing other good things. We recognize this in our daily lives. It is only in politics that this common sense fact is routinely ignored.
You've got to give it to Bill Hoosen. He's a bold, well-spoken retiree and Newton County resident who's unafraid to stand up to the Board of Commissioners when he thinks they're about to vote into law a budget that he believes will harm the county.
You would think designing a license tag would be relatively simple, wouldn't you?
Her name was Lady, and she was lost, alone and afraid, far from home and friendless.
Elected officials and would-be elected officials like to march in parades.
Somewhere, in one of your closets or in your basement, do you have a big box of "sentimental" items that you just can't part with? Until last week, I had three big containers of cards, letters, articles, drawings, awards, and all the trappings of a history that I wanted to keep for posterity. And there were more photographs than I could count. I suppose I could have kept the tubs in a closet until I was in a nursing home. "Oh, did you see Mr. McCoy's collection of antique Christmas cards? They are really, really old!" Well, that ...