Last summer's Ferguson, Missouri, disturbances revealed that while blacks were 67 percent of its population, only three members of its 53-officer police force were black. Some might conclude that such a statistic is evidence of hiring discrimination. That's a possibility, but we might ask what percentage of blacks met hiring qualifications on the civil service examination. Are there hundreds of blacks in Ferguson and elsewhere who achieve passing scores on civil service examinations who are then refused employment? There is no evidence suggesting an affirmative answer to that question.
Last week, Congress passed and President Obama signed legislation that will alter somewhat how federal law enforcement can monitor our phone calls in the future.
President Barack Obama's stance, expressed in his 2014 State of the Union address, is that the debate is settled and climate change is a fact. Obama is by no means unique in that view. Former Vice President Al Gore declared that "the science is settled." This "settled science" vision about climate is held by many, including those in academia. To call any science settled is sheer idiocy. Had mankind acted as though any science could possibly be settled, we'd be living in caves, as opposed to having the standard of living we enjoy today. That higher standard of ...
As a legislator, I am constantly introduced to studies showing current trends that are impacting Georgia. None of these are as important as demographics.
School is out, Memorial Day is past and summer stretches in front of us. Maybe it's because I live in the South, but summer seems to be a time when everything slows down, as if to pay homage to the heat and humidity that abound. Without the invention of air conditioning, there is not doubt there would be few who would choose to live in the deep South today, at least during the summer.
Selfies, followers, likes and the fascination with celebrity anythings (chefs, decorators, stylists, authors, etc.) are just a few of the ways that today's society focuses attention on individuals. It's not enough to be a great chef - it's better to be a celebrity chef. It's not enough to participate in an event - it's better to snap a selfie of yourself at the event and then post it online for all to see.
During the early years of the Reagan administration, a Washington news conference was held for me for my first book, "The State Against Blacks." Before making summary statements about the book, I offered the reporters assembled that they could treat me like a white person. They could ask me hard, pressing questions. They could demand proof of the arguments that I was making.
"The difference between Bush's mistakes and his disappointments may just be that he hasn't yet taken ownership of the latter," Massimo Calabresi wrote in Time as he covered President George W. Bush's final press conference in January of 2009. Four years earlier, left-wing journalist John Dickerson had begun a trend among the Bush White House press corps, demanding from the president a recognition of his mistakes.
Political reporters seem to enjoy the game of politics far more than the substance of issues. But recent Supreme Court rulings on the president's health care law, campaign finance reform and other topics may force a fundamental issue into the 2016 election. Upcoming rulings on same-sex marriage, immigration and another health care case will add fuel to the fire.
I have been trying to figure out what to do with my free time now that I have decided not to run for President of the United States (or what's left of it.) Some of you wrote and asked me to reconsider my decision. I am humbled by your pledges of support but I don't want to broach the subject again with the Woman Who Shares My Name. She has access to a lot of broccoli and says she know where she can get more. I had best leave that alone.
Occasionally, I wonder whether I'm alone in some of my wonderings. Look at the claim that conservatives or Republicans have launched a war on women as a part of their overall mean-spirited agenda. In the case of mistreatment of women - or of anyone else - assault, rape and murder are about as horrible as it gets. But I would be willing to bet a lot of money that most of the assaults, rapes and murders of women are done by people who identify as liberals or Democrats, particularly in the cases of murderers. Most crime, except perhaps white-collar crime, is ...
Dear Public School Teachers in Georgia:
A surreal moment passed for me this week with several press reports about presidential candidates heading to Atlanta in August this year. Six years ago in Atlanta, a group of online political activists got together in person. They had been online collaborators among the Republican grassroots for six years without ever having met face to face.
It's mid-May and time for celebrating graduations. It's a time to look back on accomplishments and, more importantly, to look forward to new phases and opportunities in life.
American government - at all levels - is losing the legitimacy it needs to function. Or, perhaps, some segments of the government have already lost it.
To quote the Church Lady on Saturday Night Live, "Well, isn't that special?" State School Superintendent John Barge and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), have asked U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan for a waiver of the controversial No Child Left Behind law and, instead, to measure school performance on a broader basis, consisting of scores on a Criterion-Referenced Competency Test along with other factors in a "performance index."
Studying drama (plays) was usually a class favorite. Students like to take parts and read the play aloud. But different plays get different responses.
Like most primitive males my age, I'm a cartoon junkie. My pampered generation was raised on animated images of mice, ducks and rabbits stuffing dynamite down each other's pants and gargling with cyanide-laced cocktails.
The decision to kill Anwar al-Awlaki was the result of months of legal review and reportedly not a single senior government official questioned the decision. Why am I not surprised?
In what has to prove the world is wobbling in its greased groove, two Americans have won the Nobel Prize in economics.
Changes are coming to county government structures all over the state, and I have made myself a student of those initiatives. As Commissioners, we are educated regarding the Five Forms of Government in Georgia by the Carl Vinson Institute of UGA and the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia. Some changes are the customary "tweaks" for efficiencies and changes due to growth. Many of them involve the institution of a county administrator or county manager form of government in which an administrator or manager is hired by the sitting Board of Commissioners to run all the functions and services of ...
"It's the economy stupid" is the infamous mantra conceived by political consultant James Carville that underscored the main issue driving the 1992 presidential race. A few months later, Bill Clinton replaced George H.W. Bush (41) as president, and it was the focus on the economy that got him there.
"Boy, the wife is getting on my nerves. She keeps giving me sympathy cards for being unemployed."
Appearances can be deceptive. In this age of open disclosure and the Internet, one would think we have access to all knowledge, but we don't. We are still at the mercy of those in charge of providing any given piece of information. Unless we are satisfied with the lop-sided information being spoon-fed to us by those having an agenda, it is up to us to do our own digging for the truth.
David Petite has a very simple view on the immigration issue raging in the United States.
I went to buy my sister a birthday card and ended up spending more than 30 minutes and reading nearly half of the cards before finally choosing one I was really not satisfied with.
I'm a little bit disappointed that Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is not running for the Republican nomination for president. He was sure to inject another round of excitement into the campaign.
Here's a news flash: an outfit named the Texas Transportation Institute determined Atlanta has the worst commute time of any city in the country.
I'm at my desk, looking at all my prescriptions. Here's one I started when my thyroid went on strike; here's one for my cholesterol; and here's one that all newspaper humor columnists are required to take. How did this happen? When I was a kid, I used nothing stronger than half a baby aspirin. When I had my tonsils out, I think I got a whole one. We just weren't a pill-popping family. Now, I'm surrounded by prescription medicines that promise me a longer and healthier life, if I'll just swallow it all ...
In innocent days of youth, I met the first fellow who might have been considered a "boyfriend" at the FFA-FHA Camp just south of town. He lived in Bethlehem, so when camp ended, we went our separate ways with pledges to write often until our paths would cross again. On Rural Free Delivery Route Four, the mail came about 11 a.m., so I'd sneak away from home about then and hang on the front fence line waiting for the mail carrier. The boy's letters were consumed voraciously as I trudged up that long driveway home, relishing every ...