To understand the lack of enthusiasm most Americans feel about the midterm elections, it's important to recognize a vital distinction between government and community.
While new and novel might be exciting, routine and habit can help create a structure and framework for success. From eating breakfast, brushing our teeth or exercising every day, much of our lives are driven by routine. This reliance on routine behavior can startle us when we are driving and find ourselves not at our planned destination, but at our routine destination.
Tell me something: What do you think would happen if the United States concludes that Iran has been cheating and delaying and is about to pop a fully functional nuclear weapons program? Would President Obama respond by joining Israel to bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities to smithereens - or would he stall and equivocate? My bet is the latter and so, just to double down, is what I bet the Iranians are betting. They have taken the measure of Obama. He lacks menace.
The Food and Drug Administration can make two types of errors. It can approve a drug that has dangerous unanticipated side effects, or it can reject or delay approval of a drug that is safe and effective. Let's look at these errors, because to err on the side of under- or over-caution is costly.
It's a little thing, but it bugs me a lot.
If I die anytime soon - and I have no plans to do so at the moment - please see that the first paragraph of my obituary reads, "He was past president of the University of Georgia National Alumni Association." You can save for later paragraphs the part about my being often mistaken for Brad Pitt and my uncanny ability to put commas where they don't belong.
Ever since the 1976 election, I've understood the importance of voter turnout. My father was running for United States Congress in rural Georgia, having lost in 1974. He realized in early 1976 that running as a republican in Georgia, while Jimmy Carter was topping the democratic ticket, was going to be a hard feat to pull off, but confident of his ability to work hard, he trudged forward.
This past summer I travelled back home to attend the 50th year reunion of the class of 1964 of St Mary's High in Annapolis Maryland.
In 1913, an entrepreneur "said in many newspapers and over his signature that it would be possible to transmit the human voice across the Atlantic before many years." For that accurate assessment of reality, he was prosecuted for stock fraud. A U.S. District Attorney claimed that, "based on these absurd and deliberately misleading statements, the misguided public ... has been persuaded to buy stock in his company."
The director of the Secret Service, Julia Pierson, was questioned this past Tuesday by members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform regarding lapses in Secret Service Performance. The hearing focused primarily on an incident that took place on September 19. Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, allegedly jumped the White House fence, ran across the White House lawn, ran up a flight of stairs and through the North Portico door. He then allegedly entered the entrance hall, turned left and headed into the East Room, where he was tackled and subdued. A knife was allegedly found in his possession.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), sometimes called ISIS or IS, is a Sunni extremist group that follows al-Qaida's anti-West ideology and sees a holy war against the West as a religious duty. With regard to nonbelievers, the Quran commands, "And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out." The Quran contains many other verses that call for Muslim violence against nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule.
Last Saturday while the Bulldog nation sweated out a 35-32 victory over the Tennessee Volunteers that should not have been as hard as our scholar-athletes made it, former head football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley's first team at UGA was recognized on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. As nice as that was, more - much more - needs to be done to honor the legendary Hall of Fame coach.
It's a fortunate thing that Bill O'Reilly's latest book, "Killing Patton," was written by him and not someone else. In that case, O'Reilly would have taken the poor person apart, criticizing the book for its chaotic structure, for its considerable padding and for its repellent admiration of a war-loving martinet who fought the Nazis and really never understood why. George S. Patton stood almost shoulder to shoulder with them in his anti-Semitism -- not that O'Reilly seems to have noticed or, for that matter, mentioned in his book.
Politicians like to talk about empowering the middle class or other segments of the voting population, but they're typically a little fuzzy on what empowerment really means. That makes sense when you consider that elections are essentially about politicians asking to get power rather than share it.
With just under six weeks to the Nov. 4 Election Day, the pressure is on. With a Democratic sitting president with a low 44 percent approval rating, many Republican races across the nation are being run by tying the Democratic candidate to the president. In many cases, this might indeed create distaste for the Democratic candidate by the voters and lead to a Republican victory. But, with no clear path forward, who is to say that the voters won't be just as disgruntled in a few years with Republicans?
Our system of government and law is a messy, awful/wonderful thing, simultaneously wondrous and puzzling.
The numbers are impressive.
My earliest Fourth of July memories include fireworks, flags, barbecue and parades. Not watching parades, being in them.
The Fourth of July may be just a holiday for fireworks to some people. But it was a momentous day for the history of this country and the history of the world.
Exactly a week ago, Covington was bracing for a storm as dusk was coming on. Tree-bending winds whipped through town, thunder made the rafters shudder, and we expected a torrent of rain to follow, possibly a damaging combination of heavy rain and hail and ferocious winds.
Donna and I have rejoined the 21st century.
I don't think it is an understatement to say that when it comes to public education in Georgia, school teachers don't have much faith in the Legislature.
Our normally chaotic household of five has been reduced to a family of three this week. It has been so very odd, and so unusually quiet, with Eli in Florida with his grandparents and Zach away at camp. Poor little Jonah keeps toddling around, asking for his "Zzzat" and "E-la-la" and I know he must be wondering where the heck they vanished to. Of course, not even two yet, he doesn't understand their absence.
Over the years I often heard my father say that a newspaper was such a resilient business that it would never falter even if he had a monkey as publisher.
Whether you are the farmer or a parent driving your child to Little League ball games, the rising cost of fuel is having an impact on your life and pocketbook.
This year marks a half-century for me in the newspaper business.
"Hope I die before I get old."
It should have been a simple evening based on a casual suggestion that six of us go out to dinner on a Wednesday night. But it turned out to be anything but simple.
I had the occasion not long ago to read Daniel Pink's "A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future" (Penguin Books, 2005) and Tony Wagner's "The Global Achievement Gap" (Basic Books, 2008). What follows are Pink's thesis, Wagner's compliment, and implications for K-12 education.
Donna and I have been without a washer and dryer in the house almost eight months, now.