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.
Last week in Garland, Texas, a lady named Pamela Geller sponsored an event about Islam, a component of which included drawing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. While Muslims in prior centuries painted Mohammed and some Muslims still think it is OK to draw Mohammed, most Muslims around the world condemn the drawing of any image purporting to be the likeness of Mohammed.
Before we examine the issue of police shootings of blacks, I would like to start the conversation with another question. Here it is: If a person chooses to stand on railroad tracks in the face of an oncoming train, who is responsible for his being run over? And if many people meet their maker this way, what would you recommend as the best way to reduce such deaths? Would you focus most of your efforts on train engineers, or would you counsel people not to stand on railroad tracks in the face of an oncoming train?
What time is it, boys and girls? It's time for Answer Man! Time to dip into the ol' mailbag and see what is on your mind and show you how little is on ours. While we can't guarantee total and complete accuracy in our answers, it is Answer Man's opinion that this won't matter because if you knew the answer, you probably wouldn't have asked the question in the first place.
Dear City of Covington Residents,
What a difference a week makes.
I got a good lesson in wealth management this week. Not from a high-powered financial advisor, but from the retrospective of a 103-year-old life lived well.
It's 2011, and we're being rocked by earthquakes, tornados, financial crises and bloody revolutions in the third world. If there were ever a time to completely lose all of your senses and run around town acting nuts, now is as good a time as any. Just in the past two days, I've seen signs that "crazy" is becoming the new norm. While driving down one of our major roads, I passed a man who was waving his arms and screaming at some invisible antagonist. Later, I walked out of a building and saw another man having an ...
I thought it would be easy, but it is really difficult to find the words to express what I want. Just know that Brenda Sumner is one of the most wonderful people in the world and in my eyes is a hero.
I'll never forget Lester Maddox, 75th governor of Georgia, presiding in that capacity from 1967-1971. 'Twould be presumptuous to speak for everyone else, but I can't help but think that anyone who actually met the man at more than a superficial political meet-and-greet would agree.
I've had enough shocks and scares to script an entire lifetime's worth of nightmares. Once, while walking in the woods, I stumbled upon a coiled snake, just staring at me and daring me to come closer. Another time, I slipped off a log and fell into a creek on an icy February afternoon. Then, there was that one Easter night when a drunk driver slammed into the family Ford Galaxy, right as we were turning into our driveway. Stepping on rattlesnakes, falling in a freezing creek, and being rammed by another car are themes worthy of the worst ...
An old English nursery rhyme from the 16th century begins with the words: "If wishes were horses, then beggars (or poor men) would ride."
The first news report on what turned out to be the assault on the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was hiding apparently was a tweet from a guy complaining about all the helicopter noise late at night.
Sheila the Family Wonderdog is one proud pooch today.
Today is Mother's Day, and just like most of you, Molly and I have dispatched flowers and candy to my mother to tell her we were thinking about her and to show our love.
One can only imagine the joy in Munchkin Land when Dorothy's house dropped out of the sky and killed the Wicked Witch of the East. No longer did the innocent little people in Hollywood's magnificent 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz" have to live in dread of the evil one. "Ding dong, the witch is dead!" they sang as they danced with glee.
February 11 is now known as the Day of Departure among Egyptians.
I discovered quite by accident that this was nurses' week.
Wasn't it all just too beautiful?
The granddog Sophie takes me to some interesting places.