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Articles by Section - Columnists


A lack of intelligence

Intelligence school in Denver, CO was thought-provoking, complicated, and opened enigmatic doors I never thought existed. We mastered the art of dissemination; gained knowledge of codes; planned and plotted and analyzed envisioned missions; studied Soviet military equipment to master photographic interpretation; and were privy to a few top secret particulars that are now prehistoric. As Sun Tzu wrote 2,500 years ago in his military masterpiece The Art of War, "Know your enemy better than you know yourself."

December 20, 2014 | Pete Mecca | Columnists


Holidays and a mother's love

This is my second Christmas season without my mother, and so far it's been harder than the first. I had known that the first year would be hard, and all I really cared about was surviving it. Activity was my friend: My sister Kathy and I spent the fall wrapping up her estate, selling her house, and sharing her prized possessions with family and friends. We talked every day. Much of our connection was activity-based: Was her account closed? Were the papers signed? It was hard, but I had known that it was going to be hard -- so I ...

December 20, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Japan looks back

Japan is working hard at forgetting. Its prime minister, Shinzo Abe, suggests in code-talk that Japan was the victim of World War II - no war criminals at all, thank you - and its influential conservative press, with a wink from the government, is determined to whitewash the country's use of sex slaves during the war. This sort of thing can be catching. Maybe others will forget why they consider Japan a friend.

December 13, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


Commission director says progress being made in state’s charter school efforts

You may recall that I vigorously opposed passage of a constitutional amendment in 2012 creating the State Charter School Commission that would allow an alternative method for authorizing charter schools in Georgia. You may recall, also, that the amendment passed handily. So much for my vigor.

December 13, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


The joys of Christmas traditions

I have always loved Christmas and its traditions; even as I have grown older, I find that really deep in my heart I still believe in Santa Claus and the spirit of the whole season, and I just can't wait until I see the "Frosty the Snowman" and "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" re-runs at this time of year with the grandchildren.

December 13, 2014 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


If Bora-Bora doesn't care about the game, why should we?

This was written in a cave somewhere in Greater Bora Bora. The column was floated across the ocean in an RC Cola bottle to this newspaper. (I have no idea how the editors got it from bottle to print. I assumed that if editors can figure out where commas go, they ought to be able to figure out how to print a column in a bottle.)

December 06, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


The wrong route to reform

Last month, the police commissioner of New York, Bill Bratton, was quizzed at a conference by Jeffrey Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker. Bratton had been the police chief in Boston and Los Angeles, as well as New York's once before, and he is a well-known champion of what is known as the "broken windows" school of policing. Toobin asked him what could account for the precipitous drop in crime in New York City. Bratton responded in a flash: The cops.

December 06, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Blakeslee: Starting the hunt

Glad to see you back again this week. Have you had a chance to gather your tools for your hunt? Did you get a chance to explore Ancestry.com? Did you go visit the Newton County Library's Heritage Room? The Library has genealogy volunteers just about everyday in the Heritage Room to help you. How about that steno book and loose leaf notebook?

April 21, 2012 | Ellen Blakeslee Columnist | Columnists


McCoy: Strolling on the toll walk

I hate toll roads. It's probably because I was born in Miami, and I remember my parents feeding the toll booths with nickels that I could have used to far better ends.

April 21, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


Carter: Doing your due diligence

In a recent Wisconsin speech, GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum stirred supporters with a tale of assault on American democracy and tradition. "I was just reading something last night, from the State of California…I think it's seven or eight of the California system of universities don't even teach an American history course. It's not even available to be taught," he said. "Just to tell you how bad it's gotten in this country, where we're trying to disconnect the American people from the roots of who we are, so they have an understanding of what ...

April 21, 2012 | Maurice Carter Columnist | Columnists


Morgan: Hats off to entrepreneurs

Call up the office of County Clerk Jackie Smith, and if she's not there to answer, you'll hear her cheery voicemail declaring, "It's a beautiful day in Newton County!"

Indeed, it is a beautiful day in Newton County since the announcement yesterday of a $1 billion investment by Baxter International in a plant at Stanton Springs that will employ 1,000 to 1,500 workers to make blood-related products. Newton County Chamber of Commerce President Hunter Hall calls the project a "game-changer" for this neck of the woods. Commission Chair Kathy Morgan takes sentimental pride in the ...

April 19, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Perugino: It’s still the spending

I know I've already used this famous slogan of Bill Clinton from his last presidential campaign a number of times, but holy cow Batman, we are drowning in endless preaching on increasing revenue (secret word for taxes) and totally ignoring spending.

The Buffett Rule - what a masterful misdirection play used to avert attention from the gargantuan spending and to invoke class warfare. Under the Buffett Rule, businesses and families earning $1 million will pay a minimum 30 percent effective tax rate. The president says those Americans aren't paying enough, and as proof he points to billionaire Warren Buffett ...

April 19, 2012 | William Perugino | Columnists


Travis: A special thank you

Recently my youngest granddaughter had surgery at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. It was my first experience with a children's hospital, and it was an eye-opener. The staff and facility could not be more welcoming and child friendly.

The nurses wear brightly colored T-shirts to appear less threatening. The rooms have chairs which can be made into beds for parents, and mothers are allowed to sleep in the hospital beds with their children, even in pediatric intensive care.

April 17, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Yarbrough: Shepherd Center rebuilds lives and uplifts spirits

Those of you who regularly check this space know this, but to the newcomers out there: I am a whiner.

Like Goldilocks, I whine when the porridge is too hot. I whine when the porridge is too cold. But unlike Goldilocks, I whine even when the glop is just right.

April 17, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Cushman: In life, conflicts are sometimes necessary

Driving my children to and from various events earlier this week, we had a discussion about what makes a good story. They are both working on writing a book (as am I - we'll see who finishes first).

Stories, I explained, are interesting because they have conflict. There are most often two forces that push against each other. In classic stories, it's good versus evil. Really interesting stories have subplots, which reflect conflicts within conflicts.

April 14, 2012 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Gahwiler: Students’ apathy towards learning

What's become of our society? Our youth? Our parenting? Children used to dream of being able to go to middle school instead of working in factories, let alone high school. Why has the parenting become so laissez-faire that our teens no longer wish to learn and become educated? Why has the "education" system lowered its standards simply to accommodate for the lacking of our generation? Why is our society sacrificing education and knowledge for the sake of schooling?

Our dropout rates are decreasing, but each teenage generation as a whole seems to care less about education than the previous ...

April 14, 2012 | Robert Gahwiler | Columnists


Carter: Changing the blame game

The 1970s were described famously by novelist Tom Wolfe as the "Me Decade" in a 1976 article in New York Magazine.

If I were asked to pin a label on the period we live in today, I would call this the "Who? Me!?" decade.

April 14, 2012 | Maurice Carter | Columnists


Obama and Romney at the starting gate

Any doubt that Mitt Romney would win the Republican presidential nomination vanished when Rick Santorum left the race. It also marked the end of Romney's time as the defining figure in the overall contest for the White House.

April 14, 2012 | By Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Waiting for the perfect robot

On a warm day, back in the dark ages when Richard Milhous Nixon was the Emperor of DC and double-knit polyester was the darling of the fashion industry, I was scouring my school's library for something good to read. I had already polished off Thomas Edison's biography, every "Three Investigators" detective story I could find, and a piece about the father of the telegraph: Samuel F.B. Morse. And then I found it - a big, hardcover book on robots. Robots!

April 14, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


Morgan: All work, no play

Outside of Chinese sweat shops, Americans are by-and-large regarded as the hardest working people on earth. This is particularly true when compared to the long-time history of less-work-and-more-play written into law in major European nations. That practice may be on the decline because of the massive government debt crises in places like Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece, among others. Ample pensions, early retirement and long vacations contribute to the imbalance in government revenues that is threatening the stability of those countries - and leading to riots in many places contesting the cuts to pensions, play and pay.

April 12, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Perugino: Ryan budget returns to founding principles

The United States House of Representatives has passed a Budget for Fiscal Year 2013 authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan. His budget has been dubbed "The Path to Prosperity" which is aptly named since it starts the reversal of current trends and knifes through the controversy. The Ryan budget is not just a blueprint for spending. It's a platform for governing that deliberately and self-consciously advances "the timeless principles of the American Idea"- among them limited government, free enterprise and economic liberty.

April 12, 2012 | | Columnists


Yarbrough: Daydreaming about clouds and wished-for headlines

I tend to daydream. Sometimes I look at the shape of the clouds above me and I can see a tea kettle or maybe the little fat guy that used to run North Korea. And then sometimes I just close my eyes and think of headlines I would like to see, such as:

President Obama says teleprompters make him say dumb things

April 10, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


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