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,
As a kid, I was a sucker for machines. I couldn't pass a gumball rack without turning all the handles; I took apart my toys just to get at the electric motors; and I was simply mad for anything with batteries, gears or knobs.
I would have given away all my Superman comic books for a robot, even if it was missing a dozen transistors. Well, times have changed, and now I'm surrounded by more machines than I ever wanted. And I'd give them all away, if I could.
I would be careful about declaring the presidential contest "a whole new race" following Wednesday's debate. Polls show that most voters have made up their minds, and some, due to early voting, have already cast their ballots. One good night for Mitt Romney does not turn the world upside down.
But make no mistake, it was a very good night for Romney - and a bad one for President Obama. This election wasn't a done deal before the debate, and it certainly isn't now.
My job seldom takes me to the big city these days, unless I'm traveling. But, in college and later working downtown in the 80s and 90s, I was a regular on the streets of Atlanta. Encounters with panhandlers were part of the daily routine. You got used to it, but I was never comfortable.
If you have any heart at all, it's hard to turn away from need. And, yet, there could be no end. Each small gift only attracted more asks. Sometimes, I'd give spare change or a few small bills; other times, I'd avert ...
Most of the discussion on taxes was spent on Romney's tax plan. Romney's plan, like most tax reform plans, would lower tax rates and make other changes to the tax code to encourage growth. The economy will not recover fully until we have tax reform.
"Biscuits," he said. "Biscuits?" I asked. "Yeah, biscuits," he said. "I want to learn how to make biscuits, the kind my grandmother made." My jaw dropped a bit. This bachelor friend of ours sitting across the lunch table was revealing a side that caught me off guard. He's regularly decked out in crisp, starched shirts that fit the rather starchy business he's in. The idea of a guy up to his elbows in flour and shortening was hard to imagine. (Actually, it's impossible to imagine the woman in my own household up to her elbows in flour ...
Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company in Greater Garfield, Ga., just called me with what he said was an exciting development.
My husband and I have very different TV viewing habits. He watches most sporting events, especially football, golf and NASCAR. If there is an old western movie being televised, he will find it. He will also watch endless reruns of any murder-mystery series. I think his all-time favorite is "Lonesome Dove."
Conservative activist circles are abuzz with a new conspiracy theory: Polls showing President Obama with a growing lead over Mitt Romney are deliberately being skewed by the Liberal Mainstream Media so that Republicans will be disheartened and stay home on Election Day.
I'm glad to be home, in my office, typing on a real computer - not fumbling around on a tablet in the dark, late at night, in a far away B&B. But in many ways, I'm still not back from my Pittsburgh to DC bike ride. I'm happy to be with family and friends, sleeping in my own bed, eating what and where I want, but other aspects of reentry since arriving home Monday morning have been less easy to handle.
The Obama administration's policies are bad. Bad in the sense that the policies are morally corrupting. They take money and control away from people and give them to government bureaucrats, who then decide what should be done. The policies encourage people to be less responsible personally and to rely more on the government.
Apparently, Monday, Aug. 27, was opening day for Hysterical Liberal Sanctimony About Imagined Republican Racism. During this first round, The New York Times, The Atlantic and the TV networks each put in a splendid showing.
To cope with the insanity of modern U.S. presidential elections, I've adopted a jaded strategy that I'll share with you. My opinion is harsh, but I'm calling it as I see it.
The summer dragged by, and my walking shoes didn't even get their first outing. It was just too hot, and I questioned the sanity of those who kept up regular walking and running, sometimes with gasping dogs in tow. Now that it's fall, I've got no excuses. Besides, Covington is a great little town for walking: broad thoroughfares with bicycle lanes, beautiful residential streets wending their way past carefully tended yards, plenty of trees for shade along some routes, a charming square and enough hilly rises to give a workout to anyone who wants to max the ...
Fires burn in our embassies overseas, mobs burn our flag and murder American dignitaries. The positions taken by our government, the reporting to the people and the response to those countries where these actions have taken place are totally unacceptable.
With the vote on the charter school amendment just over a month away, the heat is getting intense. I know. I have felt it. I wrote a column a few weeks ago giving the pro-charter folks an opportunity to make their case for the amendment. For my trouble, a number of anti-charter advocates wondered if I was going soft on them and backers of the bill continued to accuse me of giving out "misinformation." I love this job.