This past week, we came to know the meaning of "Polar Vortex." The cold converged on Midwest and the Eastern regions of the country without mercy. Health issues became a matter of life and death for humans and other animals. Frostbite was threatening exposed skin. Schools were closed, and people were told to stay indoors. More than 1,000 flights were canceled. It was too dangerous for the news reporters to continue reporting on how dangerous it was. If some of us had forgotten words like "Fahrenheit" and "hypothermia," we remembered them in a hurry.
There's little debate among academic economists about the effect of minimum wages. University of California, Irvine economist David Neumark has examined more than 100 major academic studies on the minimum wage. He reports that 85 percent of the studies "find a negative employment effect on low-skilled workers." A 1976 American Economic Association survey found that 90 percent of its members agreed that increasing the minimum wage raises unemployment among young and unskilled workers.
A friend recently wrote me, "What the 'Duck Dynasty' affair means to me is that, finally, some have had the courage to say 'ENOUGH' within the context of the media."
Just three days after Christmas, I ventured into a store and was greeted by a massive display of pulmonary confectionery: Valentine's Day candy in heart-shaped boxes, as it's known on the streets. I marvel at the power of capitalism and its never-ending push for the next source of revenue, but seeing Valentine's candy while the Christmas tree is still glowing is just too much!
Before President Barack Obama's health-care law was passed, Americans were frustrated that insurance companies had too much control over the medical care they received. Now, Americans are frustrated that the government has too much control.
Some people are hoping that President Obama's plan will get the economy out of the doldrums and start providing jobs for the unemployed. Others are hoping that the Republicans' plan will do the trick.
Just in case you missed this, scientists have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is in what they call the Goldilocks Zone - not too hot, not too cold - which makes it a possible place for life to form.
Grocery shopping has become a frustrating experience. It's not that it's hard to find wonderful items to buy, not with all the great choices in the stores. I'm a smart shopper. I buy fruits, and juices, and healthy veggies; I'm an angel in the meat department, just looking at the ribeye steaks and not poking them too much; and I'm especially careful to close my eyes in the candy and cookie aisle. My problem isn't with the actual shopping itself. I always find great things to eat. What dismays me is the self-service checkout ...
Those who are impressed by words seem to think that President Barack Obama made a great speech to Congress last week. But, when you look beyond the rhetoric, what did he say that was fundamentally different from what he has been saying and doing all along?
A few years back, we lived on a beautiful tract of land in the country outside of Social Circle. Oh, you should have seen it: a gurgling creek behind our house that was set in an open meadow, thick stands of hardwood encircling the property and a driveway so long the existence of our house was unknown to passersby on the country road that fronted our place. Fetching the morning paper for Bob before he headed off to work involved cranking the car and heading up a steep hill on the driveway before it opened out into a wide and ...
My slow cooker died recently. I went to buy a new one, a task I thought would be relatively simple. But, no. Slow cookers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, apparently one size does not fit all. Once I had sorted out size and shape, I then had to choose from a variety of bulbous protuberances on the sides of the cookers which would allow me to program the amounts of time and start times.
Before we leave the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Towers the Pentagon and Flight 93 over Shanksville, Pa., allow me a couple of parting thoughts.
It was slightly more than six weeks after my second child had been born by way of emergency C-section. Sleep-deprived and tired, I had left my two under the age of two at home with a sitter to get out and get some exercise.
Etiquette is a hard word to spell. It's French, and I'm pretty lousy with their language, even though I love their cheese, and I almost bought a new Peugeot back in 1987, right before they pulled out of the US car market. That was close. Anyway, I've reviewed a few etiquette columns, and I think I'll try my hand at one. A guy's perspective is just what we need to balance all those dainty responses I've read. Here goes.
As we leave the Labor Day weekend behind we are greeted with the grand news Congress is returning to work.
A few weeks ago, I had what seemed to me a small medical problem, so I phoned my primary physician. However, after we discussed the problem, he directed me to a specialist.
We make a mistake whenever we believe weather forecasters, don't we? At least that's my opinion. Most of them lost credibility with me a long time ago. The promise of a deluge of rainfall here over the long weekend evaporated like a drop of water on a hot stove. The beloved columnist Lewis Grizzard famously discounted meteorologists and wrote that he knew more about the day's weather just by holding his finger in the air.
Bill White, the Big Canoe Tree Czar - he is the guy you had better talk to before you pluck a pine cone in the place - told me about a bumper sticker he saw recently that sums up the frustration many of us are feeling these days.
I never watched his TV show, "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader," but I've always liked Jeff Foxworthy, especially since he's a Georgia Tech man. We Tech guys think we're pretty smart, but tonight I wasn't so sure how I'd stack up against one of those 5th graders. You see, I was driving home, and I drove right past my house. I suppose -on one hand - I'm smarter than a 5th grader, because I can drive a car. Let's see a little kid do that. But, a 5th grader would be smart ...
The General Assembly spent Aug. 15 through Aug. 31 in what is called a special session. It is referred to as "special" because it is outside of the normal 40 legislative day period, specified in the state constitution, that starts in January. Special sessions can only be convened by a formal proclamation of the governor, referred to as "the call." These sessions are also restricted to legislating only on the topics the governor specifically includes in his call. Governor Deal's call for this session included three topics. First and primary was legislative and congressional redistricting. The second topic was ...