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.
There is no question that we have had one hot and steamy summer. It's a summer that has put a financial squeeze on many of our local residents as the costs to keep cool have been almost as unbearable as the summer heat.
It's the last few weeks of summer. For those of us with children in school, this is our last chance to get away before becoming engulfed in school schedules, homework, activities and carpool. For children, it is their last chance to be carefree, sleep in and play with friends.
Many years ago, the Saturday Evening Post was one of the best-known magazines in America. But somehow I learned that the Saturday Evening Post was actually published on Wednesday morning. That was a little disconcerting at first. But it was one of the most valuable lessons, that words do not necessarily reflect reality.
For most of us most of the time, the days of our lives go rolling along placidly and maintain a predictable pace. The paper arrives at 5:30 a.m. The garbage truck comes on, say, Thursdays, and most of us manage to get the Herby Curby out the night before. (It's hit or miss here.) The laundry gets picked up on Saturdays, and Wednesday is Senior Citizen's Day at the local grocery.
School starts this week. I taught high school English (or language arts as it is now called) for over 30 years and have been retired for over 10 years.
The 15th anniversary of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games has come and gone with barely a whimper. Looking back, the Olympic Games were not the City of Atlanta's finest hours - or days. They were given a unique gift and didn't know what to do with it. I know. I was managing director - communications and government relations for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games - and had a front row seat to all the action.
Think about it: Do you ever go through your days or weeks responding to situations or to the people in your life as if you were a robot? My answer, regrettably, would be "yes." I'm definitely not a pilot, but you could call me an "autopilot." My responses, decisions and actions often derive from instinct or intuition, habit, cues from the people with whom I come in contact or commonly perceived expectations in certain situations.
The big news, as far as the media are concerned, is the political game of debt-ceiling chicken that is being played by Democrats and Republicans in Washington. But, however much the media are focused on what is happening inside the Beltway, there is a whole country outside the Beltway - and the time is long overdue to start thinking about what is best for the rest of the country, not just for right now but for the long haul.
In her July 22 column, Barbara Morgan tells us that "bold, well spoken retiree" Bill Hoosen is upset that the Newton County Board of Commissioners did not recently raise property taxes. According to Morgan, Hoosen believes the lack of a tax increase "will harm the county."
There is a fallacious, salacious and slightly audacious rumor afloat that I can be a tad politically-incorrect at times. Moi? Knock me over with a (organically-grown) goose feather. I'll have you know that some of my best friends are (fill in the blank) and (fill in the blank), not to mention (fill in the blank.) On rare occasions, I have even been seen in public with (fill in the blank.)
There are a number of undisputed facts in the current debt ceiling debate.
SEA ISLAND, Ga. - Normally, the surf can be heard faintly throughout our family's house on the coast of Georgia.
As of this writing the space shuttle has left the International Space Station for the last time and the program has officially ended.
Life has many good things. The problem is that most of these good things can be gotten only by sacrificing other good things. We recognize this in our daily lives. It is only in politics that this common sense fact is routinely ignored.
You've got to give it to Bill Hoosen. He's a bold, well-spoken retiree and Newton County resident who's unafraid to stand up to the Board of Commissioners when he thinks they're about to vote into law a budget that he believes will harm the county.