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Articles by Section - Columnists


Pumpkins growing weary

Can it be? Is it September already? One of my favorite tunes, "September Song," was written by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson for a Broadway musical in 1938 called "Knickerbocker Holiday. The lyrics could apply today to the current political season in Georgia - "For it's a long, long time from May to December, but the days grow short when you reach September."

September 02, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Try realism in the Middle East

America rarely does time capsules anymore, but the ones it does should include videos from February 2011 of American TV reporters exulting in the triumph of the Arab Spring. "This is the sound of a people rising," ABC's Terry Moran told us from Cairo. For Egyptians, it was a day "when a people rose and made themselves a new country, a new world, a new life."

September 02, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


Blacks must confront reality

Though racial discrimination exists, it is nowhere near the barrier it once was. The relevant question is: How much of what we see today can be explained by racial discrimination? This is an important question because if we conclude that racial discrimination is the major cause of black problems when it isn't, then effective solutions will be elusive forever. To begin to get a handle on the answer, let's pull up a few historical facts about black Americans.

August 30, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Time to call a spade a spade

As the character Cecily said to Miss Fairfax in a play written by Oscar Wilde entitled "The Importance of being Earnest": "When I see a spade I call it a spade."

August 30, 2014 | Mychal massie | Columnists


In 1970, we had a riot; Ferguson looks like war

The news from Ferguson, Missouri, has brought back unpleasant memories from the long-ago riots in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It was the summer of 1970, and I was a young teenager close enough to the action to be appropriately frightened.

August 28, 2014 | Staff Report | Columnists


The Value of Work and Labor Day

My first paying job was cleaning the bathrooms at the First Baptist Church of Carrollton, Georgia, where I was a member. I was 14, the minimum age for "children" to work. This was neither glamorous nor exciting work, but useful and needed work. On Sundays I often over heard the "little old ladies" of the church commenting on the cleanliness of the bathroom. I remember my subsequent feeling of pride. While not a glamorous work, my actions were helpful and appreciated by those who used the facilities. For providing this useful service I earned minimum wage in 1981, ($3.35 ...

August 28, 2014 | Staff Report | Columnists


Family’s tragedy: text less, live more

It is a potential killer whose numbers rival the deadly Ebola virus and it doesn't get near the attention it should. Unlike the dreaded illness currently ravaging West Africa this is one with a quick cure.

August 26, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


The new face of evil

As Hannah Arendt foresaw, we are once again up against the question of evil. An American photojournalist, James Foley, was presented to the camera and methodically decapitated. The instrument was not the ax reserved for royalty or the whooshing blade prompted by that reformer Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, but an ordinary looking knife. Death would be neither swift nor painless. This, somewhere in the bleached desert, was pure evil.

August 26, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


Decision Pending on Newton’s Government Structure

The structure of county government is once again on the agenda of the Board of Commissioners (BOC), which has scheduled a work session for Aug. 26, 2014. As readers may recall, this has been a topic of discussion for several months and the BOC has met with experts from both the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) and the regional planning agency. Representatives of both clearly have indicated that the current "hybrid" system of having both a full time Commission needs to be changed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of county government.

August 23, 2014 | Larry McSwain | Columnists


50 years in newspaper industry

The other day I found myself thinking on how long I have been a part of the newspaper industry - it turns out that this will be my 50th year, with one year of my life working with mentally challenged adults and two working with people going into their final sunset, through Hospice.

August 23, 2014 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


Tuition pays for this

According to College Board, average tuition and fees for the 2013-14 school year totaled $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for in-state residents at public colleges and $22,203 for out-of-state residents. Many schools, such as Columbia University and George Washington University, charge yearly tuition and fees close to $50,000. Faced with the increasing costs of higher education, parents and taxpayers might like to know what they're getting for their money.

August 21, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Political stereotyping

While we might like to think that voters research the issues, review the candidates, and then vote for the candidate that best reflects their views, the reality, based on political science research, is much different. A

August 21, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Cultural conceits and value of values

"Every society produces its own cultural conceits," Jack Weatherford wrote in "The Secret History of the Mongol Queens," "a set of lies and delusions about itself that thrives in the face of all contrary evidence. The Mongols believed that they could not be completely defeated."

May 01, 2011 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


America has no time for more silliness

Last week the White House released a long-form official Hawaiian birth certificate purporting to lay to rest ongoing controversy regarding Barack Hussein Obama II's qualification by birth to fill the office of president of The United States of America. At the heart of the matter has been rampant speculation that the conditions of the birth of the 44th president did not satisfy requirements set forth in the supreme law of the land, The Constitution of The United States of America.

May 01, 2011 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


Mystery gives way to merriment

The ghostly visage of a grand four-columned, two-story home alone in a broad field of alfalfa appears in a photograph likely taken sometime in the first quarter of the 20th century. It sat beyond the eastern edge of Covington, now at the end of Floyd Street and behind the Newton County Library, but at the time the house was built -sometime between 1910 and 1918, it is thought - Floyd Street went only as far as Adams Street, according to local historian Charles King. Copies of the photo belong to Mrs. Nell Mundy and to Stanley Edwards, who found them in ...

April 29, 2011 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Understanding Gas fees can be taxing

A lot of press, including this publication, has been dedicated to trying to figure out why gas prices, already high, are headed further upward due to an increase in state and local sales taxes, effective Sunday.

April 29, 2011 | By Jim Tudor | Columnists


Yarbrough: Happiness a state of mind

I feel like a failure. For years, I have told you what a privilege it is to live in Georgia.

April 27, 2011 | By Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Giddens: An ode to Oxford

Our cottage in Oxford is once again a woodsy retreat, lush with fresh greenery and new growth.

April 27, 2011 | Tharon Giddens | Columnists


Tread lightly when stepping into local affairs

In case you missed this, there is a bill calling for the governor to be able to remove members of the Atlanta School Board if they keep chicken fighting among themselves rather than doing their job.

April 23, 2011 | By Ric Latarski Guest Columnist | Columnists


Holt: Legislative session a wrap

This year's legislative session is at last over.

April 23, 2011 | By Rep. Doug Holt Guest Columnist | Columnists


Mathews: Professional Learning Communities needed

If change were the criteria for judging school improvement, many school systems would be way down the road towards greater student learning. And, while "first order change" (an extension of the past consistent with existing knowledge and skills) is hardly the same as "second order change" (a break from the past requiring new knowledge and skills), both types are at work in Newton County School System as we seek continuous improvement.

April 23, 2011 | By Superintendet Gary Mathews Guest Columnist | Columnists


Harwell: You can't make this stuff up

Settle back friends, 'cause I'm about to tell you a story that may leave you slack-jawed and dumbfounded.

April 23, 2011 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


Economics almost as simple as pie

Economics is much simpler than many highly-paid pundits would like you to believe.

April 22, 2011 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Let’s get on track for railroad buy

My head spins. My eyes cross. My neck tightens. I find it hard to draw a deep breath, and my hands tremble uncontrollably.

April 22, 2011 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Giddens: What we learned doing our homework

Donna and I have seen a lot of Newton County and environs in the past few weeks.

April 20, 2011 | Tharon Giddens | Columnists


Yarbrough: Dubious achievements in state government awards

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company is pleased to recognize members of the 2011 General Assembly who gave so much so that we could get so little.

April 20, 2011 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Revere, Doolittle, Yamamoto and me

Upon occasion, when meeting someone for the first time, I've fielded queries about my last name. A knowledgeable baseball fan, for instance, might ask if I were related to the late, great Ernie Harwell of Detroit Tigers broadcasting fame.

April 17, 2011 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


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