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,
The best question at the second presidential debate came from Michael Jones, an African-American who said: "Mr. President, I voted for you in 2008. What have you done or accomplished to earn my vote in 2012? I'm not that optimistic, as I was in 2008.
Not a word has been said in the presidential debates about what may be the most urgent and consequential issue in the world: climate change.
The guy you're voting for in the presidential election is a liar. But, before you get upset, those aren't fighting words. My choice is a liar too.
According to dictionary.com, a popular definition of sequestration is removal or separation. Although the term sequestration is being bandied about in relation to massive defense cuts that threaten our nation's military readiness, I prefer the term "divorce," because that is exactly what our elected leaders are doing with the Constitution that they have sworn to uphold.
Georgia would be $45 billion poorer if not for the impact of tourism. It's our fifth largest employer, providing some 391,000 jobs, over 10 percent of all payroll employment in the state. The state's website says each household would pay $706 more state and local taxes if not for the money tourism brings in. The latest tourism figures from the Newton County Chamber of Commerce are for 2010, when direct tourist spending generated almost $91 million, $2.7 million in local tax collections and $3.5 million in state taxes. In September alone, more than 3,000 ...
I received a call at home the other day, and the caller asked if he could count on my vote for charter schools in the upcoming election.
I told him no and offered to explain to him why. He hung up.
If the pro-charter amendment people are trying to win friends and influence voters to pass the measure in November, they have picked a bad way to do it.
Attorney Glenn Delk and proponents are clearly trying to intimidate opponents of the amendment by accusing the state's 180 local school districts of illegally using taxpayer money to campaign against the amendment. Fortunately, they lost the first round in Fulton County Superior Court.
Wisdom abounds in nature. Over the years, I've learned much by observing the natural world around me. A good example would be the lessons taught to me from tending our backyard Koi pond.
Today in Newton County, our news agonizes and debates over low SAT scores and drop out rates in our high schools, drop out rates and low performance levels in our community college, high teenage crime rates, and embarrassing rates of single mother and teenage pregnancies. All the while, we good citizens argue between the Board of Education, Board of Commissioners and Chamber of Commerce for solutions to treat the symptoms and ignore the disease; all this done from good intentions and a touch of fear to appear politically incorrect and expose a distasteful aspect of our society.
There are some 20,000 miles of federal and state highways in Georgia - the interstate system and major roads that link our cities one to the other; carry our commuters to and from employment centers and give structure to our thriving logistics industry and interstate commerce.
It's right there in black and white in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech ... ."
I recently received an email from a friend which touched on several "myths" about the American education system. The article was based on statistics gathered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (not a misspelling, the organization originated in France).
If you aren't careful, it is very easy to get pessimistic these days. We have gotten too loud, too adversarial, too politically-correct, too ethically-challenged, too secular and too narrow-minded - not to mention slightly humor-impaired.
In order to win next month, Republican nominee Mitt Romney will have to articulate the reason why the choice for him is right. The choice has to be about more than Mitt Romney, and really about more than President Barack Obama. The compelling choice should contrast the very different futures each man would seek to create. The ability to describe and contrast two potential visions of the future -- one under Obama and the other under Romney -- will likely prove key to who wins.
Ronald Reagan had this linguistic ability, which he honed over decades of work.
If one were trying to prove in court that MSNBC is crazily biased, you could do worse than submitting Rachel Maddow's Tuesday night show.