What a difference a year makes. Last September, the Obama administration and the media were cheering happenstance as victory. A quick review of last year's events: the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on civilians, tough talk by President Barack Obama, an administration push for a congressional vote for use of force, Secretary of State John Kerry's off-the-cuff remark regarding Syria giving up chemical weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin leveraging the remark into action, the Obama administration claiming a great solution.
A recent column on Vox.com may have inadvertently highlighted the gap between the nation's political elites and the rest of the nation. Vox is an "explanatory journalism" site founded by former Washington Post columnist and blogger Ezra Klein.
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."
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."
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.
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."
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.
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 ...
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.
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.
The ceiling fan and light in my bedroom turn on and off with a remote control. You have to leave the light switch permanently on, and then find the clicker (my household's name for a remote) to operate the controls.
When I think of the word enthusiasm, I am reminded of a scene out of the 1987 movie "The Untouchables" about gangster Al Capone. In the scene, Capone (played by Robert De Niro) is walking around a table that is surrounded by his men. As he walks, he talks.
Bill Raspberry wore his eminence well. In a city full of preening, self-centered journalistic royalty, he was a warm and generous prince who never deluded himself into thinking he knew all the answers. He is desperately missed.
Over the past few weeks, President Obama and his campaign team have launched a furious attack on Mitt Romney's record as head of Bain Capital, a highly successful venture capital firm.
A crinkled page dangles from a whiteboard in my home office, just beyond my peripheral vision as I work at my desk. The top corners are curled from nearly four years hanging by the same twine that secured it around my neck on the morning of November 5, 2008. While always in sight, this relic was out of mind for years. Lately, though, it haunts me. I hear scratching sounds that make me look up to see only an aging piece of paper fluttering ever so slightly against the blinds in my office window.
That sound you hear is silence - as millions of small business owners and entrepreneurs were left speechless this weekend from President Obama's latest insult.
If the governor and the state legislature had done their jobs, we the people wouldn't be deciding July 31 whether to raise the sales tax by one percent for the next 10 years to cover critically needed road projects throughout Georgia's 12 economic development regions. But the so-called "leaders" of the state couldn't bring themselves to do one of the jobs they were put there to do - namely, to provide adequate tax revenues to preserve and enhance transportation infrastructure now strained to the max. Even now, legislative leaders say if the T-SPLOST votes fail, they don't ...
I am not a very mystical man. As a Christian, I obviously believe in the supernatural, but mysticism isn't something I go looking for. Occasionally though, the Lord allows me to see something that is so far beyond the natural that it leaves my faith stronger and my sight in awe of God's mighty hand.
Ah, the good ol' Internet. You think it's just one big, anonymous playground. You can do anything. Well, it's a playground alright. And you can do almost anything online nowadays, but it's definitely not anonymous. Everyone needs to be mindful of what they write, post and share online. You don't know who's going to see it or what tiny detail in that Instagram photo or post on Facebook can give away your identity or location.
What comes to mind when you think of a beach vacation? Miles of white sand, a sparkling blue sea, a warm breeze ruffling your hair?
The 10-county, $7 billion metro Atlanta transportation referendum is set to be decided by voters on July 31.
When I first moved to Covington in 1970, to call someone on the telephone all you had to dial was the last four numbers of the seven-digit phone number.
Of course, calling Conyers or anywhere else besides Covington was long distance. It was a banner day when we could call Conyers and it was not long distance. But that improvement had its drawbacks. We now had to dial all seven digits of the phone number.
There are plenty of reasons that the economy is the most important issue of Election 2012.
Spare us any more hooey about "preventing fraud" and "protecting the integrity of the ballot box." The Republican-led crusade for voter ID laws is revealed as a cynical ploy to disenfranchise as many likely Democratic voters as possible, with poor people and minorities the main targets.
Nothing gets friends - or even strangers - more animated than talking about memorable moments long past that survive and even flourish with passing time.