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 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.
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.
This should be a hoot: writing about Christmas in the middle of May. Well, I want to make a strident little point, and I can't wait until we have snow on the ground and elves in the supermarkets to do it. Every Christmas day, Christians all around America say the same thing. They put down their unwrapped trinkets and turn to someone near and dear to them, and say, "You know... the real meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with all these gifts, and the ham, and the eggnog. You know it's all about Jesus...right?" Having ...
Mitt Romney has pulled a point or two ahead of President Obama in polls of likely voters. In polls of registered voters, Obama has the advantage. The president's job approval ratings are hovering in the upper 40 percent range, which suggests a close race.
Looking at this information, partisan activists come to wildly different conclusions about what to expect on Election Day. Democrats tend to believe Obama will be re-elected, while Republicans are more likely to think he will be a one-term president.
As a child, I was a voracious reader, mostly of fiction. I would read during class, during lunch, during the bus ride. When I was reading, I was not part of my boring normal life, but part of a deeper, more compelling story.
Fiction has the ability to transport the reader into a different world. The same holds true for movies and television shows. Stories of all types capture our attention and imagination. Even news is told in story fashion.
Republicans say they're eager for the presidential campaign to turn away from "distractions" and focus instead on the economy. Someone should warn them that if they're not careful, they might get their wish.
It is true that voters' unhappiness with high unemployment and slow growth poses a challenge for President Obama as he seeks re-election. But for Mitt Romney and the GOP to take advantage of this potential opening, they'll have to do more than chant the word "economy" like a mantra. They have to make the case that their policies will work better than Obama's.
I watch "The Blind Side" anytime I come across it flipping channels. It's a movie that still brings a tear to my eyes, no matter how many times I see it.
I don't usually cry over football films - unless it's a replay of Reggie Ball throwing away the ball (and Tech's chances) on the fourth down in Sanford Stadium in 2004. But, anyone who's seen "The Blind Side" knows it's more than a football story. It's the true life tale of Michael Oher, a 17-year-old, homeless black boy from a broken home who ...
Examine me, God! Look at my heart! Put me to the test! Know my anxious thoughts! Look to see if there is any idolatrous way in me, then lead me on the eternal path!
Every generation pines for the way things used to be. We may even look back a couple of generations longing for times we think were better than these. However, in many ways, these are the best days ever seen in the history of the world: consider increased longevity, extensive medical research and advances, and more diversity so that more among us - those who are physically challenged, for example - feel fully vested in our society. Agriculture is finding new ways to feed more people, and good thing. Social media outlets are connecting millions and billions around the world, millions and billions ...
There is no "free lunch" and as I have often stated in previous columns, "It's the Spending, Stupid!" The control of spending must begin at home, here in Newton County, in order to regain control of government spending. The economies of project costs are best managed through local control. Our country and in turn our county are in fiscal crisis and we must not layer on more taxes. It is our responsibility as citizens to demand that all spending is painful and absolutely necessary.
Home rule is just local self-government. The State Constitution of Georgia advocates Home rule. The ...
When relationships go bad, an early warning sign is that one side doesn't really hear what the other is saying. That's certainly the case today in the relationship between voters and America's political class.
It was completely dark under my blindfold. A voice I didn't know told me to take the arm offered by another person whom I happened to know but couldn't see. He told me he was leading me through an open door, down a corridor, into a meeting hall and to a table where I gripped the edge until my guide placed a chair beneath me and invited me to sit. I could hear conversations echoing in a cavernous room until the meeting was called to order by a voice I did know, that of Jim Windham, president of ...
Just when my life seemed to have lost all meaning, up jumps our Ambassador to Outer Space Cynthia McKinney, who has announced her intentions to run for Congress as a member of the Green Party this fall in Georgia's 4th District.
This is quite a comedown for Miss Moonbeam, who was the Green Party's candidate for president in 2008. But incumbent Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson has impressive space cadet credentials himself. In 2010, Johnson expressed concern in a congressional hearing about a planned military buildup on the Pacific island of Guam, saying, "My fear is that the whole ...
This week is teacher appreciation week. If you don't have children in school, you probably haven't heard of it. If you do, you have probably been asked to send some small token to school with your children for their teachers.
I'm all for teacher appreciation. But they need more than a thank you. According to the article "Public Education Faces a Crisis in Teacher Retention" published in 2005 on Edutopia, of the 200,000 new teachers hired each year, 22,000 quit after one year.
I'm pleased to report that our household has a new Minister of Electricity! Yes, you read that correctly. Our youngest son is the new Minister of Electricity for the McCoy family. You see - we're just like one of those third-world dictatorships. We have ministerial positions in the household, and we grant them exclusively to our family members. Except for the military uniforms, mirrored sunglasses, and overbearing Mercedes limos, we're no different from any other nepotistic bureaucracy. All hail the new Minister of Electricity! May no light bulbs go dark under your tenure and service to our fair ...
In case you haven't noticed, Roger "The Rocket" Clemens is on trial for lying to Congress about whether or not he used performance enhancing drugs and Human Growth Hormone during his illustrious baseball career.
When testifying before Congress about steroid use, Clemens vehemently denied using such substances, despite claims by a teammate that Clemens confessed to him he did use human fuel additives. Clemens' response was that his teammate "misremembered" their conversation.
Since becoming a regular columnist, I've avoided writing about trails or bicycles. I get type-cast as an advocate, and there are so many other great topics. But, it's Bike Month, so I can't resist reflecting on the wonders of two-wheeled, self-propelled transportation.
The League of American Bicyclists declared May National Bike Month in 1956 and they've celebrated for 55 years. Today, at 3 p.m. on the square, Mayor Ronnie Johnston will proclaim May 2012 Bike Month in Covington, before the monthly Community Bike Ride. It's a gentle, family-friendly ride, suitable for kids and adults ...