School is out, Memorial Day is past and summer stretches in front of us. Maybe it's because I live in the South, but summer seems to be a time when everything slows down, as if to pay homage to the heat and humidity that abound. Without the invention of air conditioning, there is not doubt there would be few who would choose to live in the deep South today, at least during the summer.
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've been re-reading the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, and my brain is reeling with spaceships, robots, time travel and towels. But one passage I read is more a real-world warning than it is science fiction. Arthur Dent, the protagonist, is stranded on a remote and primitive planet. Nothing in his training has prepared him for a world that's this simpleminded, and despite his supposed learning and skills, he feels useless. Instead of doing what most useless people do - going into national politics - he opens a sandwich shop. He's a survivor and he's found ...
For decades, it has been obvious that there are irreconcilable differences between Americans who want to control the lives of others and those who wish to be left alone. Which is the more peaceful solution: Americans using the brute force of government to beat liberty-minded people into submission or simply parting company? In a marriage, where vows are ignored and broken, divorce is the most peaceful solution.
Similarly, our Constitutional and human rights have been increasingly violated by a government instituted to protect them. Americans who support constitutional abrogation have no intention of mending their ways.
Washing windows isn't on anyone's list of favorite things to do, but imagine the job of washing the windows at CNN Center where soaring glass window walls enclose the towering structure. Well, Covington's Fred Franklin has done it, but that's only one of his high-rise, nail-biting accomplishments. When Atlanta hosted the 1988 Democratic Convention, it was Franklin who rigged and lifted to the roof the sound and lighting stages, hung the ceiling banners and raised thousands of balloons to the roof that would be dropped at the end of the convention.
With high-flying experience like that ...
One little noticed and quite remarkable aspect of Election 2012 is that Barack Obama won a majority of the popular vote for the second consecutive time. With the exception of Franklin D. Roosevelt's four-term run in the 1930s and '40s, it's the first time the Democrats have won a majority of the presidential vote in back-to-back elections since 1836.
This suggests that the president has a unique opportunity to reshape American politics in a major way. To accomplish that, however, his second term will have to be deemed a success in the court of public opinion. Mandates and ...
It's my birthday month again, and I had to renew my car tag. This year, I had to get an actual tag, not just a decal. I didn't think anything about it until I had to find my car in a parking lot and realized that I couldn't look for the familiar "ACY" license plate. (I told you there are several cars in Covington just like mine.) I have to learn a new set of letters.
In case you have been busy doing mundane stuff like eking out a living, you may have missed the news that there is a petition going around that would allow Georgia to secede from the union. As of this writing, there have been 24,579 signatures to the petition.
Thanksgiving week is a time to express gratitude and appreciation and to acknowledge what we are thankful for in our lives. Many of us have Thanksgiving routines and rituals that take us out of the everyday routine of our lives and provide a space for us to slow down, unwind, reflect and give thanks.
You might say "successful aging" means finding another candle on the old birthday cake, but I don't believe success can be defined in such simple terms where quantity equals quality. I think successful aging means something more complex, like coming to grips with your mortality and the small, but important role you play in life. You also have to wise up about your dreams. I abandoned my childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. I also gave up the extremely unrealistic dream of owning a vintage Italian car that didn't leak oil and make me swear. Does that mean ...
President Barack Obama narrowly defeated Gov. Mitt Romney in the popular vote 51 percent to 48 percent. In the all-important Electoral College, the difference was larger, with Obama winning 303 electoral votes and Romney 206. Let's not think so much about the election's outcome but instead ask: What's so good about democracy and majority rule?
It never fails that whenever I sit down to compose this weekly column - or almost anytime I find myself at the computer - our little gray girl cat comes around mewling plaintively. In the wink of an eye, she's on the desktop, prowling back and forth across the keyboard, putting herself between the computer screen and me.
"Rejoice in the Lord always... Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
First, I commend Mr. Ketchum for having enough community interest to write his article, "Rails to rails: It makes too much sense," Nov. 16. Mr. Ketchum appears to have not been around to hear all the reasons for the project to be deemed not feasible or to experience the long emotional struggle over the project.
One of the things I'm most thankful for is growing up in a family that gave thanks. Three times a day, at every meal, my father said this "blessing": Heavenly Father, pardon our sins, and give us hearts to be thankful for this and all our blessings. Amen.
A recent study from the Pew Forum on Religion and Life reveals that for the first time in our history, more people in the United States claim no religious affiliation than those who do. There are now more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6 percent of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation. Why is that?
I hope everyone who attended the annual Lighting of the Courthouse on the square had a wonderful time.