Remember the story of "The Little Engine That Could?" That could very well describe the city of Dalton, a town of some 34,000 nestled in the corner of Northwest Georgia, not far from the Tennessee line.
"All politics is local," the late Speaker of the House Tip O' Neill famously said. How right he was. The world today is suffering from the failure of President Obama to apply a school of law enforcement that happened to originate in O'Neill's hometown, Boston, and goes by the moniker "broken windows." The problem, simply stated, is that Obama was deaf to the sound of tinkling glass.
The lovable legend of Robin Hood with his band of Merry Men making life difficult for the Sheriff of Nottingham offers a great way to understand the politics of 21st century America.
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.
Spring is now officially upon us, although the weather we have had lately makes it feel like spring came and went around 2:47 a.m. Tuesday morning, and we headed straight into summer.
Normally we accept this with good grace because we know that our Northern friends are still digging out of snow, but that has not been the case this year.
How many of you grew up reading about a superhero who had amazing powers and who flew around town fighting crime while looking snazzy in a form-fitting costume? Come on; you know you read about Superman or Wonder Woman or other comic book heroes, and you wanted to be just like them. You wanted superpowers, and if you had any fashion sense, you wanted a snazzy cape with your initials on the back. Maybe you haven't given up hope. Maybe you still want superpowers, even if you're willing to compromise on the costume. I know which superpower I ...
Wanting to learn about our Fire Explorers and fire volunteers in Social Circle, I met two young ladies at the fire station who made me realize that there's a lot about firefighting that most folks, especially me, don't know. Shannon Patterson and Ashley Yantis are both experienced firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians. Both are enthusiastic and totally committed to their work in insuring the safety of our citizens. Patterson is tall and pretty. Yantis is short (they call her "half-pint") and cute.
Unlike most jurisdictions, Public Safety Officers in Social Circle are cross trained as firemen and as ...
Are you a "Facebragger?" Urban Dictionary.com defines Facebragging as "the act of using a social networking site in order to show off or impress others with material items and/or fun activities and may include status updates, comments, or most often, pictures."
The opposite is referred to as being a "Facedowner"- someone who only posts the most dismal and depressing updates, presumably to garner sympathy from their friends.
If you read last Sunday's Covington News, you may have seen a diatribe about this paper in the form of a letter to the editor from a man named Felton Hudson of Stone Mountain. In it, he also took a harsh swipe at my personal opinion columns, calling them "pedantic gallimaufries." More on that in a minute.
I have a cat. His name is Earnest. He was a gift from a student in a senior English class spring semester of the last year I taught. The class voted to call him Shakespeare. But I declined. I couldn't see myself opening my back door and yelling Shakespeare into the neighborhood. So we settled on Earnest because as a class we were reading "The Importance of Being Earnest" when he came into my life.
"Members of the Legislature, my name is Figby and I have been asked by House Speaker Dennis Ralston - he is the gentleman over in the corner eating the Twinkie - along with Senators Tommie Williams and Chip Rogers to discuss some potential campaign issues this fall. They are, of course, your leaders and have helped make the General Assembly what it is today.
The local community will team up once again Saturday to help Covington stay beautiful through The Great American Cleanup.
I used to think people who dressed their dogs up in silly outfits or put bows in their hair needed professional counseling. That was back during my judgmental days when I thought my opinions mattered and always made it a point to make sure everyone around me knew what they were.
As a college student, I was always grubbing for a few extra dollars. I held part-time restaurant and retail jobs, and I even built hydraulic hoses for 18-wheelers. "Anything for a buck" was my motto. It was also my excuse for becoming a telephone solicitor - that unloved wage-slave who calls your home just as you sit down to dinner. So, instead of studying or attending school events, I was often renewing magazine subscriptions or selling aluminum siding. Yeah, you read that right: aluminum siding! I fell pretty low in the late '70s. I even listened to disco.
One of the fundamental gaps between the American people and their elected politicians can be found in perceptions of the relationship between economic growth, job creation and government spending.
The runaway train has again picked up speed fueled by government's out of control spending. You certainly won't read this in the major media this week.
Campaigning and courting have something in common, I've decided. Both are built on fevered promises made at the height of passion. You know the lingo: "I'll never (whatever)." Or: "I'll always (whatever)." Or: "I promise (whatever)." "You can (always) count on me." "You'll be my top priority (forever)." "You'll (always) come first." "(Your) wish is my command." "I will (never) compromise my pledges to you." "There will (never) be a day in your life when you will question my commitment to you."
At the risk of sounding like Johnny One-Note, let me go back over my concerns one more time about the charter school constitutional amendment bill in the State Senate that may or may not have been passed by the time this gets to you. (My deadlines and legislative deadlines don't always coincide.)
The Heartland Woman's Club will hold its 21st croquet tournament Saturday at Oxford College on the field behind the tennis courts. The tournament is for novices and anyone can learn to play in less than three minutes. Teams of two players usually play at least five matches which last around 20 minutes each, and team members are treated to breakfast, lunch and prizes. There will also be a silent auction.