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.
Just in case you missed this, Alabama and Florida have petitioned the United States Supreme Court to review a ruling by an appellate court that will allow Georgia-that is mostly metro-Atlanta-to take water from Lake Lanier.
We have enough to worry about right now, so why do some people add to our woes by predicting that the end of the world is just around the corner? "Oh, the world's gonna end this year! I'm sure of it. Those old Mayans and their stone calendars must be right!" Really? We've got a political quagmire, our economy is in the toilet, and you want to add Doomsday to the mix? Well, I'm not having any of it. I'm too busy for the world to stop turning, and I know for a fact that ...
What if you were given 120 seconds to put your life story onto a DVD? I say 120 seconds - two full minutes maximum - because communication professionals say a DVD that attempts to tell a story should be no longer so an audience won't fall asleep or miss the point. But maybe, just maybe, having so little time in which to encapsulate one's life could be seen as a good thing. There would only be room for the high points vs. the low points, the happiness vs. the sadness, the successes vs. the failures.
Is it going to shock you that I didn't watch the Super Bowl this year? Maybe? Just a little? No, probably not. While the civilized world was watching the most sacred game of the football season, I was doing other things, like writing this column. You might be thinking, "Wow! That's dedication!" but it's not. I skipped the game, because that's how I approach all professional sports. I don't have the desire to watch the games. There are too many tattoos, hairstyles, attitudes, and mega-dollars on the field for me to care. So, I do ...
The fourth week of the legislative session saw a pickup of the pace, with 12 bills and resolutions reaching the floor of the House for a vote.
The issue of ethics and tightening standards on what gifts and perks legislators can receive from friends and supporters is once again making its annual appearance in the Georgia General Assembly.
My first marathon was New York in 1992. I trained with a group for months but had never gone a full 26.2 miles before the start of the race. Turns out that's something you ought to do.
Columnist William Perugino in Friday's paper complained that the Department of Health and Human Services and Secretary Kathleen Sibelius had announced that all health insurance must offer sterilization, contraception and abortion drugs with no regard for individual beliefs. He feels that the founding fathers who fled to America to find religious freedom would now believe that that religious freedom was taken from them.
In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, I am required to submit annually a State of the Column message. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please stand and applaud if you hear something that floats your boat or look bored if you don't. You may be on television.
Ten years ago as my family and I were making a list of pros and cons for moving to Georgia, we placed Georgia's abundance of state parks right up under the Atlanta Braves on the pro side. We've enjoyed so much about these protected spaces of green goodness and historic wonder since we've lived here. There's nothing quite as frugal and fabulous as a trip to a Georgia State Park, friends. One of our favorites is just a hop, skip and a jump from Covington and is rife with history and fun.
Transitional phases are never easy. Whether it's remodeling a kitchen, rearranging the furniture or cleaning out a closet, the transitional phase is always a bit messy. This past month, we had our children's bathroom remodeled. We put it off for as long as we could. The shower has leaked for years, so our two children have been using our master bathroom for showers. The water in the sink only ran out in a trickle, barely enough for brushing teeth, and always cold. When the toilet quit working in December, that was it. We had to press forward with ...
Just because the economy is bad doesn't mean your social life has to be.
The finest examples of beef cattle, hogs and breeding ewes in Newton County go head to head on Saturday, Feb. 11, as 4-H'ers and FFA members compete at the Newton Classic Livestock Show.
The very essences of the principles devoted to the founding of our country were steeped in the preservation of religious freedom. Our founding fathers fled their homes in Europe and England to find a land where they were free to worship God as they believed and pursue their lives as they wished in happiness and peace. They died to gain their freedom of religion.
"I'm not James Taylor," laughs Mansfield's singer/songwriter Johnny Roquemore, known more for his humorous, bluegrass-inspired compositions than the smooth ballads delivered by tweed-clad Taylor. Growing up in DeKalb County, Roquemore picked up an electric guitar at 14 and with a neighborhood band made some "big noise," he recalled. "All I ever wanted was an amp taller than me." In college, he played frat parties in another band, but at the same time, he got hooked on acting and enjoyed a memorable run in the Atlanta theater scene, including a lead in an Alliance Theater production.