Politicians like to talk about empowering the middle class or other segments of the voting population, but they're typically a little fuzzy on what empowerment really means. That makes sense when you consider that elections are essentially about politicians asking to get power rather than share it.
With just under six weeks to the Nov. 4 Election Day, the pressure is on. With a Democratic sitting president with a low 44 percent approval rating, many Republican races across the nation are being run by tying the Democratic candidate to the president. In many cases, this might indeed create distaste for the Democratic candidate by the voters and lead to a Republican victory. But, with no clear path forward, who is to say that the voters won't be just as disgruntled in a few years with Republicans?
"They are ruthless, single-minded and totally committed." - British security adviser; Source: "The Times of London," Aug. 16, 2006.
I have one of the most interesting jobs in the world. One day I am advising world leaders on the nuances of international monetary policy. The next day I am consoling a distraught reader who thinks I need to "look within myself spiritually." The last time I looked within myself, I saw my navel. It was full of lint. Never again.
Of all the experts I have read or consulted lately about the situation in the Middle East, the one who made the most sense was quoted recently in The New York Times. She's Jennifer Shelton-Armstrong, identified as a 45-year-old Democrat in Mission Viejo, California, who participated in a poll about President Obama's handling of foreign policy and terrorism. This is what she said: "He is ambivalent, and I think it shows. There is no clear plan."
Sensational stories about the application of Sharia (Islamic) law are easy to find. The vast majority of the stories aren't really about Sharia but about abuse of Islamic law. Every time I read one of those stories, I am glad the Sharia isn't being enforced in the United States.
Many in the media are saying how unusual it is for our economy to be so sluggish for so long, after we have officially emerged from a recession. In a sense, they are right. But, in another sense, they are profoundly wrong.
Ronald Reagan was always good for a funny, dry, wry or totally off-base comment. Even if he got facts or history wrong, he kept on smiling. "Politics," he said, "is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book." Take that, Dick Cheney, who's self-aggrandizing new book may do little to rehabilitate his image as a cold-hearted, vengeful warmonger, among other things. Reagan would seem to have been remarkably prescient.
I know students don't like tests. But sometimes teachers don't either. First you have to make them up, that means deciding what content you want to cover and what format you want to use. Essay - hard to grade but easy to create. Short answer or multiple choice - easy to grade but hard to create. Though it's a lot easier now with computers. We had to type them on a stencil and run them off on the mimeograph machine. And as soon as you handed them out, the students would smell them. Apparently, the fumes are somewhat toxic.
A man of the cloth by the name of Markel Hutchins is suing the estate of the late Kathryn Johnston for a half-million dollars.
It takes a lot of guts or a lot of stupidity to bring up the topic of women's panty hose; but I'm going to do it anyway and address a simple wardrobe question to the ladies. "Women, how do you feel after you buy a brand new pair of panty hose and get a ruinous run in them before they're even a day old?" Has that happened to you, before? I hear that's a common experience you ladies face. You spend five or six bucks, you go about your daily business, you snag something, you look ...
Just in case you missed this, the escaped monkey from Yerkes is still on the loose and officials have called off the search for the elusive creature. It has not been officially determined if the animal could be found hiding under the Gold Dome.
It's late summer, almost Labor Day, and for those with school-age children, it is time to get back to school, back to activities and back to routine. After 11 weeks of vacation, routine sounds more welcoming and stable than oppressive and stifling, as it did at the end of this past spring.
Another one bites the dust. It is with great regret that I have to inform you that Muammar Gaddafi has fallen from power in Libya. Not that I knew him or thought that he was good for Libya or the world in general. Rather my regrets are for the manner of his passing from the world stage.
The movie "A Few Good Men" in 1992 starred Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise as Marines facing off in the courtroom. Lt. J.G. Daniel Kaffee (Cruise) is defending two Marines accused of murder at Guantanamo Bay. Col. Nathan Jessep (Nicholson) is the Base Commander. In a pivotal scene, the gruff Jessep is the witness, pressured by the inexperienced Kaffee who is demanding a truthful answer from Jessep. In a full Jack Nicholson over-the-top roar, Jessep scorches the screen with his answer: "You can't handle the truth!"
Long-time readers will remember several years ago when I talked about a beautiful little lady I had met when she was just 2-years-old and who possessed the most crystal blue eyes I had ever seen. Her name was Abby Smith and she was a knockout.
The story in last week's News about the groundbreaking for a new building for Newton High School brought back many memories of the quirks of the old building.
I love science fiction, but I've noticed the genre often misses some obvious elements of the future. The authors write about space ships, ray guns, teleportation and aliens, but they seem to blow it when it comes to three common themes: tailoring, trash and tattoos.
This spring and summer have found me doing a lot of walking as I break in a new knee and hip joint from Peachtree Orthopedics in Atlanta. My long time pharmacist, Bob Richardson, correctly advised me to stick with walking since I couldn't run a lick in high school. Newton Drive is a favorite route and I made 50 miles in July, not bad for a gimpy, 62-year-old pudgy guy.
It's vast, it's crowded, it's fattening and it's fun. "Nothing Compares to the Iowa State Fair." The slogan is aptly deserved.