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.
Last month, I wrote a column providing a midterm life update based on a question by David Brooks.
Bill Clinton successfully used the phrase "It's the economy, Stupid!" in his campaign for the presidency in 1992. Today, with the burgeoning deficit and economic disaster facing all Americans, the clarion call should be "It's the spending, Stupid!" It's not a case of insufficient tax revenue. We are over taxed, over regulated and drowning in mandatory entitlements. The task of finding fiscal responsibility to salvage our country from disaster begins at home on the local, county and state level. If we do not secure fiscal conservancy, less government intrusion and reduced spending on the local level, we ...
One of the joys of my position as chairman is getting to attend and participate in community events that bring out the best in Newton County. Meeting the people who volunteer their time, money and energy to make this county a wonderful place warms my heart, especially at Christmas.
When we were much younger, girls might have thought perfection resided in the right bottle of shampoo that promised just the right shine or swing of their long supple hair. Or the right make of hair product, in the case of a guy intent on the most stand-up crew cut. The just right shade of bubblegum pink lipstick might have cemented the impression we sought as the perfect teenage girl with just the look to win an appreciative glance from the football player two years ahead of us in school. Or in the case of a guy, the teasing look ...
We believe that the future development and growth of the Covington airport is essential to economic recovery of both Covington and Newton County.
My older daughter has hosted my family for Thanksgiving for the last several years, an arrangement which I greatly appreciate. I get to see my children, grandchildren, my sister and her son, and while I contribute, I don't have to cook the whole meal. This year, when we arrived, my husband discovered my son-in-law had recently bought one of those huge TVs that hang on the wall. My husband settled on the sofa in front of that large TV and stayed there the whole time we were at my daughter's house except for the time he was at ...
In case you have been vacationing on the moon, you may have missed the news that the student-athletes from the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, came up a wee bit short in attaining the football championship of the Southeastern Conference. That honor went to the young men of Louisiana State University who, having observed them in post-game interviews, are destined to become either, you know, great orators or, you know, quantum physicists.
Every morning in December, I enjoy a laugh as I look out my front window and see our eight-foot-tall inflatable Santa flattened on the ground. It's just so funny to see the jolly old man face-planted in the dirt, quite realistically reflecting the way I feel at the end of every December day - totally, utterly deflated.
Over the years, a group of local men have met every Friday to pray and read the Bible; from one of those meetings, the annual legislative breakfast was born.
I wish I had a cup of coffee for every time someone has advised me to drive in the right-hand lane on the interstate. Actually, that would be too many coffee cups to wash, so I'll settle for a few pounds of coffee beans, and I'll brew it myself. The fact is, I've heard this comment over and over: "Stay right! It's safer!" I'm sure there are safety advantages to consider, and - as my wife reminded me - traffic laws often require you to drive in the right-hand lane. So, I'm not about to offer ...
I heard a modern version of the Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael story this week. You may remember Abraham, who turned Hagar and Ishmael out into the desert, with bread and a skin of water. (The Abraham of Ishmael and Issac.) Both of which were soon exhausted.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is moving into its third month across the country. While the original goals of the group may have had a bit of merit, their tactics and stubborn refusal to work with those they attack and to seek real solutions exhibits their true colors, anarchy and destruction.
Does evil exist in the world? Is there really a devil that competes with God for control of the human mind? Are there unseen evil spirits that wreak havoc on the affairs of human beings? There is no simple answer to any of these questions or one that will satisfy all of us. All of the world's major religions wrestle with the subject of evil, even Buddhists who believe that evil exists only in a person's mind and can be overcome with practice.
Today, I ask for a moment of personal privilege. It was two years ago this week that I wrote about the Three Wise Men that have so greatly influenced my life: Roy Hodnett, a real estate magnate on Saint Simons Island; Dr. Raymond Cook, my college professor, now residing in Valdosta; and John W. Jacobs, Jr., a broadcast pioneer and philanthropist from Gainesville. All three in their 90s or close to it. All three a part of the Greatest Generation. All three family men of faith. I could not have asked for better role models.
A bank-o-mat ate my debit card in Bratislava. I bet you have never made that statement before. I had to make it twice and then explain it to a teller last April.