Last week's Supreme Court ruling that family-owned corporations cannot be required by the government to provide insurance coverage that includes contraceptives, if doing so violates the owners' religious beliefs, came at an ironically fortuitous time.
It's summer, glorious summer, that season when school is out and the lazy days are spent sunning on the beach, cruising the lake, hiking the mountains or taking in a ballgame.
It's good to know our nation is in such solid standing around the world, economically and socially, that our government's priorities can be redirected. What evidently matters is not merely unrest in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria or Ukraine, a rising national debt and entitlement tsunami, the flood of refugee children across the U.S. border or the battle over national health care.
When it comes to Washington politics, the old rules of cause and effect don't seem to apply, at least not in a logical way. They never really did, to be honest, but the rules of engagement keep bending ever further from the pull of common sense.
It's summer vacation season, when many families load up the vehicle and head down the road to visit the grandparents, explore the mountains or hit the beach.
In an age when politicians aren't always public servants and vice versa, we honor the life and career of Wyc Orr, one who filled both roles ably.
"All we have of freedom, all we use or know. This our fathers bought for us long and long ago."
We have reached that time on the calendar when our young men and women "walk the walk" in cap and gown, gripping their diplomas with pride as they march into a promising, if unsure future.
Now that we think of it, maybe it would be best to have legislators stay home during an election year.
Each election year, we use this space to encourage everyone to register, vote and take part in our marvelous American democratic process.
It is a cruel paradox worth noting in our yearly calendar.
'Cause I'm the taxman
Just in time for this year's elections, registering to vote in Georgia may get a little easier.
Humanitarian. Philanthropist. Patron of the arts. Journalist. Businesswoman. Trailblazer. Tennis enthusiast. Storyteller. Environmentalist. Writer. Community pillar. Humorist. Mother. Wife. Centenarian.
There is an old adage warning those who seek civil discourse to avoid the discussion of politics or religion in social situations.
Death and taxes are life's only certainties, Benjamin Franklin said, and one is about as popular as the other. They surely go together for most elected officials, and when they ask constituents for more, it's like a trip to the dentist for everyone.
For decades, conservative leaders in Washington and Atlanta have preached the goal of decentralizing government by returning power from federal to state and state to local, giving average citizens more direct control of their daily lives.
"Safety first" was taught to a generation of children in eras past, and remains a top priority for parents, schools and society. Back in the day, children cowered under their desks to prepare for nuclear attack; today, they hunker down in hallways braced for tornadoes.
Broken families. Neglectful parents racked by poverty, addiction or poor personal decisions. Abused children denied a normal upbringing. Government agencies short on resources and personnel scrambling desperately to keep a bad situation from getting worse.
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