Of all the modern conveniences we take for granted - a light goes on at the flip of a switch, water comes out at the turn of a tap - our roads and highways rank high on the list.
Personal privacy these days almost seems like an antiquated notion from a bygone era, like AM radio, whitewall tires and wide lapels.
Even good intentions can go awry when proper thought and planning are not factored in. This is the lesson of Obamacare.
Polls are, at best, a snapshot of how the public thinks at any given time and we can take or leave them at times. Yet a couple of recent studies by the Pew Research Center show an interesting peek into the American psyche.
The Lone Ranger rides again.
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.
Peace on earth? Where, exactly?
The holidays are traditionally a season of giving, where many with kind hearts buy for families in need, Angel Tree kids or Toys for Tots, feed the hungry or follow the sound of the summoning jingle of bells to drop a few bucks in the Salvation Army's red kettles. And as the calendar year wanes, those in the mood for goodwill and tax deductions pull out their checkbooks to make end-of-year donations.
Most Americans of Baby Boomer age and younger were exposed to marijuana at some point in early adulthood, whether they partook or not on their own. For many, it was a rite of passage encountered at a rock concert or someone's dark basement. For others, it was a substance and a crowd of users best avoided.
In the great American novel "To Kill A Mockingbird," attorney Atticus Finch is explaining to his daughter Scout how to deal with other people amid conflicts at school: "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view ... Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
When you think about it, it's somewhat odd to choose one particular day of the year to express thankfulness.
If there's a word that can sum up our national leadership these days, it is "lame" - a lame-duck session of Congress, a lame-duck president, all yielding results that are totally lame.
Hall County's business community took a well-earned opportunity last week to celebrate a full November cornucopia of blessings and pat itself on the back a bit.
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