After the unexpected death of my beloved grandson, Zack Wansley, I wasn't sure I wanted to do this anymore. Twitting inept politicians, know-it-all media, smug entertainers, greedy CEOs and the terminally humorless seemed absurdly irrelevant.
Speaking in the early 1990s, when the median price of a home was about $108,000, the late Larry Burkett asked, "What do you think the price of a house would be if you couldn't borrow to buy a house? Do you think a $108,000 house would sell for $108,000 if you couldn't sell it to anybody with a loan?"
Georgia has one of the largest and most violent prison populations in the country, yet the state, in its haste to try to balance an insanely optimistic budget in a recession, has cut prison guards' pay to just four days a week. Some prison guards already are among the lowest-compensated state employees. In at least one unit of the state university system, Kennesaw State, officials announced that students would be required to pay an additional ...
With no TV reception, I've been spared the recent barrage of campaign ads. But I do have Internet access, and I'm flooded with suggestions to watch this or that on YouTube, and with e-mails that begin, "You've just got to see this." Sorry. Campaign ads are not designed to inform. They're designed to persuade. If they provide any facts at all, the facts are one-sided and chosen for their emotional impact. They're the result of ...
Have you ever heard someone utter the phrase "what is this world coming to"?
Why would a school system seek to become "chartered"? The answer lies in the vision a school system has for the community it serves. A charter is, in essence, a business plan that describes how schools can use innovation and creativity to motivate and inspire students to apply and demonstrate knowledge. Too often schools become stuck in being "good, average schools." Meeting Adequate Yearly Progress has become a central focus for public schools during the "No Child Left Behind" era.
For many Georgians living in North Georgia and metro Atlanta, last week would qualify as a crisis if not a disaster. Because of the damage done to Texas refineries by Hurricane Ike, the state basically ran out of gasoline. Frustrated motorists drove for hours trying to find fuel for their cars, only to discover that every service station and convenience store seemed to have run dry.
I grew up in a family that loved to read. We received the Atlanta Constitution in the morning and the Daily Times in the afternoon. For decades my parents maintained subscriptions to Time, Reader's Digest, National Geographic, Life and Look Magazines. When I was 6, they dug deep into their pockets to buy a set of World Book encyclopedias. When my daughter started school I dug equally deep to buy a home computer. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
On the morning of Sept. 15, John McCain probably felt like he was on top of the world. The Arizona senator's position in the race for president had improved steadily in the two weeks since he selected Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice president. On that fateful Monday morning, McCain was leading Barack Obama by a point or two in almost every major poll. Democrats were starting to panic that the election was going down the tubes.
What would you do? Georgia's gasoline pumps have all but run dry. Prices have soared at the few stations still in business. The state's unemployment rate is running ahead of the national jobless rate, which is over 6 percent and rising.
Two quick references before getting to today's meat: (1) Hope you had a ball and full tummy at the Kiwanis pancake breakfast. On behalf of the club, thanks. Saw a lot of you. Turnout was fabulous.
In the period right after World War II ended, I was a student at the University of Virginia. One of my most challenging teachers was a professor of economics, David McCord Wright, before he moved to teach here in Georgia. His basic lectures on the nature of the economic system of our country and the other countries of the world stayed with me.
"An absolute principle of economics," the late Larry Burkett wrote in his 1992 No. 1 best seller, "The Coming Economic Earthquake," was that, "... no one, government or otherwise, can spend more than he or she makes indefinitely. At some point the compounding interest will consume all the money in the world."
I know from experience that all I have to do to get a response from readers is to mention the word, "abortion." My last column, headlined, "Woman chosen for wrong reason," was no exception. What I said in the column was this: "Palin was chosen ... because she is anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, and anti-evolution." But as far as the McCain campaign goes, she was chosen for the right reasons. She has energized Christian fundamentalists and through them, the rest of the party.
The Gainesville and Hall County school districts have much to be proud of. Day in and day out, their 31,000 students and 6,000 staff members win awards, bandage scraped knees, complete assignments, ease the pain of others and accomplish incredible tasks that prepare the next generation for the 21st century. The vast majority of these everyday routines go unnoticed. With this in mind, it seems prudent to put a handful of poor decisions this past week into perspective.
Gov. Nathan Deal was the picture of confidence last week as he presided over the traditional lighting of the state Christmas tree.
It was as ugly as a wart hog, but for the 11th time in the past 12 years, 38th of the past 50 and 65th out of 108, the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South has bested You-Know-Where Institute of Technology for the State Football Championship, 41-34.
There's an old joke that goes, "a bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it."
As of this writing, six world powers have reached an agreement with Iran that would prevent that country from developing nuclear weapons.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
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