At the end of his adventures, Huckleberry Finn, the boy hero of the quintessentially American novel, did a quintessentially American thing: He decided to "light out for the territory." It was natural. Aunt Sally's ways were suffocating, stifling for a boy like Huck.
You'd better sit down for this one. I must confess that I, your modest and much-beloved columnist, don't have all the answers. (I can hear the gasps from Adel to Zebulon.)
Nearly 40 years ago, we began working to make sure black students were not tracked to fail, discouraged to excel, put out of school, attacked while in school or subjected to the kind of verbal violence that made staying in school hard to do.
Over the past few weeks, the big news story has been about the city school system. From the first day when it was reported that the school system was facing a major budget deficit, to the ultimate dismissal of the superintendent, every Gainesville citizen has an opinion. The school deficit issue has opened everyone's eyes.
Could Vernon Jones be the next Mack Mattingly?
Sen. Johnny Isakson's recent call for a compromise on energy policy is getting a lot of coverage. The Georgia senator wants Republicans to embrace conservation initiatives and alternatives such as solar and wind in turn for Democratic acceptance of nuclear power and a more aggressive exploitation of our own oil resources (Alaska and off the Atlantic Coast).
Five-to-four. Amazing. By one vote our U.S. Supreme Court decided that the Second Amendment to our Constitution is still in effect. It should not have been this close.
The original Olympic Games were held in Greece from 776 BC to 393 AD. Modern Olympic Games resumed in 1859 and were international in scope.
I was deep in thought on my back porch at Big Canoe in the North Georgia mountains when the phone rang. It was Sen. Saxby Chambliss calling from Washington. He sounded as if he had been rode hard and put away wet. Given his druthers, I suspect he would have preferred sitting on the porch staring at the mountains than stuck in Washington with a group of people sporting a 13 percent approval ...
One recent morning, I tried to log on to my online banking account. I needed to check my balance since the dryer had suddenly decided to stop drying and I wasn't sure if I had enough in the account to cover the repair bill.
It certainly catches my attention when I see the words "domestic violence" in a news headline. Kathleen Parker recently brought national attention to this issue in her syndicated newspaper column, which appeared in The Times on June 26.
As Georgia's 2008 political campaign scene develops, the missed opportunity for state Democrats becomes increasingly clear. A recent poll showed competition in a Georgia presidential campaign for the first time since 1996.
Today's column was inspired by one last week from friend and fellow columnist who shares this space with me on alternating Tuesdays, Joan King.
Emily Grace came sweeping into our house in her little pink basket Sunday to inspect her great-grandparents for the first time. She must have given Reny and me high marks. She giggled and smiled during most of the visit. She only made a face and cried when bottle time ticked around.
Several years ago, when I was more active with the League of Woman Voters, I went to Washington, D.C., to meet three other league members in an effort to put a budget issue on the League's national agenda. One woman was from California, another from New Jersey, and the third from somewhere in the Midwest.
The Irish author Oscar Wilde once wrote, "I can resist anything except temptation." Wilde could have been writing about Georgia politicians when he penned those words. The elected officials in this state have proved time and again that when it comes to temptation, especially the temptation of dollars, some of them just can't resist it.
I have said it before, but let me repeat: I have no problem with charter schools. I did have a big problem with the ham-handed way last November's charter school referendum was rammed through by proponents.
We see it time and again. Whether the problem is poverty, bad schools, gun violence, crime in general or even the spread of disease, the liberal answer is always the same: more government. The recent gun debate raging in America illustrates this well.
School is out, vacations have started, and visitors from across the country are driving to one of the state's great coastal attractions, Jekyll Island.
The first mistake was calling it Obamacare. Apparently that moniker was coined by Hillary Clinton back in 2008 when she ran against Barack Obama in the primaries. She called her own plan Clintoncare. We're talking about national health coverage. Why not call it that? Because the name is politically neutral -- neither a rallying cry for one side nor a cudgel for the other.
Well, boys and girls, I see by the old clock on the wall that it is June already. We know what that means. It is time for Answer Man to dig into the Question Box and see what is on your hearts and minds and assorted body parts.
My generation, the one that came of age shortly after dinosaurs stopped roaming the earth, was punished with paddlings. Both at school and at home, teachers and parents responded to serious misdeeds with swift swats. I only recall a couple of spankings and I can't say that's what molded me into a solid citizen. But I also can't say they led me to alcoholic ruin or incipient bed wetting.
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