When I was 13 years old, I visited Washington, D.C., with my grandparents as guests in my great-aunt's home in Arlington, Va.
Sometimes I don't understand my beloved state of Georgia. How in good conscience can we spend $19 million on something like Go Fish Georgia, which Gov. Sonny Perdue thinks is the greatest thing to hit the state since James Oglethorpe's two feet?
For seven years I was a single parent. I had one sweet, healthy, bright child. I had a job and a home and some savings. It was still the most difficult things I've ever done.
It is always a good idea to pay close attention to what Georgia's legislators do during a General Assembly session, because at some point you're going to end up paying for it.
Let's forget the economy and Barack Obama for a moment. Let's turn to a really serious question that should have been addressed months or even years ago:
I may have figured out why we as Georgians and Americans can't seem to recognize the source of the myriad problems troubling society today, particularly in governmental levels from courthouse to the top. We simply pass every mirror with nary a glance. The enemy is us.
The great philosopher David Hume said, "It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once." It is generally lost about 1 percent at a time - usually through taxes.
He may have done some things you like and some you don't like in his first few weeks in office, but President Barack Obama has hit a home run in his appointment of former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell as his special envoy for the Middle East, and veteran diplomat Richard Holbrooke for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Political science professors for years have been teaching their students that Georgia's affairs are managed by the traditional three branches of government: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial.
American banks are again teetering on the edge. Downgrades by ratings agencies and stock analysts on two of Georgia's largest banks, Suntrust and Synovus (which owns Bank of North Georgia), have been reported. Both banks reported massive losses in the final quarter of '08. Bank of America also had to ask for additional funding from the federal government to stay afloat.
Let's face reality. Georgia needs a federal bailout. The Peach State is in worse shape than Chrysler and Bank of America put together. President Barack Obama's stimulus package has earmarked about $5.6 billion to help Georgia.
Nothing defines America better than the First Amendment: Freedom of religion, freedom of the press and freedom of speech. You and I can stand on any street corner or write a letter to any newspaper and say whatever we want.
In the 1960s, I attended a conference for academics in the State Department building in Washington, D.C. The main address was by Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who outlined a number of expensive foreign aid programs being studied for possible implementation. After his talk, he opened the floor to questions from the audience.
I am a little late delivering my 2009 predictions to you, which must have put you in a dither.
So the National Safety Council wants state governments to ban cell phone use, even hands-free cell phones, while driving. I think the NSC should have gone after a far more dangerous practice before taking on cell phones: farding while driving.
Human nature has changed little over time, but human behavior has. We no longer burn heretics at the stake or torture animals for sport ... well, not the way we did in the past. At least today we pay lip service to social justice and the rule of law.
As a father and a school superintendent, I have an extremely personal interest in the state of our schools. I also have a great respect for the democratic process: the opportunity for vigorous debate and the potential created by new and innovative ideas.
I have asked the two major gubernatorial candidates to talk to Georgia public school teachers about their respective education platforms.
It's looking more and more possible that voters will have to return to the ballot box after the general election.
If I die anytime soon - and I have no plans to do so at the moment - please see that the first paragraph of my obituary reads, "He was past president of the University of Georgia National Alumni Association." You can save for later paragraphs the part about my being often mistaken for Brad Pitt and my uncanny ability to put commas where they don't belong.
It's been said that fall is the Southerner's reward for surviving summer. I believe that with all my heart. Autumn is my favorite season, the one I look toward with almost giddy anticipation.
With all of the focus on campaigns for governor and senator, it's easy to overlook the fact there are other statewide races on the ballot for November.
I just hung up on another perfectly nice volunteer asking me to send money to a political cause I wholly support. I also dumped a half dozen unopened letters from worthwhile organizations into the recycle bin. I've contributed to some of these groups for over 40 years.
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