Independence Day is the only holiday that celebrates the United States of America. While it technically commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the truth is that today, families and friends across America will charcoal-grill, sunbathe and set aflame powder in honor of our democratic republic.
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 rating. I'm talking about Congress, of course.
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.
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is one of those political issues that divides Georgians more sharply than almost anything else.
When the lights went out, I was in the bathroom sorting through the various medications I take each day - little round pills that can roll under the claw-footed bathtub if they spill, small ovals that bounce goodness-knows-where if they're dropped. One false move and I would knock the whole kit-and-boodle all over the floor and spend the next hour trying to finding them ... when the power came back on.
It is a little known fact that Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death" edict was not a spontaneous outburst verbalizing his desire for independence but rather his demanding calling card.
I wish I had been there. In Jerusalem. With Jesus.
It was around 1989 when some permutation of the Ku Klux Klan and a motley group of affiliated miscreants applied for and was - as is their right - given permission to demonstrate in Gainesville. At the time my business was located in the Jackson Building on downtown's Washington Street.
Gov. Nathan Deal currently is reviewing the hundreds of bills passed during this year's General Assembly session. He presumably will have everything signed or vetoed by April 30.
Baseball was my first love.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Georgia, as proclaimed by Gov. Nathan Deal. Child abuse is a subject I don't like to think about, let alone write about and you would probably just as soon not hear about. But it is there and we need to acknowledge it and demand some solutions.
Within minutes after a Fulton County jury returned a devastating verdict against the state ethics commission last week, Gov. Nathan Deal's aides were already trying to put their own spin on the story.
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