Half a lifetime ago I worked as a parole officer. One of my duties was to interview the families of prospective parolees. I'd get information for a narrative about the inmate's personal life, their background, education, community support and postrelease plans.
Before the booing and counter-booing begin, let's remember what the gun symbolizes in American culture: More than the bald eagle or the don't-tread-on-me serpent, the firearm to the American male and increasing numbers of females has come to stand for our ideals of independence.
Moving up the street roughly a half-mile as we just did is little different from moving across the country what with packing, unpacking, etc. The current economy and real estate market make selling the vacated home far more difficult than any of our previous moves.
"An expert is anyone from out of town with a brief case."
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.
Anyone with a sense of history who has watched the fascinating new Ken Burns documentary on PBS, "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History," may have experienced a sense of déjà vu during episode six, which chronicles the tumultuous events of 1939-44.
I have one of the most interesting jobs in the world. One day I am advising world leaders on the nuances of international monetary policy. The next day I am consoling a distraught reader who thinks I need to "look within myself spiritually."
Over the past 10 years, Georgia has served as the location for a wide-ranging experiment in economic theory.
Until I heard her speak at a benefit luncheon, I thought Ronda Rich was a bit of an empty-headed lightweight. I was wrong, wrong, wrong, and she has become one of my must-read columnists.
The Woman Who Shares My Name instructed me that this week's column was to be about positive things. She says she is tired of bad news and thought you felt the same way.
I don't pay a lot of attention to football. Even though I was a proud Red Elephant during the heyday of Bobby Gruhn and Tommy West, I just never caught the fever. Four years at the University of Alabama during the reign of Bear Bryant did nothing to pique my interest. Since I married a man whose football apathy mirrored my own, there was never an incentive to learn or follow the game.
In our system of government where citizens elect those who will make the decisions for them, voter registration and the casting of ballots are the fundamental elements of democracy - the blocking and tackling, to use a football analogy.
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