Like a lot of kids, when I chose a college, I picked one far from home. In my case, it was the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
When I was in my late 20s, I thought I had my whole life figured out. I'd earned degrees in social work, counseling and criminal justice. I was working as counselor for the Department of Corrections. I'd be chief counselor by 35, assistant warden by 40, warden by 45, retire and then spend the rest of my working life teaching and writing.
Gainesville is a very special place, a town with many traditions, a town rich in diverse cultural, artistic musical organizations. I have visited many cities here and overseas, and I do not know of any similar-sized town with such broad cultural activities.
An ethics class for lobbyists? Why didn't I think of that? Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson, R-Savannah, and several of his colleagues have dreamed up a swell idea during this election year. They would teach a formal ethics course to lobbyists. No, they didn't say anything about delivering ethics lectures to legislators, too.
One January after the Christmas break I asked one of my students how the break went. "I hated it" he replied.
Earlier, I listed the top three presidential candidates in each major party I thought best qualified overall for the presidency under the philosophical banner of that party and the major issues. Now that the list has been narrowed to one Republican and two Democrats, let's beat the major media in doing the same for the running mates.
A majority of Americans of all parties and persuasions want change this election year. Only problem is most of those who objectively think issues thoroughly through aren't sure exactly what kind of change is possible, meaningful and really needed.
Just how conservative is John McCain? It has been interesting to watch, listen and read about this issue.
I've been a supporter of Sen. Barack Obama since 2004, not because of his skin color but because he happens to be a political leader with rare God-given transformative skills and gifts. This is unprecedented, and politics is the last place we look for anything having to do with the latter.
I called Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, the other day to see how he likes living in the political doghouse.
I am getting concerned. A lot of my most reliable targets have dried up and gone away. Kind of like the drought, except annexing Tennessee won't help me any.
Why is kids' body-mass index such a weighty issue now?
A little less than a year ago, about this time of year, adult education classes at technical colleges across the state were facing a terrible dilemma. Because of political clashes in Atlanta, adult education teachers were to be furloughed for May and June because there was no money designated in the state budget to pay their salaries for those months.
Nothing hurts parents as deeply as news of the violent death of a child. Over time, the grief subsides slightly but it never goes away, not after a year or a decade or even a quarter of a century.
I have been so wrong so often on these presidential primaries that I don't know where to start cleaning up and trying to explain my record.
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.
Remember the story of "The Little Engine That Could?" That could well describe the city of Dalton, a town of some 34,000 nestled in the corner of Northwest Georgia not far from the Tennessee line.
When George Orwell first coined the phrase "Big Brother is watching you," he knew what he was talking about.
It has been just over two months since I wrote a column about Georgia Power, the Public Service Commission and the construction of two additional nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle. I can hear President Ronald Reagan's voice now: "There you go again."
Can it be? Is it September already? One of my favorite tunes, "September Song," was written by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson for a Broadway musical in 1938 called "Knickerbocker Holiday." The lyrics could apply today to the current political season in Georgia - "For it's a long, long time from May to December, but the days grow short when you reach September."
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