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.
Rep. David Stover is a brave man. He may well be one of the gutsiest people serving in the General Assembly.
Robots, artificial intelligence, the future ... what's not to like for a sci-fi buff like me?
I spent last week helping to assess a group of people for a job I couldn't do if my life depended on it. Actually, what they were seeking is not a job; it is a calling. And my life here and in the hereafter depends on how well they do it.
When I first started writing about politics, my conservative friends would preach the gospel of "local control." They believed local governments did a better job of running things because local officeholders were closer to the people who elected them.
It is with regret I tell you our intrepid public servants in the legislature have scuttled a bill that would have lowered the age of eligibility to serve as a member of the House of Representatives to 18 years of age and to 21 in the state Senate.
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