The year 2008 has begun very much like 2007 ended: still populated with too many humorless liberal weenies, narrow-minded Bible thumpers, state flaggers who couldn't find the 21st century with a calendar, rude cell phone yakkers, poor service in two languages -- depending on which button you push -- and other assorted irritants.
I happen to be the mother of a child who loves to write. She's 13 and spends a couple of hours each day doing some sort of writing: short stories, poems, blog entries, essays. She's even completed a few chapters of a book.
It isn't often the day this column appears on Christmas Day. I wish each of you a merry Christmas and a happy 2008. May it bring to you more than you ever expected, perhaps at least partly in unexpected ways.
A culture can be defined by the secrets it keeps from its children.
Primitive tribes had ghosts and demons that danced around ceremonial fires when the elders called on them. At puberty, the male initiates learned that those freighting figures were actually their fathers and older brothers, but the truth was kept from the women and children.
Two weeks ago Congress raised automotive fuel efficiency standards from 25 mph to 35 mph. Big whoop de do!
There has been much talk lately of the strong influence of atheism in the book and movie "The Golden Compass." My youngest son, William, received that book from his devoutly Christian aunt several Christmases ago. An avid reader, he set it aside until recently and worked his way through several series books, including "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "Lord of the Rings" series. Just as he read his way to "The Golden Compass," concerns about its message surfaced.
We are winding down the holiday season, the time of year when we each celebrate our faith with family and friends. We pause in the busyness of preparations to remember the blessings of togetherness, belonging and traditions.
Several readers have asked me why I haven't commented on the controversy over county administrator Jim Shuler's compensation arrangement. The simple reason is I don't have sufficient information on the specifics or time to get that information. I do have some basic principles that would apply to my analysis of the information. For however it helps, I'll share that.
School systems are recruiting retired educators to fill vacancies. They're drawing their retirement checks plus getting paid for their work. Retirees are more experienced and possibly more effective than recent graduates. Many seek supplemental income and ...
Stop the presses! Here's a scoop for you. Lynne Spears, that paragon of parenting, mother of Britney and Jamie Lynn, has lost her book deal. This following the announcement that 16-year-old Jamie Lynne, the star of one of those interminable Nickelodeon teen TV series, is 12 weeks pregnant.
It was not the way I wanted to end the year, but I have only myself to blame. One of my cardinal rules is to exercise care when doing business with friends. That is how friends can become ex-friends.
Recently, I was in a local grocery store at a very busy time. I decided to help bag groceries. It had always seemed like fun to me. I suppose I was in one of my ubiquitous philosophical moods, for it occurred to me that any job seems fun, for 10 minutes or so.
I do not know what yardstick can distinguish between a good and a bad foreign military dictator. I do know that we have treated two Muslim military dictators very differently.
As I read The Times editorial entitled, "Bullying the DOT," I was reminded that there are indeed two sides to every story. While The Times feels that Department of Transportation Board Chairman Mike Evans put good government over politics, I respectfully disagree.
Prior to our revolution, most crown-appointed governors in the American Colonies remained loyal to the king. One such governor wrote to the Board of Trade in England stating that, "If you ask an American, who is his master? He will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ."
OK, Bulldog Nation, let's all get a paper bag and breath into it very s-l-o-w-l-y. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Feel better?
In less than two weeks I'll celebrate my 60th birthday. Just for giggles, I perused some 60th birthday cards and, well, the outlook suddenly seems sort of grim. The creepiest of all pictured an empty deck chair on an emptier beach and contained these heartwarming words: "A sunrise is beautiful but so is a sunset. /For turning 60 today don't harbor any regret. / The autumn of your life will be so serene./ You will be the happiest that you have ever been."
In less than a month, students will be reporting for fall semester classes at the public colleges that make up the state's University System.
"I have gotten bad news and am much the worse for it.
For those who have endured Georgia's longest runoff election ever, the July 22 finish line is finally coming into view.
As child, the doctor came to our house if I was ill. Things change. I remember the day I got sick, and my parents bundled me into their car and drove to the doctor's office to see him., Today no one expects a doctor to make house calls.
With the July 22 runoff elections fast approaching, I called Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Ga., to get his thoughts on the various races and to see who he thinks will make it to the finals of the November general election and who will be eliminated this round.
The cellphone video told the story. A U.S. Postal Service van was parked beside a ravine. The driver was systematically taking packages from the back of the vehicle and tossing them down the hill. All in a day's work.
In the days after the May 20 primary elections, candidates who advanced to the runoffs made the usual scramble to secure endorsements from opponents who didn't make it out of the primary.
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