I leave the farm in the dark, drive thirty miles to Jesup through wisps of lowland fog and park at the dilapidated train station. The building looks as if it suffered a fire and now it is rotting away, boulder-sized holes in its low-reaching roof.
It is a fact: Students in Georgia and the nation do not measure up to their peers in other countries known to provide a world-class education. While the debate continues over who's to blame and policy-makers pay lip service to preparing students for the 21st century - here for almost a decade already - the U.S. education system muddles on as a 19th-century model.
In these hazy, 90-degree Georgia days, with gas prices soaring and smog hovering, the guilt trip that global warming proponents are selling is easy to buy. And with industry and academia seeing the green in being "green," it's even to tougher for ordinary Georgians to resist the strengthening tendrils of government mission creep on the subject.
The South may be about to rise again. Republicans can't take the region for granted any longer. To keep Georgia in the GOP fold, the Republican presidential campaign will have to spend money in the Peach State for the first time since 1996.
Why do people get upset with Barack Obama for not wearing a flag pin on his lapel or with Michelle Obama for suggesting she's not been proud of her country until now? Why is failing to "support the troops" regarded as a sin?
Hurricane season officially started Sunday.
I first noticed them one Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago, when my husband and I guided Jesup friends into the Moody preserve, a 4,000-acre tract of land owned by The Nature Conservancy and the state of Georgia, located in northern Appling County.
There are times when Congress and much of the political class in Washington remind me of a child who can't resist sneaking a handful of cookies from the jar: They know that too much partisanship is getting them in trouble, but they can't help themselves. Politicians want one more maneuver to make the other side look bad; one more hunk of red meat tossed to the party's base; one more legislative standoff to show their partisans they mean what they say. Then they'll reckon with the public's clear preference for political leaders who know how ...
LIMERICK PLANTATION HAPPENINGS
The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to support photo identification at the polls has stirred in me a sense of frustration. At first, this irritation seemed to be the lingering aftertaste of the legal loss for those without easy access to photo IDs.
Memorial Day is the time for Americans to reconnect with their history and core values by honoring those who gave their lives for the freedom and the ideals that we cherish.
"A rotten filthy rathole."
Once I saw a small wooden building alongside a highway through the Ocala National Forest in central Florida, and a sign on the roadside chapel, which had no parsonage or parking lot, said, Forest Community Church. I thought: This is the church for me.
"I wondered how much I had changed. I had gone to Washington a hero, described by many in the media as a 'genius.' I was returning to Georgia a loser. The green bird turned west toward Plains, lifted quickly into the dark sky, and was gone."
Everybody knows about the two speeches Barack Obama needed to get past, or at least try to get past, his pastor problem.
Not long ago, the national philosophy behind criminal-justice policy was to lock offenders away and teach them a lesson. This was popular with politicians who found that it played well before crowds, and it was popular in communities where prisons and jails created jobs. Some folks even seemed to celebrate the idea that prisons were real hellholes.
Seven or eight years ago, as our nest became empty, my wife and I began taking short road trips to destinations as far as three hours from home.
Editor, In the recent Courier article announcing Sen. Isakson's visit to Hinesville on Sept. 5, Isakson was quotes as saying, "As you may know, it takes the VA an average 478 days to make a determination on a VA claim. That's more than a year. Although there are signs of improvement, it's still taking too long."
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. "Surely, you can find some positive things to write about," she said, "and temporarily take people's minds off all the terrible things going on in the world. I think your readers would appreciate that."
I've always been one of those persons who won't hire someone to do something for me if I can do it myself, such as painting my house, building a deck, building a utility barn, caring for my own lawn, installing new flooring, etc. It was just the way I was raised. And it stuck.
When I think back on the days of my youth, that time when I had the privilege of traveling on the NASCAR circuit, it would be hard to pick a lesson learned that was more important than another.
Most mornings, I spend about five minutes pulling my freshly washed hair into a ponytail. It's easy, it's efficient, and, I like to tell myself, it's even chic. When I know I'll be meeting important people or attending special events, however (like, say, the United Way annual campaign kick-off party or a chamber of commerce breakfast), I break out the products and utensils and spend an extra 20 minutes or so coaxing my locks into what I hope is a more professional-looking style.
I am superficial. I know that looks matter - when it comes to our community's appearance, that is.
Editor, I'm appalled - to say the least - at the extravagant salary paid to Liberty County School System Superintendent Dr. Valya Lee.
I'm not sure how many wilderness survival shows there are on television right now, but it appears there is some kind of obsession going on with this type of programming. And they are running the gamut from being naked in the wild to being fat in the wild. That's right, there's a show now titled "Fat Guys in The Woods." Fortunately, they keep their britches on.
• President Ronald Reagan, Jan. 30, 1984: "Exports create and sustain jobs for millions of American workers and contribute to the growth and strength of the United States economy. The Export-Import Bank contributes in a significant way to our nation's export sales."
Editor, The following is an open letter on sequestration to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, from retired U.S. Army Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, head of the Association of the United States Army:
Some of my favorite Norman Rockwell prints all have something to do with eating, but not for the reasons you might think.
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.
In an article that appeared in the Feb. 20, 2013 edition of the Coastal Courier, the Liberty County commissioners blamed Midway for delaying the fire plan, but never addressed or discussed why the city opted out of the county fire plan.