One of my resolutions for Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish New Year - is to be less quick to judge a person or a situation, trying instead to get all the facts before I come to a conclusion. Being a journalist, this is a valuable skill, as well as a character improvement.
Dear Mr. President:
Spooked by the public outcry, the House of Representatives has canceled its order for four military jets that would have been used occasionally to ferry members of Congress around the world. Even so, you shouldn't expect that the next time you fly, your seatmate in coach will be some humbled congressman on a fact-finding mission.
If he wants to prevail in Afghanistan, Barack Obama needs a George W. Bush moment. He'll have to ignore the polls, brush aside doubters in his own party and reinforce a failing war effort.
If you will allow me a moment of personal privilege, it has been one year since our grandson, Zack Wansley, collapsed and died while training for the Thanksgiving Day Marathon in Atlanta. He was 22.
Now that Congress is back in session and President Obama has spoken, Washington's focus on the various health plans will intensify. But health legislation passing through Congress has nothing to do with health reform, or even health care. It is about raw political power.
Looking at ways to make Congress a stronger, more effective institution, it's easy for reformers to get dispirited by the sheer complexity of the task. How do you even begin to fix the budget process, or reduce the hold of campaign money on members' attention, or change the lopsided power equation between Congress and the White House? Yet there is one small improvement that Congress could put into effect that would go a long way toward making it a more successful body: extend the congressional work week.
Al Williams, Liberty County's only member of the Georgia General Assembly, has a gift for oration but the Midway Democrat also has a financial problem that is staining his reputation and adding to statewide image problems for the county.
If Dick Cheney had a fantasy scenario for how the Bush administration interrogation program worked, it might go like this: A top-level al-Qaida operative is captured, but resists traditional interrogation. He is then waterboarded, after which he becomes an invaluable resource. Eventually, the terrorist conducts tutorials on al-Qaida doctrine and operations for the benefit of American intelligence officers.
It has been eight years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington killed some 3,000 innocent people. How soon we forget.
Perhaps you've heard about President Barack Obama's planned speech to the nation's schoolchildren on Tuesday. If so, you probably also heard that it has created controversy, which comes as no surprise.
Some of my fondest memories growing up are of vacations my family and I spent at a Georgia State Park, camping at Elijah Clark State Park near Lincolnton.
The Obama team is saddled with a foundering health-care strategy. But it has a fallback plan - relying on the sheer dimwitted gullibility of the American public. How stupid do they think we are?
When I was at UGA, many years ago, I took a biology class as part of the required curriculum. One day, the professor asked the 300 of us in the class what we thought was the most important organ in the human body.
Sometimes you just can't help but feel sorry for Malfunction Junction, aka, the city of Atlanta.
Editor, Veterans, did you know that when Congress passed legislation to provide caregiver assistance to our nation's most severely disabled warriors, they instituted willful discrimination the likes of which hasn't been seen since the oppressive days of Jim Crow laws?
I'm a CEO with a GED, and I have walked in the shoes of a minimum wage worker. I know from experience that it's a tougher road today.
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.