It has become somewhat of an art for me, that of studying Southern culture and deciphering what makes us different from others, as well as downright peculiar among ourselves.
I recently enjoyed a week in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, with my family. Usually, when I visit the best city in the country (my own personal opinion there), I only have a few days in which to squeeze in trips to my favorite restaurants, a little rest and relaxation, outings with relatives and an evening or two with old friends. So it was wonderful to have a little more time.
MOULTRIE - The first item in my emails today was: "How to get thin quickly."
Our veterans shouldn't need an act of Congress and a presidential signature to get the Veterans Affairs healthcare system up to speed. But that's just what it took.
Whistleblowers, often revered and feared by the Obama administration, have received a special place since the 2011 initiation of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a global transparency campaign. Their prominence is justified. The OGP will become a magnet for cynicism unless there is safe cover for those who will make it work or fail - whistleblowers on the front lines of fraud, waste and abuse currently sustained through secrecy and enforced by repression.
According to the Federal Register, on Dec. 7, 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency "found" that current and projected concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations. Unfortunately, this finding and the EPA's subsequent action threaten the health and welfare of current and future generations of Georgians far more than greenhouse gases do.
Just when you thought Washington couldn't get any messier, our elected officials in the nation's capital prove it can.
Dear Georgia public-school teachers, It is new school year but, alas, the same old impediments: an out-of-touch federal bureaucracy, ideological state legislators who choose not to send their kids to public schools but intend to tell you how and what to teach, and a society that values reality television more than quality education. Sometimes, I wonder how you manage.
This week, school bells will ring and the 2014-15 academic year will begin. Some children welcome it, others don't. Parents also likely have mixed feelings about the start of another term.
How do you create positive community change? That is a good question. It is one that the national organization, Keep America Beautiful, has been fine-tuning a solution since the 1950s.
Some missing something or the other required me to prowl through closets at Mama's house. That's when I found it. I pulled it out and smiled broadly, warmed by the memories it evoked.
Editor, According to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, our water source is slowly being polluted with saltwater, and the coastal area of Georgia will have to reduce the amount of water that it pulls from the Floridan aquifer by 17 million gallons a day.
It's depressing to read poll after poll highlighting Americans' utter disdain for Congress. But it's my encounters with ordinary citizens at public meetings or in casual conversation that really bring me up short.
Area schools start classes back this week and next. For both students and educators, the new year brings many challenges.
Editor, I would like to personally thank Fort Stewart EFMP, Reaching Milestones and all the wonderful military and civilian volunteers who came out to support our annual Special Olympics Spring Games. The competition would not have been successful without such tremendous support from the Hinesville and Fort Stewart community.
The Georgia Senate had a busy week. We held numerous committee meetings to review legislation and listen to testimony either opposing or supporting bills being considered. The committee process is where the bills are vetted before being considered by the Senate, and it is a crucial part of the legislative process.
What mystical powder or elixir anoints our elected officials with the knowledge contained in the Encyclopedia Britannica and all the experience amassed by mankind since Adam and Eve? Apparently, the substance - whatever it is - imparts this knowledge and experience within the first 30 seconds of being sworn into office.
A few years back, someone I knew ever so slightly died. Though I didn't know him well, I knew him to be mean, egoistical and quite a bully.
A conversation I had with a co-worker a week ago left me feeling glad I don't have to make the tough decisions and unpopular calls that will be necessary when my daughter becomes a teenager.
This month, we celebrate trees in Georgia.
It's official: Indiana has given in and adopted ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion. Before jumping into the weeds of Indiana's Medicaid-expansion agreement with the Obama administration, it is important to realize the agreement still fails some basic principles of reform.
Editor, I saw the movie "Selma" on Sunday night and was inspired anew by the courage and conviction shown by one man. His actions impacted a nation - actually, the world - for generations to come. I am no Martin Luther King Jr., that's for sure, but I hate seeing people placed under unnecessarily heavy burdens, particularly in this great country of ours.