For those of us who think and write about democracy, few things are more appealing than a book about how to make it work better. My shelves are groaning with them.
Thursday is July 4 - a day when many American flags will be flown. As a person who loves his country and that flag, my heart swells with pride when I see it fluttering in the breeze. I think most citizens do show respect for Old Glory on holidays such as Independence Day and Flag Day, but they occasionally forget about the rest of the year.
I try to make it a habit to hang around with smart people. Given that my IQ is not much larger than my waist line, this isn't difficult to do.
It's time to clean up the grill and break out the hot dogs, lawn chairs and American flags. Summer is in full swing and Independence Day is upon us. And though rain is in the forecast for Thursday, it's unlikely everyone will hole up in their homes and spend the day indoors. Even for those who might otherwise want to spend the day in front of the TV, the Fourth of July beckons to gather outside with friends, and even strangers, to celebrate the holiday.
It's officially summertime and the living is easy, right? Not necessarily.
Editor, I really hate taking the time to sit down and write a letter to the editor these days. When I was younger and less busy, I jumped at the opportunity. But when my ex-student (and a fine fellow, I might add), Mike Riddle, cranks up his old sourpuss critical word machine, I feel compelled to respond.
I like the daycare my husband and I send our daughter to. We trust her teacher, Miss Jennifer, and Reese really seems to have warmed up to her new routine and classmates. The facility, for the most part, serves healthy food - I do occasionally grimace when I see tater tots or chicken nuggets listed on the lunch menu - and the children are allowed plenty of time outside.
It was one of those days. The kind when you have a lot of work to do and none of it you want to do so you just piddle.
There will be a lot of gnashing of teeth over the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. And while Section 4 was stuck down as unconstitutional, requiring Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Alaska and Arizona, plus parts of seven other states to seek Department of Justice preclearance before any changes in voting laws could be implemented, the decision left standing Section 5 that mandates preclearance. For proponents for striking down Section 5, this had to be a disappointment.
Last week, in a 7-2 decision, the United States Supreme Court struck down an Arizona law requiring a person to submit documented proof of their citizenship before he or she could register to vote.
I recently became aware of two programs offered in Liberty and Long counties that concern me. While created with good intentions, I'm sure, the more I thought about these programs, the more upset I became.
Editor, Thank you, Coastal Courier, for the very informative article on May 31 about how much the Liberty County Board of Education spent on travel in 2012.
When Jimmy Carter ran for the state Senate in 1961 and was defeated, he claimed voter fraud. Carl Sanders, Senate president pro tem, supported Carter's claim and provided legal counsel from the Democratic Party. Carter prevailed.
One evening in late spring, I returned home from two weeks of flitting through major airports and hurrying bare-footed through security sensors. I was bone-weary from cramped planes - the center seat too many times - and delayed flights.
It's a sure bet that Americans aren't inclined - especially right now - to pony up even more money to the Internal Revenue Service so the tax folks can buy themselves some public relations help.
Editor, What's wrong with our education system, our educators?
After a friend told me she recently waited three and a half hours to get her Georgia driver's license renewed and then had to deal with a clerk who could have passed for a robot - and an unhelpful one, at that - I thought this to be a typical example of a bunch of government bureaucrats who don't care because they don't have to.
I apparently did not learn my lesson two weeks ago with the debacle in involving an explosion of Gerber puffed-wheat snacks in church.
Recently, I was in a bookstore with a friend. We stopped at a table near the front of the store and it was loaded with different books that had such obscene titles that many of the words were expressed as @?*#.
Life is so hectic, and it seems to go by so fast the older I get.
Despite the rants of publicity-seeking bigots, the blather of Twitter twits and a national news media more interested in scooping the competition than in accurate reporting, the fact is that our American system of justice presumes one is innocent until proven guilty.
The American people are rejecting Obamacare by wide margins. Recent polls in Georgia suggest that more than 57 percent of respondents have an unfavorable view of Obamacare and only 31 percent have a favorable view.
Voters and federal workers are by now getting tired of all these cat-and-mouse games the two political parties in Congress are playing with their livelihoods and with the nation's economy. That includes the government shutdown because of the failure of Republicans and Democrats in the two chambers to find a compromise. Each has an objective and neither minds inflicting suffering on others to try to get its way.
Washington is beginning to debate the proper extent of government eavesdropping powers in the wake of Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA. It's hardly as robust a discussion as it should be, but it's a desperately needed start.
I don't understand the mindset of someone who litters. What are they thinking?
I recently made the mistake of trying to handle a "two-man job" by myself. I won't do that again.
Editor, The U.S. government, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Army and the BRAC committee need to be thinking about closing down Fort Stewart.
One day during lunch, my new-to-the-South-but-thoroughly-loving-it husband commented on the singing of our church's choir, which is led by my brother-in-law, Rodney.
In our lives, there are places and things we remember. I remember one event as if it were yesterday.
Sept. 30 is the end date for those in Congress to reach an agreement on the budget and spending. The threat of a possible government shutdown looms. What does that mean for those of us outside of the political power circle?