On Winning and Losing Wars
Americans are feeling pain at the gas pumps. This fact is not lost on lawmakers at any level. We are seeing some of the highest prices on gasoline and crude oil that we've ever seen in this country and no one is happy about it. American families are suffering from these high prices. But what is truly disappointing about the current discussion on energy is that our leaders in Washington, DC, have chosen to point fingers rather than seek solutions; they've flirted with policies that will only cause more pain at the pump and drive energy prices even ...
On the road from Thomasville to Tallahassee, a car ahead of ours hit a three-foot alligator. We were in a knot of traffic, traveling fast and because we were in the outer lane, we luckily missed the gator. We turned around quickly and went back.
Americans hold nearly $1 trillion in credit-card debt, according to data just released by the Federal Reserve. Now Congress wants to make that burden even heavier. Some misguided lawmakers are pushing legislation that would saddle consumers with fees that retailers don't want to pay.
This year we have a new slate of line officers aboard, ready to serve.
As Georgia continues to grow and thrive, it needs power generation capable of sustaining that growth. But the options seem to be shrinking among the body politic for varying environmental, economic and aesthetic reasons.
We are at a profoundly unsettled time in our nation's history, with more than two-thirds of Americans professing in surveys that they believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. They are partly reflecting concerns of the moment - the Iraq war, high gas prices, our economic travails - but polling also shows a more deep-seated dismay at the track our political system has taken.
Since its creation in 2003, the Commission for a New Georgia has brought fresh eyes and ideas to ways government can manage assets and operations to increase efficiency, reduce and avoid costs and improve service. Its recommendations have saved millions of dollars on a wide range of government functions, including facility, real estate and construction management.
Could Vernon Jones be the next Mack Mattingly?
When Governor Sonny Perdue signed Georgia's $21.1 billion budget for fiscal 2009, it contained $6 million for Local Assistance Grants (LAG), funds appropriated and allocated to a specific recipient or local government for a specific purpose. Lawmakers try to use the fact that these handouts are a relatively small part of the state budget - about 0.03 percent the '09 budget - to defend the spending.
When I start to bake a cake, I no longer ignore the recipes that call for half a dozen eggs. Eggs are a dime a dozen in our household, because we have - joy of joys - our own chickens.
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.
This may be an answer to Georgia's woes. The University of Georgia has decided to spend a relatively paltry $1.44 million to buy a full-fledged commercial TV station and set it up in Athens.
This week I visited a family so concerned about the environment that it lives a radically different life than most Americans.
I've been covering local, regional and national news in this area for about eight years now and I am often asked by friends how I cope with reporting on stories that sometimes end tragically - vehicle accidents, domestic violence cases, even murders. My response is pretty standard by now: I focus on the story and don't dwell on the circumstances.
Even by my impossibly high standards, this has been a good week. It began with a whack upside the head from a reader in South Georgia after I opined that those who want to change the way we teach our children in public schools ought to have their kids in public schools. I was referring to the efforts led by Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, to overturn the Common Core curriculum in the recent legislative session.
Having had time to reflect on the recently completed 2014 session of the Georgia General Assembly, it is with great regret that I have to say it was the most embarrassing performance by your state legislature that I can remember.
Sometimes, I think I focus too much on the litter. But it is the nature of what I do.
Editor, I travel a lot and have written on the subject of gun rights before. Recently in Atlanta, they locked down a school because a neighbor was squirrel hunting nearby. Those people in Sandy Hook, Conn., are getting a new school because one of their own citizens committed murder there. Pretty soon, local commissioners are going to be sending drones through the community to look for zoning violations.
Editor, April marks the nation's "Month of the Military Child" - a time to honor youth and their service to our country. On Tuesday, April 15, as a visible way to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices, the public is invited to "Purple Up! For Military Kids." Everyone in the community is encouraged to wear purple shirts, scarves, shoes, buttons and pants. If it's purple, or can be turned purple, make it happen.
It happened recently - the 20th anniversary of stock-car racer Davey Allison's death. Maybe you remember him. Maybe you don't. But I shall never forget him.
There is nothing more important than the safety and protection of innocent children. Not constitutional rights, not animal rights, not thoughts, opinions, feelings or political beliefs. The lives of children must be given top priority.