"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.
Raving against the shortcomings of government is as easy as eating ice cream. Governing itself is as painful as walking on hot nails.
Last Sunday morning my weather radio went crazy. It's supposed to warn me if the nuclear plant I live near melts down, so I pay close attention when it sounds its siren inside my house.
Liberty County's and other school systems across the state have not received results from this year's Criteria-Referenced Competency Tests yet. But they apparently are going to be bad news when they are released next month.
Over the last five years, I have visited more than 500 schools, including at least one in every Georgia school district. I've discovered that each of our schools is unique and has its own character and its own challenges.
In challenging and divided times, it is imperative to find consensus-builders. Americans want results from Washington on the important issues before the country. Making progress on these issues means hammering out solutions that command broad support, and we need the politicians who can do it.
COULD SAM HELP OBAMA?
In my 15 years of advocating for gun violence prevention, I have never witnessed such an intense public debate about firearms policy. It is a crucial conversation that impacts all Georgians.
Every time I see the Rev. Jeremiah P. Wright holding forth on TV, I think of Jimmy Carter and Zell Miller.
Sometimes it takes someone from the outside making noise to draw our attention to necessary changes. And that's just what a national child advocacy organization did last week when it issued a report critiquing all 50 states' laws on the release of information about deaths and serious injuries from child abuse.
My friend, Elizabeth Johnson, is a boat captain on Tybee Island. For a living she takes anglers 50 to 75 miles off the coast and tells them how to bait up and where to cast and how to reel in.
I can predict the winner of the presidential election even now; the government. In a one-party system, that's how things work.
With their promise of new energy on Capitol Hill, congressional elections are always a time for hope. This year's contests will be especially significant, for Congress is listing and the nation desperately needs it to right itself.
Bill Shipp column for April 27, 2008
Last week, the second of two Americans infected with the Ebola virus arrived at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
I just learned of a book called, "Say Goodbye to Your Southern Accent."
It's time to talk trash for a few minutes.
This is the end, my friends. After writing this column for more than three years, it is time for me to move on. I also write for three magazines and the commitment to the magazines is starting to demand a lot of my time. I have enjoyed bringing you the latest information on Midway and hope that you will attend the monthly meetings to keep the mayor and city-council members on their toes.
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.