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.
Back years ago, when Mama was widowed, it became suddenly and shockingly clear that she wasn't completely capable of being on her own. This was news to us because she had always stepped up and did whatever it took to look after our family. She was quite ingenious and hard-working.
Awhile back, I worked with a woman who was vocal about her belief that potential parents should have to pass a strict screening before welcoming children into the world. Although, from a purely scientific standpoint, there was no way to enforce my coworker's slightly far-fetched proposal, she maintained all human beings should be stripped of their fertility at birth and should have their ability to procreate returned to them in their mid-to-late 20s only if they meet certain criteria.
Editor, I was very pleased to read that Coastal Electric Cooperative recently has been named the best electric co-op in Georgia and also received the 2013 Georgia Electric Membership Corporation "Community Service and Volunteerism Award."
Now that Congress has its immense, $1.1 trillion bipartisan funding bill in hand, Capitol Hill is breathing easier.
I'm not sure how it is with soldiers in non-combat roles.
Look up there in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a really a bird - hopefully, lots of them.
Carter, R- Pooler, will report each week during the Legislative Session, which began Jan. 13 and is expected to last until March 1.
Last week under the Gold Dome, the Georgia General Assembly concluded on Friday to complete its first official week of the 2014 legislative session. As this new session begins, please know that, as always, it is an honor and privilege to represent you and your families at our state Capitol.
I read a news report this week that said while we are living a lot longer in the U.S., people in other countries are living even longer. Bummer.
The renowned bow-maker in my hometown died. Only in the South would this probably be news, because we Southern women do admire a well-wrapped package.
Last week, I had my first parental brush with peer pressure. No, my daughter didn't come home from daycare complaining that her 1-year-old classmates are trying to influence her clothing choices or persuade her to join their social cliques. I was the one who felt an urge to conform, or rather, an urge to help my daughter conform. Then I realized that thoughts like the ones swimming through my head very well could be the reason why peer pressure exists in the first place. Kids have to learn it from someone.
Of all the numbers thrown at us over the course of last year, one stands out for me. I hope we can avoid repeating it this year.
Complaints about lost constitutional rights are common these days, especially the six individual rights enumerated in the First Amendment.
As we see news stories and Facebook posts sharing comments and critiques about recent budget items that directly impact military families' futures, it is easy to sit back, type a snarky comment and continue the sharing train.
Imagine filling up your gas tank and realizing that the price you were charged was more than the price advertised. What would you do?