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.
For months now, I've heard complaints about the current state of the U.S. health-care system, but until recently, I had no specific reason to be dissatisfied. Then, I started my search for a new pediatrician for my daughter and "got a taste of some bad medicine."
The 2014 session of the Georgia State Legislature will begin Monday.
Dear Cameron: You have been in this world for a tad more than five years now. I think you would agree it has been a pretty good ride to this point. A lot of people love you and care deeply about you. When you are older, you will understand just how fortunate you are.
If you have not taken down your Christmas decorations yet, you are not alone. I like to stretch the Christmas season out as long as possible. I do not like the "undecorating" part, which is not nearly as fun as decorating. But there is one good thing about this time of year. You can join more than 100,000 other Georgians by "treecycling" your live Christmas tree.
Editor, Gateway Behavioral Health Services extends a sincere hand of appreciation to Royal Waffle King's regional manger, Hinesville restaurant owner Charlie Krowder, manager Cheryl Hodges and all the staffers at the eatery for sponsoring a yard sale Oct. 12 and a customer-appreciation day Oct. 26.
It was the summer of 1865, which - according to Charlie Tinker's diaries - had been a summer of oppressive heat. Its airless steaminess was made more miserable by the heavy sorrow that Charlie and his colleagues shouldered following the death of their commander-in-chief, Abraham Lincoln.
The new year brings many things, including further budget discussions in Congress that could very drastically affect military life.
Recently, a co-worker who is fairly new to our staff here at the Courier made a comment that sent a wave of various emotions crashing over me.
Recently I've read some commentaries where people told about the moment they first realized there was no Santa Claus. I got to thinking about that, and I couldn't recall a specific moment when such realization came to me. It's kind of like I absorbed that wisdom during a progression of maturity. No single event did it.
When future social anthropologists examine the second decade of the 21st century, they probably are less likely to take note of Phil Robertson's critical remarks about gays than the fact so many paid attention to them.
This could be an important piece of information I am about to share. It depends on how much you care about the money being spent on our state's politicians. If you don't care and want to cop the "it doesn't make any difference" attitude, then I suggest you blow the dust off your dictionary and look up the word "apathy." Or go kiss a goat. Your choice.
It seems Republicans and Democrats alike can agree on something, if you believe the results of a new CNN/ORC International Poll which says two-thirds of Americans think the current Congress is the worst in their lifetime.
Editor, It is not surprising that so many Georgians are confused about the reforms of the Affordable Care Act.
Upon discovering the leaf-strewn grave of Charles Almerin Tinker, my husband's great-great-grandfather, in Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery, my husband and I - one of us more than the other - began to study the names and dates engraved on the towering monument.
This is not my favorite part of the Christmas season. I try to stretch out Christmas as long as possible. I love the lights, the decorations, the music and the wonderful feeling of "niceness." It would be great if we could bottle that up and keep it all year long.