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.
A friend was talking about a hail and farewell she recently attended. She laughed about the farewell of a junior officer, about whom it was widely known (even to him) that he was somewhat worthless to his unit, never knew which way was up and always was two steps behind.
There's nothing glamorous about being a farmer, nothing charming, little endearing and certainly few things easy about it. It is either a calling or a curse, depending on how one looks at it. Some are born into it and some just can't find a way to escape it, because it's all they've ever known.
I often think about how nice it would be to have a break from all my familial responsibilities for just one night. I dream of a quiet evening alone - no dinner to cook, no lunches to pack, no dishes to wash, no whiny pets to walk and feed, no toddler to bathe and put to bed, and no intermittent wakeups throughout the night to soothe said toddler, supply milk and coax her back to bed.
'Outlook unclear, ask again later'
The white South African system of apartheid was a brutal, cynical system of racial segregation that was becoming increasingly unsustainable and most observers believed it could end in only one way - massive bloodshed.
Imagine filling up your gas tank and realizing that the price you were charged was more than the price advertised. What would you do?
For many of us, it's that special time of the year - the time when you get notification for renewal from your health-care insurance provider.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela has received much-deserved praise following his death
Since Midway's mayor and three city council members were re-elected, we can expect more of the incompetency that we have seen in the past four years. At last month's city-council meeting, the council voted to allow the mayor to sign a lease with the Liberty County Public Facilities Authority for a piece of what I consider to be worthless property. Councilman Terry Doyle, who opposed the lease, is leaving office at the end of the month.
Oh, the stories people tell. Not always good ones, mind you, but the kind that will make you fall down on your knees and thank the good Lord up above that you don't have a story like that.
Nothing is prettier than communities all dressed up for the Christmas holidays. Don't you just love all the lights, decorations and Christmas-tree lightings?
My daughter, Reese, started at a new day care two months ago. My husband and I had been pleased with her former day care until they went through several leadership changes, and the resulting policy alterations were disconcerting. The facility's lunch menu, which had been pretty healthy when we first enrolled Reese, took a turn for the worse - lots of processed, preservative-laden food; fruit drowning in sugary, heavy syrup; and snacks full of sodium and food dyes. No thanks!
The holidays are a turning point in our lives every year.
If Congress and the federal government are really serious about holding down costs and lowering the deficit, then they will reject any idea by the State Department to build an all-new training facility for its personnel and staff in Blackstone, Va. It will instead turn all training functions and responsibilities over to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
Undersecretary of the Army Dr. Joseph Westphal stated that small businesses are critical to Army readiness.