"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
It was as ugly as a warthog, but for the 11th time in the past 12 years, 38 of the past 50, and 65 out of 108, the University of Georgia -the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South -bested You-Know-Where Institute of Technology for the state football championship, 41-34.
Over lunch the other day with friends - all in the newspaper business - I mentioned that I occasionally speak at writers' conferences.
Let's start with the obvious: A democracy needs intelligence agencies. It needs to know what's happening in the world - and understand the plans of allies and enemies - to keep the nation prepared and secure.
My attempts at making more mom friends still are failing miserably. At this point, I'd probably try an online "matchmaking" site for women with children who are looking to befriend other women with children. Sort of like eHarmony, but with sippy cups and strollers. Actually, that sounds like a great idea because then I'd get to be very picky with my criteria, thus reducing the chances I'd get "matched up" with another mom I have absolutely nothing in common with, which has kind of been my problem so far.
This is a wonderful time of the year! It is a great time to share your Christmas cheer with folks that you normally might take for granted.
The holiday season is suddenly upon us. Tree lots are full, Christmas candies are out in full force and the Black Friday sales are taunting us at every turn.
Editor, Mark your calendars, dress the young'uns, pack up the car and head east because Liberty County's east end is coming alive Saturday, Dec. 7.
No one likes to hear "I told you so…"
If New Year's is a time to regroup and look toward the upcoming year, then Thanksgiving is a time to gather and reflect on the year that has passed. In our family, it is a time when we thank the good Lord for both the heartaches and the blessings.
We did it for four years while I was a member of the planning and zoning board of the city of Pooler. We did it for 11 years while I was serving as either Pooler mayor pro tem or mayor. And we've done it for the past nine years while I've served in the state Legislature.
Editor, I'm writing to praise all of those who planned and carried out the Bradwell Institute Old Lions reunion Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Dorchester Village Civic Center.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
We have so much to be thankful for. It is really easy when we become adults to get a little cynical. It becomes a little too easy to see what is wrong and forget about all the things that are right that we take for granted every day.
Somehow I ran across an out-of-print book called "The Last Lap." Now 15 years old, it tells an intriguing, timeless tale of the early days of America's first stock-car racers.
Before I had a child, there were a few things I noticed parents doing that really annoyed me, and I swore I would never do those things if and when I became a mother. For the most part, I've been diligent about sticking to my guns.