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.
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.
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.