This column is in response to Future of Freedom Foundation senior fellow Sheldon Richman's column, "It is time to bring the troops home," which was published in July.
Dear editor: Richmond Hill has lost a treasured storyteller, historian and first-class lady in Shirley Hiers. Through her writing, she could draw out the most remarkable details of any topic and generate an interest in everything from 1950s basketball players to long-forgotten men and women who still had stories to tell.
Richmond Hill is in mourning.
There are places we go where we expect to learn something. We expect to learn something when we're sitting at a desk in a classroom or in a pew at church on Sunday morning.
So, what's on the baby boomer's mind these days?
An article posted on the Ogeechee Riverkeeper website and repeated below is more proof that the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is regularly failing to do its job.
It is very obvious that the job market is stagnant to the point that many people are giving up their searches for employment. Why are we in this predicament? Just look to Washington.
Members of the U.S. Congress insist that the government get a handle on costs. They say billions must be trimmed from the federal budget, else the nation will go belly up.
The 15th anniversary of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games has come and gone with barely a whimper. Looking back, the Olympic Games were not Atlanta's finest hours - or days. The city was given a unique gift and didn't know what to do with it.
Dear editor: Flowers just don't seem appropriate. How do I honor someone like her? A tribute in writing seems more fitting because writing was Shirley Hiers' gift and she shared it with all of us.
Let's just suppose that someone took a buffalo calf from Montana and relocated it to Texas. Would that give us the right to sell it as a cow? What a stupid question, you may say. Well that's what's happening in the fishing industry.
Editor, The current battle over the budget and deficits has left many people confused. It is not complicated if it is broken down to the bare essentials.
Editor, Is there really a problem with climate change? Some scientists, who think they know more then God, believe there is.
Dear editor: Hearing about NASA shutting the door on outer-space travel really made me angry. It's such a shame to shut down.
Dear editor: Authorities are calling 2011 "the most severe threat year ever" for the West Nile virus with rapidly increasing numbers of positive samples coming in so far this year.
Editor, There are a multitude of ads on TV these days from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals concerning homeless, injured, abused animals.
It happened a few months back. My father-in-law celebrated, to our great joy, his 88th birthday. There was no pomp or circumstance involved. He abhors that. Because he is among the most beautifully well-mannered people I have ever encountered, he politely took all the calls though he really wished we would just treat it as another day and leave him alone to watch the news channel.
The state of Georgia's Juvenile Justice System is going to the dogs. And that's a good thing.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, chairman of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee, and a member of the House's Ways and Means Committee, last week was a busy one for me. We gathered for four days of hearings at Gov. Nathan Deal's office, where the budget was presented. We also listened as state agencies offered input about budget needs and then asked questions regarding which programs worked well or were under- or over-funded.
In politics, you must take advantage of windows of opportunity. Sometimes good ideas are sidetracked by unfortunate events, a bad economy or even personality conflicts among political leaders. Given the risk of delaying decisions, Georgia needs to address its transportation shortfall quickly and practically.
My fellow Georgians: In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is required that I submit to you at the first of every year my State of the Column message. (Yay! Clap! Clap! Clap!) I do that gladly today. For one thing, this will be a lot shorter and less boring than the State of the Union address (Boooo!) and, also, we don't have to endure a bunch of fawning politicians trying to be seen on national television. (Yay! Ha! Ha! Ha!)
Editor, Since Georgia's own Sen. Johnny Isakson voted for discriminating against pre-9/11 veterans and later against ending this discrimination, I've penned and sent the following to then-Senate Veterans' Affairs Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-VT, who introduced the Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act of 2013:
It happened the other day. It's funny how things so simple can remind us of things so meaningful, of those sweets that are tucked inside our hearts and unknowingly treasured.
Two weeks ago, my husband, daughter and I struggled to come up with a fun way to pass a Sunday afternoon. My mother-in-law had just been staying with us, and she left that morning to head back to Florida. Since I'd given our house a good, thorough "pre-mother-in-law-visit" cleaning before she arrived, I was completely caught up on chores and housework.
With major policy decisions on transportation, education, health care and tax reform on the legislative agenda, Georgia should think beyond the traditional approach of spending more money as the solution for every problem. Focusing on ways to enhance economic opportunity and empower individuals beats doubling down on the status quo.
Editor, On behalf of Bryan County Children's Fund, I would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation to everyone who helped to support the program this year. We were able to provide Christmas gifts to over 400 disadvantaged children in our county. This would not have been possible without collaboration and assistance from local churches, businesses, schools, social-service agencies and many others. The communitywide response was overwhelming. We are exceptionally thankful to The Good Ol' Boys, who raised funds through the annual Santa Scramble Golf Tournament and to Pembroke Advanced Communication for use of their space ...
Editor, I read Mr. Bruce McCartney's letter to the editor regarding the Wounded Warrior Project. He is totally correct. The project is top-heavy with a greedy group of executives. The top 10 officers have a compensation package from $150,000 to $333,000 a year. The remaining funds are disbursed to over 40 distribution organizations with similar management configurations.
Allen Peake is a man on a mission. The five-term Republican state representative from Macon is the driving force behind proposed legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Georgia. He may succeed this year after suffering a setback in 2014 when the House and Senate got into a bit of political brinksmanship at the last minute and failed to pass his bill, which had sailed through the House with only four negative votes.
My parents, according to the world's definition of "cool," were not. Neither drank, nor did either ever possess a credit card. Groceries and clothing were paid for in cash, utilities paid by check, and the only monthly payments they ever allowed themselves were a mortgage for a house, a short-term loan for another farm, and a couple of cars bought, over time, and paid for quickly.
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