Archive for November, 2009

Suburbs not to blame for obesity

Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:

● The day after Thanksgiving is probably not the best time to bring this up, but the Centers for Disease Control finds that the nation’s obesity problem is highest in Appalachia (about 80 percent of the counties) and in Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina (about 75 percent of counties.) Highest obesity rates are in 5 small, rural counties in Mississippi and Alabama – about 43 percent of the population, compared to 26 percent for the nation as a whole.

● Urbanists are determined to link the despised suburbs to obesity. As one of the planners for next year’s Atlanta meeting of the Congress for New Urbanism notes, there’s concern among some “that suburban lifestyles that require a lot of time driving and a lot of time sitting” leave the poor suburbanite with little time to exercise. See Item One. Moral of this story: The lifestyle police can always find a noble health-related reason to …

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I’m thankful for …

I’m thankful for …

Having Furman Bisher as a decades-long guest for Thanksgiving dinner, a morning visitor delivered to our doorstep to remind us that, as William Faulkner wrote, “You always wear out life long before you wear out the possibilities of living.”

Bisher’s Thanksgiving Day column is a yearly reminder of life’s daily pleasures and endless possibilities.

I intrude on the master’s turf respectfully acknowledging a need to pay franchise royalties.

Freedom and independence, that earned and that given.

The acquisition of material goods, beyond those vital to my family’s well-being, have never been a reason to get up in the morning.

Newspapers were. They are instruments capable of informing, and thereby empowering, a free people to make choices — choices that make the lives of individuals, and therefore their families and communities, better and stronger.

A free press matters. It’s worth waking up for. My gift from the Cox family was the freedom to argue …

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Military honorees are the best of America

Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:

● Newsweek’s cover photo of Sarah Palin is sexist, as she asserts. The magazine used a photo of Palin in running gear that she’d allowed to be taken for a sports magazine. The hostility of many of those in the media to Palin is breathtaking. Liberals fear her more than any other potential Republican presidential nominee, hence their desire to ridicule and diminish.

● Check the headlines. Yes, the economy’s lousy. And … That’s the cue for the pari-mutuel gambling crowd to make their periodic pitch for horse racing. It matters not whether Democrats or Republicans are in power under the Gold Dome. Some special interests never go away. State Rep. Harry Geisinger (R-Roswell), chairman of the Special Equine Study Committee, says his panel will propose a public referendum to legalize betting on the ponies.

● Atlanta’s largest police union, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, Local 623, endorses …

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The end is near

The end’s in sight. The war against terrorism is coming to an end. The law enforcement action against those who do Americans harm has evolved.

The hard Left in this country was, like the rest of us rallied, however briefly,  around a strong President taking action in response to 9/11 to protect our shores and to keep Americans safe abroad.  That support was not long-lasting.  From the start, they recognized that a real war would require sacrifice and would divert resources from their goal of expanding domestic programs — universal healthcare for example.

With the decision by President Obama to move the trials of 9/11 mastermind Khlid Sheikh Mohammed and four other terrorist suspects into civilian courts in New York, the President makes it clear that he thinks terrorism is a police matter.  Even New York Gov. David Paterson objects.  “This is not a decision I would have made,” he said. “I think terrorism isn’t just attack, it’s anxiety and I think you feel the anxiety and …

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So much for the Dems’ big tent

Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:

● Soldiers killed at Fort Hood died on the battlefield, killed by an enemy combatant who, astonishingly, managed to evade detection despite obvious clues. This massacre requires in-depth independent investigation.

● If legislators ever needed an object lesson in why they should never cite a particular cause or program as a reason for raising taxes, they got it Sunday. State auditors examined four departments and found that they collected $174 million from 347 “user fees.” But not every dime of “fees” collected went to the particular program — solid waste management, for example. Some went into the general fund to finance higher, more immediate needs. Georgia badly needs a constitutional amendment to outlaw the practice of linking taxes that are disguised as “user fees” to a specific program. Special interests consider the money “mine” and some programs are awash in designated cash, while others of …

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Can’t we recognize domestic terrorism?

I’ve never felt that the media, or much of it, and the nation’s leaders have grown more remote from the men and women who keep this nation free than I did in listening to and in scanning news accounts of the act of domestic terrorism at Ft. Hood.

Among the first accounts I heard or read focused on jihadist Nidal M. Hasan as victim, a poor troubled soul driven to commit mass murder because he’d been taunted by insensitive non-Muslims because of his Muslim name. And, too, there was the presumption that he had been driven over the edge because of “post-traumatic stress syndrome,” though it must have been the post-traumatic stress of others he’d counseled, since as a psychiatrist he was never in combat.  And, finally, it was that he opposed the war and the mean old military authorities were making him go to a war zone anyway. The implied story here was that an unpopular war makes rational men of good conscience flip out and do really bad things. It’s not their fault.

President …

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And for entertainer of the year …

Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:

● With the Obama Administration official who counts jobs saved or created through the $787 billion “stimulus” spending (24,681 of them in Georgia) tallying the votes … And, with ACORN registering country music fans … This news leaks across the Internet: President Barack Obama has defeated Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, George Strait and Brad Paisley to win Entertainer of the Year, the top award in country music. The Country Music Awards will be handed out next Wednesday.

● Last November, Americans voted for “change.” This November they vote again for change. Voters are concerned about jobs and the economy. Congress and the administration, determined to push their own agendas on health care, cap-and-tax, and control of business — as they did on stimulus spending — didn’t listen. And aren’t now, even after dramatic losses in gubernatorial contests in Virginia and New Jersey.

● Flood maps in …

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Fun races for conservatives to watch

Four races for optimistic conservatives to watch nationally:  The most interesting of the lot has to be New York’s 23rd Congressional District, a special election that has the White House and an assortment of  name Republicans vying  in a high-stakes battle that both sides hope will define 2010.

At stake is one currently-Republican seat  in the U.S. House of Representatives.  One minority-party seat is unimportant — except that Republicans alienated conservatives by nominating a candidate, Dede Scozzafava,  from the party’s  Arlen Specter wing.   Republicans hold only 3 of 29 House seats in New York, a number that has been shrinking in the past couple of decades.   The Republican incumbent,  Rep. John McHugh, was sworn in last month as President Obama’s  Secretary of the Army.

In the 23rd district, conservatives prefer Conservative  candidate Doug Hoffman to such an extent that Scozzafava concluded that she couldn’t win.  So she dropped out, but as a …

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