It is comforting to think of death as a passing rather than an end. In that vein, I prefer to think of Steve Jobs's final words as editorial commentary: "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow."
Hey, have you heard about this thing called "the fiscal cliff"? Actually, the better question is: Have you heard about anything except the fiscal cliff? Nine months ago, the term had not even entered the media lexicon. And now it's suddenly everywhere.
You'll find little here today about resolutions or sage observations about the year just past or the one before us. Nothing so ambitious. I have only a modest wish on this, the cusp of a new year: that the Minnesota Vikings make the playoffs. And, to do that they have to win this afternoon.
A quarter century. That's a mere blink of the eye in the life of an elephant or a Galapagos tortoise. After 25 years, oak trees may no longer be called saplings. But it's a long time for an opinion columnist. And, frankly, it's a mark I never expected to reach. Sure doesn't seem that long.
As we approach the doom and gloom of the fiscal cliff, its repercussions are mild compared to what was happening here 150 years ago.
In today's world of social media, where everyone's every little thing is on display, it is sometimes difficult to recall a time when exhibitionism wasn't ubiquitous and was, in fact, not admired. Such are the inevitable thoughts upon perusing Kitty Kelley's lovely new book -- yes, lovely -- about John F. Kennedy as seen through the eyes, or more accurately, the lens of her friend, photojournalist Stanley Tretick.
Fifteen years ago, when I moved to northern California, people there often commented on my speech. I would usually just laugh and say, "You know, I never had an accent until I left Mississippi." The brighter folks usually figured out what I meant by that.
The people are sad. If holiday shopping is any measure of public mood, the joy vanished this year. The grade-school massacre depressed everyone, and now our rapid approach to the Fiscal Cliff has many scared and afraid to spend money.
My hottest "hot button" issue is the fallacy of "gun control." Those who wail for "more gun control" need to sober up, step back, take a deep breath, and look at some facts. Don't think it can happen here? Don't bet your children's freedom on it.
Folks familiar with Greek mythology (10th grade?) will remember that it was Alexander who "untied" the Gordian knot in 333 B.C. and, as a result, became known as Alexander the Great. The knot had existed since Gordius honored Zeus by tying it. No one could figure it out.
While the rest of the country is shoveling and shivering, South Georgia is at its loveliest. The camellias are blooming, live oaks keep their leaves and trees loaded with bright-orange kumquats and satsumas are exotically common.
Tonight you may be sitting in a bar or alone in a hotel room, you may be confined to a hospital bed or you may be kneeling at a Communion altar. You may be with family or only dreaming of a family far away, wherever you are right now the Christmas Eve story is for you.
Once again, it's the season of joy and light on this little planet of ours. And please forgive me if it's unseasonal for me to mention this, but there's a little problem that has come up in Caledonia. It has come without much fanfare or attention, though it may very well lead to a great deal of attention if it's not tended to.
Politicians' reliance on CVB funding for their neighborhood festivals is a conflict of interest and an abuse of power
At Christmas we always think of children and gifts and goodwill. But do we ever stop and remember the people in our community or connected to it that year round do so much to help young people. Of course there are teachers and social workers and church youth leaders and scout leaders and so many others that I dare not list for fear of leaving someone out.
On the day after the recent massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., police in Newport Beach, Calif., took a man into custody for allegedly firing more than 50 rounds from a semi-automatic handgun in the parking lot of a shopping mall. He aimed into the air and no one was hit, though one person was hurt slightly while running away. Police say 42-year-old Marcos Gurrola was destitute and frustrated with his circumstances. Firing dozens of rounds at the sky was his way of venting.
They don't like the crowds, the traffic, the parking chaos. They dislike the sameness -- the same mall chain stores piping in the same holiday music and selling the same made-in-China sweaters, whether in Spokane, Indianapolis or Raleigh. They stress out when waiting for someone to take their payment. Small wonder that 45 percent of consumers are doing at least some holiday shopping this year via the Internet, according to the Deloitte consulting firm.
FISHTRAP HOLLOW -- In the quiet of this early morning, in a season dedicated to peace and good will to all men, it is hard to believe the sadness and ugliness that assaults America.
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