The America that works is this week’s cover story for The Economist magazine. It is “A Special Report on the competitive surge that even Washington cannot stop.” The story describes a dysfunctional Washington, DC that drifts from one manufactured crisis to the next. They describe that part of America this way…”its debt is rising, its population is aging in a budget threatening way, its schools are mediocre by international standards, its infrastructure rickety, its regulations dense, its tax code byzantine, its immigration system hare-brained—and it has fallen from first position in the World Economic Forums competitiveness rankings to seventh in just four years.”
However the story points out that there is another America where things do work; where businesses and politicians are not waiting for the federal government to ride to their rescue but are tackling problems that Congress is ignoring. A prime example is the energy sector where oil production is soaring on private land.
The Obama administration is trying to take credit for the oil boom. Obama recently claimed, “We produce more oil than we have in 15 years. We import less oil than we have in 20 years. We’re producing more natural gas than we ever have before -- with hundreds of thousands of good jobs to show for it."
I think it is safe to say that we have all tried to grow a few herbs some time in our life… some successfully and some ending up with pots of brown sticks. If you were the one with the brown sticks you probably just gave up and went to the store to buy the dried version. Well, for those of us who are in the “brown stick” group I want to inspire you to try again. And here is why.
I had the wonderful opportunity to attend an event put on by the Chattahoochee Unit of the Herb Society of America this past week. It was a demonstration dinner at the Cook’s Warehouse Midtown (Ansley Mall) with Chef Rosemary Rutland doing the cooking in a superb kitchen decked out with TV screens that allowed us to watch her doing the detail work. Every dish she created incorporated an herb, even the dessert, a scary thought to me as I read the menu but it was delicious.
What did we have? All things that you and I could make easily and really impress our friends: red pepper, basil and goat cheese bruschetta; Heart of Palm and endive salad with parsley lemon vinagrette; pan-seared skirt steak with béarnaise sauce; olive oil and herb mashed potatoes; and – drum roll – rosemary cornmeal cake with lemon fondant glaze.
Columnist on “loving extravagantly,” reflecting during Lent • Jennifer Smith, Marriage and Family TherapistSubmitted by editor on Fri, 03/22/2013 - 18:26.
On the Christian calendar, we are still in the season of Lent, which is the 40 days prior to Jesus’ death. It is a time of spiritual reflection and personal sacrifice. Our Sunday school lesson this past week was from John 12:1-8. It is about how Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with costly perfume. In her day, the perfume would have cost a year's wages. Her lovely act was called into question by Judas, but Jesus commended Mary for an extravagant act of love.
This led me to think about how love changes us. Typically, when I see couples in counseling, the presenting problem is connected to a perceived lack of love which in turn compromises their connection. So I thought, “What would happen to us as people, as partners, as parents, as children, brothers and sisters if we decided to love unreasonably."
Brett Younger is the associate professor of Preaching at the McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta. He writes commentary on the Sunday School lessons that I teach at Madison Baptist Church. I want to share with you some of his thoughts on this topic which I think are extraordinary.
Four individuals competing in this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are testing out a new invention, which could provide a fluid edge to their performances.
The innovative device is being marketed under the name “Pee Pants.”
Hmm, I wonder what that does...
“Pee Pants” basically works by using bike shorts, a funnel and a long tube, which allows the pee to run out of the bottom of the user’s pants.
For those who don’t want a trail of pee following them when they have to go, there is also a model that includes a bag for the runoff.
Side note: What’s to keep the pee from freezing on the way down the tube attached to the Iditarod racer’s leg, causing a blockage and, eventually, urine to freeze on their leg?
John Kicos, the 48-year-old chiropractor of Charlotte, N.C. who invented “Pee Pants,” originally had the idea for the personal drainage system when he realized that a friend with spinal bifida couldn’t drink as much as he wanted at parties because of trouble controlling his bladder.
Noble genesis aside, Kicos quickly realized that he could target women, tailgaters and people that don’t want to wait in long lines at bathrooms.
Which sounds disgusting to me.
This got me to thinking, I could have used this invention a long time ago when, on trips to Florida, I was forced by parents and grandparents to pee in milk jugs and other recently emptied containers.
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
We could have hardly afforded the nearly $150 price tag on “Pee Pants,” but I’m sure my dad could have easily been inspired to build his own model with ready-at-hand supplies.
And if it didn’t work exactly right the first few times, who cares?
What’s the problem with letting a little leak down your leg?
Printed in the March 14, 2013 edition
Last week saw a number of long days on the House floor, concluding with crossover day. We were busy working through the backlog of bills produced by the committee system during the previous seven weeks, and voted on 99 bills and resolutions. I’ll describe several of the more significant and interesting items.
HB 125 is one of those instances where it is necessary to fine tune how previous legislation has been implemented. HB 87 of 2011 was a major bill targeted at illegal immigration. One of its goals was to make sure that public benefits like the granting of a professional or business license were reserved for citizens of Georgia. Unfortunately the language was too tight, and was interpreted to require that those seeking such licenses provide things like proof of citizenship and documentation of use of the federal E-Verify system every year. This made processing of those applications more involved, and in some cases, much more time consuming. HB 125 will change the rules so that such proofs only need to be submitted once. I’ve heard from more than a few folks about the frustrations this problem has caused, and so was pleased to support the bill. It did suffer opposition, however, because it made some new anti-illegal immigration tweaks. Nonetheless, it passed by 116 to 49.
A vicious dictator dies and the Pravda Press of the mainstream media mourns. Sure, he stole over $2 billion dollars from his own people and added it to his own personal estate. Sure, he confiscated hundreds of billions of dollars of personal property and squandered it on his friends. Sure, he led a military coup d'état against his own country. Sure, he made the poor poorer. Sure, he cavorted with our enemies and defied America as much as he possibly could. Our media loved him anyway.
Venezuela is one of the richest oil countries in the world. It has more crude oil reserves than Saudi Arabia. Yet its people have a lowly per capita income of only $13,000, 85th in the world.
Only 11 countries in the entire world are more corrupt than Venezuela. The murder rate is four times higher now than when Chavez took office. At 20,000 murders every year, it’s one of the highest in the world. Food is scarce and blackouts are frequent in a country awash in energy. Half the Jews have left the country due to his anti-Semitic threats.
Chavez rewrote Venezuela’s constitution so he could be elected four times. He rigged elections, stifled adversaries and bullied the media. Venezuela is now the region’s worst freedom of press offenders. Yet American mainstream media lionizes this dictator, calling him a “champion of the people” and “charismatic” and “huggable.”
The right of an individual to work for and own his personal property is probably the most important reason Western Civilization was able to climb out of the Dark Ages into the prosperity we enjoy today.