Walter Williams: Elites and tyrants

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Rep. Diane Watson said, in praising Cuba’s health care system, “You can think whatever you want to about Fidel Castro, but he was one of the brightest leaders I have ever met.”

Sallie Satterthwaite: Barging through Alsace-Lorraine (first of two)

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Hubris and diesel fuel don’t mix.

No surprise here. Some of our readers share our fondness for rivers, canals, locks and barges, and for them I write of life on the water. It’s not for everyone.

Terry Garlock: All winners, no losers in girls softball

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If you think only boys step on a ball diamond with a steely glint in their eye prepared for fierce but friendly battle, while girls try to look pretty and smell nice, then you haven’t been to a middle school fast-pitch softball game lately.

Dick Morris and...: Cut the elderly and give to AARP

Among the $500 billion in Medicare cuts that will provide the bulk of the financing for Obama’s healthcare plan is a $160 billion to $180 billion cut in the Medicare Advantage program, which offers a range of benefits not available to beneficiaries under basic Medicare.

Ronda Rich: Meanness of mean people

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Optimist that I am, I have high hopes that this economic down-turn will make people kinder.

It could happen.

When folks experience set-backs, it’s humbling. Humility, in turn, makes the heart kinder and the spirit gentler. Too many people have become mean. Downright, spirit-crushing mean. It sickens my soul.

Steve Brown: Candidates, skip the fluff and get to the specifics

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It happens every year: emails and phone calls asking for my advice on whom to vote for in the upcoming election. I do not mind the queries, but it really is an indication that people are not keeping up with local current events.

Father Paul Massey: Ask Father Paul 100709

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Pastors get some of the most interesting questions from people they meet and people in their congregations. Here are some that I’ve gotten over the years and for this column.

Father David Epps: Eat the green olives

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When I was a sophomore in high school, I dated a young lady named Pam. She and I were attending a youth party sponsored by my Methodist church and, at some time during the evening, I wandered over to the piano and began playing, “Louie, Louie,” the only song then, or now, that I could play.

William Murchison: Freedom — the key foreign policy concept

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George W. Bush got banged up badly for his foreign policy choices: Iraq, Guantanamo, “torture,” a certain tonal disdain for critics foreign and domestic. It will be interesting to see, in a matter of weeks or possibly days, how his successor, Barack Obama, fares with the critics.

Rick Ryckeley: Patience is a lifelong quest

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Having passed the half century mark, it is safe to say that there are a few things I’ve picked up along the way. For example, when the dog barks at night, he ain’t just saying hello. He needs to be walked. That’s why he’s barking.

Thomas Sowell: The Brainy Bunch

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Many people, including some conservatives, have been very impressed with how brainy the president and his advisers are. But that is not quite as reassuring as it might seem.

Walter Williams: Is disagreement with Obama racism?

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Former president Jimmy Carter said, “I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man.”

Sallie Satterthwaite: Loving Twisted Düsseldorf

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Well, wouldn’t you know, we went off to see some new (to us) corners of the world, and came home in love again.

With what city or garden or sculpture, you may ask? The Parthenon? St. Peter’s Basilica? The winding rivers and canals of France?

Terry Garlock: If we are at war, all of us are at war

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I’m no expert on Afghanistan, but I’ll give you something to ponder as you watch the news unfold.

Last week’s big story was the confidential report from President Obama’s appointed commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, candidly warning of possible failure in Afghanistan if we don’t switch now from a counter-terrorism strategy to a counter-insurgency strategy, and that substantially more troops are needed immediately to carry out that new strategy.

Steve Brown: Local volunteers: Politics just never seems to intrude

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There we were, my daughter at my side, sitting in the pickup truck at 7:30 a.m., watching the rain come down. It was the Dog Park Work Day on Saturday when we stain the gazebos, clear the weeds from the fence, trim the tree limbs and any other thing that needs doing.

Dick Morris and...: ObamaCare: Taxes for everyone

Now that the various health care plans are being reduced to print, the financial details are emerging and with them a fundamental conclusion is becoming evident: The Obama plan is a giant tax increase for much of the American people (not just the rich).

Ronda Rich: She flew the coop

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No sooner had I proudly written the column about the young boy who had named his new pet chicken after me than Ronda the Chicken proved to be as unpredictable as Ronda the writer.

Dr. David L. Chancey: There is one thing even God forgets

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An elderly man was sitting on a park bench in tears. A policeman came along and asked what was wrong.

“I’m 80 years old,” sobbed the man. “I have a 28-year-old wife at home. She’s beautiful, charming and madly in love with me.”

Father David Epps: Bishop arrested in Phoenix, Arizona

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Bishop Rick Painter, rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Phoenix, Ariz., was recently arrested and twice convicted of a crime. His offense? What was it that would prompt law enforcement officials and the judicial system to focus on the 68-year-old bishop of a cathedral?

William Murchison: The joys of failure

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You know — you must — you can’t help it — aren’t you alive?! — that the marketplace isn’t perfect. Haven’t we all been told often enough, amid the political chatter concerning how to crack down on Wall Street?

Rick Ryckeley: Everyone needs a hobby

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Life would be rather boring if not for our hobbies. Would the world have remembered Michelangelo if he hadn’t taken up painting?

Thomas Sowell: The underdogs

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It is a good reflection on Americans that they tend to be on the side of the underdog. But it is often hard to tell who is in fact the underdog, or why.

Walter Williams: Lying propaganda

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Michael Moore’s new film, “Capitalism: A Love Story” will be released next month. I’ve neither seen nor read reviews of the film, except for a short piece in the London Telegraph (9/6/09) titled “Michael Moore film calls capitalism evil.”

Sallie Satterthwaite: Newspapers in 2009

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Having been out of pocket, as they say, for 60 days, I may be a bit dated as to the newspaper changes. I know that we will walk into the house and find piles of dead bugs, so we’ll start our homecoming by cleaning up.

Ben Nelms: A few thoughts on accountability

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Those of us who cover elected officials for a living sometimes see things that others miss. It’s not because we’re smart. It’s simply due to the exhaustive number of meetings we cover. Numbering in the hundreds, we see the dynamics, the relationships and the various ways the public is treated.

Dennis Chase: Keep your November vote simple: No trust, no SPLOST

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If you have money to invest, I think that all of you would demand that anyone you have managing those funds would have to be someone you trust totally. Within some level of reasonableness, that should apply for any government as well.

Cal Thomas: War through weakness

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When I was a kid, there was a bully in our neighborhood. He never picked on kids his own size and certainly not on anyone larger. Rather, he punched, pushed and kicked kids smaller and weaker than himself, especially those who refused to respond to his threats.

Ronda Rich: Just one of the folks

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A dear friend of mine, bless his heart, has to work every major holiday. Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter are days on which he labors while his family celebrates without him.

Sally Oakes: The power of the spoken word

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The psalmist prays, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

Father David Epps: Thoughts on cathedrals

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Like most people growing up in America, when I thought of a cathedral, that which came to mind were those magnificent structures scattered around Europe that were constructed somewhere in the Middle Ages. If the building is huge and ornate, I reasoned, it must be a cathedral.

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