Opinion Columns & Blogs

Charles E. Richardson

An open letter to the Class of 2017

Is the thrill gone yet? Most of you have had 24 hours or more for the glow of graduation to wear off. Now the weight of the next phase of life is about to hunker down on your shoulders. If it hasn’t happened yet, it’s coming. It’s big and hairy. It’s down right scary. It’s life. And this is the easy part.

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You’ll never get out of Perry

This is a true story. Correction. It’s as true as it can be given it’s based on my memory. It’s about events that took place starting on Labor Day, September 1962, almost 55 years ago. To my immense sorrow, I am the only one involved who is still here to report what happened during that carefree and “what will happen next” week.

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A fresh look at the ‘Kingdom of God’

Sunday School at Centenary Church in Macon is a wide-open discussion session. People of all religions and opinions feel free to ask questions and raise objections. People from North Macon and Section 8 housing, wealthy and homeless, straight and gay, black and white, young and old.

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Farewell for now, Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar

The rigid rows of marble headstones follow the hills and hollows of Arlington National Cemetery — overwhelming, humbling, heart-sickening. War is brotherhood, sacrifice and valor. War is destruction, sorrow and death. Is there any place other than Arlington where the complex wages of war weigh so profoundly on the spirit?

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How to live in peace

Millions of people love Apple computers and wouldn’t be caught using a PC. By contrast, there are many millions of PC users who feel the same way about Apple computers. Many men like double-breasted suits, but I wouldn’t be caught dead in one. Some people swear by Cadillac cars, but my favorite is Mercedes-Benz.

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Pictures on the wall, tell alot, or not

Where do all the pictures go and why are some of them there in the first place? You know. The ones that sit on desks, hang on walls, line mirrors and sometimes look down from fireplace mantles? You might even find one in the kitchen on a baker’s rack next to a cookbook.

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A day that was as good as it gets

Sometimes things come together better than peanut butter and jelly. Take last week, for example. I was invited to speak at the 20th annual Awards for Excellence in Law Enforcement, sponsored by the Gainesville Kiwanis Club and saluting members of the law enforcement community in the city and in Hall County. This event had a lot going for it.

Charles E. Richardson

Pilots, bankers and bags of weed and seed

Last Tuesday I had dinner with some pilots, investment bankers and bags of weed and seed. Let me explain. These weren’t ordinary pilots or ordinary investment bankers or plain old bags of weed and seed you’d find at The Home Depot, Lowe’s or Ace Hardware. No these folks — and bags — are much more special.

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My forgotten God

Last week, Amy Elton from Macon, wrote a beautiful letter to the editors, commenting on the fact that I write about Yahweh and Jesus but never about the Holy Spirit. And she’s right. The Holy Spirit, or the Holy Ghost as I was taught to say, has become my forgotten God. Why is that?

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Disagreement is death

I was at CNN during the August recess town hall meetings of 2009. I remember one Virginia Democratic congressman discovered someone had tampered with a propane tank for a grill at his home. CNN gave it extraordinary attention. They showed a graphic on screen of all the Democratic members of Congress that had been harassed or received death threats. They noted that Eric Cantor, then one of the leading Republicans in Congress, had also gotten harassed, but downplayed it. One Republican got a bullet through his campaign office window, but it appeared to be unrelated to Obamacare they reported. Democrats nationwide, however, were routinely being harassed and targeted.

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It's chicken or fish

Since President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, one question has been repeated over and over: With Democrats lacking any real governing power, are there a few good elected men or women in the Republican Party who will stand up to the president’s abuse of power as their predecessors did during Watergate?

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Sheer lunacy on campus

Parents, taxpayers and donors have little idea of the levels of lunacy, evil and lawlessness that have become features of many of today’s institutions of higher learning. Parents, taxpayers and donors who ignore or are too lazy to find out what goes on in the name of higher education are nearly as complicit as the professors and administrators who promote or sanction the lunacy, evil and lawlessness. As for the term “institutions of higher learning,” we might start asking: Higher than what? Let’s look at a tiny sample of academic lunacy.

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The truth is that there is no fake news here

According to our Tweeter-in-Chief, there is a lot of fake news running around these days. I think he is talking about the national television networks and the navel-gazers at The New York Times and the Washington Post. I don’t think he is talking about me but who can be sure what is going on inside this guy’s cranium.

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Culture thrives when it’s all shook up

In July 1954, a 19-year-old Memphis truck driver recorded at Sun Studio the song “That’s All Right.” When a local disc jockey promised to play it, the truck driver tuned his parents’ radio to the station and went to a movie. His mother pulled him from the theater because the DJ was playing the record repeatedly and wanted to interview the singer immediately. The DJ asked where the singer had gone to high school. He answered, “Humes,” an all-white school. The DJ asked because many callers “who like your record think you must be colored, singing the way you do.” Elvis Presley from Tupelo, Mississippi, had committed “cultural appropriation.”

Charles E. Richardson

‘She was my mother, not my friend’

This is the day we set aside to honor mothers. Without a doubt, I may look like my father, but I’m my mother’s son. She’s been gone since 2002, but I thank God for her everyday. I loved my father, don’t get me wrong, but if not for my mother, you would not be reading this column. It took all of my mother’s wit to overcome what my nephew and I have come to call, the “Richardson Trait.”

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What makes me think about things I think about

I think a great deal about what makes me think about the things I think about. Yes, I know I ended the sentence with a preposition and I wonder if this matters anymore. Well, this morning, about 4:30, I’m flipping between Fox News and CNN, and I really wonder what does matter anymore. What is really real?

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Who is “the woman”

She came in while the men were eating and sat down quietly behind Jesus. She paid no attention to the stares and grumbling all around her. She simply opened her jar of expensive oil and smiled as the men breathed in the soft, sensual scent of the Himalayan spikenard when she began to pour it in his hair and smooth it with her fingers. Who was this woman?

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Dismissing James Comey

I have to admit I am skeptical of both sides of the James Comey matter. This is not unheard of, nor is it a constitutional crisis. The president of the United States has it within his power to fire the head of the FBI. President Clinton, while being investigated by the FBI, fired then Director William Sessions. Many of the people now complaining were perfectly fine with that.