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An Atlanta resident, recently returning from travels to South Africa, has become the first Georgian officially diagnosed with the Omicron variant of COVID-19, following recent similar diagnoses in several other states across the country, most with recent travel to South Africa.

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No doubt you’ve noticed that some newspaper columnists occasionally do a “From the Mailbag” column, serving up readers’ comments, questions, and corrections. I am one of those columnists.

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As has been the case with so many other school shootings over several years, last week's murder spree at Oakland High School in suburban Detroit might have been avoided if actions had been taken in the face of several obvious warning signs.

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Good news can easily get lost.

That was true even during the heyday of serious professional journalism, back in the 20th century. Today’s media are flooded with nonstop electronic nonsense and noise.

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard oral arguments for and against a Mississippi law that would ban abortions after 15 weeks. The arguments -- pro and con -- are familiar, but there is a greater argument to be made for upholding the law and, should a majority of justices decide to do so, overturn Roe v. Wade.

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If you would like to see Georgia's GOP days as the dominant or majority party come to an end, you should cheer Perdue's entry into this contest. The party and its grassroots activists would become only further divided, internally adversarial and no matter who the nominee is, the GOP standard-bearer would have depleted funds and a reputation covered with political bruises.

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The other day, I ran into someone who was too discouraged to give thanks for much of anything. He’s convinced the world is going to end and the USA — led by what the politicians running California are doing to ruin this once great state — is going to hell in a handbasket.

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When my sons were teenagers, my wife worked an early morning shift for a period of time, so I was responsible for getting them ready for school. This included breakfast duty, so I prepared a nutritious daily feast of Graham crackers, covered with peanut butter and chocolate chips. (That’s me, Mr. Health Food.)

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While a disbelieving nation is focused on the endless border crisis, more immigration sleight of hand is ongoing in Washington. Cloaked in Congress-speak, the troubling details of the Build Back Better Act are being hidden from a bad-news weary public.

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Before the right to keep and bear arms is stated in the Second Amendment, the Founders wrote why they believed it necessary for people to arm themselves as part of a "militia." They said it is a "necessity to the security of a free state." The Founders knew that liberty is not the natural state of humanity and must be defended against government authorities and lawbreakers who try to limit or abolish it.

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I have never purposefully littered. I pick up trash frequently along sidewalks, roads and trails. We’ve switched out all light bulbs at homes for LEDs, conserve water and energy whenever practically possible, and generally try to live a life of reducing, reusing and recycling.

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Remember those "shovel-ready jobs" promised by the Obama-Biden administration in 2011? When many failed to appear after passage of this spending boondoggle, President Obama joked, "Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected."

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After two weeks of negotiations, leaders from around the globe gathered in Glasgow for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change announced an agreement. Critics immediately pounced, complaining the accord amounts to diplomatic good intentions, not guaranteed action.

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Slick Willie Sutton, the 1930’s bandit who favored elaborate disguises, was once asked why he robbed banks. He famously replied, “Because that’s where the money is.”

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Americans have been in a bad mood for the past few years, and as my Papaw Carroll would say about his aches and pains, “It ain’t gettin’ any better.”Americans have been in a bad mood for the past few years, and as my Papaw Carroll would say about his aches and pains, “It ain’t gettin’ any better.”

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When past presidents have seen their approval numbers take a dive, they went on foreign trips. Sometimes this works, but more often it doesn't, because failure at home often follows them abroad. World leaders can sense failure and its twin, weakness.

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Our mom, then Betty Lynn Ready, was just a little girl, going to school every day with thousands of other kids in Birmingham, Ala. From 1949-1952, a polio epidemic was sweeping the globe. The virus tended to selectively target population centers, often leaving stricken children in wheelchairs, with permanent leg braces and deformed limbs. During the late '40s, the disease caused paralysis in 1 of every 1,000 children aged 5-9.

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Perhaps you remember a line from Waylon Jennings’ career-making hit, “Luckenbach, Texas,” that tips the cowboy hat to “Hank Williams pain songs and Newbury train songs.”

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About now I can think of in excess of 2 trillion reasons to thank God for West Virginia U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). And I also have quite a high five and a few "amens" handy for Arizona U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), this moderate pair of Senate Democrats withholding their votes of approval will likely result in a proposed $3.5 trillion human and green energy infrastructure spending plan coming only in at a still too high $1.5-1.75 trillion.

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It's open enrollment season for Medicare. Local TV stations and cable networks are flooded with ads for various insurance supplements. They promise "free" dental care, free transportation to doctors, free drugs, free dentures, and lots of other free stuff.

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As I occasionally fret about the larger and seemingly more intractable challenges facing our nation, I am often heartened by the hard work, progress and ingenuity I witness demonstrated by community nonprofits.

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I witnessed a rare sight while enjoying my fast food lunch. The manager was at the next table interviewing a job applicant. They were chatting before I started, and the conversation continued after I left. I got the impression the manager didn’t want to let the person go.

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Courageous journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia have just received the Nobel Peace Prize. Each of these remarkable leaders personifies great courage and reflects a nation experiencing challenge to internal repression.

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Vice President Kamala Harris, who appears to be in the witness protection program when it comes to her assigned role of restoring our southern border, has re-surfaced in a video she sent to 300 Black churches in Virginia. 

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