I regret I didn’t get to this in a timelier fashion, but the loss of former state Supreme Court Justice Conley Ingram last month removed another great American from our midst. He was one of the nicest and kindest people I ever had the pleasure to know. His sense of humor was legendary. There was the time he invited me to speak to the Marietta Rotary Club. As we were being seated, a visitor plopped down at our table and introduced himself with some enthusiasm. After inquiring about my occupation, he asked, “And what do you do, Conley?” “I am an unemployed lawyer,” the judge replied dryly, which seemed to dampen the guy’s interest in him. I took pleasure in watching the color drain from his face later in the lunch when I told him who Conley Ingram was. ...

When Tink first moved to the place which he now firmly and alternately calls “my home” or “the place where I belong,” I often had advice on adjusting to the South. One piece was constant: “Be careful what you say about people because you never know who’s kin to who.”

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Apologies to Elton John, but in Washington and throughout so much of the country, can you feel the hate tonight?

Not many people think of the Ten Commandments these days, unless some group is trying to fight a legal battle to place them on public property.

It is a truism that a blackmailer is rarely satisfied. Once the payoffs start, there often is no end to them.

Among the great treats that come from my job as a writer are all the wonderful, handwritten letters I receive. Few are typed, and though I receive many emails, these scripted letters are always the most joyous.

I could make a list of all the things I’m not good at, and it would fill this column space. It would include swimming, singing, cooking and anything that requires athleticism or construction skills. I wouldn’t even include the things I haven’t yet tried, but in which I know I would fail. Those would include skydiving, roofing and performing surgery. Truth be told, the list of things I can do well would fit in one sentence. Like for instance, math.

Some of you will be reading these words before, some during and several after Thanksgiving Day (like the old British Empire, the sun never sets on this column.) So, we need to set some ground rules: Let’s remember to express our thanks on days other than when our mouths are stuffed with turkey parts.The problem is that we usually don’t do so on the other 364 days a year (OK, 365 on a leap year. Some of you can be so picky) because we are too busy complaining about the weather, politics, our aches and pains, robocalls, inconsiderate drivers and/or the price of something or other.

Thanks is a good word because it acknowledges that we can’t make it by ourselves.

(True confession: I wrote this column thinking for sure that Thanksgiving was this week. I never even looked at the calendar. It just seems like it’s time, you know? Then my wife mentioned that the holiday was “late” this year, on Nov. 28. I said, “Too bad, I already wrote the column.” That’s why I’m the first to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced U.S policy toward Israel's "settlements" is reverting to one held by the Reagan administration; that is the right of Israelis to settle in the ancient lands of Judea and Samaria "is not, per se, inconsistent with international law."

You might be interested to know that there have been only 12 lieutenant governors in Georgia’s history, going back to 1947 when the position was created. Four went on to become governor. One became lieutenant governor after having served as governor. Four others tried for the state’s highest office and failed. Two left politics after their term in office.It is safe to say that the 12th occupant, Geoff Duncan, didn’t have the job on his radar when he graduated from Georgia Tech. A pitcher for the Yellow Jackets, he was signed by the Miami Marlins organization and made it as far as the organization’s AAA affiliate, the Calgary Cannons of the Pacific Coast League, until a shoulder injury ended his career.

So what is step one in addressing this destructive societal dilemma of division? For me, the suggestion is kindness.

A while back, I found myself on a rural backroad that is now a blacktop, but I remember when it was nothing more than red dirt that left a swirl of dust behind the back end of a car or marred its wheels in mud that stuck to the whitewall tires like putty.

If you are in need of more evidence as to why so many Americans are cynical about politics in general and Washington in particular (and isn't current evidence sufficient?), you need look no further than the etymological shift taken by Democrats during the House impeachment hearings.

John Bednarowski, MDJ’s esteemed sports editor, had a poignant piece recently about the ending of another high school football season here in Cobb County. While we have produced and continue to produce some outstanding individuals who will go on to play college football and a few perhaps who may make it to the professional level, many will take their jersey off for the last time. Bednarowski calls them “the glue,” the ones who make the others look good. Amen to that. I am the father of a former high school lineman and came to appreciate that the best quarterback on the planet can’t throw a football while sitting on his wazoo. Somebody has got to block. A lineman will make 30 or more blocks in a game, but if the poor guy commits one mistake while doing so, he gets identified publicly and everybody groans. It is usually the only time grunts get public recognition. Unfair.

We all have our ups and downs, our better days and our rough days. Everyone of us serves time with our own version of the blues.

As far as I can tell from a reading of history, while some presidents were friends of clergy, who sometimes advised them, to my knowledge, none hired them as staff members. Until the presidency of Richard Nixon. It was during Nixon’s administration that Charles Colson began mobilizing the evangelical community to support the president’s policies and programs, seeing evangelicals as just another special interest group, like organized labor has been for Democrats.

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In those monster movies so popular at Halloween, it usually takes a while for the killer to be revealed, but when he is, the terror he inspired among his targets often comes to a frightening conclusion for viewers.

For Christians, our identifying mark goes much deeper than some physical mark or garb.

“Well my daddy left home when I was three, and he didn’t leave much to Ma and me, except this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze. Now I don’t blame him because he run and hid, but the meanest thing that he ever did, is before he left, he went and named me Sue.”

Only extreme partisans intent on denying President Trump any credit for any success would be critical of the operation he ordered that resulted in the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. These extreme partisans include Speaker Nancy Pelosi who, while praising the “heroism” of the special unit that conducted the raid on al-Baghdadi’s location in Northern Syria, could not bring herself to say anything nice about the president. Instead, she said the House should have been notified in advance. Why? Does the House command troops? Pelosi lamented that Russia was informed, but that was because Russian weapons and troops were in areas over which American helicopters flew in order to reach their target.

A new wrestling league is being promoted during TV coverage of Major League Baseball’s post-season. The ad promises more action, more spectacle and includes women as well as men grappling with each other.

Depending on the polls you read and how you read them, nearly half of those surveyed want the House impeachment inquiry of President Trump to continue. That is not the same as wanting him impeached, much less convicted by the Senate and removed from office, but it represents a momentum the president needs to address and soon.

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