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The latest protests in Iran by people angry over the Iranian military's missile launch that "unintentionally" downed a Ukrainian jetliner killing many Iranians, Canadians and others, is different from past protests over rigged elections, rising gas prices, and what Americans like to call "voter suppression."

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Remember the children’s story about Chicken Little? A bird dropped an acorn and conked him on the head, and he became hysterical. He went around screaming “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” to anyone who would listen. And there were plenty of gullible animals willing to listen.

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Every now and then, someone will treat me like I’m a big deal. Now, you and I both know I am not a big deal. But, because I’m on TV in my town, it’s not unusual for someone to make a fuss. I always thank them, because I appreciate the kind words.

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I was preaching a series of sermons in a small town, and on one of the days an elderly gentleman came up to me during lunch. He said, “I know what it is to be frightened.”

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Mama was real good at money. She could get as much out of a dollar bill as a lot of people could get out of five dollars.

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Confession is good for the soul, so they say. What better place to confess than right here, for all to see?

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Prior to Iran's missile attacks on U.S. bases inside Iraq, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said, "We are not seeking war with Iran, but we are prepared to finish one." Esper said the U.S. prefers a "diplomatic" solution to the escalation of tensions in the region.

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The new year has arrived! As we begin to focus on it, many of us think of “good advice” that might guide us.

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It was the beginning of summer, the beginning of dusk edging toward twilight as we headed home from dinner with friends.

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I guess the U.S. has given a little quid pro quo to the thugs in Iran who think it is acceptable to fire rockets at military bases housing U.S. soldiers and contractors.

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For the past four years, my New Year’s resolution has been the same. It has nothing to do with weight, being a better person or cleaning the house more often.

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I have a Christmas story for you. I am sharing, with permission, an excerpt from one of the best Christmas columns I have ever read, written by Mark Evanier. Mr. Evanier is a Los Angeles-based writer who has inspired me for many years.

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Gadzooks! Can it really be 2020? That sounds more like what I wish my vision was than an actual year. Wasn’t it only yesterday when we sat holding our breath awaiting Y2K and wondering if all the computers in the world would go crazy and die? The only thing that happened was that a bunch of consultants got rich telling us our computers would go crazy and die if we didn’t hire them. Of course, nothing happened. The consultants and the computers are still laughing at us.

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"It's the most wonderful time of the year," Andy Williams reminds us over tinny speakers in crowded shopping malls. It may be wonderful for the majority, but for those whose fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers or children have died in Iraq and Afghanistan there is a void this Christmas, and Christmases to come, that can never be filled. It is the same in every war.

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While watching "Jeopardy" the other night, I had a fantasy. Suppose Alex Trebek had a Final Jeopardy category called "The Ultimate Impeachment Hypocrite"?

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There is an adage in the publishing business that you can’t judge a book by its cover but you can sell a book by its cover.

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I constantly ask questions. It’s my job. But I don’t have all the answers. Why can’t airlines, hotels and concert ticket sellers just be honest? Instead of charging us more money for “convenience fees” and “service charges,” why not just jack up the price on the front end and be done with it?

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"Blowout" was how one UK newspaper described the decisive victory of Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party in last week's election.

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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. ...

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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?

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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(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.)

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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."

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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.

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