Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:
The Daily Citizen-News on registering to vote:
Seemingly every day of the year is reserved to commemorate something: an event, a group, an item, etc.
For example, today is National Great American Pot Pie Day and Redhead Appreciation Day. So be sure to show your redheaded friends that you care by baking them a pot pie.
While many of these days are rather insignificant in the grand scheme -- April 10 is National Hug Your Dog Day -- a number are exceedingly important. One such day happened this week.
This past Tuesday, Americans across the country celebrated National Voter Registration Day as they encouraged their fellow residents to sign up to perform their civic duty. Locally, the League of Women Voters of the Dalton Area marked this special day by holding voter registration drives throughout town. The League is nonpartisan, and wants to see people get out and vote.
For those who wish to vote in the Nov. 3 General Election but have not registered, the clock is ticking. Monday, Oct. 5, is the deadline to register to be eligible to vote in November. While that’s the deadline for registering online or in-person, all mailed requests must be postmarked by Oct. 5 as well.
Of course, the most-watched race on the ballot across the country -- and the world -- is for president, as Donald Trump, a Republican, takes on Democratic challenger Joe Biden. But, depending where you live, there may be other races and items on the ballot.
If you missed National Voter Registration Day, don’t fret. You can still register by mail, by going by your local elections office or online at the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office (georgia.gov/register-vote).
Requirements to register to vote are:
• Be a citizen of the United States.
• Be a legal resident of the county.
• Be at least 17 1/2 years of age to register and 18 years of age to vote.
• Not be serving a sentence for conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.
• Have not been found mentally incompetent by a judge.
After you’ve made sure you are eligible to vote, you then fill out and submit a voter registration application, check for your precinct card and then vote.
Once you’re registered, keep in mind that the early voting period runs from Monday, Oct. 12, to Friday, Oct. 30, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live. Or, you can wait to vote in person on Nov. 3.
The Valdosta Daily Times on the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and her friendship with the late Justice Antonin Scalia:
Ruth Bader Ginsburg became an iconic figure on the Supreme Court.
She became a hero to generations of women and men.
Her stands as an attorney then her rulings and dissents as a Supreme Court justice changed laws and minds and the way Americans live and work.
She was not afraid to take people to task but she did it with flair.
Even the stylish collars she wore over her robes became iconic.
Hard to think of another Supreme Court justice who reached pop-culture status as she did, earning the fan nickname “The Notorious RBG.”
Since she passed away Friday at the age of 87, thousands of articles have been written about her life, her career and status. So many aspects of her life are worthy of comment, reflection, even emulation.
But we are focusing on one aspect of her life. A facet we could all learn from.
Her friendship with her fellow Supreme Court justice, the late Antonin Scalia.
Ginsburg was liberal. Scalia was conservative.
Politically, they couldn’t be more different. They disagreed on critical Supreme Court cases. They had widely and wildly different views of the nature of the Constitution and the role of the court.
Yet, even when they disagreed, they respected one another.
As Ginsburg once said even though she disagreed with Scalia’s opinions, “he said it in an absolutely captivating way.”
And as Scalia once said of Ginsburg: “What’s not to like? Except her views on the law.”
They built more than just a respectful work relationship. They built a friendship on the loves they shared: food, opera, travel and – even though they disagreed on the subject – they still both loved the law.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, idolized by the left, and Antonin Scalia, lionized by the right, were good friends.
They could laugh together. They could joke with one another. They ate meals together. Their families traveled and vacationed together.
All of this while sharply disagreeing with one another on political issues.
Scroll through your Facebook feed and survey the language of damaged relationships. Former friends calling one another vile things because they disagree on politics. Family members estranged because of politics.
In joining our various political tribes, we often forget what forged some of our friendships – shared interests, common experiences, many of the same beliefs though seen through the prisms of differing lenses.
We often adhere so closely to the ideology of our politics that we discount everything else.
For example: If you don’t like the president, well, you must not like me. If you like the president, well, you must not like me. This one example simplifies the divide but it exemplifies how easily we toss aside mutual interests because of political differences.
Again, there are many lessons to be learned from the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg but her friendship with Antonin Scalia isn’t just a lesson that can change one’s life personally.
The lesson has the potential to start healing the wounds of our deeply divided society.
The Brunswick News on virtual learning and a recent forum attended by representatives from Glynn County Schools:
The global pandemic has put a lot of stress on people for a lot of reasons. Among the biggest stressors for parents, their children and school staff is how to handle the relatively new world of virtual learning.
While the internet has been a viable education tool for a couple of decades now, COVID-19 has forced many to rely on it as the sole communication between teachers and students. The only contact virtual learning students have with their teachers and fellow classmates is through video classes.
The stress of the day isn’t limited to students and teachers. The parents, guardians, grandparents and others who are helping to supervise the students at home are also dealing with this new reality.
Some of the difficulties that come with virtual learning were laid out at a forum Sunday. A retired teacher who is helping with her grandchildren’s distance learning talked about how they were overwhelmed to the point of tears from the stress of virtual learning. Another parent mentioned how challenging it was to keep up with the demands of virtual learning.
To the school system’s credit, representatives were on hand Sunday to hear the issues presented. Assistant superintendent Sung Hui Lewis also did the smart thing by saying she may not have all the answers to solve the problem yet.
The truth is that this is an unprecedented experience. Virtual learning to this scale is new to everyone involved — parents, guardians, teachers, students and the school system. There were bound to be kinks in the system to work out. The school system wants to hear from those who are partaking in virtual learning to learn about what’s working and what’s not. Communication is the only way to discover problems and resolve issues.
Of course, a negative can just as easily be flipped into a positive. This adversity can also provide students with a chance to work on their problem solving skills. Janel Holland, a licensed social worker in Glynn County, offered tips for navigating the stress of virtual learning. She encouraged taking children outside to play when the internet goes down and recommended the delegation of certain spaces for different activities like a homework space. That will help students know when they are there, they need to be serious and focus on their work.
We look forward to the day when students don’t have to only see their classmates and teachers through a video camera lens. But until that day arrives, we must adapt to a new way of learning. Parents, guardians and at-home helpers — stay positive to help keep morale up. Students, try to turn any adversity into just another problem to solve. School system — do what must be done to make this system run as smoothly as possible. Teachers — keep doing the tremendous work you all are already doing.
It will take everyone working together to make this work.