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DICK YARBROUGH: Will this be a better world because you were here?

OPINION: A kind word or thoughtful deed can have lifelong impact

I’m sure you can name those that have made a positive difference in your life. If so, I hope they are still around so that you can tell them in case you haven’t already.

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DANNY TYREE: A half-century after U.S. combat forces arrived in Vietnam

OPINION: What did the U.S. learn from the Vietnam War?

March 8, 1965 was the date that the first 3,500 U.S. combat Marines were dispatched to South Vietnam, and I wonder if any of us (isolationist, interventionist or in-betweener) have learned the right lessons over the past five decades.

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GEORGIE ANNE GEYER: Japan's sun poised to rise on world stage

OPINION: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has shown shown what a modern-day leader can do

Seventy years after World War II, Japan is moving toward becoming a “normal” nation that operates its own military.

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HAL BRADY: We do like to grumble

FAITH: Sometimes grumbling is what we do best

As individuals and as society, we grumble and complain so much that it brings us down, along with everybody else around us. Grumbling is one of the most insidious imprisonments of all.

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CARLTON FLETCHER: In the end, music polls about fun

FRIDAY JAM: Music fans show love for their favorite artists, venues

The Albany Herald’s Friday JAM section shines a light on local musical artists.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Cussed out in church

FAITH: A bad experience with a church has preacher leaving the ministry

I was preaching out of town and staying at a motel where breakfast comes with the price of the room. Sitting in the lobby early Sunday morning, I was drawn into conversation by the friendly, apron-clad man who was stocking the breakfast bar. When I told him I was a pastor, he responded, “I’m a preacher, too.”

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T. GAMBLE: A quick note before I go to the doctor ...

OPINION: This is important stuff, more or less

Without a barrage of overtures to sell you stuff you didn’t know you needed and had gotten along quite well without, how would you make it through life?

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MICHAEL GERSON: Getting Africa's health systems to be self-reliant

OPINION: A history of generosity can become an expectation of benefit

Tanzania has a strong economic growth rate, recently recalculating its gross domestic product upward by 32 percent, near the low end of middle-income status. But the foreign share of health care spending is growing, while government spending — as a percentage of the total health effort — is declining.

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CARLTON FLETCHER: Parking 'hogs' threaten more liberal downtown parking

OPINION: Some city employees settling into parking spaces for the day

City employees who claim on-street downtown parking spaces for the day threaten Albany’s more liberal parking law.

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MICHAEL LOMAX: How 'Birdman' soared to win Oscar for Best Picture

FILM COMMENTARY: A combination of technical brilliance and thematic relevance gives 'Birdman' wings

This is a story that speaks to many of us who once accomplished big things but have since fallen silent.

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KEVIN SPROUL: Two sheriff's deputies who are making a difference

SHERIFF'S COLUMN: Work of Lt. Terron Hayes and Col. Sabrina Lewis highlighted

I am very fortunate to have many individuals at the Sheriff’s Office who work beyond their normal duties to make a difference in our community.

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RONDA RICH: What Mama taught me

THE DIXIE DIVA: Knowledge stays alive, even after our parents are gone

There’s not a day goes by that I don’t think of Mama and do something the way she taught me to do it.

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DARREL EALUM: Legislative session reaches midpoint

LEGISLATOR COLUMN: Transportation funding remains the big issue under the Gold Dome

Fine arts center for Albany State University is included in House budget for FY 2016, but still must make it through the Senate and get the governor’s signature.

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CATHERINE RAMPELL: Obama doesn't have to say he loves us

OPINION: Rudy Giuliani contends the president is failing to talk about the good things about America

Rudy Giuliani feels unloved. And he suggests you should feel that way, too, thanks to a compliment deficit from our cheerleader in chief. I think it’s about … the dangerous way in which politicians, and many of their constituents, mistake flattery for love.

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CARLTON FLETCHER: With movies, you get the good and the bad

OPINION: Films can uplift or emphasize our inadequacies

Even with the best movies, there’s a risk-reward dynamic involved.