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YARBROUGH: Some random thoughts on some random subjects

Dick Yarbrough

Dick Yarbrough

Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss is catching heat from right-wingnuts for doing exactly what he should be doing -- trying to help the federal government find a way out of the financial morass the country is in. The wingnuts want him to honor a 20-year-old no-tax pledge. The senator says he is not talking about tax increases, but tax reform and cites loopholes that need to be closed like the current $6 billion annual tax credits for ethanol production. Good for him. I support his efforts 100 percent. Maybe the wingnuts would rather see some moron representing us who thinks rape is "a gift from God." ...

But all the wingnuts aren't on the right. A survey by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA shows that college faculty members tilt left. Over half identify themselves as "liberal" and more than one in 10 say they are "far left." I hope students understand that many of their professors live in a dream world because they've never had to make a living in the real one. ...

State Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock), a.k.a. "Will the Winner," a.k.a. "Mork from Ork," has stepped down from his post as majority leader and turned over the reins to Sen. Ronnie Chance (R-Tyrone.) I will miss the Chipster. I loved his stand on not allowing our body parts to be micro-chipped without our permission (a burning issue in our General Assembly, second only to recognizing "Go Fish, Georgia" as the state's official joke.) Mr. Chips was a hoot to write about, but I will admit he got a little scary toward the end. Instead of worrying about budget shortfalls and ethics reform, he was hosting meetings on a United Nations conspiracy to take over private property through mind control. Nanoo! Nanoo! ...

My friend, Matt Towery, CEO of InsiderAdvantage, an internet political news service, thinks horse racing is headed down the homestretch toward reality. Towery, a former state senator, cites a poll by Landmark Communications showing that more than 70 percent of Georgians want to vote on a constitutional amendment to allow horse racing in the state. "Make no mistake," Towery says, "racing will come to Georgia in the future. The issue is that of when and how." I expect this will get Baptists in such a fever they will temporarily forget about women preachers and the sins of yoga. ...

I have been told that a measure is being drafted in the Legislature that would benefit public school teachers. It is about time. When I get the details, I will let you know. Until then, I will remain dubious. I am still not sure what public school teachers have done to earn the antipathy and disrespect of legislators. Teachers are not the primary cause of the current state of public education in Georgia. In my opinion, the biggest problems are apathetic and often absentee parents as well as red tape and bureaucracy at every level of government from the feds to local school boards, leaving school teachers as convenient scapegoats. Interestingly, our intrepid public servants seem to have chosen to ignore the first problem and exacerbate the other one. ...

One more word on education: Charter school advocates have reached out to me in spite of my strong opposition to the recent constitutional amendment in which they prevailed and I lost. I have been asked to interview a charter school teacher in the classroom. I plan to do just that after the first of the year. That is a wise move on their part. There are more than a few politicians in our state, along with their staffs, who have the public relations skills of a turnip. They could learn a lesson from the charter school folks. ...

On a personal note: This has been a tough year for losing good friends. The most recent is John Willis, publisher of the Calhoun Times and editorial page editor of the Rome News-Tribune, a good and decent man who passed away suddenly last week. More and more, I am feeling my own mortality. It is a humbling and scary thought. ...

Finally, to Coach Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs: You left it all on the field against Alabama and I am proud of your efforts. Besides, you are still state football champions, having reduced Georgia Tech to roadkill. That is what matters most in this household. Woof! Woof!

Email columnist Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/dickyarbrough.

Comments

JimmyOrr 1 year, 7 months ago

Doggone it Dick, you have done it again. You have fired a "broadside" toward us Baptists. Sandra has not read today's column yet but when she does, she is "gonna" be on you like "white on rice" so expect her email to be coming your way. It don't bother me none for you to pick on us Baptists as truth of the matter, we sometimes put to much starch in our collars. If you come over my way on your charter school visit after the first of the year, let's try to hook up and go visit the GCPS Gwinnett Online Campus. As I told you, I talked with a teacher/coordinator from the online campus at a Thanksgiving get together. I told her that I planned to visit that facility after the first of the year. The way she described how the online campus functions much the same way as a classroom setting is unbeliveable. Picture this. The students are at home. They log in and presto, they are projected on a screen in the classroom. The teacher can then interact with them as though they were in the classroom. If one raises his/her hand to ask/answer a question she can acknowledge them. Anyway, if you come out my way and can make room in your schedule to visit the online campus I guarantee you it will be worth your while.

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kevin 1 year, 7 months ago

Old man you need to stop your rambling mouth. Teachers are one of the main reasons of a failed system, and there are many here. And yes, the Feds are also. But again, you like taking all that Federal money with the strings attached. As for parents, half could care less about their kid's future. They beg for free education instead of private pay schools with better results and less regulation and may I add, religion. Parents are not a problem in private schools. You sure show your true colors when you write; public school brain-washed. As for horse racing; it is 100% better than playing a lottery or gambling in a casino. Horses are more beautiful to watch than a bunch of stupid slot machines that are fixed by crooks in Brooks Bros suits.

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NewsReader 1 year, 7 months ago

Well, I went to look and see what Webster had to say about "jackass" in the dictionary, and there was your picture Kevin! That's pretty bold and arrogant "...Old man you need to stop your rambling mouth..." Where do you get off telling somebody to shut up?

If you are trying to reach out to people and get them into church, I submit to you, acting like a jackass isn't doing it. Try another approach...this one ain't working out so well for ya!

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SabrinaWorks247 1 year, 7 months ago

Kevin:

Whether you agree or disagree with Jimmy Orr, he is one of the most respected and honorable men in Gwinnett. I don’t like for anyone to treat my friend, Jimmy, with disrespect.

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Why_not 1 year, 7 months ago

I think Kevin just comes on here about once a day to vent all his frustrations. It's obvious he doesn't read his posts before he hits "post".

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Karl 1 year, 7 months ago

I could be wrong, but I believe kevin was talking to Dick Yarborough with childish comment, not Jimmy.

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