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Dick Yarbrough

Stories by Dick

YARBROUGH: Why one oustanding candidate isn’t running for president

My fellow Americans, it is with heavy heart that I announce to you today that I will not be a candidate for President of the United States in 2016.

YARBROUGH: A tribute to good people doing good things

Perhaps if there were more of us helping those who can’t help themselves instead of sitting on our duffs and complaining about the world going to hell in a wheelbarrow, we might just make that world a better one for all of us. After all, isn’t that what good people do?

YARBROUGH: My misfortune to miss Fortune

Fortune Magazine has announced its list of the World’s Greatest Leaders for 2015 and would you believe that I got snubbed again this year?

YARBROUGH: Education Reform Commission an opportunity to improve public education

It is much too early to know how things will turn out with the Education Reform Commission. I have no idea how much influence, if any, I will have in the final report. Only one thing is certain: I am going to give it my best shot

YARBROUGH: If you don’t know much about history, this test is for you

The authors of the test say the AP U.S. History course is an advanced, college-level course — not an introductory U.S. history course — and is not meant to be students’ first exposure to the “fundamental narrative of U.S. history.” I think that is education-speak for saying kids should already know about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and Ray Charles.

YARBROUGH: Jekyll Island Authority holds its fire on deer population

If you are a supercilious liberal you-know-what or a sanctimonious Bible thumper, I have some good news for you. I am giving you both the week off. Enjoy it while you can. I will be back.

YARBROUGH: Random thoughts on random topics

I am still pushing for a National Marching Band Signing Day. High School trombonists and drummers and tuba players will sit at a table with tams, shakos and Busby hats representing major college bands and then with dramatic pause select one and share with us where they intend to play for the next four years.

YARBROUGH: Macon legislator on mission ot legalize medical marijuana in Georgia

Allen Peake is back again with H.B. 1. He has the support of Gov. Nathan Deal (albeit with a few conditions) and House Speaker David Ralston.

YARBROUGH: To Cameron Charles Yarbrough: Advice from an old man

For the past 15 years, I have taken the opportunity at the beginning of the New Year to share some advice — first with your dad and his cousins and now with you, my great-grandson. I hope you don’t mind and will bear with me.

YARBROUGH: Potato Bowl already looking like high mark for 2015

I had just returned from the local toxic waste site where I had disposed of my holiday fruit cakes and was busy cramming my Christmas tree down the garbage disposal (don’t ask), when I heard a knock at the door. I figured it was the Environmental Protection Agency coming to talk to me about polluting the toxic waste site with fruit cakes.

YARBROUGH: Friendships are truly the gift that keeps on giving

Maybe it’s the fact that I have more days in the rearview mirror than I have ahead of me, but at this special time of year I am more aware than ever of the gift of friendships.

YARBROUGH: Carl Sanders: A great man who did great things for Georgia

I loved his stories about the characters that dotted Georgia’s political landscape in his day, except he would always end with the same admonition, “Of course, you can’t print that.”

YARBROUGH: This is one terrorst who deserves our thanks

Frank Gleason is an elfin man in his 90s with a perpetual twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face; a man who laughs as hard at his own jokes as does his audience and who scolds me for what he sees as my misguided political views.

YARBROUGH: Junior E. Lee is bullish on his post-election analysis

Junior E. Lee wanted to know if you would mind greatly if he waited a week or two before giving you his take on the Georgia elections. He said everybody and his brother are going to be analyzing the bejiggers out of the election and telling us why we voted like we did even though we know why we voted like we did.

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DICK YARBROUGH: Governor candidate Jason Carter shares his views on education

OPINION: State Sen. Jason Carter talks about his plans as governor

I have asked the two major gubernatorial candidates to talk to Georgia public school teachers about their respective education platforms. This week the floor belongs to Jason Carter, the Democratic challenger. Next week, it will be Republican Gov. Nathan Deal’s turn.

YARBROUGH: Dooley's players need to ensure stadium will carry coach's legacy

Last Saturday while the Bulldog nation sweated out a 35-32 victory over the Tennessee Volunteers that should not have been as hard as our scholar-athletes made it, former head football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley’s first team at UGA was recognized on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. As nice as that was, more — much more — needs to be done to honor the legendary Hall of Fame coach.

YARBROUGH: Thinning out the alternatives for Jekyll Island deer

This week, I was contacted by a group of deer on Jekyll Island seeking my counsel. They are in a tizzy. It seems that members of the Jekyll Island Authority have decided that there are too many of them — deer, not members of the Jekyll Island Authority — on the island and that the herd needs to be thinned out.

YARBROUGH: Gosh dang, what’s wrong with a Southern accent?

I just learned of a book called, “Say Goodbye to your Southern Accent.” Gosh dang. What is wrong with a Southern accent?

YARBROUGH: A reminder of why teaching is such a noble profession

It is new school year but, alas, the same old impediments: An out-of-touch federal bureaucracy; ideological state legislators who choose not to send their kids to public schools but intend to tell you how and what to teach, and a society that values reality television more than quality education. Sometimes I wonder how you manage.

YARBROUGH: Taxpayers on hook for mishandled ethics probe of Gov. Nathan Deal

The Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Committee. What a disaster. The way this dysfunctional agency has handled — or mishandled — the investigation into Gov. Nathan Deal’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign has risen to the absurd.

YARBROUGH: The job of waxing poetic can be quite frenetic

I would have made a great poet laureate. But, alas, the good folks at the Library of Congress didn’t seem to think so and it is their vote that counts. I think they were swayed by the fact that Dr. Wright, a retired professor at the University of Virginia, has won a Pulitzer Prize and a bunch of other awards for his poetry.

YARBROUGH: Junior E. Lee knows polls and pests

With the July 22 runoff elections fast approaching, I called Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Ga., to get his thoughts on the various races and to see who he thinks will make it to the finals of the November general election and who will be eliminated this round.

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YARBROUGH: If I don’t make it to heaven, Athens will suffice

As you no doubt know, Athens is home to my alma mater, the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in all the land.

YARBROUGH: A salute to a man who achieved his dreams

Before the start of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, Billy Payne, the organization’s CEO, reminded everyone that while much of the attention during the Games would be focused on the high-profile athletes, not to forget that all 10,000 athletes from the 107 countries represented were and would forever be Olympians — a title very few people in the world would ever attain. I thought about Billy Payne’s words last week when I met Taylor Phillips. Mr. Phillips was a Major League Baseball player from 1956 to 1963 with the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Braves (and a member of the 1957 World Champions), Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox.

YARBROUGH: No question that Answer Man knows his stuff

It is the merry month of May and you know that means, boys and girls. It is time for Answer Man. You ask it, we answer it.

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YARBROUGH: Talking politics and watching out for the spinach

The media pros attribute some of this lackluster political performance to the fact that the primaries have been moved up to May this year and that has thrown a lot of people off their game. My theory is that you are weary of hearing political promises you know the candidates won’t keep. They know it and we know it.

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YARBROUGH: Sen. Chip Rogers’ dream job at GPB goes poof

The scene: The office of Teya Ryan, president of Georgia Public Broadcasting.

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YARBROUGH: Proposed Sea Island development awash with controversy

Pierre Howard says he intends to see that the court of public opinion — that is you and me and all people who care about our state’s natural resources — is fully engaged in the deliberations. That is as it should be. Remember, this is not just about Sea Island. This is your land, too.

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YARBROUGH: A reminder of what Easter is really about

Easter is about celebrating the One who gives us hope that something better awaits us when this life is done. A miraculous day. A joyous day. That is what Easter is really about. I wish we would all remember that.

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YARBROUGH: Child abuse and neglect needs to be state's priority

Even if legislation had passed, the investigation of child abuse claims would still be left in the hands of DFCS and with the public lacking sufficient information on child deaths in Georgia.

YARBROUGH: Irritating liberals and conservatives in same week isn’t easy

I wish I had more time to expound on this subject with you but I must get back to the serious responsibilities with which you have entrusted me — providing you with in-depth analyses on current issues. For future reference, please know that I am currently compiling a comprehensive list of parallels between Obamacare and a turkey.

YARBROUGH: Columnist commandos get the latest scoop on Crimea

Since the policy of the federal government seems to be to snoop on the conversations of private citizens, I thought it would be appropriate if we turned the tables on them. So, I authorized my columnist commandos to infiltrate the White House disguised as Teleprompters and get the real scoop on the latest developments in Ukraine.

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YARBROUGH: Celebrating the life and legacy of a great journalist

I was at the sausage-making plant last week, better known as the Georgia General Assembly. I was there for a good cause. The state Senate was honoring Dick Pettys, one of the finest journalists to walk through the doors of the state Capitol, and I was asked to be a part of that special day.

YARBROUGH: Sen. Tippins working to improve Common Core standards

Sen. Lindsey Tippins is a voice in the wilderness surrounded by zealots who can’t wait for the elections to be over so they can get back to hosing public education, but with four school teachers in my family I am glad he is minding the store. School teachers should be, too.

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YARBROUGH: Legislature takes aim at passing 'guns for God'

American humorist Will Rogers once said, “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” Ol’ Will would have loved the Georgia Legislature. They are the gift that keeps on giving.

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YARBROUGH: Who wants to live longer without banana pudding?

Scientists also believe there is a correlation between being happy and living a long life. I’ve got a chance here. I am never happier than when I am tweaking the humor-impaired among us and reading their blustery emails.

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YARBROUGH: Loss of old friend reminder of misplaced priorities

I think it’s important to take a moment of personal privilege and remind you how transitory life is and to never lose track of old friends because you are too self-absorbed in your own little world. Sad to say, but I did exactly that to an old friend who deserved better from me.

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YARBROUGH: An open letter to my grandson

When you showed up at my door at Christmas with a plate of cookies you had baked for me after having viewed a grocery commercial that featured a little girl making cookies for her grandfather, you gave me the greatest gift I have received since you first arrived on the planet.

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YARBROUGH: How to monitor who is spending what on our legislators

Don’t forget: You are the ultimate judge of what constitutes ethical behavior under the Gold Dome. That is the way it should be.

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YARBROUGH: A look forward to the new year

Good grief. I just took a peek at next week’s calendar. It says 2014. That can’t be correct. I’m still waiting for Y2K and for all our computers to crash. I must have overslept.

YARBROUGH: There is much to believe in at Christmas

I believe we should do all in our power to preserve the true meaning of Christmas. The season seems to be always under attack for reasons I don’t totally understand and those of us who do celebrate the day seem to forget too quickly what Christmas is really about.

YARBROUGH: Like Mandela, Andrew Young’s journey is one of forgiveness

For all that he has accomplished in his illustrious life perhaps his greatest legacy is that he holds no grudges. The man just doesn’t know how to hate — and I love him for that.

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YARBROUGH: UGA needs your support academically as well as athletically

One of the lingering misconceptions is that state tax dollars fund higher education in Georgia. Not so. Less than 40 percent of the University of Georgia’s operating budget is provided by state appropriations. Tuition and fees provide another 14 percent of the budget. The rest must come from alumni and foundations.

YARBROUGH: Tweaking the humor impaired is dangerous work

“Oh, yeah. I do recall now that I got a lot of mail from readers defending Detroit. What I don’t understand is that most of the letters came from people who now live in Georgia. If Detroit is so great, why don’t they still live there?”

YARBROUGH: Random thoughts

It won’t be long before the Georgia General Assembly gathers once again in Atlanta. I love twitting our intrepid public servants — especially the self-important among them — but they are by-and-large good people trying to do good things. I worry, however, that they still don’t understand our concern about their cozy relationship with lizard-loafered lobbyists.

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YARBROUGH: A warm welcome to UGA's new president

The good news for Jere Morehead is that he is now president. The better news is that he won’t have to worry about me giving you a bunch of unsolicited advice in this column. I tried that with his predecessor and it went over like a lead balloon

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YARBROUGH: A chance to make yourself at home on Mars

I have no interest in looking for Martians or spending the rest of my days with a bunch of wackos. There are enough space cadets right here on earth, thank you, and I don’t have to pay $38 to tell you about them.

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YARBROUGH: A satirical look back at the shutdown

Opinion Column

I asked Junior how the reputation of members of Congress fared in the shutdown. He said the good news was that Americans didn’t rate them any lower after the shutdown than before. The bad news is that they weren’t rated all that highly to begin with.

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YARBROUGH: Not winning Nobel Peace Prize has its own rewards

Sure, it would be neat to hang the Nobel Peace Prize medallion from my rearview mirror along with my fuzzy dice and the million dollars that goes with the prize would be nice, but I’d rather tweak the humor-impaired.

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YARBROUGH: Balfour indictment feeds negative perception of politicians

Whether Sen. Don Balfour is innocent of the charges being leveled against him or not is for others to determine but there is no question that he has made political life more difficult for his colleagues in the General Assembly.