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Dick Yarbrough

Stories by Dick

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YARBROUGH: Thanks to you, speaker might be ready to unload gravy train

Are you sitting down, dear reader? House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) has announced that he will propose a full ban on gifts from lizard-loafered lobbyists in the next session. Before you fall over in a dead faint, let me remind you that politicians are crafty sorts.

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YARBROUGH: School superintendent's endorsement of Chip Rogers raises questions

What in the world was State School Superintendent John Barge thinking when he endorsed the re-election campaign of State Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock? Chip Rogers, in case you are not aware, is not exactly public education's best friend.

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YARBROUGH: Recent trip a reminder to take nothing for granted

I have just returned from a memorable trip to Valdosta. I went there to speak to the Rotary Club. The members laughed in all the right places, which not only was memorable, but downright remarkable. What made the trip even more special were two visits I made while there.

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YARBROUGH: Plum Nelly Pitts says Higgs boson won't fix stupid

News bulletin: Scientists working at the world's biggest atom smasher near Geneva have announced the discovery of a new subatomic particle that looks remarkably like the long-sought Higgs boson. The bigger question is what does this mean to our daily lives? That required a call to Plum Nelly Pitts, of Varnell, Ga., the prestigious and prodigious prognosticator.

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YARBROUGH: We the unwashed don't find lobby reform 'silly'

Everyone seems comfortable with the relationship between lawmakers and lizard-loafered lobbyists except We the Unwashed.

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YARBROUGH: It's not the menu that's threatening women's longevity, it's the men

I read several news reports recently about a study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and the Imperial College in London that says while women are still expected to live longer than men, the gap is closing.

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YARBROUGH: Methodists more than a match for secularists

I received a press release last week from the Secular Coalition for America, a group of "atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers and other nontheistic Americans" announcing plans to establish a chapter in Georgia to lobby state lawmakers.. Among the things they don't like in our state are the annual Clergy Day

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YARBROUGH: Odds are Will 'The Winner' Rogers wishes he was Mork from Ork

For a guy more uptight than a bullfrog in boiling water, State Sen. Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) can be a hoot. Exhibit: the revelation of his past as Will "The Winner" Rogers.

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YARBROUGH: Georgia’s golden isles don’t need Dr. Beach’s approval

You and I both know that Georgia doesn’t need a guy who rates beaches for a living at a university in Florida that none of us have ever heard of telling us that somebody else’s beaches are nicer than ours. We know better.

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YARBROUGH: Explaining voter anger to Speaker Ralston no easy task

"Well, if it isn't Spiro Amburn, my favorite chief of staff."

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YARBROUGH: Skeeter Skates finds out he has a lot to learn about politics

Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter's Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Metropolitan Pooler, called me this week. That was a historic occasion. Maybe not man-landing on-the-moon historic, but pretty close to it. Skeeter rarely ever calls. I think it is because he thinks he knows everything.

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YARBROUGH: Random thoughts on Daffy Duck, UGA fishing team and why David Ralston doesn't want lobbying limits

Just when my life seemed to have lost all meaning, up jumps our Ambassador to Outer Space, Cynthia McKinney, who has announced her intentions to run for Congress as a member of the Green Party this fall in Georgia's 4th District. This is quite a comedown for Miss Moonbeam.

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YARBROUGH: Federal judge sees majesty in the law, not jokes

While May 1 is designated Law Day in the United States, Judge Lisa Godbey Wood, chief judge of the U.S. Southern District of Georgia, says we Americans should remember that every day is a day of law in this country.

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YARBROUGH: Giving Gov. Deal good marks for his job performance

Dear Governor, I know you have been waiting to hear how I think you are handling things these days, but I wanted to give you time to get the legislators out of town and to be sure all the silverware is accounted for.

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YARBROUGH: Shepherd center rebuilds lives and uplifts spirits

Those of you who regularly check this space know this, but to the newcomers out there: I am a whiner. Like Goldilocks, I whine when the porridge is too hot. I whine when the porridge is too cold. But unlike Goldilocks, I whine even when the glop is just right.

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YARBROUGH: Daydreaming about clouds and wished-for headlines

Sometimes I just close my eyes and think of headlines I would like to see.

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YARBROUGH: 'Mfmwgmfwff.' Legislators brief public on upcoming issues

"Members of the Legislature, my name is Figby and I have been asked by House Speaker Dennis Ralston -- he is the gentleman over in the corner eating the Twinkie -- along with Senators Tommie Williams and Chip Rogers to discuss some potential campaign issues this fall.

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YARBROUGH: Why isn’t anyone talking about for-profit charter schools?

I don't have a problem with charter schools. But you have to wonder about all the enthusiasm from legislators to promote them lately. A look at Florida's charter schools may shed light.

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YARBROUGH: State representative defends current lobby laws

Wilkinson called after my column advocating limits on lobbying expenditures to say that he believes the current laws are working just fine. A member of the General Assembly since 2001, Wilkinson has served as chairman of the House Ethics Committee for the past eight.

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YARBROUGH: Georgia's lobbying laws should make you very mad

I seem to have an innate ability to make folks mad. Usually, it is the humor-impaired and special interest twits. Today, I hope to make everybody mad, no matter your race, creed, color or university affiliation — mad at our friends in the General Assembly and their astonishing arrogance and disconnection from the voters.

YARBROUGH: Why not a signing day for non-athletic achievements?

"Come in.". "You have a minute, Principal Huggins?". "Yes, Coach Buldowski and Mr. Hornblow. What can I do for you?". "Sir, I have an idea I would like to run by you and I asked our band director, Mr. Hornblow, to come along.". "Interesting. Proceed, Coach

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YARBROUGH: Annual state of the column covers a wide range of important topics

In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, I am required to submit annually a State of the Column message.

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YARBROUGH: Southern Baptist leader speaks right from his heart

Southern Baptist leader speaks right from his heart and nearly turns mine.

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YARBROUGH: Random thoughts on politics, distinguished journalists and the birthday girl

Random thoughts on politics, distinguished journalists and the birthday girl.

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YARBROUGH: Georgia's education chief sees teachers as 'life-changers'

"Given the impact that Coach Fountain had on me, I knew education was what I wanted to do," he said. "Education was for me and can be for others a way out of poverty. With an education, you can do better with your life."

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YARBROUGH: Outback Bowl proves that some phrases never go out of style

Outback Bowl proves some phrases never go out of style.

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YARBROUGH: A big welcome to Plum Nelly Pitts

It is with a great deal of pleasure that I announce the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located over a pool hall in Greater Garfield, has signed an exclusive contract with one of the nation's premier prognosticators, Plum Nelly Pitts of Varnell.

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YARBROUGH: World may change but fundamentals remain the same

DEAR CAMERON:For the past decade, I have written an annual letter of advice to your father, your uncle and their cousins, trying to give them a little perspective on what life was going to be like for them as they grew into adulthood. Today, they are all adults and

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YARBROUGH: From bionic hips to Nathan Deal's slips, it was an interesting year

In appreciation for your loyalty and support this past year, I had planned to thank you by sending each of you your own personalized Dick Yarbrough Christmas card -- suitable for framing -- that you could proudly show your envious friends. The cards might even become a collector's item some

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YARBROUGH: Who in the world cares that UGA lost the SEC Championship?

In case you have been vacationing on the moon, you may have missed the news that the student-athletes from the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, came up a wee bit short in attaining the football championship of the Southeastern Conference. That honor went to the young men of Louisiana State University who, having observed them in post-game interviews, are destined to become either, you know, great orators or, you know, quantum physicists.

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YARBROUGH: Paying tribute to a wise man who made a difference

Last week, John Jacobs died. I am richer for his having been in my life and poorer now that he is gone. Ironically, I spoke to the Gainesville Kiwanis Club a couple of weeks ago and was able to share the head table with my brother, Bob, and John and

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YARBROUGH: Lot on the line as student-athletes at Tech and UGA face off today

Lot on the line as Tech and UGA football face off today. I wanted you to know that I may be hard to reach for the next few weeks or months or maybe even years. I can't be specific with the details at the moment, but by 5 p.m. today

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YARBROUGH: House Speaker Ralston may spend this Thanksgiving closer to home

House Speaker Ralston may spend this Thanksgiving closer to home. "Come in. Well, if it isn't Spiro Amburn, my favorite chief of staff. How are you, Spiro?". "I'm fine, Mr. Speaker. You sent for me?". "Yes, I did. We are getting pretty close to Thanksgiving and I wondered

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YARBROUGH: Shout-outs to Bryant, Charlie and Valerie ... and a goodbye to Sheila

Shout-outs -- and a goodbye to Sheila. I was just so excited to learn that whatever the organization's future nomenclature, Rev. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern (sic) Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., will continue to favor us with his observations on such critical theological issues as yoga and

YARBROUGH: Baptists have bigger problem than being associated with the South

The Rev. Bryan Wright, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, announced recently that he has appointed a task force to explore the possibility of changing the name of the organization. It seems that the name “Southern” may soon be gone with the wind. That doesn’t sit well with a number of my Baptist friends, who think this is nothing more than political correctness and a denigration of our beloved South.

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YARBROUGH: Baptists have bigger problem than being associated with the South

Name shouldn't be such a concern for Baptist group.

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YARBROUGH: What if bears attacked "Occupy Atlanta?"

News bulletin: The state Department of Natural Resources is reporting that black bears in North Georgia seem to be migrating toward the Atlanta area.

YARBROUGH: What if bears attacked "Occupy Atlanta?"

RING! RING!. "Hello. This is the Georgia chapter of Bears 'R' Us. President Theodore speaking.". "Teddy Bear, it's me. Ed Ursine, with the NBA, the National Bear Association up in Orono, Maine.". "Ed, good to hear from you, but please don't call me Teddy Bear. It's Theodore. Bears

YARBROUGH: It's not the government schools, stupid; It's the stupid government

To quote the Church Lady on Saturday Night Live, “Well, isn’t that special?” State School Superintendent John Barge and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), have asked U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan for a waiver of the controversial No Child Left Behind law and, instead, to measure school performance on a broader basis, consisting of scores on a Criterion-Referenced Competency Test along with other factors in a “performance index.”

YARBROUGH: It's not the government schools, stupid; It's the stupid government

We are swapping one set of unrealistic expectations of teachers for another.

YARBROUGH: Native American inventor proud of past, focused on future

David Petite has a very simple view on the immigration issue raging in the United States.

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YARBROUGH: Native American inventor proud of past, focused on future

David Petite an innovator and one of my favorite interview subjects.

YARBROUGH: Skeeter doesn't care for due process for terrorists

Everybody needs a guru. Someone you can go to whenever you find yourself stuck on the horns of a moral dilemma. Some climb the mountaintops of Nepal to sit before an old guy wrapped in a bedsheet and listen to him prattle about inner beauty.

YARBROUGH: Skeeter doesn't care for due process for terrorists

Skeeter: No due process for traitorous terrorists. I am very fortunate. My guru doesn't live on a mountain. Skeeter Skates is owner of Skeeter Skates Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Greater Metropolitan Pooler, which, to my knowledge, has no mountains, just a couple of piles of wood shavings

YARBROUGH: Who cares what Michael Moore thinks about Georgia

In case you were rearranging your sock drawer and missed the big announcement, filmmaker Michael Moore, who is about as relevant as a female appendage on a boar hog, is asking "all Americans with a conscience to shun anything and everything to do with the murderous state of Georgia." I can hear the shudders from Aragon to Zebulon.

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YARBROUGH: Who cares what Michael Moore thinks about Georgia

Michael Moore's boycott of Georgia doesn't bother me much.

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YARBROUGH: Becoming a move and shaker is a frustrating endeavor

Becoming a mover and shaker in this state is harder than I thought.

YARBROUGH: Becoming a move and shaker is a frustrating endeavor

When Nathan Deal was elected governor, I made myself a promise that I was going to get along better with him than I did with his predecessor, George E. Perdue. If our new governor wanted to build a few concrete fish ponds, I’d look the other way. If he wanted to dress up like Dr. Seuss’ “Cat in the Hat” and talk to school kids while shafting their teachers, I would just shake my head in bemusement.

Yarbrough: Parting Thoughts On The 10th Anniversary Of 9/11

Before we leave the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon and Flight 93 over Shanksville, Pa., allow me a couple of parting thoughts.

YARBROUGH: Parting thoughts on the 10th anniversary of 9/11

A last look at the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.