I wonder if our intrepid public servants at the Gold Dome understand how arrogant and out-of-touch they look to We the Unwashed — or if they even care.
The past week you would have thought we were living in two different states. North of the Gnat Line, it seemed like Siberia. Even possums and yard dogs were hugging each other trying to stay warm. South of the line, folks assumed that God was punishing North Georgia for having taken most of the political power in the last election.
To Nicholas Wansley and Brian and Thomas Yarbrough:
Oh great. Now, the Obama administration is getting involved in public education in Georgia. That’s all we need. The deft touch of an inept federal government.
Good grief! I haven’t gotten used to writing 2010 yet and 2011 is here.
For weeks, I awaited a call from Gov.-elect Nathan Deal informing me that I would be a member of his transition team. The call never came.
I believe in Christmas.
Two things keep me awake at night: The threat of terrorism and wondering what, if anything, our federal government is doing about it.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states clearly that nobody can infringe on my right of free speech: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech_in_the_United_States. You can get in serious trouble for that.
This is an opportune time of year to take stock of our blessings. Actually, every day should be a time of thanksgiving, but it seems we are too busy being too busy to appreciate just how blessed we are.
Rats. It looks as though I have not been selected to be a member of Gov.-elect Nathan Deal’s transition team. Frankly, this is getting old. I am told that both Roy Barnes and George E. Perdue didn’t pick me when forming their administrations because they both thought my advice wasn’t worth a jar of warm spit. That may be the only thing the two men ever agreed on.
The next time the illegal immigration advocates start whining about the poor Mexican workers coming into the United States to “do jobs we won’t do” and to “make a better life for their families,” please inform them that the porous borders between lawless Mexico and the U.S. are also letting in drugs at a scale almost beyond description and that Atlanta is a major distribution hub for the hombres.
Let’s hold off on dissecting the general elections until the political pundits have had their say. They don’t know any more than you and I do — after all, we are the voters — but they think they do and telling them otherwise might offend them. Political pundits can be very sensitive.
In my house, the contest for state school superintendent is as important as the governor’s race. I have a son, son-in-law and now a grandson who are public school teachers, and they — and all the other teachers — deserve a draw-a-line-in-the-sand advocate.
The State Board of Regents voted recently to tighten their policies governing illegal immigrant applicants to Georgia colleges and universities and they did it with little discussion.
Albert Mohler is at it again.
When I pay University of Georgia President Michael Adams a compliment, you may be sure it is the real thing.
This isn’t going to please those boys and girls with the dark glasses and hearing aids who are always talking to their lapels, but my column commandos walked right past them the other night to attend the season’s first Conversation at the Carter Center, otherwise known as Jimmy Carter’s Out-of-Touch-With-Reality Pontifications.
Pay attention, teachers.
In all the hubbub over the construction of a mosque at Ground Zero in New York City as a reciprocal gesture of friendship to Muslims who have agreed to build the Ali Khamenei Baptist Tabernacle in downtown Tehran, you may have missed the latest debate between Georgia’s gubernatorial candidates sponsored by the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in a pool hall in Greater Garfield.
You can take the boy out of Georgia, but you can’t keep him from swelling with pride while he’s gone.
If you find any dead squirrels in my backyard, it is because they have laughed themselves to death.
I love the state of Georgia better than apple butter, but sometimes the place can try my patience. Like right now. It is just too hot.
I had considered the recently-constituted Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians just so much political hooey until I saw who was elected chairman of the council: Adolphus Drewry Frazier Jr.
As promised, I have the latest analysis of the recent primary results, courtesy of Junior E. Lee, general manager of the C. Richard Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located over a pool room in Greater Garfield.
What, you may ask, am I going to say this week about the primary elections? The answer: Nothing.
I am unalterably, unequivocally, and un-any other word you can conjure up opposed to school vouchers. I consider them somewhere south of Gov. George E. Perdue’s beloved horse barn that got tanked earlier this year.
This time of year is referred to as “Dog Days.” That is because state government feels that in appreciation for your tax contributions this is a great time to hound you with a bunch of new laws, regulations and similar irritations that usually become effective July 1. Hence, Dog Days.
Of some 15,000 school systems in the United States only one has lost accreditation in the past four decades. In August 2008, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools denied accreditation to Clayton County.
Not only is Vince Dooley a Hall of Fame football coach but he is a Master Gardener, too. I just got a copy of his new book, “Vince Dooley’s Garden: The Horticultural Journey of a Football Coach” (Looking Glass Books). How many people do you know who have had a hydrangea named after them (Hydrangea Macrophylla, also known as the “Dooley”) and can recognize an over/under 4-3 defense?
OK, teachers. It is put-up or shut-up time.
OK, class. Our word this week is kakistocracy.
Would somebody tell that guy that runs Mexico to buy a map?
Up until the final days of the 2010 legislative session, Georgia was about to become the only state in the union without an arts council. The Georgia House had dropped all funding for the arts and it wasn’t until the State Senate under the leadership of Senate Appropriations Chair Jack Hill, R-Reidsville, stepped in and restored $860,000 for the Georgia Council for the Arts. That money will allow the state agency to qualify for federal and state matching arts grants.
Kathy Cox has resigned as state school superintendent to take a new job in Washington. I have no way of knowing who will win the job this fall, but I do know that what public education lacks more than dollars is a strong and effective advocate. No one — not Cox, not the State Board of Education, not the Georgia School Boards Association, not the Georgia Association of Educators and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, not the Georgia School Superintendents Association, not the charter school groups, not the city and county school boards, not the governor, not the General Assembly — seems able to lay out a clear vision of the future of public education in the State of Georgia.
If I want to pucker a few know-it-all Yankee fannies, all I have to do is start bragging about how the Great State of Georgia is most blessed among these our United States.
I don't give a flip whether Jason Carter is elected to the Georgia state Senate or not. He won't represent me because I don't live in Georgia's 42nd District. What I do care about is that his grandfather, Jimmy Carter, is at it again.
Now that the legislative session is drum roll, please history, it is time to turn our sights to the governor's race.
With the Legislature about to wind up another colossal performance of democracy in action, there is still some unfinished business awaiting our public servants.
Bob Ryan, noted sports columnist for the Boston Globe, recently ripped the National Collegiate Athletic Association for considering University of Georgia president Michael Adams as CEO of that organization to succeed the late Myles Brand, saying it would be a "colossal mistake." The NCAA search is being conducted by Parker Executive Search of Atlanta, the same firm that recommended Adams for the UGA job.
Sometime ago I mentioned the worst customer service and the best customer service I ever received all in the same week. I reprise the saga because the hero of the story recently and tragically died.
I have a lot of respect for third-term State Sen. Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone. Chance's father, Louie, and I grew up in College Park and I know for a fact the young man comes from good stock. Louie Chance is a great American.
Even conceding our state's seemingly clueless attitude toward understanding the importance of education to Georgia's future prosperity, our politicians and bureaucrats are going to have a hard time screwing up the College of Coastal Georgia. The institution simply has too much going for it.
Senate Majority Whip Mitch Seabaugh, R-Sharpsburg, wants to eliminate a bunch of Superior Court judges in Georgia. Seabaugh says getting rid of 19 judges would save the state $13 million to $14 million. This means we Georgians would then have money available for really important stuff like building Gov. Sonny Perdue's $9 million horse barn in Houston County and enough cash left over for a palomino or two. When state government works well, it is an awesome sight to behold.
In the midst of one of the worst economic crises in memory, the Georgia General Assembly has to make some extremely difficult financial decisions. I don't envy the legislators' job.
A few weeks ago, I interviewed Charles Ector, of Gainesville. I had been told he was a former Tuskegee Airman. He was portrayed as a World War II fighter pilot who came back home from Europe to join the vaunted fighters that had to deal with enemies abroad and racial prejudice at home. When we met, I asked him about his experiences. He said, "I don't want to talk about it."
The body is a little frail and he walks with a cane, but the man still has the look of a warrior. His name is Charles Ector. He experienced the uglier side of society and with dignity and determination took prejudice head on.
While you and I have been tending to the mundane matters of life like filing our taxes and paying our bills, members of the General Assembly have been watching too many science fiction movies.
Whenever this world starts looking too complicated, I call my friend Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter's Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Greater Metropolitan Pooler. Skeeter has a wonderful way of putting things into perspective.
What this state needs is a good old-fashioned Tea Party. Not one directed at the liberal weenies in Washington who tried to ram health care reform down our throats. This protest needs to focus on the state of Georgia.