I wish I had been there. In Jerusalem. With Jesus.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Georgia, as proclaimed by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. Child abuse is a subject I don't like to think about, let alone write about and you would probably just as soon not hear about. But it is there and we need to acknowledge it and demand some solutions.
Even by my impossibly high standards, this has been a good week. It began with a whack upside the head from a reader in South Georgia after I opined that those who want to change the way we teach our children in public schools ought to have their kids in public schools. I was referring to the efforts led by Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) to overturn the Common Core curriculum in the recent legislative session.
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.
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.
The scene: I-16 near Dublin. WAAANGH! REEP! REEP! REEP!
As predicted in this space a few weeks ago, there is compromise legislation pending in the General Assembly regarding the Common Core curriculum, the controversial program that seeks to establish consistent education standards across the country.
The Cherokee County Republican Party has a blurb on its website about Rep. Sam Moore, who won the 22nd District House seat earlier this month following the death of veteran lawmaker Calvin Hill. Among other tidbits about Moore are his hobbies, including this: "Playing jokes … watch out. You have been warned!"
Let me run some numbers by you. 152: The number of children who died in 2012 in Georgia, despite the intervention of the state's Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS). 13: The number of children who died in 2012 while in foster care. Zero: The number of people who died in shootouts in a house of worship in our state during the same period. 152 to 13 to zero. So what is the hot-button issue in this session of the General Assembly? Guns for God, of course. HB 875, authored by Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper.)
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Many of you have written to say you oppose HB 875, which would allow weapons in houses of worship and is currently making its way through the Legislature faster than a speeding bullet. I suggest you let the bill's author, State Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper), know, too. Call him at 404-656-0188, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
My fellow Georgians, in order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is a requirement that I submit to you annually a State of the Column message. This I do today. (Yea! Clap! Clap! Clap!)
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.
I read a news report this week that says while we are living a lot longer in the U.S., people in other countries are living even longer. Bummer.
If this sounds like name-dropping, I apologize, but I am trying to make a point here.
This could be a very important piece of information I am about to share with you. Whether it is or not is up to you. It depends on how much you care about the money being spent on our state's politicians. If you don't care and want to cop the "it doesn't make any difference" attitude, then I suggest you blow the dust off the ol' Funk & Wagnall and look up the word "apathy." Or go kiss a goat. It's your choice.
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.
This column first ran in 2010. The status of Cameron Charles Yarbrough has been updated, but the message remains timeless.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela has received much-deserved praise following his death on Dec.5 at the age of 95, and rightly so. South Africa could have descended into chaos and a bloody civil war with Mandela's rise to power following 27 years of imprisonment and the end of apartheid. Instead, he preached reconciliation and forgiveness, not vengeance. For that, the world can be grateful.
It was as ugly as a wart hog, but for the 11th time in the past 12 years, 38 of the past 50, and 65 out of 108, the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, has bested You-Know-Where Institute of Technology for the State Football Championship, 41-34.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
Last week, family and friends gathered in the small town of Chattahoochee Hills, south of Atlanta, to celebrate a life well-lived. Our late grandson, Zack Wansley, was honored at the dedication of "Zack's Glade," a pristine and picturesque piece of Cochran Mill Park near where he died while training for the Atlanta Marathon in 2008.
I have some good news and some bad news. I read in the paper recently about a proposed venture to send people to Mars. The good news is that it will be a one-way trip. The bad news is that the launch isn't scheduled until 2022, meaning anybody dumb enough to consider the idea of going to Mars and staying there will be hanging around for another nine years on our planet and lowering the collective IQ for the rest of us. Bummer.