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.)
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.
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It looks like our legislators are about to lose one of their most cherished perks: free football tickets. Bless their hearts.
Dear Syrian Rebels: I thought I'd take a minute to correspond with you as you resume your efforts to overthrow Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. You are no doubt disappointed that the United States government chose not to come to your aid as it promised.
It is flattering to have readers tell me I should run for public office. There are also an equal number of adoring fans who say I should stick my head in a bucket of tar. But that is a topic for another day.
Please indulge me a moment of introspection and feel free to think along with me. Chances are what I am going to say may apply to you as well.
As if public education in Georgia doesn't have enough problems, there is now a high-profile ruckus between Gov. Nathan Deal and State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. It has gotten so peevish that there is talk that the school superintendent may challenge Deal in the Republican gubernatorial primary next spring.
You may have read that the United States Supreme Court is going to hear a case about whether or not prayer can be uttered in town councils across America. Last year, a federal appeals court ruled that such a nefarious deed violated the First Amendment's ban on an "establishment of religion."
Dear Public School Teachers:
I read recently in the Atlanta newspapers that our intrepid public servants just keep on going - on trips, that is.
After much posturing, the General Assembly passed a sleeves-out-of-their-vests piece of legislation on lobbying reform in the last session and wants us to believe it has answered our concerns. Not so.
There is no way I could produce such pithy and thought-provoking essays each week without the help of my columnist commandos.
I try to make it a habit to hang around with smart people. Given that my IQ is not much larger than my waistline, this isn't difficult to do.
When Jimmy Carter ran for the state Senate in 1961 and was defeated, he claimed voter fraud. Carl Sanders, president pro tem of the state Senate, supported Carter's claim and provided legal counsel from the Democratic Party. Carter prevailed.
This is a story about heroes - good people doing good things. The cast of characters in this performance shares one thing in common: They are strangers to one another.
I have said it before, but let me repeat: I have no problem with charter schools. I did have a big problem with the ham-handed way last November's charter school referendum was rammed through by proponents.