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.
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. Friendships are always the correct size, the right color and don't require a set of instructions on how to operate them. They are truly the gift that keeps on giving.
You may recall that I vigorously opposed passage of a constitutional amendment in 2012 creating the State Charter School Commission that would allow an alternative method for authorizing charter schools in Georgia. You may recall, also, that the amendment passed handily. So much for my vigor.
This was written in a cave somewhere in Greater Bora Bora. The column was floated across the ocean in an RC Cola bottle to this newspaper. (I have no idea how the editors got it from bottle to print. I assumed that if editors can figure out where commas go, they ought to be able to figure out how to print a column in a bottle.)
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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.
Well, boys and girls, I see by the old clock on the wall that it is June already. We know what that means. It is time for Answer Man to dig into the Question Box and see what is on your hearts and minds and assorted body parts.
Dear Public School Teachers in Georgia:
David Pennington, the mayor of Dalton, is making noises about challenging incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal in the 2014 Republican primary. Say what?
This is the story of courage. This is a story of tenacity. This is the story of Hill Daniel.