It is a potential killer whose numbers rival the deadly Ebola virus and it doesn't get near the attention it should. Unlike the dreaded illness currently ravaging West Africa this is one with a quick cure.
Rap! Rap! Rap!
I just learned of a book called, "Say Goodbye to your Southern Accent." Gosh dang. What is wrong with a Southern accent?
Dear Georgia Public School Teachers:
The U.S. Senate race this November between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue will be one of the more unusual campaigns we have witnessed in Georgia. Neither has held public office and both are anxious to portray themselves as the ultimate "outsider."
"I have gotten bad news and am much the worse for it.
With the July 22 runoff elections fast approaching, I called Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia, to get his thoughts on the various races and to see who he thinks will make it to the finals of the November general election and who will be eliminated this round.
The things you learn while surfing the Internet in desperation for column material. Did you know that there is a National Association for the Humor-Impaired? May Jimmy Carter (speaking of the humor-impaired) wash my socks if I am not telling the truth.
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It turns out that you can go home again. I recently established a chair in crisis communications leadership at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at my beloved University of Georgia. UGA President-elect Dr. Jere Morehead, along with Dink NeSmith, chairman of the Board of Regents came for the ceremony and both made my family and me feel warmly welcomed on campus.
They are the best University of Georgia athletic team you have likely never heard of.
When the phone rang, I knew who was on the other end: Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter's Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Greater Metropolitan Pooler. I can't tell you exactly why but the phone always sounds more urgent when Skeeter calls.
I have a good idea what Daniel felt like when he was tossed into the lion's den way back yonder. I found myself last week on the floor of the State House and the State Senate, looking eyeball-to-eyeball with some of the very folks I have cuffed around in this space over the years.
It is a theological fact God really likes Georgia. That is why he put mountains in North Georgia, the Golden Isles smack up against the Atlantic Ocean and added a bunch of lakes, parks and historical sites in between.
Let's face it - judges can be pretty scary folks to We the Unwashed. About the only time we ever see them is when we are called for jury duty or when, heaven forbid, we are a plaintiff or defendant or a witness, wishing we could be anywhere but in the courtroom.
The Georgia House of Representatives has passed an ethics reform bill and has sent it on its way to the state Senate for its consideration and action. But don't get out the confetti just yet. What one body sees as true ethics reform, the other sees as a desultory effort to curb the power and influence of those lizard-loafered lobbyists skulking the halls of the Gold Dome. We the Unwashed? We are caught in the middle, as usual.
My recent observations on the lack of respect given public school teachers in Georgia engendered a lot of responses but none better than this story sent to me by my friend David Egan, co-director of the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island and a former educator himself.
My fellow Americans: (Yea! Clap! Clap! Clap!) I come to you today to report on the state of your column - and it is your column because without you, I would be writing to myself which doesn't make any sense. (Yea! Clap! Clap! Clap!)
Are you sitting down? I had a meeting with House Speaker David Ralston last week at the Capitol. Got your breath yet? There's more. It was a good meeting.
As many of you recall, I opposed the recent charter school amendment, not because I oppose charter schools - I don't - but because I thought the wording of the amendment was duplicitous. I thought it grossly unfair that Gov. Nathan Deal could wax eloquently on the need for passage of the amendment but School Superintendent John Barge was not allowed to talk about opposing it. It was like Goliath beating up David.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
Don't look now, but I think you are beginning to have some impact on the issue of unlimited lobbying expenditures in the Legislature.
I have the privilege of being with a group of newspaper publishers at the Georgia Press Association's winter gathering in Atlanta this week. It is one of those times I wish my momma and daddy were still around to see the crowd their little boy is hanging out with these days. Momma would be pleased; Daddy would be surprised.
Dear Cameron Charles Yarbrough:
Over the years it has been a tradition at the first of the year to impart some words of wisdom in this space to your father, uncle and cousins, who double as my grandsons. Perhaps some of my observations were useful to them. Maybe some fell on deaf ears. I have never asked. Anyway, they are adults now; old enough and wise enough (I hope) to figure things out for themselves. So now it's just you and me, kid.