The last day of my first session was thrilling and exhausting. I worked from 7 in the morning to midnight to get "Kelsey's Law" over the finish line. Only 13 minutes remained before the official "Sine Die" when all work must cease until next year. But I am incredibly grateful that my work, and the work of Newton Representatives Pam Dickerson and Doug Holt before me, finally came to fruition after four long years. More importantly, I am humbled to be just a small part of courageous Kelsey's fight to protect fellow teenage girls.
Fortune Magazine has announced its list of the World's Greatest Leaders for 2015 and would you believe that I got snubbed again this year?
The gay rights movement has tended to be a well-choreographed stage production over the last number of decades. Over time, behind the scenes, they pushed hard for gay characters in film and television. They pushed gay actors out of the closet and encouraged celebrations of diversity.
In recent weeks, I've written about how the "Bootleggers and Baptists" dynamic corrupts regulatory politics. Bruce Yandle developed this concept decades ago. He observed that Prohibition became reality because Baptists wanted people to stop drinking while the ban on legal alcohol put money in the Bootlegger's pockets. The do-gooders succeeded only because the money-grubbers joined their effort.
It seems every day now some famous personality or former friend has passed away and at 68 it makes me think sometimes of my own mortality.
I recently highlighted an important book that describes how politics really works. "Bootleggers and Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics," by Adam Smith and Bruce Yandle, showed that prohibition became reality because it appeared to satisfy both Baptists and Bootleggers.
Approximately 1,982 years ago, a man died. In fact, many men died that day. We know for sure of three men. Two were tied to crosses and crucified. One was nailed to the cross. Had that been the end of it, it would have just been like so many other Roman crucifixions. But, unbeknownst to most anyone at the time, the first Easter weekend would become the most important weekend in the history of the world.
It was a great week for Newton County! I am ecstatic to tell you that "Haleigh's Law," the medical cannabis oil bill, passed both the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor this week. Also my bill, "Kelsey's Law," passed unanimously in the Senate near midnight on the last night. I was also very excited that Newton County Representative Pam Dickerson's cyber-bullying law passed both the House and the Senate.
The headline to this story is an adage taught by journalism schools throughout the country. News is supposed to be based on facts and reported without bias. But alas, reporters are human and have biases, acknowledged or not. If they are blatant and obvious, then we can dismiss them out of hand, (example: Chris Matthews saying, "I felt this thrill going up my leg," when listening to a speech given by then-presidential candidate Barack Obama).
The death of Leonard Nimoy saddened millions of Trekkies around the world (including me). But it wasn't just Trekkies who mourned. In the past month, it has become clear that Mr. Spock - the character Nimoy brought to life - had become a cultural icon extending far beyond the Trek universe.
I spent last week helping to assess a group of people for a job I couldn't do if my life depended on it. Actually, what they were seeking is not a job; it is a calling. And my life here and in the hereafter depends on how well they do it.
It's apparent to anyone willing to look that a wide gap has grown between a Washington/Wall Street political class and the nation they want to rule. Less clear to many is the reason why.
It was a great week for the children of Georgia. Not only did my bill to protect teenage girls from having their phone number put on a pornographic website ("Kelsey's Law") pass unanimously, but a Cyber Bullying measure by my fellow Newton delegate Rep. Pam Dickerson also passed. Overall, there were many bills to protect children including the "Hidden Predator Act" which lengthens the amount of time a victim may bring a sexual abuse perpetrator to civil court. This bill moves Georgia from the fourth worst in the nation to where most states are now. There was also a ...
There has begun a stirring of potential political candidates for the 2016 election, we know this because already there is already a sense of mud being mixed in order to smear folks.
Republicans say they're eager for the presidential campaign to turn away from "distractions" and focus instead on the economy. Someone should warn them that if they're not careful, they might get their wish.
It is true that voters' unhappiness with high unemployment and slow growth poses a challenge for President Obama as he seeks re-election. But for Mitt Romney and the GOP to take advantage of this potential opening, they'll have to do more than chant the word "economy" like a mantra. They have to make the case that their policies will work better than Obama's.
I watch "The Blind Side" anytime I come across it flipping channels. It's a movie that still brings a tear to my eyes, no matter how many times I see it.
I don't usually cry over football films - unless it's a replay of Reggie Ball throwing away the ball (and Tech's chances) on the fourth down in Sanford Stadium in 2004. But, anyone who's seen "The Blind Side" knows it's more than a football story. It's the true life tale of Michael Oher, a 17-year-old, homeless black boy from a broken home who ...
Examine me, God! Look at my heart! Put me to the test! Know my anxious thoughts! Look to see if there is any idolatrous way in me, then lead me on the eternal path!
Every generation pines for the way things used to be. We may even look back a couple of generations longing for times we think were better than these. However, in many ways, these are the best days ever seen in the history of the world: consider increased longevity, extensive medical research and advances, and more diversity so that more among us - those who are physically challenged, for example - feel fully vested in our society. Agriculture is finding new ways to feed more people, and good thing. Social media outlets are connecting millions and billions around the world, millions and billions ...
There is no "free lunch" and as I have often stated in previous columns, "It's the Spending, Stupid!" The control of spending must begin at home, here in Newton County, in order to regain control of government spending. The economies of project costs are best managed through local control. Our country and in turn our county are in fiscal crisis and we must not layer on more taxes. It is our responsibility as citizens to demand that all spending is painful and absolutely necessary.
Home rule is just local self-government. The State Constitution of Georgia advocates Home rule. The ...
When relationships go bad, an early warning sign is that one side doesn't really hear what the other is saying. That's certainly the case today in the relationship between voters and America's political class.
It was completely dark under my blindfold. A voice I didn't know told me to take the arm offered by another person whom I happened to know but couldn't see. He told me he was leading me through an open door, down a corridor, into a meeting hall and to a table where I gripped the edge until my guide placed a chair beneath me and invited me to sit. I could hear conversations echoing in a cavernous room until the meeting was called to order by a voice I did know, that of Jim Windham, president of ...
Just when my life seemed to have lost all meaning, up jumps our Ambassador to Outer Space Cynthia McKinney, who has announced her intentions to run for Congress as a member of the Green Party this fall in Georgia's 4th District.
This is quite a comedown for Miss Moonbeam, who was the Green Party's candidate for president in 2008. But incumbent Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson has impressive space cadet credentials himself. In 2010, Johnson expressed concern in a congressional hearing about a planned military buildup on the Pacific island of Guam, saying, "My fear is that the whole ...
This week is teacher appreciation week. If you don't have children in school, you probably haven't heard of it. If you do, you have probably been asked to send some small token to school with your children for their teachers.
I'm all for teacher appreciation. But they need more than a thank you. According to the article "Public Education Faces a Crisis in Teacher Retention" published in 2005 on Edutopia, of the 200,000 new teachers hired each year, 22,000 quit after one year.
I'm pleased to report that our household has a new Minister of Electricity! Yes, you read that correctly. Our youngest son is the new Minister of Electricity for the McCoy family. You see - we're just like one of those third-world dictatorships. We have ministerial positions in the household, and we grant them exclusively to our family members. Except for the military uniforms, mirrored sunglasses, and overbearing Mercedes limos, we're no different from any other nepotistic bureaucracy. All hail the new Minister of Electricity! May no light bulbs go dark under your tenure and service to our fair ...
In case you haven't noticed, Roger "The Rocket" Clemens is on trial for lying to Congress about whether or not he used performance enhancing drugs and Human Growth Hormone during his illustrious baseball career.
When testifying before Congress about steroid use, Clemens vehemently denied using such substances, despite claims by a teammate that Clemens confessed to him he did use human fuel additives. Clemens' response was that his teammate "misremembered" their conversation.
Since becoming a regular columnist, I've avoided writing about trails or bicycles. I get type-cast as an advocate, and there are so many other great topics. But, it's Bike Month, so I can't resist reflecting on the wonders of two-wheeled, self-propelled transportation.
The League of American Bicyclists declared May National Bike Month in 1956 and they've celebrated for 55 years. Today, at 3 p.m. on the square, Mayor Ronnie Johnston will proclaim May 2012 Bike Month in Covington, before the monthly Community Bike Ride. It's a gentle, family-friendly ride, suitable for kids and adults ...
One hundred years ago, the European powers were hurtling down a path leading to World War I. Trench warfare became the dominant image of that war, as both sides dug in and the battle lines barely moved. Many called it the "War to End All Wars," but in the end it merely set the stage for World War II.
Election 2012 is shaping up to be the political equivalent of trench warfare that fails to resolve anything.
Last night, President Obama visited Afghanistan and stood on the shoulders of the U.S. military to trumpet his foreign policy. But that military is being eviscerated under the president's budget cuts, creating a hollow force and exacerbating today's readiness crisis.
These days I'm just waiting to see what institution, individual or entity will be the next disgraced by scandal, lies or cover-ups. How the mighty do fall, and they seem to be falling in ever more rapid succession in a 24/7 news environment and the exploding social media universe. In many cases, we "know" way too much about a possible scandal before the facts can prove it right or baseless.