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.
When Nathan Deal was elected governor, I made myself a promise that I was going to get along better with him than I did with his predecessor, George E. Perdue. If our new governor wanted to build a few concrete fishponds, I'd look the other way. If he wanted to dress up like Dr. Seuss' "Cat in the Hat" and talk to school kids while shafting their teachers, I would just shake my head in bemusement. If he rode a motorcycle around the Capitol or drove a bus across town for reasons that made no sense at all or ...
I've had fun writing for this column, and the one that received the most responses was the one about English teachers running around correcting the world's grammar. Everyone who responded shared his or her pet peeves. So here is a test. Correct these sentences:
We are used to flag-waving in this country, but we have moved to Constitution-waving as well. Small reprints often inhabit the jacket pockets of men and pocketbooks of women. My desk holds a 3.5-inch by 5-inch copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.
Some people are hoping that President Obama's plan will get the economy out of the doldrums and start providing jobs for the unemployed. Others are hoping that the Republicans' plan will do the trick.
Just in case you missed this, scientists have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is in what they call the Goldilocks Zone - not too hot, not too cold - which makes it a possible place for life to form.
Grocery shopping has become a frustrating experience. It's not that it's hard to find wonderful items to buy, not with all the great choices in the stores. I'm a smart shopper. I buy fruits, and juices, and healthy veggies; I'm an angel in the meat department, just looking at the ribeye steaks and not poking them too much; and I'm especially careful to close my eyes in the candy and cookie aisle. My problem isn't with the actual shopping itself. I always find great things to eat. What dismays me is the self-service checkout ...
Those who are impressed by words seem to think that President Barack Obama made a great speech to Congress last week. But, when you look beyond the rhetoric, what did he say that was fundamentally different from what he has been saying and doing all along?
A few years back, we lived on a beautiful tract of land in the country outside of Social Circle. Oh, you should have seen it: a gurgling creek behind our house that was set in an open meadow, thick stands of hardwood encircling the property and a driveway so long the existence of our house was unknown to passersby on the country road that fronted our place. Fetching the morning paper for Bob before he headed off to work involved cranking the car and heading up a steep hill on the driveway before it opened out into a wide and ...
My slow cooker died recently. I went to buy a new one, a task I thought would be relatively simple. But, no. Slow cookers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, apparently one size does not fit all. Once I had sorted out size and shape, I then had to choose from a variety of bulbous protuberances on the sides of the cookers which would allow me to program the amounts of time and start times.
Before we leave the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Towers the Pentagon and Flight 93 over Shanksville, Pa., allow me a couple of parting thoughts.
It was slightly more than six weeks after my second child had been born by way of emergency C-section. Sleep-deprived and tired, I had left my two under the age of two at home with a sitter to get out and get some exercise.
Etiquette is a hard word to spell. It's French, and I'm pretty lousy with their language, even though I love their cheese, and I almost bought a new Peugeot back in 1987, right before they pulled out of the US car market. That was close. Anyway, I've reviewed a few etiquette columns, and I think I'll try my hand at one. A guy's perspective is just what we need to balance all those dainty responses I've read. Here goes.
As we leave the Labor Day weekend behind we are greeted with the grand news Congress is returning to work.
A few weeks ago, I had what seemed to me a small medical problem, so I phoned my primary physician. However, after we discussed the problem, he directed me to a specialist.
We make a mistake whenever we believe weather forecasters, don't we? At least that's my opinion. Most of them lost credibility with me a long time ago. The promise of a deluge of rainfall here over the long weekend evaporated like a drop of water on a hot stove. The beloved columnist Lewis Grizzard famously discounted meteorologists and wrote that he knew more about the day's weather just by holding his finger in the air.