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First session finishes with a flourish

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.

April 12, 2015 | Dave Belton | Columnists


Columnist no ‘Playtoe,’ but irked by lack of respect

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?

April 12, 2015 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Gay rights movement is totalitarian

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.

April 12, 2015 | Erick Erickson | Columnists


Technology will trump ‘Bootleggers’ mentality

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.

April 12, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Living through the times

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.

April 05, 2015 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


GE and America’s corporate bootleggers

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.

April 05, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


The weekend that changed the world

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.

April 05, 2015 | Erick Erickson | Columnists


Newton Co. legislators busy with successful legislation

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.

April 05, 2015 | Dave Belton | Columnists


Growing jobs, investing in the community and trading squirrel pelts

Dear Editor,

March 29, 2015 | Ronnie Johnston | Columnists


If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out

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).

March 29, 2015 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


President Spock?

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.

March 29, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Thankful for a new generation of committed Methodist ministers

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.

March 22, 2015 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Baptists and Bootleggers:

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.

March 22, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


‘A great week for the children’

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 ...

March 22, 2015 | Dave Belton | Columnists


Our thoughts: Election smearing

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.

March 22, 2015 | Staff Report | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Yarbrough: If you are feeling helpless, then reelect nobody

Bill White, the Big Canoe Tree Czar - he is the guy you had better talk to before you pluck a pine cone in the place - told me about a bumper sticker he saw recently that sums up the frustration many of us are feeling these days.

September 07, 2011 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Who is smarter?

I never watched his TV show, "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader," but I've always liked Jeff Foxworthy, especially since he's a Georgia Tech man. We Tech guys think we're pretty smart, but tonight I wasn't so sure how I'd stack up against one of those 5th graders. You see, I was driving home, and I drove right past my house. I suppose -on one hand - I'm smarter than a 5th grader, because I can drive a car. Let's see a little kid do that. But, a 5th grader would be smart ...

September 04, 2011 | David McCoy | Columnists


A view from the House

The General Assembly spent Aug. 15 through Aug. 31 in what is called a special session. It is referred to as "special" because it is outside of the normal 40 legislative day period, specified in the state constitution, that starts in January. Special sessions can only be convened by a formal proclamation of the governor, referred to as "the call." These sessions are also restricted to legislating only on the topics the governor specifically includes in his call. Governor Deal's call for this session included three topics. First and primary was legislative and congressional redistricting. The second topic was ...

September 04, 2011 | By Doug Holt | Columnists


The value of work

In my hands was a small, multicolored clay turtle that I had made and painted at elementary school. I carefully walked up the steps to the front of our home, excited to show my mother what I had made and give it to her. As I opened the screen door, I dropped my handcrafted treasure, and it broke into pieces. I sat down and cried.

September 04, 2011 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Sharia under any name is wrong

Sensational stories about the application of Sharia (Islamic) law are easy to find. The vast majority of the stories aren't really about Sharia but about abuse of Islamic law. Every time I read one of those stories, I am glad the Sharia isn't being enforced in the United States.

September 04, 2011 | Patrick Durusau | Columnists


Sowell: An unusual economy?

Many in the media are saying how unusual it is for our economy to be so sluggish for so long, after we have officially emerged from a recession. In a sense, they are right. But, in another sense, they are profoundly wrong.

September 02, 2011 | Thomas Sowell | Columnists


Morgan: Political humor

Ronald Reagan was always good for a funny, dry, wry or totally off-base comment. Even if he got facts or history wrong, he kept on smiling. "Politics," he said, "is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book." Take that, Dick Cheney, who's self-aggrandizing new book may do little to rehabilitate his image as a cold-hearted, vengeful warmonger, among other things. Reagan would seem to have been remarkably prescient.

September 02, 2011 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Teachers don't love tests either

I know students don't like tests. But sometimes teachers don't either. First you have to make them up, that means deciding what content you want to cover and what format you want to use. Essay - hard to grade but easy to create. Short answer or multiple choice - easy to grade but hard to create. Though it's a lot easier now with computers. We had to type them on a stencil and run them off on the mimeograph machine. And as soon as you handed them out, the students would smell them. Apparently, the fumes are somewhat toxic.

August 31, 2011 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Man of the cloth wants a piece of the action

A man of the cloth by the name of Markel Hutchins is suing the estate of the late Kathryn Johnston for a half-million dollars.

August 31, 2011 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


The unfair truth about panty hose

It takes a lot of guts or a lot of stupidity to bring up the topic of women's panty hose; but I'm going to do it anyway and address a simple wardrobe question to the ladies. "Women, how do you feel after you buy a brand new pair of panty hose and get a ruinous run in them before they're even a day old?" Has that happened to you, before? I hear that's a common experience you ladies face. You spend five or six bucks, you go about your daily business, you snag something, you look ...

August 28, 2011 | David McCoy | Columnists


Monkey Business

Just in case you missed this, the escaped monkey from Yerkes is still on the loose and officials have called off the search for the elusive creature. It has not been officially determined if the animal could be found hiding under the Gold Dome.

August 28, 2011 | Ric Latarski | Columnists


Raising children and raising a nation

It's late summer, almost Labor Day, and for those with school-age children, it is time to get back to school, back to activities and back to routine. After 11 weeks of vacation, routine sounds more welcoming and stable than oppressive and stifling, as it did at the end of this past spring.

August 28, 2011 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


What to do with Libya?

Another one bites the dust. It is with great regret that I have to inform you that Muammar Gaddafi has fallen from power in Libya. Not that I knew him or thought that he was good for Libya or the world in general. Rather my regrets are for the manner of his passing from the world stage.

August 28, 2011 | Patrick Durusau | Columnists


Can we handle the truth?

The movie "A Few Good Men" in 1992 starred Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise as Marines facing off in the courtroom. Lt. J.G. Daniel Kaffee (Cruise) is defending two Marines accused of murder at Guantanamo Bay. Col. Nathan Jessep (Nicholson) is the Base Commander. In a pivotal scene, the gruff Jessep is the witness, pressured by the inexperienced Kaffee who is demanding a truthful answer from Jessep. In a full Jack Nicholson over-the-top roar, Jessep scorches the screen with his answer: "You can't handle the truth!"

August 26, 2011 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Yarbrough: A remembrance of a short life well-lived

Long-time readers will remember several years ago when I talked about a beautiful little lady I had met when she was just 2-years-old and who possessed the most crystal blue eyes I had ever seen. Her name was Abby Smith and she was a knockout.

August 24, 2011 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


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