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.
How many of you grew up reading about a superhero who had amazing powers and who flew around town fighting crime while looking snazzy in a form-fitting costume? Come on; you know you read about Superman or Wonder Woman or other comic book heroes, and you wanted to be just like them. You wanted superpowers, and if you had any fashion sense, you wanted a snazzy cape with your initials on the back. Maybe you haven't given up hope. Maybe you still want superpowers, even if you're willing to compromise on the costume. I know which superpower I ...
Wanting to learn about our Fire Explorers and fire volunteers in Social Circle, I met two young ladies at the fire station who made me realize that there's a lot about firefighting that most folks, especially me, don't know. Shannon Patterson and Ashley Yantis are both experienced firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians. Both are enthusiastic and totally committed to their work in insuring the safety of our citizens. Patterson is tall and pretty. Yantis is short (they call her "half-pint") and cute.
Unlike most jurisdictions, Public Safety Officers in Social Circle are cross trained as firemen and as ...
Are you a "Facebragger?" Urban Dictionary.com defines Facebragging as "the act of using a social networking site in order to show off or impress others with material items and/or fun activities and may include status updates, comments, or most often, pictures."
The opposite is referred to as being a "Facedowner"- someone who only posts the most dismal and depressing updates, presumably to garner sympathy from their friends.
If you read last Sunday's Covington News, you may have seen a diatribe about this paper in the form of a letter to the editor from a man named Felton Hudson of Stone Mountain. In it, he also took a harsh swipe at my personal opinion columns, calling them "pedantic gallimaufries." More on that in a minute.
I have a cat. His name is Earnest. He was a gift from a student in a senior English class spring semester of the last year I taught. The class voted to call him Shakespeare. But I declined. I couldn't see myself opening my back door and yelling Shakespeare into the neighborhood. So we settled on Earnest because as a class we were reading "The Importance of Being Earnest" when he came into my life.
"Members of the Legislature, my name is Figby and I have been asked by House Speaker Dennis Ralston - he is the gentleman over in the corner eating the Twinkie - along with Senators Tommie Williams and Chip Rogers to discuss some potential campaign issues this fall. They are, of course, your leaders and have helped make the General Assembly what it is today.
The local community will team up once again Saturday to help Covington stay beautiful through The Great American Cleanup.
I used to think people who dressed their dogs up in silly outfits or put bows in their hair needed professional counseling. That was back during my judgmental days when I thought my opinions mattered and always made it a point to make sure everyone around me knew what they were.
As a college student, I was always grubbing for a few extra dollars. I held part-time restaurant and retail jobs, and I even built hydraulic hoses for 18-wheelers. "Anything for a buck" was my motto. It was also my excuse for becoming a telephone solicitor - that unloved wage-slave who calls your home just as you sit down to dinner. So, instead of studying or attending school events, I was often renewing magazine subscriptions or selling aluminum siding. Yeah, you read that right: aluminum siding! I fell pretty low in the late '70s. I even listened to disco.
One of the fundamental gaps between the American people and their elected politicians can be found in perceptions of the relationship between economic growth, job creation and government spending.
The runaway train has again picked up speed fueled by government's out of control spending. You certainly won't read this in the major media this week.
Campaigning and courting have something in common, I've decided. Both are built on fevered promises made at the height of passion. You know the lingo: "I'll never (whatever)." Or: "I'll always (whatever)." Or: "I promise (whatever)." "You can (always) count on me." "You'll be my top priority (forever)." "You'll (always) come first." "(Your) wish is my command." "I will (never) compromise my pledges to you." "There will (never) be a day in your life when you will question my commitment to you."
At the risk of sounding like Johnny One-Note, let me go back over my concerns one more time about the charter school constitutional amendment bill in the State Senate that may or may not have been passed by the time this gets to you. (My deadlines and legislative deadlines don't always coincide.)
The Heartland Woman's Club will hold its 21st croquet tournament Saturday at Oxford College on the field behind the tennis courts. The tournament is for novices and anyone can learn to play in less than three minutes. Teams of two players usually play at least five matches which last around 20 minutes each, and team members are treated to breakfast, lunch and prizes. There will also be a silent auction.
"School stinks!" How many times have you heard that from a kid with too much homework and not enough weekend? I'm sure every student has said it at some point, and I'm beginning to think the kids may be right, but not in the way you might be thinking and certainly not in the way they intend it.