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.
Donna and I have seen a lot of Newton County and environs in the past few weeks.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company is pleased to recognize members of the 2011 General Assembly who gave so much so that we could get so little.
Upon occasion, when meeting someone for the first time, I've fielded queries about my last name. A knowledgeable baseball fan, for instance, might ask if I were related to the late, great Ernie Harwell of Detroit Tigers broadcasting fame.
Ice cream hunting season is almost here. I'm so excited! During winter, all the ice cream migrates down to Miami where it congregates in retired autoworkers' refrigerators until it's safe to return home. Sadly some of the ice cream will never make it to Georgia. If you wonder why that happens, just look at the average retired autoworker's stomach. Mother
If there were a Vogue magazine for cities, Covington would have been on its cover Wednesday. There couldn't have been a finer day for showcasing our little burg to 50or so state officials, downtown professionals, developers and foundation representatives who arrived for the Heart and Soul bus tour.
We celebrate Palm Sunday this week to remember what seems like the pinnacle of Jesus' ministry.
The Civil War started 150 years ago this week, threatening to tear our country apart. In the end the Union prevailed. In today's turbulent times, the lessons from the Civil War are still applicable.
When it comes to driving, it sometimes seems that we have the worst of both worlds in Newton County, with urban congestion on roads and drivers who learned their skills in the country.
It has been over a year since I have talked to Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter's Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Greater Metropolitan Pooler.
Even though we may ignore reality, somehow the stark truth shines through even the deepest denials. This is where we are now when we look at the relationship between domestic Islamic terrorists and members of the Obama administration.
A great American author by the name of Samuel Clemens has been in the news a lot recently. Quite a while ago, under his more popularly known monicker of Mark Twain, Clemens wrote a tome about a couple of kids named Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Now, some book publisher in Alabama has decided to print copies of the American literary classic, but is leaving out a racial slur in order to be more politically correct in 2011.
Sunday, The News asked: "What will it take to make Newton County healthier?" The question was prompted by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report ranking Newton 143rd of 159 Georgia counties in community health factors. The question is being asked anew, but answers have been documented as long as they have been ignored by a majority of our local elected leaders. Health begins and ends with personal responsibility, but healthy living thrives in a healthy environment. Despite more than a decade of public demand for green space and more recreation options, Newton County ranked 110th for physical environment in the ...
Last week, I wrote about how current affairs and catastrophes in this world -outside our ability to predict or comprehend - suggest to some that we surrender all pretense of control and turn to things of the spirit - those things that change not despite the contractions and contortions of the world: love, truth, compassion, care and forgiveness.
The squabble between the Democrats and Republicans over taxes leaves me puzzled as to whether I am ahead or behind. There is little detail in the debate and lots of hot air, misrepresentations and outright lies.
By failing to pass a 2011 budget last fall while still in charge of the House, Senate and presidency, the Democratic Party set up the potential for the Democrats to blame the Republicans.