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 am compelled to weigh in on the terrorist attack on the Benghazi Consulate and murder of Ambassador Chris Stevenson and three other Americans. I am in a unique position since I have lived and worked in many places in the Middle East under security protection and under risk management by the intelligence forces.
President Barack Obama may believe he had beaten his GOP rival in Tuesday night's town hall debate, but his 90-minute performance could not make up for his lackluster job performance over the past four years.
The best question at the second presidential debate came from Michael Jones, an African-American who said: "Mr. President, I voted for you in 2008. What have you done or accomplished to earn my vote in 2012? I'm not that optimistic, as I was in 2008.
Not a word has been said in the presidential debates about what may be the most urgent and consequential issue in the world: climate change.
The guy you're voting for in the presidential election is a liar. But, before you get upset, those aren't fighting words. My choice is a liar too.
According to dictionary.com, a popular definition of sequestration is removal or separation. Although the term sequestration is being bandied about in relation to massive defense cuts that threaten our nation's military readiness, I prefer the term "divorce," because that is exactly what our elected leaders are doing with the Constitution that they have sworn to uphold.
Georgia would be $45 billion poorer if not for the impact of tourism. It's our fifth largest employer, providing some 391,000 jobs, over 10 percent of all payroll employment in the state. The state's website says each household would pay $706 more state and local taxes if not for the money tourism brings in. The latest tourism figures from the Newton County Chamber of Commerce are for 2010, when direct tourist spending generated almost $91 million, $2.7 million in local tax collections and $3.5 million in state taxes. In September alone, more than 3,000 ...
I received a call at home the other day, and the caller asked if he could count on my vote for charter schools in the upcoming election.
I told him no and offered to explain to him why. He hung up.
If the pro-charter amendment people are trying to win friends and influence voters to pass the measure in November, they have picked a bad way to do it.
Attorney Glenn Delk and proponents are clearly trying to intimidate opponents of the amendment by accusing the state's 180 local school districts of illegally using taxpayer money to campaign against the amendment. Fortunately, they lost the first round in Fulton County Superior Court.
Wisdom abounds in nature. Over the years, I've learned much by observing the natural world around me. A good example would be the lessons taught to me from tending our backyard Koi pond.
Today in Newton County, our news agonizes and debates over low SAT scores and drop out rates in our high schools, drop out rates and low performance levels in our community college, high teenage crime rates, and embarrassing rates of single mother and teenage pregnancies. All the while, we good citizens argue between the Board of Education, Board of Commissioners and Chamber of Commerce for solutions to treat the symptoms and ignore the disease; all this done from good intentions and a touch of fear to appear politically incorrect and expose a distasteful aspect of our society.
There are some 20,000 miles of federal and state highways in Georgia - the interstate system and major roads that link our cities one to the other; carry our commuters to and from employment centers and give structure to our thriving logistics industry and interstate commerce.
It's right there in black and white in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech ... ."
I recently received an email from a friend which touched on several "myths" about the American education system. The article was based on statistics gathered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (not a misspelling, the organization originated in France).
If you aren't careful, it is very easy to get pessimistic these days. We have gotten too loud, too adversarial, too politically-correct, too ethically-challenged, too secular and too narrow-minded - not to mention slightly humor-impaired.