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.
It's something that happens all the time and to each of us. We've got a momentous decision to make, or even a small one, and the way isn't clear. There's as much to recommend one course of action as the other, but nevertheless, we've got to choose.. So what do most of us do? We start looking - praying - for a sign, some little nudge to go one way or the other.
A coworker at The Covington News was a little puzzled about a project her son was assigned in preschool. She assisted as he completed the project. The key word there is assisted. When she and her son arrived at school with the project, she was chagrined to find that other parents had not only assisted, but had made great productions of their children's projects, and the children arrived with professional looking exhibits. She was proud that her son had done his own work but felt that she had somehow failed as a parent as her son's project didn ...
WASHINGTON - Republicans and Democrats are being equally nasty in their campaign rhetoric, but they're not being equally truthful. To cite one example, much of what the GOP is saying about Medicare simply isn't supported by the facts.
The daily operations and management of our county are controlled by county regulations, procedures and codes as well as state laws and regulations. These rules and regulations are necessary to the responsible, fair and controlled management of our county. Of course, without the enforcement of these provisions there is anarchy and corruption. The duly elected officers who manage the county in various positions all take an oath of office, sworn to God, to uphold those governing regulations, codes and laws.
Forget conservatism versus liberalism, capitalism against socialism, or even Democrats fighting Republicans. In picking Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, Mitt Romney has drawn a new battle line. Throughout his political career, Paul Ryan has been an outspoken crusader in what he calls the "fight between individualism and collectivism."
It's a fact: If you have an opinion, you can be sure someone will have an argument to match it. And a good argument is nothing to be afraid of. A good argument is a logical analysis of differing opinions. It's called a debate.
We are less than three months out from the presidential election. Yes, I know that it seems as if it has already lasted forever, but so far, it's simply been the warm-up.
I have a fire hydrant in my yard. Not a working one next to the street, but a non-working one about 20 feet from the street next to my drive way. It is a real fire hydrant, just not a working one. It is the outside of a fire hydrant.
The metal, rather utilitarian, hulk that you see dogs eyeing in comic strips. But it has no insides and is not hooked up to any water.
We all have embarrassing social flaws, don't we? Well, maybe you don't have any, but I'm loaded with them. I'm cursed with an inability to dance; I don't enjoy professional sports; I have no interest in going to Vegas to gamble away my paycheck; and I'm a total bore at political fundraisers. The list could go on and on, but I want to complain a bit about the one social flaw that seems to bite me in the tail every day of the week: when it comes to dressing myself, apparently I have no ...
Just 16 percent of voters nationwide believe it was a good idea for the government to provide Solyndra with loan guarantees. The solar power company went bankrupt and stuck taxpayers with the tab for a half-billion dollars.
Here's my first admission: I'm a geek. In school, I was the bookish girl who kept her head down during class and barely talked with other students. A bit of a nerd, geek or whatever other slang word would fit at the time. A voracious reader, I spent most lunch hours during my eighth-grade year reading in the library. It was easier to go there than it was to endure the process of trying to find someone to sit with in the cafeteria.
Excuse me, folks, but the weather is trying to tell us something. Listen carefully, and you can almost hear a parched, raspy voice whispering, "What part of 'hottest month ever' do you people not understand?"
I wasn't at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, Aug. 1. For the record, I haven't eaten there in at least 60 days. That's not a political statement or a reflection of my food preferences; it's a necessity while trying (with some success) to get my clothes to fit again.
What with all the terrible tragedies happening around the country and the wash of divisive and negative news on all fronts, it is indeed refreshing to see that we are making progress in one area: a good energy bill was proposed in the Senate that would begin to move us forward towards energy independence. This is a good but not perfect bill and goes a long way to moving us off our current energy policy failure.
Senator John Hoeven, R-ND, recently introduced the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act, which would greatly expand access to energy and simplify burdensome regulations that ...
Kim Degonia has a pretty full plate as it is. She's a part-time magistrate judge for Newton County and a municipal judge in Porterdale. She and her husband have three boys, ages 5, 9 and 11, whom she calls "trouble," and she teaches yoga on the side "to preserve my sanity," she laughs.