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 happened quite suddenly. One morning recently, we heard the rip and roar of a chainsaw and the guttural grinding of a wood chipper. The noises went on for the better part of the day, and even when the dissonance ended, we weren't happy. One by one, the neighbor's trees that lined our back fence had come down. Gone was our semblance of privacy. We had an unimpeded view of the back windows that faced ours, their storage shed and a metal garage, and even beyond into the next yard. Their trees had shaded our back porch and ...
This will be the last column that I write before the presidential election on Nov. 6. I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to beseech you to vote responsibly and with careful thought to the future of this United States. This is not an election to be corrupted by personal racial bias, mindless party politics or mind numbing ignorance of the issues and what's at stake with your vote.
The charter school amendment will be decided on Nov. 6. If it doesn't pass, it will be the greatest upset since David conked Goliath with a rock. Give me the money that has been made available to the pro-charter amendment forces (more than $2 million, almost all of it out-of-state) and let me quash the opposition's right of free speech and I could get the little dweeb that runs Iran elected Pope.
Halloween is All Hallows (All Saints Day) Eve. Traditionally, it is when all the witches and other supernatural spirits get to play until midnight. All cultures around the world have traditional evil spirits of some sort. Western European spirits include witches, warlocks, ogres and dragons, to mention only a few.
In the 2000 Election Florida was the decisive state in the Electoral College. In 2004, Ohio was the ultimate battleground that put George W. Bush over the top. This year, it might come down to Wisconsin.
In this life there are consequences to our actions and certainly there are consequences to not telling the truth, either by lying or by omission of the truth. Occasionally, I am compelled to respond to an article written by my fellow columnist Maurice Carter.
New York can be a lonely and desolate city. My only date on this rainy Tuesday night is Chris Matthews -the last liberal left who will still talk to me about race.
This election is only tangentially a fight over policy. It is also a fight about meaning and identity - and that's one reason why voters are so polarized. It's about who we are and who we aspire to be.
I guess celebrities are everywhere, but I was really shocked to learn that the World's Greatest Dad lives in our town! What are the odds of that happening? By definition, there can only be one "World's Greatest Dad," and he lives right here, not over in a Tibetan hut or Australian wilderness protecting his kids from wild dingoes and snakes. I haven't met the guy, but I know he lives here because I've seen World's Greatest Dad shirts, pens and coffee cups for sale in the local stores.
Being judge and jury all in one has got to be a heavy burden, but don't you know a lot of people who like the job? It is a popular avocation, even a full-time occupation for many. People who create this job for themselves can never be off duty or go on vacation. The work is just never done. They must be ever vigilant, lest anybody get away with anything that might differ an iota from the perspective of the ones who have made themselves the arbiters of right and wrong, the acceptable and the unacceptable, the good and ...
"I'm reminded of your authentic faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice. I'm sure that this faith is also inside you. Because of this, I'm reminding you to revive God's gift that is in you through the laying on of my hands. God didn't give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving and self-controlled."
Being judge and jury all in one has got to be a heavy burden, but don't you know a lot of people who like the job?
It is a popular avocation, even a full-time occupation for many. People who create this job for themselves can never be off duty or go on vacation. The work is just never done. They must be ever vigilant, lest anybody get away with anything that might differ an iota from the perspective of the ones who have made themselves the arbiters of right and wrong, the acceptable and the unacceptable, the good and ...
Rep. Edward Lindsey, Atlanta-R, majority whip in the Georgia House of Representatives said he finds himself bordering between "amused and disturbed" by opponents of the charter school amendment, which is set for a vote on Nov. 6. Specifically, he doesn't like the assertion that the state school board retains the power to overrule on appeal a local school board's decision to deny a charter school after the Supreme Court's ruling on the subject in May 2011.
Now that cooler weather is here, I have been working in my yard trying to get everything caught up before the onslaught of leaves that inevitably end up in my yard.