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.
When I think of the word enthusiasm, I am reminded of a scene out of the 1987 movie "The Untouchables" about gangster Al Capone. In the scene, Capone (played by Robert De Niro) is walking around a table that is surrounded by his men. As he walks, he talks.
Bill Raspberry wore his eminence well. In a city full of preening, self-centered journalistic royalty, he was a warm and generous prince who never deluded himself into thinking he knew all the answers. He is desperately missed.
Over the past few weeks, President Obama and his campaign team have launched a furious attack on Mitt Romney's record as head of Bain Capital, a highly successful venture capital firm.
A crinkled page dangles from a whiteboard in my home office, just beyond my peripheral vision as I work at my desk. The top corners are curled from nearly four years hanging by the same twine that secured it around my neck on the morning of November 5, 2008. While always in sight, this relic was out of mind for years. Lately, though, it haunts me. I hear scratching sounds that make me look up to see only an aging piece of paper fluttering ever so slightly against the blinds in my office window.
That sound you hear is silence - as millions of small business owners and entrepreneurs were left speechless this weekend from President Obama's latest insult.
If the governor and the state legislature had done their jobs, we the people wouldn't be deciding July 31 whether to raise the sales tax by one percent for the next 10 years to cover critically needed road projects throughout Georgia's 12 economic development regions. But the so-called "leaders" of the state couldn't bring themselves to do one of the jobs they were put there to do - namely, to provide adequate tax revenues to preserve and enhance transportation infrastructure now strained to the max. Even now, legislative leaders say if the T-SPLOST votes fail, they don't ...
I am not a very mystical man. As a Christian, I obviously believe in the supernatural, but mysticism isn't something I go looking for. Occasionally though, the Lord allows me to see something that is so far beyond the natural that it leaves my faith stronger and my sight in awe of God's mighty hand.
Ah, the good ol' Internet. You think it's just one big, anonymous playground. You can do anything. Well, it's a playground alright. And you can do almost anything online nowadays, but it's definitely not anonymous. Everyone needs to be mindful of what they write, post and share online. You don't know who's going to see it or what tiny detail in that Instagram photo or post on Facebook can give away your identity or location.
What comes to mind when you think of a beach vacation? Miles of white sand, a sparkling blue sea, a warm breeze ruffling your hair?
The 10-county, $7 billion metro Atlanta transportation referendum is set to be decided by voters on July 31.
When I first moved to Covington in 1970, to call someone on the telephone all you had to dial was the last four numbers of the seven-digit phone number.
Of course, calling Conyers or anywhere else besides Covington was long distance. It was a banner day when we could call Conyers and it was not long distance. But that improvement had its drawbacks. We now had to dial all seven digits of the phone number.
There are plenty of reasons that the economy is the most important issue of Election 2012.
Spare us any more hooey about "preventing fraud" and "protecting the integrity of the ballot box." The Republican-led crusade for voter ID laws is revealed as a cynical ploy to disenfranchise as many likely Democratic voters as possible, with poor people and minorities the main targets.
Nothing gets friends - or even strangers - more animated than talking about memorable moments long past that survive and even flourish with passing time.
What are Americans interested in? According to a Gallup poll released on June 14, it's the economy, in a variety of forms.
The poll found that "68 percent of Americans mention some aspect of the economy when asked about the most important problem facing the country today, with the economy in general (31 percent) and unemployment (25 percent) most often mentioned as specific concerns." (Poll of 1,004 adults, conducted June 7-10, with a sampling error of plus-or-minus 4 points.)