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.
Who doesn't know Terry Kay? And if you know him, you just gotta love him. The dimpled and bearded Georgia-born writer of 12 novels was named 2012 Author of the Year in June by the Georgia Writers Association, the fourth time he's been honored by the group and a year after receiving its Lifetime Achievement Award. This time, he won for the short story, "The Greats of Cuttercane" released last year.
There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. ~James Madison, speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788.
News bulletin: Scientists working at the world's biggest atom smasher near Geneva have announced the discovery of a new subatomic particle that looks remarkably like the long-sought Higgs boson. Sometimes called the "God particle" because its existence is fundamental to the creation of the universe, the hunt for the Higgs involved thousands of scientists from all over the world.
Sunday night, my husband and I ate dinner at the Salem Hotel and attended evening services at the tabernacle at Salem Campmeeting. We were guests of Sam Ramsey, the biggest and best cheerleader for Salem Campmeeting.
News of the destruction of the historic "Hub Junction Bus Stop" came to me over the weekend like an arrow through the heart. My family settled in that area in 1861 and my dad, as President of the Historical Society was instrumental in restoring the Old Brick Store, the first courthouse in Newton County.
There is something special about looking forward to something. Knowing that there is something good that is going to happen, or even might happen, gives us a reason to get up a bit earlier and work a bit harder. Optimism is the fuel that leads us to put our noses to the grindstone and persevere in the face of the inevitable setbacks.
You can conduct byzantine transactions through opaque investment accounts and private corporations in offshore tax havens such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Or you can credibly run for president at a time of great economic distress.
A guitar, a bicycle, a marriage - what do they have in common? The punch line isn't a "ha ha," but it was an "Aha!" for me.
As we celebrate this Fourth of July and the brash announcement to the world of a Declaration of Independence by a ragtag colony in a frontier continent, how can an American today separate this singularly unique occasion of history and heritage from the obligation as a citizen to select the representatives of the people who are sworn to carry out their will?
As we celebrate this Fourth of July and the brash announcement to the world of a Declaration of Independence by a ragtag colony in a frontier continent, How can an American today separate this singularly unique occasion of history and heritage from the obligation as a citizen to select the representatives of the people who are sworn to carry out their will.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts has garnered more than his share of attention recently as the court handed down decisions in high profile cases. Only last week, he cast the deciding vote and wrote the majority opinion finding that President Obama's healthcare reform act was not unconstitutional with its mandate for individual health insurance policies. History was made when the measure passed the Congress, and was made all over again with that decision.
It would be stretching things to say that Covington has a serious tie to the history of the U.S. Supreme Court, but even ...
I was in Athens on Sunday, dining at one of my favorite places and mulling over a cup of coffee and my little slice of life, when I saw something that intrigued me. I watched my waitress stand on a stool and erase a big chalkboard they use for a menu. As she wrote up the new entree item - a tasty sounding omelette - I thought: "I wonder if she ever imagined she'd have a job that required her to erase a chalkboard?" We all erased chalkboards in school, but who knew it could be a good career move?
I was contemplating beginning my spring cleaning, even though the first day of summer has come and gone. I kept trying to remember a poem about a housewife who spent all her life cleaning dirt from her home and then was rewarded by being buried in dirt. Wonderful irony.
Everyone seems comfortable with the relationship between lawmakers and lizard-loafered lobbyists except We the Unwashed. But, then, what do we know? Rep. Don Parsons, R-Cobb County, a seven-term member of the House, views the fuss over trying to curb unlimited lobbying expenditures as "silly." Parsons has some serious competition in the Republican primary. I would have suggested he employ a more appropriate term. Most of us don't find this matter to be silly.
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision that President Obama's health care law is constitutional keeps it alive for now.
But it's important to remember that the law has already lost in the court of public opinion. The Supreme Court ruling is a temporary reprieve more than anything else.