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.
Have you ever heard of Florida International University? I must admit they don't come to mind when talking about institutions of higher learning. Perhaps that is because I think first of the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, current state football champions and home to 18 Rhodes Scholars. Woof! Woof!
Donald Trump has said he would be "open" to accepting a Cabinet post if Mitt Romney becomes president. Trump would prefer "a position where I negotiate against some of these countries, because they are really taking our lunch." So is he on the short list, perhaps, for secretary of state?
It's encouraging so many candidates qualified to run for local positions in the upcoming primary elections. These days, nearly everyone has all the answers, until you press them to put those great ideas into practice. Then, the excuses start.
An 8-year-old boy loses his father to an execution squad. Imagine the shock, questions and hurt at losing his father at such a young age. Why did his father have to die? Could his death been avoided? Why did he have to lose his father?
The Obama campaign's early attempts to attack Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital or present him as too extreme to be president have not worked out all that well so far. The early stumbles have created a flurry of commentaries wondering what's wrong with the team that performed so flawlessly in Election 2008.
We recently returned from an out-of-town trip to find that summer - not even having arrived officially - is on sale and fall is peeking around the corner. The mailbox was full of catalogs offering miraculous markdowns on everything one might want for summer - shorts, sandals, sand pails, swimwear and outdoor furniture, to name a few. Are such early sales campaigns a simple ploy to bulk up summer sales figures or just to get rid of merchandise that's overstocked due to overzealous corporate buyers? Or is it a brazen example of ever accelerating marketing and profit taking that focuses us always ...
The summer of 2012 will, no doubt, be a time of political discourse and critical decisions that will determine the direction and fate of our country. We are blessed with the opportunity to study issues and positions of candidates and express our beliefs through our vote during elections. This summer we will be looking at candidates for positions on all levels of government; local county, state and federal.
Most acknowledge that we are faced with diverging paths and philosophies of major consequence. Will we chose the direction that moves us away from financial ruin and fiscal irresponsibility? Will we demand ...
I was musing on the incongruity of two laws, announcements or whatever you call them enacted by the Covington City Council in the last few years. The first outlawed the shooting of squirrels in the city of Covington even with pellet guns or BB guns. The second approved the shooting of deer with bow and arrow within the city limits. I fail to see how a bow and arrow is safer than a BB gun. If I walk early, I see deer in the city cemetery. I would hate to think someone is taking aim at them while I walk ...
One recent Saturday, I was making my way down Floyd Street, headed to pick up produce from the Porterdale Farmers Market. As I approached the square, traffic was backed up more than usual at Elm Street and I wondered what could cause such a delay on a Saturday morning.
With its support for gay marriage, the NAACP has done more than strike a blow for fairness and equality. The nation's most venerable civil rights organization has made itself relevant again.
If you are lucky, you have people who you love in your life. If you're really lucky, you have people who inspire you, as well. I love my sister Kathy, but she also is an incredible inspiration to me - and might be to you, once you hear her story.
Time is flying. It seems like just yesterday I was being sworn in as the mayor of Covington. Now, four months later, I wanted to take some time and share with the citizens of Covington many of the things that are going on in our great city. I also want to again thank you, the citizens, for giving me the opportunity to be the mayor. I must say this has been the most rewarding job I have ever done.
President Obama, new French President Francois Hollande and other political leaders have called for less "austerity" as a way to help the troubled economies on both sides of the Atlantic. That's the polite way of saying they want more government spending and larger deficits.
In 1982, President Ronald Reagan decided not to sign a treaty known as "Law of the Sea," a United Nations convention that would raid America's treasury for billions of dollars, then redistribute that wealth to the rest of the world by an international bureaucracy headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica. The Obama Administration has revived that treaty, and the Senate will hold hearings designed to illustrate its supposed benefits and generate support for its ratification. Without a doubt, Reagan's decision should stand, and LOST should remain relegated to the trash bin of history.
The rationale for LOST is that it ...
I write to applaud you for having made it through another year in Georgia's public schools. Good for you. Frankly, I wonder sometimes why you do what you do and then I remember that you are changing young lives for the better. Not many of us can make that claim.
Your rewards for your efforts are unpaid furlough days, larger class sizes, no pay increases (but increased expenses) and a second-guessing public that seems to feel you should be able to stop all of society's ills at the classroom door. And then there are the politicians who promote ...