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.
To quote the Church Lady on Saturday Night Live, "Well, isn't that special?" State School Superintendent John Barge and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), have asked U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan for a waiver of the controversial No Child Left Behind law and, instead, to measure school performance on a broader basis, consisting of scores on a Criterion-Referenced Competency Test along with other factors in a "performance index."
Studying drama (plays) was usually a class favorite. Students like to take parts and read the play aloud. But different plays get different responses.
Like most primitive males my age, I'm a cartoon junkie. My pampered generation was raised on animated images of mice, ducks and rabbits stuffing dynamite down each other's pants and gargling with cyanide-laced cocktails.
The decision to kill Anwar al-Awlaki was the result of months of legal review and reportedly not a single senior government official questioned the decision. Why am I not surprised?
In what has to prove the world is wobbling in its greased groove, two Americans have won the Nobel Prize in economics.
Changes are coming to county government structures all over the state, and I have made myself a student of those initiatives. As Commissioners, we are educated regarding the Five Forms of Government in Georgia by the Carl Vinson Institute of UGA and the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia. Some changes are the customary "tweaks" for efficiencies and changes due to growth. Many of them involve the institution of a county administrator or county manager form of government in which an administrator or manager is hired by the sitting Board of Commissioners to run all the functions and services of ...
"It's the economy stupid" is the infamous mantra conceived by political consultant James Carville that underscored the main issue driving the 1992 presidential race. A few months later, Bill Clinton replaced George H.W. Bush (41) as president, and it was the focus on the economy that got him there.
"Boy, the wife is getting on my nerves. She keeps giving me sympathy cards for being unemployed."
Appearances can be deceptive. In this age of open disclosure and the Internet, one would think we have access to all knowledge, but we don't. We are still at the mercy of those in charge of providing any given piece of information. Unless we are satisfied with the lop-sided information being spoon-fed to us by those having an agenda, it is up to us to do our own digging for the truth.
David Petite has a very simple view on the immigration issue raging in the United States.
I went to buy my sister a birthday card and ended up spending more than 30 minutes and reading nearly half of the cards before finally choosing one I was really not satisfied with.
I'm a little bit disappointed that Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is not running for the Republican nomination for president. He was sure to inject another round of excitement into the campaign.
Here's a news flash: an outfit named the Texas Transportation Institute determined Atlanta has the worst commute time of any city in the country.
I'm at my desk, looking at all my prescriptions. Here's one I started when my thyroid went on strike; here's one for my cholesterol; and here's one that all newspaper humor columnists are required to take. How did this happen? When I was a kid, I used nothing stronger than half a baby aspirin. When I had my tonsils out, I think I got a whole one. We just weren't a pill-popping family. Now, I'm surrounded by prescription medicines that promise me a longer and healthier life, if I'll just swallow it all ...
In innocent days of youth, I met the first fellow who might have been considered a "boyfriend" at the FFA-FHA Camp just south of town. He lived in Bethlehem, so when camp ended, we went our separate ways with pledges to write often until our paths would cross again. On Rural Free Delivery Route Four, the mail came about 11 a.m., so I'd sneak away from home about then and hang on the front fence line waiting for the mail carrier. The boy's letters were consumed voraciously as I trudged up that long driveway home, relishing every ...