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Hometown Heroes

First session finishes with a flourish

The last day of my first session was thrilling and exhausting. I worked from 7 in the morning to midnight to get “Kelsey’s Law” over the finish line. Only 13 minutes remained before the official “Sine Die” when all work must cease until next year. But I am incredibly grateful that my work, and the work of Newton Representatives Pam Dickerson and Doug Holt before me, finally came to fruition after four long years. More importantly, I am humbled to be just a small part of courageous Kelsey’s fight to protect fellow teenage girls.

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Updated: apr. 12, 2015 5:00 a.m.

Columnist no ‘Playtoe,’ but irked by lack of respect

Fortune Magazine has announced its list of the World’s Greatest Leaders for 2015 and would you believe that I got snubbed again this year?

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Posted: apr. 11, 2015 8:12 p.m. | Updated: apr. 12, 2015 5:00 a.m.

Gay rights movement is totalitarian

The gay rights movement has tended to be a well-choreographed stage production over the last number of decades. Over time, behind the scenes, they pushed hard for gay characters in film and television. They pushed gay actors out of the closet and encouraged celebrations of diversity.

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Posted: apr. 11, 2015 8:13 p.m. | Updated: apr. 12, 2015 5:00 a.m.

Technology will trump ‘Bootleggers’ mentality

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.

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Posted: apr. 11, 2015 8:14 p.m. | Updated: apr. 12, 2015 5:00 a.m.

Living through the times

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.

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Posted: apr. 04, 2015 6:41 p.m. | Updated: apr. 05, 2015 5:00 a.m.

GE and America’s corporate bootleggers

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.

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Posted: apr. 04, 2015 6:44 p.m. | Updated: apr. 05, 2015 5:00 a.m.

The weekend that changed the world

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.

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Posted: apr. 04, 2015 6:45 p.m. | Updated: apr. 05, 2015 5:00 a.m.

Newton Co. legislators busy with successful legislation

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.

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Posted: apr. 04, 2015 6:47 p.m. | Updated: apr. 05, 2015 5:00 a.m.

Growing jobs, investing in the community and trading squirrel pelts

Dear Editor,

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Posted: mar. 28, 2015 1:01 p.m. | Updated: mar. 29, 2015 2:00 a.m.

If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out

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).

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Posted: mar. 28, 2015 1:06 p.m. | Updated: mar. 29, 2015 2:00 a.m.

President Spock?

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.

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Posted: mar. 28, 2015 1:04 p.m. | Updated: mar. 29, 2015 1:00 a.m.

Thankful for a new generation of committed Methodist ministers

I spent last week helping to assess a group of people for a job I couldn’t do if my life depended on it. Actually, what they were seeking is not a job; it is a calling. And my life here and in the hereafter depends on how well they do it.

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Posted: mar. 21, 2015 5:00 p.m. | Updated: mar. 22, 2015 5:00 a.m.

Baptists and Bootleggers:

It’s apparent to anyone willing to look that a wide gap has grown between a Washington/Wall Street political class and the nation they want to rule. Less clear to many is the reason why.

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Posted: mar. 21, 2015 5:01 p.m. | Updated: mar. 22, 2015 5:00 a.m.

‘A great week for the children’

It was a great week for the children of Georgia. Not only did my bill to protect teenage girls from having their phone number put on a pornographic website (“Kelsey’s Law”) pass unanimously, but a Cyber Bullying measure by my fellow Newton delegate Rep. Pam Dickerson also passed. Overall, there were many bills to protect children including the “Hidden Predator Act” which lengthens the amount of time a victim may bring a sexual abuse perpetrator to civil court. This bill moves Georgia from the fourth worst in the nation to where most states are now. There was also a ...

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Posted: mar. 21, 2015 5:03 p.m. | Updated: mar. 22, 2015 5:00 a.m.

Our thoughts: Election smearing

There has begun a stirring of potential political candidates for the 2016 election, we know this because already there is already a sense of mud being mixed in order to smear folks.

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Posted: mar. 21, 2015 5:05 p.m. | Updated: mar. 22, 2015 5:00 a.m.

Letter from the Mayor

Dear City of Covington Residents,

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Posted: mar. 21, 2015 5:04 p.m.

Crossover day marks progress

I am honored to announce that my first bill, known as “Kelsey’s Law,” passed the House by a unanimous vote. Originally sponsored by my fellow Newton County delegation member, Representative Pam Dickerson, it will protect teenage girls from a form of cyber bullying. This occurred to brave Kelsey Upton, a resident of Oxford, who courageously helped fellow innocent teens by fighting this malicious injustice. Representative Dickerson also authored another anti-cyber bullying bill that I heartily support. It should be voted on during Crossover Day.

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Posted: mar. 14, 2015 8:26 p.m. | Updated: mar. 15, 2015 7:00 a.m.

A proud Irishman, a proud day

Tuesday is St. Patrick’s Day, a day celebrated throughout the land with parades and merriment and music. In Conyers there is a parade and the world’s shortest run. The parade begins at 4:30 the run at 5 p.m.

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Posted: mar. 14, 2015 8:31 p.m. | Updated: mar. 15, 2015 5:00 a.m.

A letter from Mayor Johnston

Dear City of Covington Residents,

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Posted: mar. 14, 2015 8:39 p.m. | Updated: mar. 15, 2015 5:00 a.m.

Facing the cost of the world’s most powerful military

Two-thirds of all federal spending is consumed by just three program areas: Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid and National Defense. Because these programs consume most of the budget and are responsible for most of the annual spending increases, there is simply no way to regain control of federal spending without addressing these programs.

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Posted: feb. 28, 2015 6:32 p.m. | Updated: mar. 01, 2015 7:00 a.m.

The cancer of multiculturalism

President Barack Obama surprised many at the National Prayer Breakfast when he lectured us, “Lest we get on our high horse and think this (barbarity) is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.” Obama went on to explain, “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often (were) justified in the name of Christ.” In Obama’s mind, Western outrage at Islamic barbarism should be tempered by the remembrance of what Christians did a thousand years ago in the name of Christ. Plus ...

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Posted: feb. 28, 2015 6:25 p.m. | Updated: mar. 01, 2015 7:00 a.m.

TRUTH matters

A New York Times article this past Tuesday titled, “Teenage Girl Leaves for ISIS, and Others Follow,” by Kimiko[1] de Freytas-Tamura, struck close to home for me. The three young women who left London to enlist in ISIS in Syria were 16, 15 and 15.

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Posted: feb. 28, 2015 6:29 p.m. | Updated: mar. 01, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Belton: AP history test ‘lengthy, partisan, leftist’

A disturbing turn of events has occurred with the new Advanced Placement History Test. The AP has been around since 1956, offering high school students the opportunity to gain college credit by taking a very difficult class and passing a very difficult test. Unfortunately, the College Board (the same folks who write the SAT) has suddenly created a biased and left-leaning test.

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Posted: feb. 28, 2015 6:31 p.m. | Updated: mar. 01, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Everyday Mother Memories

Earlier this week, my sister Kathy called me, “Am I correct in thinking that Mom used to send us little kid Valentine’s like the ones school children use?”

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Posted: feb. 21, 2015 2:32 p.m. | Updated: feb. 22, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Belton: 1/3 of the way through and little passed

We are more than a third of the way through the legislative session, and it seems like we’ve passed very little legislation. Some might say that is a good thing … the less laws we pass, the less trouble we can make for the people of Georgia. In any case, we have 25 days left, with the session scheduled to end on the April 2.

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Posted: feb. 21, 2015 2:24 p.m. | Updated: feb. 22, 2015 6:00 a.m.

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