March 11, 2011
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OPINION: The past couple of weeks have been a learning experience
Several of you got a chuckle over my recent observations on a survey from the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia that says a good way to improve your marriage is to show gratitude to your spouse. As one reader told me, groveling doesn’t hurt, either.
OPINION: Too many media outlets give credence to false Internet claims
It is not about Twitter or Facebook or blogs or whatever. It is about credibility. It is not about being first. It is about being correct. It disturbs me to see trust in the media continues to drop.
OPINION: There are many good things happening at the University of Georgia, at keast off the football field
I call your attention to a very important study recently released from the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at UGA that says a good way to improve a marriage is to show gratitude to your spouse.
OPINION: This is nothing more than an all-out assault on Southern cooking
The pointy-heads at the World Health Organization, which is a part of the United Nations, which is about as relevant as a whoopee cushion, have decided that eating bacon and sausage and ham and other assorted pig parts is bad for your health.
OPINION: The Brunswick suburb of Jacksonville is the site of the annual Worlds Largest Cocktail PArty
If a stranger comes up to you on the street this week and says “How ’bout them Dawgs?”, don’t try and correct their grammar or ask them to what dogs might they be referring.
OPINION: Fishing, flags, frats and midget raisins
I love the state flaggers better than buttered bread and almost as much as liberal weenies. Back in their heyday when they were posturing and threatening anybody who suggested changing the old state flag, flaggers were a great source for columns because they aren’t exactly known for their sense of humor.
OPINION: The demise of the planet was greatly exaggerated
OK, so what happened? How come Earth isn’t a charcoal briquette, as predicted? Who knows? I just know that the next time the online worshippers of eBible Fellowship pulls this kind of stunt I hope God will send them to eternal junk mail and have locusts eat their passwords.
OPINION: Georgians distinguish themselves in Iraq
Ten years ago this week I was at Camp Striker in Iraq, reporting on the men and women of Georgia’s 48th Brigade Combat team, under the command of a great American and Monroe County native, Brig. Gen. Stewart Rodeheaver.
OPINION: Just when you think Krutopia is no Utopia
Given all of our issues, visitors from outer space might prefer to stay away.
OPINION: The world is full of surprises
As far as Skeeter Skates is concerned, if you don’t know the difference between a Shaver Model SC-25 StumpBuster™ with 24-inch-diameter cutting wheel or a King Kutter Gear-Driven Reverse-Tine Rotary Tiller, you are wasting time and space in this world
OPINION: Irreverent but loving tributes to two men who marched to their own drums
After reading both obituaries, I regret I never got to meet Gary Edwin Sutton or Frederic Arthur Clark. I think I would have liked them both. I certainly liked their style.
OPINION: We want to ignore the fact that public schools are a reflection of society
Education is about two things and two things only: The student and those given the responsibility to teach them. Everything else should be in a support role to make that interaction as effective as possible. Nothing more.
OPINION: Being communications chief for a governor is a high-wire act without a net
Unless you are one of the intrepid public servants we keep sending back to the Gold Dome to get you out of our hair, or a lizard-loafered lobbyist lurking around the Capitol with free lunch coupons or members of the news media with coffee stains on their shirts and cynicism in their hearts, the name Brian Robinson may be unfamiliar to you.
OPINION: The things I do for my readers
Looking for something nice to say about Georgia Tech led me to Marietta in search of one of the “Lost Dodd Boys” — the last group of high school seniors to sign with Georgia Tech football coach Bobby Dodd, but who would never play a down for him.
OPINION: Rail line to Savannah port will reduce truck traffic on the interstate
I can’t imagine walking three steps forward and four steps back while playing a musical instrument, but I am in awe of those who can. My applause to all the marching bands and those that support them.
OPINION: To Junior, politicians are like spiders and chameleons
People were anxious to know what Junior E. Lee thinks about the 2016 presidential campaign and those running for the job. When I got home from my speech, I called Junior to see if he had any comments, not telling him the audience was more interested in his opinions than in mine.
OPINION: It is going to be interesting to see how liberals will react to the news that I have been outed
I have a feeling liberals won’t accept me as one of their own because I don’t drink chardonnay and I refuse to watch any movie with Sean Penn in it.
OPINION: The lot of a peacemaker is a lonely one
This is where the peacemaker comes in. It is time to find some middle ground. And I think I know just the place to start: The National Statuary Hall Collection in Washington, D.C.
OPINION: The Jekyll Island Authority had talked about shooting the deer because of their booming population
In the midst of all the turmoil over recent Supreme Court decisions on Obamacare and gay marriage as well as the furor over the Confederate battle flag, you may have missed the big news. The white-tailed deer has been selected the official mammal of the state of Georgia.
OPINION: Writing columns better than trimming hedges
It was supposed to be one-and-done but it didn’t work out that way. Seventeen years ago this week, I got a call from the editors of the Atlanta Business Chronicle, asking me if I would do a guest editorial on my assessment of how the city of Atlanta had fared during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games.
OPINION: Controversy will always be a part of the Michael Adams legacy at UGA
One influential legislator, upon hearing the news of Michael Adams’ departure, recalled having been dressed down by Adams, who seemed to have forgotten that the Legislature allocates funds to the University System, including the University of Georgia.
OPINION: Grandsons show Rob Neely, when it was all said and done, got it right
At Rob Neely’s service, his five grandsons reminisced about what made their grandfather special to them. They didn’t mention plaques or awards or pictures with important people or political influence or high profiles or any of the kinds of things that have tended to be my definition of success.
OPINION: There was not much gray area in the world of my father
I have attempted to emulate his example in my own role as a father, but he is a tough act to follow.
OPINION: Never underestimate the impact of a grammatical faux pas
Last week, Congress passed and President Obama signed legislation that will alter somewhat how federal law enforcement can monitor our phone calls in the future.
OPINION: Rethinking presidential campaigns and slow-poke laws
I have the greatest respect for the Georgia State Patrol. Theirs is a tough job with roughly 900 troopers available to cover a state of 59,500 square miles and deal with the kind of carnage they see almost daily on Georgia’s highways.
OPINION: Teachers say they are frustrated, even angry over political and bureaucratic meddling
Teachers are frustrated and angry over political meddling, an obsession with testing and a lack of respect for the profession, saying they see a bleak future for educators and students if nothing changes.
OPINION: A fall meeting of Nobel Peace Laureates in Atlanta is in peril
I’m not sure what has happened except everybody seems to be mad at everybody else, which is a little weird for a group of people who go around touting peace on earth and good will to persons. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has said the city won’t be involved in the meeting unless the guy running the thing quits. The guy running the thing says he isn’t quitting and might sue the pants off the city.
OPINION: Congratulations on surviving another year in the classroo
As you take a moment to catch your breath and enjoy a brief respite before you start the process all over again, I hope you will reflect on the good you do; the impact you have on young people; your ability to make a difference. Yours isn’t a job. It is a calling.
OPINION: Common inquiries get uncommon answers
It’s time for Answer Man! Time to dip into the ol’ mailbag and see what is on your mind and show you how little is on ours.
OPINION: It is with heavy heart that I announce I will not be a candidate for president
In my administration, school teachers would be paid what wide receivers in the National Football League get paid and wide receivers would get half a school teacher’s salary, which is a good bit more than they are worth.
OPINION: The Georgia Mountain Food Bank is no small operation
Sometimes we forget that there are a lot of good people on this earth doing good things.
OPINION: Curses! Snubbed again!
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?
OPINION: The Class of 19 will comprise about 5,200 students
Nancy McDuff, associate vice president for admissions at the University of Georgia, says the two most important factors in being admitted as a freshman are grades in academic classes and the strength of the courses selected. In other words, “Easy As” won’t cut it.
OPINION: One issue of concerns is nobody seems to be talking much about parental involvement
The commission’s charge from the governor is to take a comprehensive look at the state’s public education system and the 30-year-old Quality Basic Education (QBE) funding formula and recommend improvements to both.
OPINION: Ministering is not a job, it's a calling
We can have unreasonable expectations of our ministers and I’m not talking just about Methodists here. This observation is ecumenical.
OPINION: General Assembly will not assemble with teen members in near future
I don’t think there was much enthusiasm for the measure from those between the ages of 18 and 21, anyway. Their concern was that it would hurt their image to be seen associating with a bunch of old people who are always raising money from special interest groups while saying that it won’t affect how they vote.
OPINION: A kind word or thoughtful deed can have lifelong impact
I’m sure you can name those that have made a positive difference in your life. If so, I hope they are still around so that you can tell them in case you haven’t already.
OPINION: Lawmakers are considering a resolution asking that the test be expelled from Georgia classrooms
The authors of the test say the AP U.S. History course is an advanced, college-level course — not an introductory U.S. history course — and is not meant to be students’ first exposure to the “fundamental narrative of U.S. history.” I think that is education-speak for saying kids should already know about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and Ray Charles.
OPINION: Today, I am celebrating with my deer friends on Jekyll Island
If you are a supercilious liberal you-know-what or a sanctimonious Bible thumper, I have some good news for you. I am giving you both the week off. Enjoy it while you can. I will be back.
OPINION: This and that on Valentine's Day
I am still pushing for a National Marching Band Signing Day. High School trombonists and drummers and tuba players will sit at a table with tams, shakos and Busby hats representing major college bands and then with dramatic pause select one and share with us where they intend to play for the next four years.
OPINION: It's time to get off the backs of law enforcement officers
For every controversial situation such as Ferguson, Mo., or New York City, there are thousands upon thousands of cases of police officers quietly doing their job and doing it well.
OPINION: Kids get a purpose training dogs scheduled to be euthanized, making the animals adoptable
Maybe one dog scheduled to die because nobody wanted it will end up in a good home and bring someone a lot of pleasure and companionship because it was well-trained. Maybe a youthful offender will discover the feeling of success and self-worth and can take that experience into the outside world and become a productive citizen.
OPINION: And it's less boring than the State of the Union
In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is required that I submit to you at the first of every year my State of the Column message.
OPINION: The legislation sailed through the House in 2014 but stalled in the Senate
Far from pandering, Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, is deeply passionate about the issue of legalizing medical cannabis in Georgia.
For the past 15 years, I have taken the opportunity at the beginning of the New Year to share some advice — first with your dad and his cousins and now with you, my great-grandson.
OPINION: 2014 was a disappointment
I agreed that 2014 had come in last year with a lot of promises that hadn’t panned out but neither had a lot of years before him. I assume peace on earth and goodwill to all people isn’t in the cards for 2015.
OPINION: As our days ahead dwindle, friendships gain in importance
Friendships are always the correct size, the right color and don’t require a set of instructions on how to operate them. They are truly the gift that keeps on giving.
OPINION My beloved Bulldogs are not state football champions this year
This was written in a cave somewhere in Greater Bora Bora. The column was floated across the ocean in an RC Cola bottle to this newspaper. (I have no idea how the editors got in from bottle to print. I assumed that if editors can figure out where commas go, they ought to be able to figure out how to print a column in a bottle.)
OPINION: Always 'The Governor,' Carl Sanders never compromised his integrity for political gain
I loved his stories about the characters that dotted Georgia’s political landscape in his day, except he would always end with the same admonition, “Of course, you can’t print that.”
OPINION: Is a Georgia politician destined for the White House in 2016?
Junior reminded me a couple of weeks ago that he was going to wait for everybody else to give you their two cents worth on the election results, and then he would come in with the numbers behind the numbers. I have no idea what that means. I assume Junior does.
OPINION: This kindhearted, compassionate soul was once a trained saboteur
Frank Gleason is an elfin man in his 90s with a perpetual twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face; a man who laughs as hard at his own jokes as does his audience and who scolds me for what he sees as my misguided political views.
OPINION: No one knows politicians like a pest control specialist
As pundits offer opinions about Tuesday’s elections, Junior E. Lee takes a more reserved approach by letting the others go first.
OPINION: One of the joys of management is akin to that of a gardener
A wise man once said that our only reason for occupying space on this earth is to leave things better than we found them. Unfortunately, not enough of us will. Len Pagano is an exception.
OPINION: Gov. Nathan Deal talks about his plans for a second term
Gov. Nathan Deal faces state Sen. Jason Carter in the Nov. 4 general election.
OPINION: State Sen. Jason Carter talks about his plans as governor
I have asked the two major gubernatorial candidates to talk to Georgia public school teachers about their respective education platforms. This week the floor belongs to Jason Carter, the Democratic challenger. Next week, it will be Republican Gov. Nathan Deal’s turn.
OPINION: Meandering thoughts travel from Athens to Iraq
If I die anytime soon — and I have no plans to do so at the moment — please see that the first paragraph of my obituary reads, “He was past president of the University of Georgia National Alumni Association.”
OPINION: The playing field at Sanofrd Stadium should be named for the legendary football coach
In the University of Georgia's game against Tennessee that was too close for comfort, the 50th anniversary of the first team to play under Vince Dooley was recognized. But more needs to be done to honor the Bulldogs' legendary coach.
OPINION: Deer have their priorities
The deer on Jekyll are in a tizzy. Members of the Jekyll Island Authority have decided that there are too many of them — deer, not members of the Jekyll Island Authority — on the island and that the herd needs to be thinned out.
OPINION:Who has a lesser sense of humor -- liberal weenies or Bible thumpers?
I consider getting a rise out of the humor-impaired as a positive. I know I positively enjoy jerking their chains.
OPINION: The Dalton area is not out of the woods yet, but it is getting there
Remember the story of “The Little Engine That Could?” That could well describe the city of Dalton, a town of some 34,000 nestled in the corner of Northwest Georgia not far from the Tennessee line.
OPINION: No one wants to be seen as a political insider in Georgia's U.S. Senate contest
The U.S. Senate race this November between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue will be one of the more unusual campaigns we have witnessed in Georgia. Neither has held public office and both are anxious to portray themselves as the ultimate “outsider.”
As you no doubt know, Athens is home to my alma mater, the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in all the land.
The media pros attribute some of this lackluster political performance to the fact that the primaries have been moved up to May this year and that has thrown a lot of people off their game. My theory is that you are weary of hearing political promises you know the candidates won’t keep. They know it and we know it.
The scene: The office of Teya Ryan, president of Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Pierre Howard says he intends to see that the court of public opinion — that is you and me and all people who care about our state’s natural resources — is fully engaged in the deliberations. That is as it should be. Remember, this is not just about Sea Island. This is your land, too.
Easter is about celebrating the One who gives us hope that something better awaits us when this life is done. A miraculous day. A joyous day. That is what Easter is really about. I wish we would all remember that.
Even if legislation had passed, the investigation of child abuse claims would still be left in the hands of DFCS and with the public lacking sufficient information on child deaths in Georgia.
American humorist Will Rogers once said, “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” Ol’ Will would have loved the Georgia Legislature. They are the gift that keeps on giving.
Scientists also believe there is a correlation between being happy and living a long life. I’ve got a chance here. I am never happier than when I am tweaking the humor-impaired among us and reading their blustery emails.
I think it’s important to take a moment of personal privilege and remind you how transitory life is and to never lose track of old friends because you are too self-absorbed in your own little world. Sad to say, but I did exactly that to an old friend who deserved better from me.
Don’t forget: You are the ultimate judge of what constitutes ethical behavior under the Gold Dome. That is the way it should be.
Good grief. I just took a peek at next week’s calendar. It says 2014. That can’t be correct. I’m still waiting for Y2K and for all our computers to crash. I must have overslept.
I have no interest in looking for Martians or spending the rest of my days with a bunch of wackos. There are enough space cadets right here on earth, thank you, and I don’t have to pay $38 to tell you about them.
I asked Junior how the reputation of members of Congress fared in the shutdown. He said the good news was that Americans didn’t rate them any lower after the shutdown than before. The bad news is that they weren’t rated all that highly to begin with.
Whether Sen. Don Balfour is innocent of the charges being leveled against him or not is for others to determine but there is no question that he has made political life more difficult for his colleagues in the General Assembly.
As for ethics reform, giving up football tickets is no big deal. There are still plenty of ways to influence politicians. All it takes is money. If our legislators think the clock has run out on our interest in stronger ethical behavior, they are badly mistaken. They had better strap on their helmets because We the Unwashed are still in this game.
While I appreciate the encouragement I have received to enter into politics, it is with a heavy heart that I tell you I must pass on the opportunity. I just don’t think I could make those critical decisions that impact the daily lives of my fellow citizens with broccoli stuffed up my nose.
If the superintendent runs — and I believe he will — “uphill” doesn’t begin to describe the challenge Barge has ahead of him. He is going to have to develop a grassroots organization of the first magnitude because big-money contributors always bet on the incumbent. Deal already has a war chest estimated at $1.1 million.
I’m not sure how the Supreme Court will rule on the matter, but I do hope that Gov. Nathan Deal doesn’t find himself ankle-deep in water at the Governor’s Mansion one day and order Dr. Gil Watson to come to the Capitol and ask God to make it quit raining so much.