11/23/2017

Apr. 1, 2002: Some Random Thoughts on Random Subjects

Will somebody buy the Arab world a copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”? They seem to think if they can blow up enough people – including themselves – we will come to appreciate them and respect their cause. Evidently, they don’t have a case to make in the court of public opinion, so they resort to violence. Big mistake on their part. I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to pulling out my magnifying glass in about six months and trying to find what used to be Iraq…

A friend of mine who is a respected businessman and a veteran, recently went through the humiliation of a strip search at the Denver airport. This ridiculous activity is our government’s way of appeasing special interest groups who worry that racial profiling will cause people of other cultures to think unkindly of us. So we demean our own citizens instead. That makes sense….?

We must be closing in on an election. Our stealth Senator, Max Cleland, has raised his profile and our ambassador to outer space, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has lowered hers. Both will probably be reelected. Cleland will go back to Washington and continue to be one of the most liberal members of the Senate. (The Americans for Democratic Action, the nation’s liberal watchdog, says Cleland voted their way 85 percent of the time in the last session, including his vote against the Boy Scouts of America.) McKinney will go back to Washington and continue to do nothing…

I received a lot of response to my column about people messing around with Ray Charles and “Georgia on My Mind.” One reader, who has lived in a number of other states, remarked that ours is the only state song that is easy to dance to. One more good reason not to live anywhere else…

One of the most enjoyable experiences in my career was serving on an advisory committee at the United States Military Academy. West Point celebrates its 200th birthday this year. The Academy doesn’t just create military leaders – although they have turned out some great ones – they give us back outstanding people in all walks of life. The Academy is strong on discipline and is one of the most democratic institutions in the country. Women and blacks have long prospered at West Point, not because of any rules skewed in their favor but because they can compete fairly. Not many places invest your tax dollars better than West Point…

Speaking of the military, my daughter’s college roommate’s husband is a colonel in the U.S. Army, commanding troops in Afghanistan. Thank God people like him are willing to endure the filthy conditions, the inhospitable weather and wondering whether or not they will be killed today so that you and I can sit back in our easy chairs and watch a bunch of second-guessers on television. Say a prayer for the colonel and his troops and for all the Americans who are there doing their duty. They deserve our undying gratitude…

The time has come for my annual prediction on America’s team, your Atlanta Braves. Alas, they will fold like an ironing board before the season is over. They always do…

What a waste of money to install those gizmos on our interstates to tell us there is fog ahead and to slow down. I have spent the last few weeks traversing our state, and I can promise you that truckers and yuppie-boomers in their SUVs will pay about as much attention to those warnings as they do to the speed limit…

Georgia Southern has a new football coach this year, former assistant Mike Sewak, as does Georgia Tech, which recently hired Chan Gailey from the pros. That makes UGA’s Mark Richt the dean of the state’s major college coaches after only one season. Being a head football coach has to be an easy job. Just think, they have all those sportswriters and boosters to tell them how to do their job…

I recently spoke at Chapel Hill Middle School in Douglas County. If the kids I saw there are representative of the next generation – and I think they are – we are in good shape. No small thanks goes to teachers like Kay Eddleman, who is determined that her students appreciate the importance of writing well, even in the high-tech, computer-generated world in which they live. Thank goodness!