08/23/2014

Dec. 29, 2002: A Letter To My Grandsons

To Brian and Thomas Yarbrough; Zachary and Nicholas Wansley: When I wrote you this time last year, we had just experienced the worst terrorist attacks ever in our country. We were still in a state of shock over the events of Sept. 11, and were trying to absorb just how much evil human beings can […]

Dec. 22, 2002: A First Look at the Events of 2003

Don’t look now, but I think we have survived 2002. As is my custom, I plan to greet the New Year scarfing down record amounts of corn-fried shrimp at the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill on St. Simons Island with a group of friends who are better than I deserve. The year was memorable, to […]

Dec. 15, 2002: A Letter To Santa Claus

Dear Santa, I am a little tardy sending my list to you but, frankly, I thought the American Civil Liberties Union would have run you off the planet by now, being that you are a white male associated with a religious celebration. How the ACLU has allowed you to operate all these years is truly […]

Dec. 8, 2002: Police Criticism Unwarranted

In a recent column, I wondered out loud why police officers do what they do, given our lack of appreciation for them. That got me an invitation from Major Robert Sampson, commander of the Cobb County police department’s third precinct, to come experience a police officer’s day up close and personal. At the same time, […]

Dec. 1, 2002: The Fearless Seer Strikes Again

A couple of Republicans have twitted me good-naturedly about my prediction on these pages that incumbent Governor Roy Barnes would easily defeat GOP candidate Sonny Perdue. As is my wont, I have taken their kidding in my usual magnanimous and gracious style, choosing not to suggest that if they got a shot of truth serum, […]

Nov. 24, 2002: Of Max & Scouts & Babs & Bill

Some leftover political observations to go along with all the leftover turkey…. Here is a good example of why Sen. Max Cleland is history. One constituent, a lifelong Democrat, called Cleland’s office for help with the Veterans Administration. He was told the senator couldn’t help, even though Cleland once ran that organization. In frustration, his […]

Nov. 17, 2002: Behind the Rhetoric, a Chance for Friendship

Once again, we find ourselves being threatened by those noted theologians, the al-Qaida, who are warning of future attacks on our country. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because we let women vote and wear lipstick. Even though we are approaching the holiday season with thoughts of “peace on earth and good will toward all […]

Nov. 10, 2002: Looking Back on the Elections

While clearing my desk in preparation to analyze the recent elections, I received this request from a reader. Stop picking on the French, he said, and instead write about something that “fills your heart with deep and abiding joy.” Good idea. Here is a thought that infuses me with about as much deep and abiding […]

Nov. 3, 2002: Have You Heard? The World is Coming to an End

You may have missed this bit of news, but the world is coming to an end. I thought you would want to know. The announcement comes straight from the New Lighthouse sect, a religious cult in France. I don’t know about you, but I listen carefully to anything the French say. They only work six […]

Oct. 27, 2002: Soul Searching Follows TV Coverage

The recent sniper attacks in the Washington D.C. area have people in the media assessing their coverage of that event. Good for them. This is a business quick to tell you about your own faults, but not given to introspection. I found this out the hard way. After the bombing of the World Trade Center […]

Oct. 20, 2002: If You Don’t Vote, Don’t Squawk

It must be late October. The days are growing shorter. The Braves have pulled their annual chokeroo and we have an important election just around the corner. We can do nothing about the shorter days or the annual Braves flop, but we can do plenty about the election. We can vote. The first thing to […]

Oct. 13, 2002: Carpenters Union Building Political Clout

Let me state up front that I grew up not liking unions. My dad was a foreman for the now-defunct Railway Express Agency, and as a kid I could always count on the railroad unions to pull a wildcat strike at Christmastime and ruin our holidays. Also, the unions enjoyed a bunch of featherbedding rules […]

Oct. 6, 2002: Now a Word From Zell Miller

Hello, my name is Zell Miller. Even though I am not running for anything, I am on television these days more than that babbling psychologist Dr. Phil. You see me so much in this election year because I will endorse anything breathing – as long as it is a Democrat. I once endorsed my yellow […]

Sep. 29, 2002: This Year’s Pfft! Winners Are…

The wait is over, dear reader. It is time once again for the prestigious Pfft! Awards, created last year by yours truly to recognize those groups and individuals who by their words and deeds merit a hearty Pfft! from us all. Needless to say, there are many more worthy candidates than I can Pfft! in […]

Sep. 22, 2002: Proving Man and Monkeys Are Kin

Here we go again. More meddling in our public schools. A big fight is raging in Cobb County over whether or not children should be taught the theory of evolution or faith-based creationism, or both. May I offer a suggestion? Why don’t all the social scientists, Bible thumpers, bureaucrats, lawyers and politicians, not to mention […]

Sep. 15, 2002: Random Thoughts on Random Subjects

Hoorays and Huzzahs to Eunice Stone, the Bartow County nurse who overheard a group of men — helpfully referred to by the media as “Middle Eastern-looking” — at a restaurant in Calhoun supposedly jive talking about attacks on Miami. She noted their tag number and reported them to law enforcement authorities. Now, the men say […]

Sep. 8, 2002: Cops Have Most Thankless Jobs

There is one trait common to all humankind. No matter our age, IQ or political leanings, we all secretly consider ourselves experts when it comes to the other person’s job. It doesn’t matter if we aren’t competent at our own work. We watch what other people do and know in our hearts we could do […]

Sep. 2, 2002: A Few Questions Without Ready Answers

Some days I find I have more questions than answers, an admission sure to amaze my friends and confound my enemies. For example, why did only one in four eligible voters take time to cast their ballots in the September primary in Georgia? This dismal record is nothing new for us. According to Secretary of […]

Aug. 26, 2002: Farewell, Dear Cynthia: The Problem Was Y-O-U

Honorable Cynthia McKinney Somewhere in Outer Space I apologize for bothering you at this awkward time, but I wanted you to know that I am here to offer my support in these difficult days. It is the least I can do. You have provided so much fodder for this column over the past several years […]

Aug. 19, 2002: 9/11 A Year Later: Disappointment Reigns

We are approaching the first anniversary of the Arab terrorists attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In the next couple of weeks, you are going to be swamped by a tidal wave of commentary, analysis, soul-searching, pontificating and second-guessing by those of us who have opinions and are paid to subject you […]

Aug. 12, 2002: Roy a Winner and Other Old News

The political silly season is in full flower and we are being engulfed in polls, prognostications and enough hot air to float a squadron of 747s. I have tried to ignore all the furor by focusing on more important matters like why is it that when I try to pay for my gas at the […]

Aug. 5, 2002: Zapping Trash on TV’s Wasteland

Recently, a bunch of television critics – people who are paid to watch television and who make sportswriters look almost relevant – gathered together with network executives to discuss the current state of the television business. The big issue was not the garbage that networks serve us daily, but the fact that you and I […]

Jul. 29, 2002: Testimonials to Polish Atlanta’s Tarnished Image

While I have been sitting around fretting about some big-shot CEO borrowing my stock portfolio to build a castle in the Alps or Arab terrorists hatching a plan to crash airplanes into all the tall buildings in Bogart or if America’s sweetheart, Rosie O’Donnell, will ever be allowed to join the Augusta National Golf Club, […]

Jul. 22, 2002: Of Shrimp, Baseball and Politicians

Dr. Doolittle has nothing on me. While the fictional veterinarian had the ability to communicate with all manner of creatures – chickens and rabbits and horses and the like – I can go him one better. I talk to shrimp. I have been in contact with the little buggers and they have told me they […]

Jul. 15, 2002: And One More Thing About That Pledge Edict

Pardon me if I go back over ground that I plowed a couple of weeks ago, but based on the mail I have received, some more thoughts may be in order about the recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on the Pledge of Allegiance. As you will recall, Michael Newdow, an atheist from California, […]

Jul. 8, 2002: The Arab terrorists have made sure we can’t live in peace…

… Now it looks like we can’t even die in peace. Ted Williams, a member of the baseball Hall of Fame, passed away a couple of weeks ago. He was the last major leaguer to hit over .400, finishing the 1941 season at .406. Williams’ career with the Boston Red Sox included 521 home runs […]

Jul. 1, 2002: Joins Chorus on Pledge Edict

Good You-Know-Who above! The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco (where else?) has declared that saying the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional because it contains the words “under God.” This same group of geniuses gave the go-ahead to black power-preaching Rastafarians to smoke pot on federal lands because marijuana is […]

Jun. 24, 2002: Dear Jane: We All Make Mistakes

My sad duty today is to report that Esther “Eppie” Friedman Lederer has passed on. You may have known her better as Ann Landers, the nationally syndicated columnist who gave her loyal followers practical advice on issues ranging from birth control to gun control. She leaves a void that is near impossible to fill. How […]

Jun. 17, 2002: Mighty Murphy Just Can’t Get Enough

Georgia House Speaker Tom Murphy, who doesn’t have anything better to do with his time, has announced that he is running for reelection to the Georgia House of Representatives. Knock me over with a feather. Murphy said he made the announcement to squelch rumors that he was waxing up his boogie board and headed for […]

Jun. 10, 2002: Dooley Foe a Clue to GOP Failures

What the state of Georgia needs more than a good five-cent cigar is a competitive two-party system. The Democrats not only run this state; they own it. Without a strong Republican Party to counter the Democratic monarchy, we will be doomed to a continued purgatory of demigods like Tom Murphy and his court jesters who […]

Jun. 3, 2002: A Salute to Unappreciated Heroes

My son, Ken, has just completed his first year as a high school science teacher after 20 years in the business world. His students weren’t the only ones to get an education this year. Thankfully, Ken’s rookie year was on a good team. Woodland High School in Bartow County is a fairly new school with […]

May 27, 2002: Recent News Provides Knee-Slappers

The Lady Who Shares My Name got right to the point: “Stop sounding like all the other media fussbudgets in the country and write something funny for a change.” Her opinion’s that we are all in a funk because we are worried about a bunch of Middle East lowlifes blowing up everything we cherish (the […]

May 20, 2002: Baseball on the Verge of Striking out

It looks like Major League baseball is about to go on strike again. “Work stoppages” in the Bigs are becoming old news as our heroes have walked out on us in 1972, ‘73, ‘76, ‘80, ’81, ’85, ’90 and most recently 1994, when the World Series had to be canceled. You would hope that the […]

May 13, 2002: To Governor Roy Barnes, State Capitol:

Dear Governor, I want to thank you for starting your re-election campaign so early. I figure that the more television commercials you run, the less airtime will be available for all the car dealers who scream and act like nincompoops. You are performing a real public service. I am puzzled about a couple of things, […]

May 6, 2002: The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions. Just ask BellSouth

My alma mater has been hit with a racial discrimination lawsuit, joining such esteemed victims as The Coca-Cola Company, Lockheed Martin, Home Depot, Georgia Power and Waffle House. Five blacks who either work for BellSouth now or did in the past, claim the company used “unvalidated tests in a discriminatory manner to deny African-American employees […]

Apr. 29, 2002: Saudi Arabia Needs to Get With the Program

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Abdullah, who runs a country that thinks we still live in the 14th Century, came to Texas recently to lecture President George W. Bush, on how to run his country. He told the president that if the United States doesn’t back off from its support of Israel, our relationship with the […]

Apr. 22, 2002: Look Out Georgia Drivers: Here Comes Zack!

My oldest grandson, Zachary, has just turned 15. (I know what you are thinking – this guy is too young to have a 15-year-old grandson. I agree.) Zack is now eligible for his automobile learner’s permit, which will allow him to drive on the Georgia autobahns with adult supervision. Fortunately, his mom and dad are […]

April 15, 2002: Ambassador to Outer Space Is At It Again

Our Ambassador to Outer Space has outdone herself this time. Cynthia McKinney, the loudmouth congresswoman from Georgia’s 4th District who wouldn’t recognize shameful conduct if it bit her on the backside, says President Bush may have received advanced warnings of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and chose to do nothing about it. If reincarnation exists, […]

April 8, 2002: Robot News Is Here

Well, you knew it had to happen sooner or later. According to the Associated Press, some pointyheads at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have begun work on a robot reporter. Evidently, our lives aren’t fulfilled enough talking to recordings instead of live human beings whenever our power, telephone or cable goes haywire. Now, we are […]

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, […]

Mar. 25, 2002: Just when we think the Legislature can’t drop any lower in our collective esteem,

they how us once again that there are no depths to which they can’t sink. Consider the recent antics of Senator Robert Brown, (D-Macon), chairman of the Senate Insurance and Labor committee. I’m not sure how the State Senate selects their leadership, but after what Brown did, I can only assume they flip a coin […]

Mar. 18, 2002: Here is some late-breaking news you won’t read anywhere else.

After hours of exhaustive analysis by my crack research department, staffed by the same person who writes this column and after intensive scientific polling, which consisted of asking the woman who shares my name if she agreed with me, I am proud to announce that the State of Georgia has been identified as the finest […]

Mar. 11, 2002: Al-Amin jury acquitted itself well with verdict

The jury verdict in the recent trial of H. Rap Brown, aka Jamil Al Amin, should serve as an important reminder to us all. Although “civil rights activists” like Jesse Jackson want you to think otherwise, blacks have minds of their own and can dispense appropriate justice, too. To bring you up to speed, Al […]

Mar. 4, 2002: Has it been just six months since our world was turned upside down?

Was it only this past September when a bunch of madmen – not brave men, madmen – destroyed so many innocent people and forever changed the lives of the rest of us? I kept asking myself those questions last week as I listened to the students and faculty at my grandsons’ school present a stirring […]

Feb. 25, 2002: Don’t stop at the DMV, governor, your money-back plan is needed elsewhere

If Roy Barnes were a truck, he would be a horn-blowing, tailgating, 90-mile-an-hour eighteen-wheeler. No question, the man is on a roll. Our Governor has been going hard since he was elected four years ago. Before he had located the keys to the executive washroom, he was reforming public education in Georgia. I didn’t have […]

Feb. 18, 2002: Even Ted Turner’s annoying, babbling words deserve to be protected.

Well, if I can do it, I guess Ted Turner can, too. A week after I induced mass hyperventilation with my tongue-in-cheek spoof of television personality Rosie O’Donnell’s upcoming announcement that she is gay, Ted Turner’s comments at a Brown University forum made me hyperventilate a bit myself. In case you missed it, Turner called […]

Feb. 11, 2002: How in the world was Tony Cole ever accepted to the University of Georgia?

To refresh your memory, Cole is one of three UGA athletes being investigated for having raped a female student or having had consensual sex with her or some combination of both, depending on whose story you believe. Call me naïve but I was hoping someone would say that Cole was attracted to Athens by the […]

Feb. 4, 2002: If Rosie O’Donnell Can Do it, So Can I

In case you have been busy with mundane stuff like making a living, you may have missed the big news that has the entertainment world in a dither. The popular daytime television talk show host will apparently come out of the closet and proclaim her sexuality. To borrow some show business lingo, Rosie is “outing […]

Jan. 28, 2002: Dear Boss,

You are no doubt up-to-date on the latest incident of resume padding at Georgia Tech. The new assistant football coach, Rick Smith, has confessed that he didn’t play football or baseball at Florida State as his resume claims. Happily, the good folks at Tech have told him not to worry about the oversight. They have […]

Jan. 21, 2002: Welcome to Shirley Franklin, Mayor of Atlanta

A question I am asked quite often these days is what I think of Shirley Franklin, the new mayor of Atlanta. The answer is, I think she is terrific. She and I worked together at the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. We both reported directly to Billy Payne, ACOG’s CEO. We both were impatient, […]

Jan. 14, 2002: A friend once asked my advice about running for a seat on his county commission.

I strongly urged him not to. I suggested instead that if he wanted to get into politics, he consider the state Legislature. “If you are a county commissioner, your constituents will call you every time a streetlight goes out, there is a pothole in the road or their garbage isn’t picked up promptly,” I told […]

Jan. 7, 2002: I Usually Leave Economics Lessons to the Professors

but I feel compelled to state an untold truth about the deregulatory environment in our country: Deregulation isn’t necessarily in your interest. Deregulating industries and markets is in the interest of the corporations, their largest customers and people who own the company’s stock. (Everybody who wanted natural gas deregulated, please raise your hand.) In the […]

Jan. 1, 2002: Annual Letter To My Grandsons:

As we begin this new year, I wish your great-grandmother were around to put things into proper perspective for us. She always found something good in everything and everybody — although I imagine network television news and Osama bin Laden would be a stretch even for her. If Granny were here, no doubt she would […]