11/29/2020

November 15, 2020: It’s Never Too Early To Be Thankful

Pardon me for stating the obvious but 2020 has been a dumper of a year and I can’t wait to see it in the rearview mirror.  Try as I might, it has been difficult not to be overwhelmed by the constant barrage of coronavirus cases and deaths, violence in our cities, a contentious presidential race, […]

November 8, 2020: Bugging Junior E. Lee About the Presidential Election Results

As I promised last week, I contacted Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia, to get his observations on the presidential election.  Not only is he considered one of this nation’s foremost political analysts, Junior is also a pest control professional, a rare […]

November 1, 2020: Junior E. Lee Primed to Analyze Election Results

Because this column runs across the state on different days of the week depending where you may happen to be, some of you will be reading this before Election Day, on that day or a day or two afterwards.  Therefore, I am going to wait on responding to the results until we can all see […]

October 25, 2020: Glory, Glory to the Rocket Scientists at UGA

As you may have heard by now, a group of young men from the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South and home to more Rhodes Scholars than a coon dog has fleas recently engaged in a scrum with a group of semi-professional […]

October 18, 2020: A Reminder That Voting Is A Privilege From One Who Knows

I would say great minds run in pairs, but when it comes to my friend and Great American, Stewart Rodeheaver, that does him a disservice.  Simply put, his mind is a couple of laps ahead of mine. For those of you recent to this space, Stewart Rodeheaver is Brigadier General (Ret.) Rodeheaver, who commanded Georgia’s […]

October 11, 2020: Figby Gives Senator Loeffler Some Last Minute Political Advice

RING! RING! RING! “Hello.  This is the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia.  How may I direct your call?” “This is Senator Kelly Loeffler. Get Figby, the world renowned image expert on the phone now!” “Hello, Senator.  This is Figby. What can I do for you?” “Figby, I need […]

October 4, 2020: Some Random Thoughts on Some Random Subjects

I try not to write about whatever all the ponderous political pundits are pontificating about at the time.  I am just not a “me too” kind of guy.  But, I am going to have to make an exception this week and mention the recent presidential debate.  To call it a debacle is being too kind.  […]

September 27, 2020: What Do We Care What Credit Firm and Grass Cutters Think Of Us?

It is my bounden duty to report to you on the state of the state in which you find yourself.  I am talking, of course, about the Great State of Georgia. While we are blessed to be home to the Blue Ridge mountains, the Golden Isles, the Vidalia onion and the greatest state song in […]

September 20, 2020: If Politicians Can Pander for Approval, Why Not Columnists?

I don’t  know about you, but I find the political ads on television these days refreshing.  At least, we have something to look at beside ads for ambulance-chasing lawyers. (I try to find the silver lining in every cloud.) In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the earnest, look-you-in-the-eye promises the candidates are making […]

September 13, 2020: State School Superintendent Refuses to Turnaround On Testing

I have a new hero.  His name is Richard Woods and he is the State School Superintendent of Georgia. First, a little background: For a couple of years during the Deal Administration, Supt. Woods, although duly elected by the people, was relegated to the governor’s Time Out Chair in a dispute over how to deal […]

September 6, 2020: Not Finding Much Good News in This Bummer of a Year

We are now into September of what has so far been a bummer of a year.  My colleague, David Carroll, a Chattanooga TV anchor with whom I share the editorial page in several papers, calls 2020 “the Edsel of years.”  I wish I had thought of that line.  I hate it when TV anchors are […]

August 30, 2020: Is There Any Place for Love In Today’s World?

Remember the Tina Turner hit, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”  In the lyrics, love is referred to as a “second-hand emotion.”  That song popped into my head as I watch what is happening to our country. Love has got a lot to do with it and, unfortunately, is seems to be a second-hand […]

August 23, 2020: Murphy Gooddog and Friends Have a Lot They Can Teach Us

You long-time loyalists (and you know who you are) will remember the exploits of Sheila the Family Wonderdog in this space.  You will also recall that Shelia went to Doggie Heaven a few years back where she now enjoys swapping yarns with her pals Lassie and Rin Tin Tin and Old Yeller and chasing squirrels […]

August 16, 2020: Long-Shot Candidate Trying to Hack Through Political Jungle

It’s a jungle out there and Kandiss Taylor is still trying to hack her way through it.  We are talking about the “jungle primary,” a euphemism being applied to a special election on November 3rd to fill the remaining two years of Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term. Isakson, a Great American of the first rank, chose […]

August 9, 2020: Hating the Loss Of ‘Clean Old-Fashioned Hate’

The apocalypse is truly upon us.  Somebody has made the decision – I don’t know who, I know it wasn’t me – that the Georgia-Georgia Tech football game will not be played this year for the first time since 1924.  This hallowed event which dates to 1893 is commonly referred to as “Clean Old Fashioned […]

August 2, 2020: Hats Off to Roy Rogers And The Good Memories

In these days of discontent and destruction, hate and harangue, we could really use Roy Rogers.  And Trigger, his Golden Palomino.  Dale Evans and Bullet The Wonder Dog. Not to mention the Sons of the Pioneers. I believe if we could get this group back, we could find our kinder and gentler selves. For those […]

July 19, 2020: Discussing Current Events with Skeeter Skates And Friends

I could tell by the way the phone jumped straight up when it rang who was on the line.  It could be none other than Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter Skates Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair, located in Ryo, Georgia.  Yes, phones jump where Skeeter is involved.  I do, too. Skeeter Skates doesn’t have […]

July 12, 2020: Remembering A Great Event 24 Years Later

Has it really have been 24 years since the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games?  Sunday will mark 8,766 days since that dramatic night when Muhammed Ali,  hands, shaking with palsy, lit the cauldron signifying the beginning of 17 days of Olympic competition and the culmination of years of hard work. During the Games, some 10,000 Olympians […]

July 5, 2020: Talking Political Correctness with A Bottle Of Syrup

The scene:  A grocery store aisle, one-way, six feet from another human being, masked and looking for any available paper products since toilet tissue seems to be as rare as a singing frog these days.  And then, suddenly: “Pssst!  Pssst!  Down here!  Help!” “Are you a syrup bottle?” “Yes, I am Mrs. Butterworth and I […]

June 28, 2020: Some Random Thoughts on Some Unsettling Times

If you are still watching television news (I rarely do these days), you will notice that the protests across the country seem to be as much generational as racial. There are a lot of young white kids marching with blacks.  That tells me these protests are going to be with us awhile.  What youngsters lack […]

June 21, 2020: The New York Times Owes Us All an Apology

In case you haven’t heard, there is a big stink permeating the offices of the New York Times.  Let me ask the question for you:  Why should you care?  Let me answer the question for you: We may be entering an era where opposing viewpoints are no longer acceptable.  That bothers me.  I hope it […]

June 14, 2020: Remembering Dad on His Special Day

Let us pause a moment from the endless angst and anguish over racial issues, the uncertainty of the status of COVID-19, faulty voting machines and who is to blame, political campaigns that seem to have no end, a hemorrhaging state budget and no Major League baseball.  Sunday is Father’s Day.  What better time to pay […]

June 7, 2020: A Complex Issue With No Easy Answers

These thoughts on the current upheaval in our country come courtesy of an unusual array of sources:  The late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy; Larry Savage, a candidate for chairman of the Cobb County Commission and Hayden, Cayden and Jamaya (more on them later.) I read a quote recently in which Sen. Kennedy, a Democrat, said, […]

May 31, 2020: Is There No Place These Days for Thoughtful Discourse?

My column last week on a radio commentary by the late Paul Harvey drew a lot of reader response from across the state, all of it positive.  As you will recall if you saw the column, some 55 years ago Harvey penned a piece entitled, “If I Were the Devil,’ that was frighteningly prescient. He […]

May 24, 2020: Prophetic Words from A Late and Great Commentator

I have long been an admirer of the words and works of the late Paul Harvey and his radio commentaries known as the “The Rest of the Story.”  I had the privilege of  meeting him in New York at the Peabody Awards ceremonies, sponsored by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the […]

May 17, 2020: A Special Group Helps Repay A Special Debt

For much of my adult life, I have tried to return to my alma mater, the University of Georgia, a portion of what the institution has given me.  I say “a portion” because I can never totally repay the debt I owe UGA for the honor of being a Georgia Bulldog.  But that doesn’t mean […]

May 10, 2020: Some Random Thoughts on Some Random Subjects

A flag-waving salute to the United States Air Force’s Thunderbirds and the Navy’s Blue Angels who roared across Georgia’s skies in tandem last week, paying tribute to our state’s heroic first responders.  The event was an example of everything that is good about this great country.  Hopefully, we stopped being intransigent political partisans for a […]

May 3, 2020: In Praise Of Our First Responders Both Here And Away

It seems to take a pandemic for us to get our priorities in order.  With the death toll in the country having passed 60,000 and with over a thousand of those here in Georgia, suddenly we realize that those who entertain us – like actors and ballplayers – are nothing more than diversions. They are […]

April 27, 2020: If Governor Can Open Tattoo Parlor, Why Not My Favorite Jewelry Store?

No, I cannot tell you why Gov. Brian Kemp decided to open up tattoo parlors and bowling alleys but not my favorite jewelry store where a repaired watch eagerly awaits me. I do know that under his recent order no one is required to open up and even if they do, nobody is required to […]

April 20, 2020: When It Comes To The Gaithers, Something Good Is About To Happen.

To: Bill Gaither Somewhere Safely (I hope) in Alexandria, Indiana You probably don’t remember me, but we met briefly backstage a couple of years ago before your Christmas concert at the Woodstock First Baptist Church. The opportunity came about as a result of a lot of whining, wheedling and shameless self-pity in this space over […]

April 13, 2020: Looking to Gov. Kemp to Get Us Through These Tough Times

I wouldn’t have Gov. Brian Kemp’s job.  That’s a good thing because, to my knowledge, no one has offered the job to me.  I have had readers in the past who suggested I run for public office, but I politely declined because the Woman Who Shares My Name would take a skillet to my head […]

April 6, 2020: Sen. Loeffler Gets Some Advice From An Image Expert

Knock! Knock! Knock! “Yes, who is it?” “Senator Loeffler, there is a little man in a bow tie here to see you.  He says his name is Figby.” “Oh, yes. Send him in, please.  He is with the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia.  I asked my friend, Junior […]

March 30, 2020: Is Loeffler’s Financial Explanation a Loser?

In 1984 when former Vice President Walter Mondale was running for president, he said something during the campaign he wished he had not said and later tried to correct his mistake.  I don’t remember the details, but I do remember ABC’s Peter Jennings discussing the matter with political pundit George Will one evening. Jennings said […]

March 23, 2020: An Underdog Eager to Race the Political Thoroughbreds

I have a special affinity for underdogs.  Maybe that’s because I have been one myself.  So my interest was piqued when I heard that a political novice from Baxley (pop. 4,400) by the name of Dr. Kandiss Taylor is running for the United States Senate seat vacated by Johnny Isakson. Taylor, who has a Ph.D. […]

March 16: Trying To Put Some Perspective to the Coronavirus Pandemic

It has long been my policy not to weigh in on what everyone else in the media happens to be pontificating about at the time.  Hence, you saw little here about the Trump impeachment trial. To add to that cacophony seemed a waste of my time – and yours.  Today is different.  This is about […]

March 2, 2020: Republican Campaign Slamming Congressman Doug Collins Could Backfire

What a difference a decision makes.  Wasn’t it just the other day that Georgia Republican Cong. Doug Collins, of Gainesville, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, was the Hero of the Day, for his strong unwavering defense of Pres. Donald Trump during his Kangaroo Court impeachment trial? Now we are being told that […]

March 9, 2020: Out Of 29 Candidates, Democrats Opt To Go With Two Old White Guys

With a chance to choose a presidential candidate to oppose Donald Trump this November, Democrats have had the opportunity to pick among a diverse list of 29 candidates.  There were six women candidates, including a (cough! cough!) Native American.  There were five black candidates, a Taiwanese, a gay and a gaggle of governors, senators, representatives, […]

February 9, 2020: Teachers Must Stay On Alert at Doings Under the Gold Dome

Georgia’s public schoolteachers must feel like a pinata.  At one end of the Gold Dome, Gov. Brian Kemp has delivered on promised pay raises and now is trying to get rid of some of the onerous and burdensome mandatory tests thought up by a bunch of navel-gazing bureaucrats who have no skin in the game. […]

February 3, 2020: Bob Shaw and Georgia GOP Make Beautiful Music Together

Walking into Bob Shaw’s home in suburban Atlanta is like walking into a slice of Republican Party history. On one wall of his study are pictures of Shaw with the Who’s Who of the GOP:  Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, James Baker, Gerald Ford, Newt Gingrich, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and the list goes on. […]

January 27, 2020: Private School Voucher Proponents Blowing More Smoke

You know that an organization that thinks Big Tobacco is getting a raw deal is just the group you want shilling for private school vouchers.  That brings me to the Heartland Institute which is doing both.  I am still researching their other policies, including whether or not the earth is flat.  I have discovered they […]

January 20, 2020: Some Random Thoughts on Some Random Subjects in the New Year

Whether you support Donald Trump or think he is guilty of nefarious deeds regarding the Ukraine, he is not going to be removed from office unless Republicans have a death wish.   This, despite ponderous pontifications by liberals that at least ten Republicans senators will turn on him and provide a constitutional majority for removal.  Right […]

January 13, 2020: General Assembly Needs to Take a Hard Look at Film Tax Credit Scheme

Another session of the General Assembly is upon us.  This is an election year and there will be more posturing under the Gold Dome than a prima ballerina in a performance of Swan Lake.  One of the big issues will be how to deal with Gov. Brian Kemp’s call for the Legislature to cut 4 […]

January 6, 2020: Some Advice For a Great-Grandson at the Start of a New Year

TO: CAMERON CHARLES YARBROUGH For a number of years, I have written a letter at the beginning of the year offering some thoughts on living a meaningful life now and in the future.  The letters were written to your dad, your uncle and their cousins – my grandsons.  Now, it looks like it is your […]