07/22/2018

May 28, 2012: Explaining Voter Anger To Speaker Ralston No Easy Task

KNOCK!  KNOCK! KNOCK! “Mr. Speaker, may I come in?” “Well, if it isn’t Spiro Amburn, my favorite chief of staff.” “Doggone it, Mr. Speaker, you say that every time I come in the door.  I am your only chief of staff!” “Did somebody get up the wrong side of the bed this morning?  Looks like […]

May 21, 2012: An Open Letter To Georgia’s Public School Teachers

I write to applaud you for having made it through another year in Georgia’s public schools.  Good for you.  Frankly, I wonder sometimes why you do what you do and then I remember that you are changing young lives for the better.  Not many of us can make that claim. Your rewards for your efforts […]

May 14, 2012: Skeeter Skates Finds Out He Has A Lot To Learn About Politics

Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter’s Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Metropolitan Pooler, called me this week.  That was an historic occasion.  Maybe not man-landing on-the-moon historic, but pretty close to it.  Skeeter rarely ever calls.  I think it is because he thinks he knows everything.  Being an industry leader in the tree stump […]

May 7, 2012: Random Thoughts On Daffy Duck, Uga Fishing Team And Why David Ralston Doesn’t Want Lobbying Limits

Just when my life seemed to have lost all meaning, up jumps our Ambassador to Outer Space, Cynthia McKinney, who has announced her intentions to run for Congress as a member of the Green Party this fall in Georgia’s 4th District. This is quite a comedown for Miss Moonbeam, who was the Green Party’s candidate […]

April 30, 2012: Federal Judge Sees Majesty In The Law, Not Jokes

While May 1st  is designated Law Day in the United States, Judge Lisa Godbey Wood, chief judge of the U.S. Southern District of Georgia, says we Americans should remember that every day is a day of law in this country.  There would be anarchy without it. I had the privilege of following Judge Wood on […]

April 23, 2012: Giving Governor Deal Good Marks For His Job Performance

Dear Governor, I know you have been waiting to hear how I think you are handling things these days, but I wanted to give you time to get the legislators out of town and to be sure all the silverware is accounted for. Plus, I have been busy trying to help your pal, Leroy Gingrich, […]

April 16, 2012: Shepherd Center Rebuilds Lives And Uplifts Spirits

Those of you who regularly check this space know this, but to the newcomers out there: I am a whiner. Like Goldilocks, I whine when the porridge is too hot. I whine when the porridge is too cold. But unlike Goldilocks, I whine even when the glop is just right. Recently, my whining was put […]

April 9, 2012: Daydreaming About Clouds And Wished-For Headlines

I tend to daydream. Sometimes I look at the shape of the clouds above me and I can see a tea kettle or maybe the little fat guy that runs North Korea. And then sometimes I just close my eyes and think of headlines I would like to see, such as:   PRESIDENT OBAMA SAYS […]

April 2, 2012: Legislature Doesn’t Always Do What It Says It Will Do

Do you really think if the state takes control away from local school boards to establish charter schools as the upcoming constitutional amendment proposes, they will do it better? If so, you are smoking rope. Once our legislators get control of the process, there is no guarantee that they will do what they say. As […]

March 26, 2012: Junior E. Lee Thinks He Has Identified The Next President

Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia, called me all out of breath. I usually am not that concerned because after Junior has sprayed Arven Ridley’s barn for fleas, it sometimes leaves him winded. But I knew this wasn’t the case. He isn’t […]

March 19, 2012: ‘Mfmwgmfwff.’ Legislators brief public on upcoming issues

“Members of the Legislature, my name is Figby and I have been asked by House Speaker Dennis Ralston — he is the gentleman over in the corner eating the Twinkie — along with Senators Tommie Williams and Chip Rogers to discuss some potential campaign issues this fall. They are, of course, your leaders and have […]

March 12, 2012: Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About For-Profit Charter Schools?

At the risk of sounding like Johnny One-Note, let me go back over my concerns one more time about the charter school constitutional amendment bill in the State Senate that may or may not have been passed by the time this gets to you. (My deadlines and legislative deadlines don’t always coincide.) I don’t have […]

March 5, 2012: State Representative Defends Current Lobby Laws

State Representative Defends Current Lobby Laws Rep. Joe Wilkinson (R-Sandy Springs) has figured out something many of his colleagues in the General Assembly seem unable to grasp: If you disagree with something I say, tell me so and give me your side of the story Wilkinson called after my column advocating limits on lobbying expenditures […]

February 27, 2012: Legislators Take “Cut-And-Run” Approach To Public School Issues

Dear Public School Teachers: The “school choice” crowd in the General Assembly is after you again. I am beginning to think this is all your fault. Evidently, you did something to them in their prepubescent period that has scarred them for life. Maybe you caught them smoking in the bathroom or smooching in the hall. […]

Feb. 20, 2012: Georgia’s Lobbying Laws Should Make You Very Mad

I seem to have an innate ability to make folks mad. Usually, it is the humor-impaired and special interest twits. Today, I hope to make everybody mad, no matter your race, creed, color or university affiliation. This diatribe is for all. It is about our friends in the General Assembly and their astonishing arrogance and […]

February 13, 2012: Why Not A Signing Day For Non-Athletic Achievements?

Knock! Knock! “Come in.” “You have a minute, Principal Huggins?” “Yes, Coach Buldowski and Mr. Hornblow.  What can I do for you?” “Sir, I have an idea I would like to run by you and I asked our band director, Mr. Hornblow, to come along.” “Interesting.  Proceed, Coach Buldowski.” “Sir, I think it sends the […]

February 6, 2012: Annual State Of The Column Covers A Wide Range Of Important Topics

In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, I am required to submit annually a State of the Column message. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please stand and applaud if you hear something that floats your boat or look bored if you don’t. You may be on television. […]

January 30, 2012: Southern Baptist Leader Speaks Right From His Heart

Whew! That was close! I almost became a Baptist the other day. Not just any Baptist, but a (gulp!) Southern Baptist. Let me add here that there have been times when the Rev. Dr. Gil Watson, the World’s Greatest Preacher, has become so weary of trying to save my sorry soul that he would gladly […]

January 23, 2012: Random Thoughts On Politics, Distinguished Journalists And The Birthday Girl

State Sen. Tommie Williams (R-Lyons), one of our two unelected lieutenant governors — Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) is the other — sent out a puff piece taking much credit for authoring a bill to require local school boards to consider a teacher’s “effectiveness,” not seniority, when getting rid of teachers. People both inside and outside state […]

MDJ January 21, 2012: Marietta Art Instructor Shares His Techniques Via New Instructional Video

At a time when many people my age think Twitter is something a bird does and YouTube is what doctors use to peek into your insides to see if everything is working properly, I am busy mixing pthalo blue and cadmium red oil paint in hopes of creating a masterpiece on canvas.  Like an oil […]

January 16, 2012: Georgia’s Education Chief Sees Teachers As ‘Life-Changers’

State School Superintendent John Barge knows what teachers can do, given the opportunity. “A teacher turned my life around,” he said in a recent telephone conversation. Monty Fountain, a teacher and a coach at Alexander High School in Douglas County became a father-figure and set him on his career path. “Given the impact that Coach […]

January 9, 2012: Outback Bowl Proves That Some Phrases Never Go Out Of Style

The folks at Lake Superior State University in Michigan have just released their recommendation for words and phrases that should be erased from our vocabulary in its annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness. Why Lake Superior State? And why the list? Well, for one thing, they […]

December 19, 2011: Junior E. Lee Predicts A Big Year For Politics And Mosquitoes

I am pleased to announce that beginning with the New Year, Junior E. Lee, general manager of Round or Square Polls, a division of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company located in Greater Garfield, will be offering exclusive analysis of the upcoming presidential election that can be seen only in this space. In […]

December 26, 2011: To Cameron: The World May Change But The Fundamentals Remain The Same

DEAR CAMERON: For the past decade, I have written an annual letter of advice to your father, your uncle and their cousins, trying to give them a little perspective on what life was going to be like for them as they grew into adulthood. Today, they are all adults and are experiencing first-hand the ups-and-downs […]

January 2, 2012: Plum Nelly Pitts Agrees To Prognosticate In This Space

It is with a great deal of pleasure that I announce the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located over a pool hall in Greater Garfield, has signed an exclusive contract with one of the nation’s premier prognosticators, Plum Nelly Pitts, of Varnell, Georgia. I don’t have to tell you what a coup this […]

December 12, 2011: From Bionic Hips To Nathan Deal’s Slips, It Was A Very Good Year

Dear Valued Reader: In appreciation for your loyalty and support this past year, I had planned to thank you by sending each of you your own personalized Dick Yarbrough Christmas card – suitable for framing – that you could proudly show your envious friends.  The cards might even become a collector’s item some day and […]

December 5, 2011: Who In The World Cares That UGA Lost The SEC Championship?

In case you have been vacationing on the moon, you may have missed the news that the student-athletes from the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, came up a wee bit short in attaining the football championship of the Southeastern Conference.  That […]

November 28, 2011: Reflections on a Life Well-Lived

Today, I ask for a moment of personal privilege.  It was two years ago this week that I wrote about the Three Wise Men that have so greatly influenced my life:  Roy Hodnett, a real estate magnate on Saint Simons Island;  Dr. Raymond Cook, my college professor, now residing in Valdosta and John W. Jacobs, […]

November 21, 2011: Junior E. Lee Is Taking Credit For The Gingrich Upsurge

Junior E. Lee Is Taking Credit For The Gingrich Upsurge Junior E. Lee is one of my most valued associates but he can be a load to manage and a bit of a know-it-all.  Junior, as you know, is general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia.  […]

November 14, 2011: House Speaker Ralston May Spend This Thanksgiving Closer To Home

KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK! “Come in. Well, if it isn’t Spiro Amburn, my favorite chief of staff. How are you, Spiro?” “I’m fine, Mr. Speaker. You sent for me?” “Yes, I did. We are getting pretty close to Thanksgiving and I wondered what kind of ‘working trip’ you have planned for us this year. You outdid […]

November 7, 2011: Sheila, Geezers, T-Boners And Other Random Thoughts

Oops!  I left the “t” off Rev. Bryant Wright’s name in last week’s column about the possibility of the Southern Baptist Convention dropping “Southern” from their name.    I was just so excited to learn that whatever the organization’s future nomenclature, Rev. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern (sic) Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., will continue […]

October 31, 2011: Baptists Have Bigger Problem Than Being Associated With The South

The Rev. Bryan Wright, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, announced recently that he has appointed a task force to explore the possibility of changing the name of the organization. It seems that the name “Southern” may soon be gone with the wind. That doesn’t sit well with a number of my Baptist friends, who […]

October 24, 2011: “Occupy Atlanta’ Protestors An Un-Bearable Idea

News bulletin: The state Department of Natural Resources is reporting that black bears in North Georgia seem to be migrating toward Atlanta area. RING! RING! “Hello. This is the Georgia chapter of Bears R’ Us. President Theodore speaking.” “Teddy Bear, it’s me. Ed Ursine, with the NBA, the National Bear Association up in Orono, Maine.” […]

October 17, 2011: It’s Not the Government Schools, Stupid; It is the Stupid Government

To quote the Church Lady on Saturday Night Live, “Well, isn’t that special?” State School Superintendent John Barge and Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., have asked U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan for a waiver of the controversial No Child Left Behind law and, instead, to measure school performance on a broader basis, consisting of scores on […]

October 10, 2011: Native American Inventor Proud of Past and Focused on Future

David Petite has a very simple view on the immigration issue raging in the United States.   “You are all immigrants,” he says with a smile. “We didn’t invite any of you here.” He should know. Petite is a Native American, a member of the Chippewa tribe, where his father was a tribal chief in Wisconsin. […]

From the Brunswick News: Turtle Patrol Alumni Pleased With Loggerhead Comeback

I was pleased to see the story in The Brunswick News a couple of weeks ago about the success of the loggerhead turtle nesting program on our beaches. According to the article, more than two thousand nests have been reported by the sea turtle monitors this season. Mark Dodd, sea turtle coordinator with the Georgia […]

October 3, 2011: Skeeter Skates Doesn’t Care Much for Due Process When Terrorists Are Involved

Everybody needs a guru. Someone you can go to whenever you find yourself stuck on the horns of a moral dilemma. Some climb the mountain tops of Nepal to sit before an old guy wrapped in a bed sheet and listen to him prattle about inner beauty. I am very fortunate. My guru doesn’t live […]

September 26, 2011: Who Cares What Michael Moore Thinks About Georgia?

In case you were rearranging your sock drawer and missed the big announcement, filmmaker Michael Moore, who is about as relevant as a female appendage on a boar hog, is asking “all Americans with a conscience to shun anything and everything to do with the murderous state of Georgia.” I can hear the shudders from […]

September 19, 2011: Becoming a Mover and Shaker Can be Very Frustrating

When Nathan Deal was elected governor, I made myself a promise that I was going to get along better with him than I did with his predecessor, George E. Perdue. If our new governor wanted to build a few concrete fishponds, I’d look the other way. If he wanted to dress up like Dr. Seuss’ […]

September 11, 2011: Some Parting Thoughts on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11

Before we leave the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Towers the Pentagon and Flight 93 over Shanksville, Pa., allow me a couple of parting thoughts. As with everybody who witnessed the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, I have vivid memories of that day. I was at Saint Simons Island, […]

September 5, 2011: If You Are Feeling Helpless, Then Reelect Nobody

Bill White, the Big Canoe Tree Czar — he is the guy you had better talk to before you pluck a pine cone in the place — told me about a bumper sticker he saw recently that sums up the frustration many of us are feeling these days. It said: “Reelect Nobody.” So few words. […]

August 29, 2011: Man of the Cloth Wants a Piece of the Action

A man of the cloth by the name of Markel Hutchins is suing the estate of the late Kathryn Johnston for a half-million dollars. Ms. Johnston was killed in 2006 by a bunch of rogue cops in Malfunction Junction, aka, Atlanta in a botched drug raid. Some of Malfunction Junction’s finest executed a “no-knock” warrant […]

August 24, 2011: A Remembrance of a Short Life Well-Lived

Long-time readers will remember several years ago when I talked about a beautiful little lady I had met when she was just 2 years old and who possessed the most crystal blue eyes I had ever seen. Her name was Abby Smith and she was a knockout. It was not long after our encounter that […]

August 15, 2011: An Open Letter To Georgia’s Public School Teachers

Dear Public School Teachers in Georgia: Well, here we go again. New school year. New opportunities. New faces. And the same old problems. As the song says, “Sometimes, it feels like you and me against the world.” I have added two new teachers to the family this year. Grandson Nicholas Wansley is teaching high school […]

August 8, 2011: Let’s Send August To Uranus Where It Belongs

I usually try to run the big decisions by you before I take action, but I know you have been distracted over the past weeks watching our selfless public servants in Washington put our interests and those of our nation above petty, partisan political sniping in the debt ceiling debate and marveling at how our […]

August 1, 2011: Looking Back Fifteen Years: The City Of Atlanta Blew The Olympic Games

The 15th anniversary of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games has come and gone with barely a whimper. Looking back, the Olympic Games were not the City of Atlanta’s finest hours — or days. They were given a unique gift and didn’t know what to do with it. I know. I was managing director — communications […]

July 25, 2011: Being Politically-Correct Is Harder Than It Looks

There is a fallacious, salacious and slightly audacious rumor afloat that I can be a tad politically-incorrect at times. Moi? Knock me over with a (organically-grown) goose feather. I’ll have you know that some of my best friends are (fill in the blank) and (fill in the blank), not to mention (fill in the blank.) […]

July 18, 2011: Should We Trust in God or the State Government?

You would think designing a license tag would be relatively simple, wouldn’t you?  Not in Georgia. Our state is sucking wind financially.  Public schools are a mess.  Speaker of the House David Ralston thinks paying one’s taxes is for plebeians.  We can’t find anybody to pick our cucumbers – if the drought hasn‘t already killed […]

July 11, 2011: California Law Not Likely to Pass in Georgia Anytime Soon

The phone rang the other day and on the other end of the line was Gay Blade, the world’s flaming liberal. Gay spends a lot of time trying to raise my sensitivity toward liberal issues. So far, Gay has not had a lot of luck. “OK, Neanderthal,” Gay Blade said, “I guess you have heard […]

July 4, 2011: If We Pay Our Taxes On Time, Why Can’t David Ralston?

I own a vacation home in Dawson County — Big Canoe to be exact. Every year, we get a bill for property taxes and it is paid promptly. If it wasn’t, I am afraid someone in the tax office would post my name on the court house door and that my neighbors in Big Canoe […]

June 27, 2011: Key Legislators Get Earful From Public Schoolteachers

I don’t think it is an understatement to say that when it comes to public education in Georgia, school teachers don’t have much faith in the Legislature.  Why should they?  They hear about private school vouchers, state-approved charter schools, private school scholarships cloaked in secrecy and – oh, yes – furlough days. No wonder as […]

June 20, 2011: Veteran Minister Reflects On Fifty Years Of Weddings

Two of my favorite school teachers, grandson Nicholas Wansley and Mandy Bragg, were married last week. It was a beautiful and moving ceremony. I pray their marriage will be as happy as they, their families and friends were on that special day. According to my friend, Jim Collins, it can be but it won’t be […]

June 13, 2011: Junior E. Lee Thinks Leroy And Louise Could Be Winners

Time for Newt, Callista to reinvent selves as …  ‘LEROY AND LOUISE’ When I heard Newt Gingrich’s campaign staff had resigned, I called the premier political analyst in the country to get the low-down on what really happened. That would be Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, […]

June 6, 2011: Watch Out, Caesar. God Likes Private School Scholarships

Well, it looks like I am another theological pickle. I have stated on several occasions that I don’t think our state is in financial condition to be giving tax breaks to parents who want to send their kids to private schools. Now, I find out that God thinks the program is the Bee’s Knees.  (God […]

May 30, 2011: No Apocalypse Now Means No Reason To Seek Forgiveness

Rats. I thought I could get out of writing a column this week. I had marked May 21 as the end of the world because a preacher named Harold Camping in California (that should have been my first clue something was amiss) said on that day the earth would be obliterated. If the world is […]

May 23, 2011: Random Thoughts On Random Subjects

One of the greatest singing voices I ever heard and one of the most talented people I ever knew died last week and, yes, he was a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket through and through. Josh Powell lost his battle with multiple myeloma at the age of 70. He was an outstanding basketball player — a […]

May 16, 2011: A Life Well-Lived Reminds Us What Is Really Important

I got a good lesson in wealth management this week. Not from a high-powered financial advisor, but from the retrospective of a 103-year-old life lived well. A close relative of my wife — actually her father’s first cousin — was laid to rest in Fayette County last week. Like many of you, I suspect, funeral […]

May 9, 2011: Sheila Glad Navy Seals Took A Dog With Them And Not A Cat

Sheila the Family Wonderdog is one proud pooch today. Watching the news between her 22-hour naps and catered meals, she learned that a dog was included on the raid that brought down Osama bin Laden in his million dollar goat pen in the luxurious suburbs of the world’s great tourist destination, Abbottbad, Pakistan.  A dog.  […]

May 2, 2011: Score One For The Good Guys. Bin Laden Swims With The Fish.

Shazam!  It is great to be an American! Osama bin Laden is deader than a doornail and sleeping with the fish.  May he rot in Hell and may those who danced around and burned American flags after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, which killed more than 3,000 innocent people end up there with […]

April 25, 2011: Why Are We So Unhappy In The Great State Of Georgia?

I feel like a failure. For years, I have told you what a privilege it is to live in the Great State of Georgia. We have beautiful mountains, pristine beaches, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South as well as Vidalia onions and more concrete fishponds […]

April 18, 2011: Recognizing The Intrepid Public Servants Of The 2011 Legislative Session

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company located in Greater Garfield, Georgia, is pleased to recognize members of the 2011 General Assembly who gave so much so that we could get so little. Please hold your applause until all our honorees have been recognized. Otherwise, we could be here until the […]

April 11, 2011: A Look At Current Events With Skeeter Skates

It has been over a year since I have talked to Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter’s Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Greater Metropolitan Pooler. As long-time readers of this column know, Skeeter is the king of tree stump removal and has no peer when it comes to his deft touch with the Stump […]

April 4, 2011: From Anvil Floats To Paradise: Readers Want To Know

Let’s dip into the mailbag today, boys and girls, and see what is on the minds of discerning readers. Our first letter comes from George E. of Bonaire: Dear Dick: I recently retired and am a great admirer of yours. I would like to invite you to Bonaire to participate in our First Annual Anvil […]

March 28, 2011: To Governor Nathan Deal: Your Go-To Guy Is Only A Phone Call Away

Dear Governor Deal: I’m sorry I haven’t written you before now. I don’t want you to think that I am not interested in your progress. My observation is that you seem to be doing well early in your first term. I have heard many nice things about you. Our state’s most quotable politician, Rep. Earl […]

March 21, 2011: School Vouchers Example Of Hodgepodge Approach To Public Education

It is not a beautiful day in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood. Sen. Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) saw his beloved school voucher bill bite the dust this session. Groused Mr. Rogers, “We want to ignore the fact that our schools are failing. I’m going to have a hard time defending this one.” Not really. Mr. Rogers, […]

March 14, 2011: Junior E. Lee Analyzes Upcoming Presidential Campaign

Junior E. Lee is a Great American by birth and a Son of the South by the grace of God. You may recall that it was Round or Square Polls, Inc. that first reported that everybody is leaving the Northeast because it snows there year-round and all their buildings are rusted and falling down. Junior […]

March 7, 2011: Tax Reform Head Calls Legislative Efforts ‘Obscene’

A.D. Frazier is not a happy camper. My friend and former Atlanta Olympic colleague spent last summer chairing the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians, a 10-member council appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston. The group was charged with gathering the opinions of Georgians […]

February 28, 2011: Tired Of Snow Storms And Lindsay Lohan? Here’s Some Good News

It is not easy being a house husband cum columnist. Trying to figure out where the paper towels are located at the same time I am trying to figure out where the commas go makes my brain hurt. I am in this stressful situation because the Woman Who Shares My Name has received a new […]

February 21, 2011: UGA Coach Mark Richt Shows There Is More To Winning Than Final Score

Over my long life, I have come to realize that college football is not life-or-death. Life and death are life and death. Football is a game. Only a game. Yet, there are those rare times when the sport can tell us a lot about life — and death — and remind us that there is […]

February 14, 2011: For .0000127 Cents, Speaker Ralston Could Have Gone To Powder Springs

Things are in a mess under the Gold Dome and I may be responsible. As previously noted, House Speaker David Ralston has infuriated a vast portion of We The Unwashed with his $17,000 “working trip” to Germany and the Netherlands last Thanksgiving with his family, staff members and a Washington lobbyist. (Common Cause Georgia has […]

February 7, 2011: Random Thoughts On Random Subjects

State Rep. Rich Golick (R-Smyrna) is one of the more able members of the Georgia General Assembly and a serious young man not given to hyperbole.  When he gets upset, it is noteworthy.  Golick went ballistic last week when the Mexican Ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, came to Atlanta specifically to criticize a […]

January 30, 2011: House Leader Seek Teacher Input In Upcoming Legislation

House Majority Whip Ed Lindsey (R-Atlanta) and I decided to quit lobbing mortars at each other and do what we should have done earlier — talk about his proposed legislation to evaluate teachers. I had written a column critical of his proposal and he had responded with letters of harrumph to several of the newspapers […]

January 23, 2011: Speaker’s Thanksgiving Trip To Europe Was A Turkey

I wonder if our intrepid public servants at the Gold Dome understand how arrogant and out-of-touch they look to We the Unwashed — or if they even care. Case in point: The Atlanta newspaper has reported that House Speaker David Ralston took a trip over the Thanksgiving holidays to Germany and the Netherlands with his […]

January 16, 2011: Bad Weather… Doesn’t Alter Georgia’s Political Landscape

The past week you would have thought we were living in two different states. North of the Gnat Line, it seemed like Siberia. Even possums and yard dogs were hugging each other trying to stay warm. South of the line, folks assumed that God was punishing North Georgia for having taken most of the political […]

January 9, 2011: To My Grandsons: Faster Is Not Necessarily Better

To Nicholas Wansley and Brian and Thomas Yarbrough: If my abacus is working properly, this is the 12th year I have dispensed some grandfatherly advice to you in the hopes that something I tell you will be helpful as you step out into a world that looks a lot more complicated than the one I […]

January 2, 2011: How Can You Evaluate Teachers And Not Evaluate Society?

Oh great. Now, the Obama administration is getting involved in public education in Georgia. That’s all we need. The deft touch of an inept federal government. Outgoing Gov. George E. Perdue (please tell me he has left the building) agreed to participate in the $400 million Obama Race to the Top program. Our new governor, […]

December 27, 2010: Say Good-Bye To 2010 And Hello To Good Friends

Good grief!  I haven’t gotten used to writing 2010 yet and 2011 is here. I don’t know about you but I was pretty much ready to pull the plug on this year along about July.  One more self-serving political candidate in one more boring debate intoning a platform of lower taxes, better schools, smaller government, […]

December 20, 2010: Mr. Thingamabob Is Making It Difficult To Get A Job In Gov.-Elect Deal’s Administration

For weeks, I awaited a call from Gov.-elect Nathan Deal informing me that I would be a member of his transition team.  The call never came. It could have been my fault.  We have a thingamabob on our telephone that blocks calls from people selling aluminum siding, grave plots and magazine subscriptions.  These are defined […]

December 13, 2010: There Is Much To Believe In At Christmas

I believe in Christmas. I believe as a Christian that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Son of God.  The Messiah. I believe you have the right to disagree with me, but I know what I believe in my heart. I believe no Christmas is official until someone sings “O Holy […]

December 6, 2010: Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Working To Make Us Safer

Two things keep me awake at night:  The threat of terrorism and wondering what, if anything, our federal government is doing about it. Evidently, my interview with Atlanta television anchor Justin Farmer in Atlanta a few weeks ago about his reports of Mexican drug lords funneling illegal immigrants, drugs and – yes – terrorists into […]

November 28, 2010: Tis The Season To For Some Positive News

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states clearly that nobody can infringe on my right of free speech.  You can get in serious trouble for that. “Bosh,” says The Woman Who Shares My Name. I have no idea what “bosh” means but evidently the Constitution allows her to say stuff like that without the […]

November 22, 2010: Distinguished Businessman’s Life Reminds Us Of What Is Truly Important

This is an opportune time of year to take stock of our blessings.  Actually, everyday should be a time of thanksgiving, but it seems we are too busy being too busy to appreciate just how blessed we are. Maybe – just maybe – we tend to look at our world upside down.  The things that […]

November 15, 2010: Nathan Deal’s Transition Team Missed Some Outstanding Candidates

Rats.  It looks as though I have not been selected to be a member of Gov.-elect Nathan Deal’s transition team.   Frankly, this is getting old.  I am told that both Roy Barnes and George E. Perdue didn’t pick me when forming their administrations because they both thought my advice wasn’t worth a jar of warm […]

November 8, 2010: Will It Take Another 9-11 Attack To Fix Our Borders?

The next time the illegal immigration advocates start whining about the poor Mexican workers coming into the United States to “do jobs we won’t do” and to “make a better life for their families,” please inform them that the porous borders between lawless Mexico and the U.S. are also letting in drugs at a scale […]

November 1, 2010: Random Thoughts On Random Subjects

Let’s hold off on dissecting the general elections until the political pundits have had their say. They don’t know any more than you and I do — after all, we are the voters — but they think they do and telling them otherwise might offend them. Political pundits can be very sensitive. . . One […]

October 25, 2010: School Superintendent Needs To Be A Champion For Public Education

In my house, the contest for state school superintendent is as important as the governor’s race. I have a son, son-in-law and now a grandson who are public school teachers and they — and all the other teachers — deserve a draw-a-line-in-the-sand advocate. School teachers don’t need another bureaucratic initiative from people who haven’t seen […]

October 18, 2010: Regents Face Increased Skepticism About Need For New Engineering School

The State Board of Regents voted recently to tighten their policies governing illegal immigrant applicants to Georgia colleges and universities and they did it with little discussion. Funny how those things happen. It wasn’t all that long ago that we were being lectured by Chancellor Erroll Davis, who said, “We have no reason not to […]

October 11, 2010: Seminary President Needs To Focus On Hate Groups, Not Yoga

Albert Mohler is at it again. Albert is president of the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky which must give him a lot of time to think about the burning issues of the day. Unfortunately, somewhere between the thinking and the saying, there seems to be a major disconnect. You may recall that Albert is […]

October 4, 2010: A Salute To Georgia’s 48th Brigade Combat Team And The Man Who Led Them

Five years ago this week, I was in Iraq in a dirty, foreboding piece of real estate known as “The Triangle of Death.”  That is not a misnomer.  I almost found out the hard way. I had been invited by Gen. Stewart Rodeheaver, commanding officer of Georgia’s 48th Brigade Combat Team.  The general gave me […]

September 27, 2010: UGA President Adams Has It Right On Athlete Behavior

When I pay University of Georgia President Michael Adams a compliment, you may be sure it is the real thing. Somewhere over the years, he and I have gotten at rigid right angles. It is not the end of the world for either of us. The president seems to have survived without my advice and […]

September 19, 2010: Leave It To Potted Plants To Ruin A Perfectly Good Pontification

This isn’t going to please those boys and girls with the dark glasses and hearing aids who are always talking to their lapels, but my column commandoes walked right past them the other night to attend the season’s first Conversation at the Carter Center, otherwise known as Jimmy Carter’s Out-of-Touch-With-Reality Pontifications. They were disguised as […]

September 13, 2010: Political Rhetoric No Reason For Teachers To Get Their Hopes Up

Pay attention, teachers. The two main gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Roy Barnes and Republican Nathan Deal, are trying to make nice with you. At least until they get themselves elected. Then all bets are off. Roy Barnes says he is going to provide you with salary increases, smaller class sizes and a ban on furloughs. He […]

September 6, 2010: There Is No Debate That This Was A Great Debate

In all the hubbub over the construction of a mosque at Ground Zero in New York City as a reciprocal gesture of friendship to Muslims who have agreed to build the Ali Khamenei Baptist Tabernacle in downtown Tehran, you may have missed the latest debate between Georgia’s gubernatorial candidates sponsored by the Yarbrough Worldwide Media […]

August 30, 2010: Be It Ever So Humble, There’s No Place Like Georgia

You can take the boy out of Georgia, but you can’t keep him from swelling with pride while he’s gone. On a recent visit to Michigan and Canada in search of igloos and reindeer, we dropped by Henry Ford’s home in Dearborn. As you know, Henry Ford invented the Model T and created the Ford […]

August 23, 2010: Don’t Feel Sorry For The Squirrels In My Backyard

If you find any dead squirrels in my backyard, it is because they have laughed themselves to death. It isn’t that I haven’t tried to wing one with my trusty Red Ryder pump-action BB gun with the camouflage stock.  It is just that the rascals know I couldn’t hit a buffalo in the backside at […]

August 16, 2010: Thankfully, The Days Grow Short On Political Campaigns

“Oh, it’s a long, long while from May to December, But the days grow short when you reach September.” — September Song Congratulations, dear reader. Silly Season, aka, the 2010 political campaign, is nearing the end. Most of the wannabes have been shunted aside and we are in the short days of the campaign. On […]

August 9, 2010: Even The Squirrels Think It Is Too Hot In Georgia

I love the State of Georgia better than apple butter, but sometimes the place can try my patience. Like right now. It is just too hot. How hot is it? The squirrels in my back yard used to scurry every time they saw me coming with my pump-action Red Ryder BB gun with the camouflage […]

August 2, 2010: Georgia Tax Reform Council Has An Outspoken Leader

I had considered the recently-constituted Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians just so much political hooey until I saw who was elected chairman of the council: Adolphus Drewry Frazier, Jr. If tax reform is an immovable object, it is about to meet an irresistible force in A.D. Frazier. The 10 member body […]

July 26, 2010: An In-Depth Look At The Recent Primary Results, Courtesy Of Junior E. Lee

As promised, I have the latest analysis of the recent primary results, courtesy of Junior E. Lee, general manager of the C. Richard Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located over a pool room in Greater Garfield. I almost missed my deadline because I couldn’t get Junior to answer the phone.  He was shooting […]

July 19, 2010: Readers Respond To Vouchers While Junior Finishes His Analysis

What, you may ask, am I going to say this week about the primary elections? The answer: Nothing. I am going to let the political pundits natter and prattle, first. (Political pundits love to natter and prattle.) Once they have squeezed all the blood out of the election turnip and given us serious eye-glaze, I […]