12/17/2017

June 26, 2017: Random Thoughts On Random Subjects Like Education, Politics And Law Enforcement

Oh, barf.  The Georgia Center for Opportunity –whatever that is – has come out with a report card giving A’s and A-pluses to cut-and-run legislators who want to promote private school scholarships with public money rather than deal with the societal problems our schools face.  What makes their report card about as credible as a singing frog is they give the highly-respected chairman of the State Senate Education Committee, Lindsey Tippins, R-Cobb County, a failing grade because he opposes the cockamamie scheme. Sen. Tippins, who served 12 years on the Cobb County Board of Education and as its chairman for three years, knows more and cares more about public education and those in the trenches than all the opportunistic cut-and-runners and their Kool-Aid drinking friends combined. Give the Georgia Center for Opportunity an “F” for flummery. . . .

Eight-and-a-half-year-old Cameron Charles Yarbrough, great-grandson extraordinaire, was in Washington recently and dropped in on our senior U.S. senator, Johnny Isakson, who accorded him more time than the senator could probably afford.  It was a grand and much-appreciated gesture, given that Sen. Isakson is in the process of recovering from back surgery and was in the midst of steering through the Congress a bipartisan piece of legislation focused on long-needed accountability in the Veterans Affairs Department.  Johnny Isakson gives politics a good name. . . .

Speaking of politics, voters in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional district have elected Republican Karen Handel to fill out the remainder of Cong. Tom Price’s term.  Price was appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Trump Administration.  Her opponent, Democrat Jon Ossoff, reportedly spent $30 million and still lost.  Give me $30 million and I could get a turnip elected pope.. , , ,

As a member of the State Board of Juvenile Justice, I have come to know and appreciate the inner workings of law enforcement, thanks to my colleagues on the board who represent all facets of the profession.  For example, the public doesn’t hear much about the unsung and often underappreciated correctional officers whose job it is to guard inmates.  As recent events in Putnam County sadly proved, it is dangerous work.  Two inmates somehow freed themselves of their shackles and shot and killed two correctional officers, who were driving a transport bus in Putnam County.  They were later captured in Tennessee after an intensive manhunt.  This leaves the world with these two lowlifes and the loss of two dedicated public servants who were just doing their job.  Sad. Sad. . . .

Contrast that tragedy with Polk County where six inmates helped save the life of a deputy who had passed out from the heat and humidity during an outside work detail.  The inmates opened the officer’s shirt and removed his bulletproof vest so that they could perform CPR and also used his phone to call 911. Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats rewarded the group by reducing each man’s sentence by 25 percent.  Good things happen to those who do good deeds. The events in Putnam County and Polk County are inescapable proof that in law enforcement you never know what is going to happen from one minute to the next.  Thankfully, there are brave souls willing to do it. . . .

While I will certainly take time to celebrate the 241st birthday of the greatest nation on earth next week, I will also be preparing for another significant observance.  Thursday, July 20 is Moon Day when we look into the vast outer reaches of our cosmos and pay homage to our Ambassador to Outer Space Cynthia McKinney, a certified moonbeam.  McKinney is a former Georgia congresswoman and Palestinian gunrunner whose only claims to fame are bad-mouthing her country and wet-kissing on national television whatever poor president happened to be coming down the aisle to deliver the annual State of the Union speech.  Say what you will about the ambassador, but I think she is out of this world. . . .

Finally.  I begin my 19th year as your modest and much-beloved columnist. Had I known it was going to turn out like this, I would have paid more attention when we covered punctuation in my high school English class.  After a long career as a corporate suit, I was asked to write one column, one time for one paper in 1998.  Some 2,000 columns later, I now reach more than a half-million households across the state each week.  But only one matters:  Yours.  You and I are a team.

 

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb