11/20/2017

May 16, 2016: Random Thoughts On Random Subjects

Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody) was arrested in the city of Clayton in early April and charged with driving under the influence, possession of an open container of alcohol and driving 72 mph in a 45 mph zone with four exchange students in tow. Taylor, who is up for re-election, expressed the proper amount of remorse for his action as he should have. We all make mistakes. But since his arrest, media reports say liquor lobbying groups have contributed some $20,000 to his re-election campaign. Oh, did I mention that Taylor is a member of the House Regulated Industries Committee, which handles legislation involving alcoholic beverages? If he is remorseful about how this looks to the rest of us, I must have missed it. …

You wouldn’t know it by the Obama administration’s histrionics or those of their media lapdogs, but from some numbers I have seen, transgender people make up about 0.3 percent of the population of the United States. I just have to think that where they want to go potty is not one the biggest issues facing our nation. …

Sacramento-based StudentsFirst, one of the deep-pocketed special interest groups trying to get their fingers in the education pie in Georgia, released a paean to schoolteachers during Teacher Appreciation Week about how teachers are “the most important educational component of a child’s school day.” No argument there, except this is the same group that opposed SB 346, a carefully-crafted bill reducing the amount of state-mandated testing by which our state’s teachers are supposed to be evaluated from 50 percent to 30 percent and thus allowing teachers to spend more time teaching students and less time teaching to a test. The legislation had the strong bipartisan support of legislators, the education community and, most importantly, schoolteachers. But not StudentsFirst. Reducing the testing requirements, they said, could “water down current evaluations to the point they are meaningless.” Oh, please. Speaking of meaningless, that pretty much describes their efforts to impact the bill. They got rolled like a cheap cigar and the measure is now law, but keep an eye on this crowd, schoolteachers, paeans notwithstanding. …

My friend, Roy Hodnett, the real estate baron of St. Simons and his wife, Ann, just celebrated their 72nd (that is not a misprint) wedding anniversary and claim their best days are still ahead of them. I am counting on that. Roy Hodnett has built a real estate empire by being a shrewd businessman as well as one of the kindest people I know. He is long-living proof that nice guys finish first. …

Many of you have asked me in person or via email about the status of the Woman Who Shares My Name and who has turned breaking legs into an art form. After a bad fall in November and followed by another mishap in March, she has endured two surgeries, two stints in rehab and we hope is far down the road to recovery. While we both appreciate the concern about her well-being, no one seems interested in hearing about the trials and tribulations of her poor caregiver. However, if you will look up “inept” in the dictionary, you are likely to see his picture. …

 

Finally, there can be no argument that I have the most astute readers walking God’s green acres, but they can be pretty creative, too. I recently spoke to the Modern Topics Study Group in Gainesville, an assemblage of Great Americans if there ever was one. Instead of giving me the usual paperweight or ballpoint pen following my remarks, they decided to try and replicate the demands that the rapper Ludacris had made on the University of Georgia Athletic Department in order to appear at the recent G-Day game. As you may recall, I was highly incensed at that ludicrous deal. With tongue firmly in cheek, the group presented me not $65,000 that Ludacris required, but 65 cents; there was no meal for 10 with organic peanut butter but, rather, two slices of bread, some cereal and a sweet potato (not organic). I got a toothbrush (not rechargeable), one T-shirt (very small), a couple of batteries from somebody’s kitchen drawer and miniature bottles of cognac and vodka which I assume were filched from an airplane. Alas, it pains me to report that my Ludacris-like largesse did not include a box of Trojan Ecstasy wink-winks. The group thought I was good, but not that good.

 

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.a