May 25, 2000: Be Careful What You Pray For, Your Prayers Will Be Answered

In the category of “Be Careful What You Pray For, Your Prayers Will Be Answered,” I have just finished writing a book.  It is entitled, “And They Call Them Games,” published by Mercer Press, and is due out September 1.  It is my first book and, most likely, my last one.  I had always wanted to be an author but I had no idea that writing a book would be so hard and would take so much time.  The book recounts my experiences as a member of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games.  I am not kind to the city of Atlanta and I suspect City Hall, the Atlanta business community and some local reporters and columnists will take umbrage at what I wrote.

With everything in the publisher’s hands, I am going to head down I-75 to St. Simons Island and eat all the corn-fried shrimp that the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill can get its hands on.   While I am gone, I leave you some thoughts to ponder.

First, attorney Lee Parks is suing the University of Georgia over its admission policies.  I presume he is acting on your behalf and mine, since we are taxpayers.  If that is so, would you tell him that he still owes you and me $1144.44 for the materials that he has had the university prepare for him for the lawsuit.  My latest open record request at UGA says he has never paid for any material as required by law.  I wonder if he allows his clients the same latitude?  If not, would you ask him why he doesn’t pay his bill?

Another policeman has died in the line of duty.  This time an off-duty officer in Doraville was shot while investigating a break-in at a nightclub where he provided security.  Imagine a job where your family doesn’t know if they will ever see you again when you leave for work.  If the police stop us for speeding or running a red light, we resent them for it.  In the comfort of 20-20 hindsight, we second-guess the decisions they have to make in the blink of an eye.  Yet, they are a welcomed sight when we need them.  Next police officer you see, why don’t you walk up and say, “Thank you.”

Speaking of the police, does it bother you that we pay ballplayers and actors such obscene amounts of money and our teachers and police next to nothing?  It is a sad commentary on our society.  We value being entertained over being educated and protected.  Greg Maddox, of the Atlanta Braves, makes more in a half-inning than most schoolteachers and police officers make in a year.  He is good, but he’s not that good.

Why do we have to hyphenate everybody’s nationality?  We aren’t African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, Italian-Americans, Polish-Americans, etc.  We are Americans.  How does it strengthen our country to emphasize our differences?  I’ve never heard anybody overseas referred to as Hong Kong-Chinese, Algerian-German, American-Mexican, or the like.  Could it be that none of those countries would accept hyphens like we do?

Aren’t you getting just a little tired of the beating that Coca-Cola is taking?  It looks like the company has gone overboard to appease its accusers and to no avail.  They have bought advertising with a company co-owned by the plaintiffs’ attorney.  They have agreed to spend a billion dollars to improve “entrepreneurship” among minorities.  None of this seems to have worked.  I have a feeling that the plaintiffs are enjoying their fifteen minutes of fame.

In reviewing my notes from my ACOG days for the book, it was interesting to see just how powerful Newt Gingrich and Michael Bowers were in 1996.  Gingrich was speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and leading the Republican Revolution and Bowers was state attorney general and the Republicans’ best hope ever to win the governor’s office.  Neither is a blip on the political radar screen today, although Bowers might become cannon fodder for Roy Barnes in 2002.

One last item to ponder.  Will Barnes be successful in stalling the fight over the state flag until after the general elections?  Look for Charles Walker, senate majority leader from Augusta and influential house member Calvin Smyre to make some kind of deal with Representative Tyrone Brooks and his supporters to hold their fire until all Democrats are safe and accounted for – and reelected.

Now I am off to see if corn-fried shrimp is an antidote for writer’s block and carpal tunnel syndrome.