11/20/2017

Sep. 15, 2002: Random Thoughts on Random Subjects

Hoorays and Huzzahs to Eunice Stone, the Bartow County nurse who overheard a group of men — helpfully referred to by the media as “Middle Eastern-looking” — at a restaurant in Calhoun supposedly jive talking about attacks on Miami. She noted their tag number and reported them to law enforcement authorities. Now, the men say they were joking. Some joke. We ought to send them to Ludowici and tell the good folks there what these would-be comedians said and see what kind of sense of humor they have in Long County. . .

The Woman Who Shares My Name is in a state of shock. I recently wrote that we might improve discipline in our schools if teachers could “tan some fannies.” One writer strongly disagreed and opined that I speak without knowledge on the subject, a situation he evidently has had to deal with before, because he said he had seen “500 Dick Yarbroughs.” When I passed that information along to the Woman Who Shares My Name, she envisioned 500 people that put wet clothes in the hamper, get lost every time they go to Macon and never hear anything she says. She may never recover. . .

I was invited to speak to a group of retired General Motors employees on the day before the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. They heard an outstanding speech, only it wasn’t mine. Charlie Gowing, a member of the organization, preceded me and talked about the frustration Americans are feeling these days. He quoted from Gandhi, “When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been murderers and tyrants, and for a time they can seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall.” His comments pulled me through Sept. 11. The bad guys won’t win. Gandhi and Gowing says they never do and they are right. . .

St. Simons Island is going through some debate now over whether to replenish the beaches with sand from a nearby channel, courtesy of the state government. If they asked me, I would like to see more discussion on teaching the local teenagers not to trespass on private property and not to smart-mouth to the property owners and authorities when they are caught. Whether sand is added or not, a little proactive parenting would make the beaches a lot nicer to visit. If parents told the kids to respect their elders and pull their pants up over their underwear, that would be a good start. . .

If I ran Augusta National, it would already have had a woman member — probably my daughter. But the club isn’t going to add one as long as the National Council of Women’s Organizations hits them over the head about it, and I don’t blame them. Augusta National is a private club, like it or not. There are far more serious women’s issues that need to be addressed than a membership to play golf, even on hallowed grounds. I dealt with a lot of groups like NCWO during my time with the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. They weren’t interested in the Games, only in publicity for themselves. One positive note to come out of the Augusta National debate is that it has given the media an opportunity to harrumph. Members of the media love to harrumph. It gives our lives meaning and purpose. . .

Could it be that the loonies in the right wing of the Georgia Republican Party are losing their grip? Although he has an uphill battle, Sonny Perdue, the GOP nominee for governor, has a broader appeal to Georgia voters than past Republican candidates. Same with Steve Stancil, running for lieutenant governor and Congressman Saxby Chambliss, trying to unseat liberal Democratic incumbent Max Cleland in the U.S Senate. Ironically, 6th District Republican Congressman Johnny Isakson, one of the most highly

regarded and well-respected political figures in our state, couldn’t get the GOP nomination for Senate against Cleland six years ago because he was perceived by the right wing as too soft on abortion. I wonder if Cleland sent them a “thank you” note. . . .

And, finally, this letter from a critic who said “just because you write weekly, that’s no excuse to write weakly.” Harrumph!