April 12, 2010: Noted Columnist Tells NCAA That UGA’s Adams Would Be a ‘Colossal Mistake’

Bob Ryan, noted sports columnist for the Boston Globe recently ripped the National Collegiate Athletic Association for considering University of Georgia president Michael Adams as CEO of that organization to succeed the late Myles Brand, saying it would be a “colossal mistake.” The NCAA search is being conducted by Parker Executive Search of Atlanta, the […]

April 5, 2010: Jay Shapiro Never Forgot That The Customer Comes First

Sometime ago I mentioned the worst customer service and the best customer service I ever received — all in the same week. I reprise the saga because the hero of the story recently and tragically died. To refresh your memory, for a number of years I had done business with a local investment firm. The […]

March 29, 2010: State’s Tough Choices Should Not Include Governor’s Horsing Around

I have a lot of respect for third-term State Sen. Ronnie Chance (R-Tyrone.) Sen. Chance’s father, Louie, and I grew up in College Park and I know for a fact the young man comes from good stock. Louie Chance is a Great American. Ronnie Chance is also politically skilled enough to tell me pointedly that […]

March 22, 2010: College of Coastal Georgia Primed to be a Major Player in the State

Even conceding our state’s seemingly clueless attitude toward understanding the importance of education to Georgia’s future prosperity, our politicians and bureaucrats are going to have a hard time screwing up the College of Coastal Georgia. The institution simply has too much going for it. In the first place, the college is located only a few […]

March 15, 2010: Just What We Need: More Guns and Less Judges

Senate Majority Whip Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg) wants to eliminate a bunch of Superior Court judges in Georgia. Seabaugh says getting rid of 19 judges would save the state $13 million to $14 million. This means we Georgians would then have money available for really important stuff like building Gov. Sonny Perdue’s $9 million horse barn […]

March 8, 2010: Perdue Horsing Around With Budget Proposals

In the midst of one of the worst economic crises in memory, the Georgia General Assembly has to make some extremely difficult financial decisions. I don’t envy them their job. To make their challenge even harder, up pops Gov. Sonny Perdue with some budget add-ons. This time we aren’t talking about concrete fishponds. While teachers […]

Feb. 22, 2010: Want Parents In Charge of Education? Then Let Government Rate Them

I am up to my gizzard with our governor and Legislature and assorted bureaucrats stomping around in public education with little regard for the consequences of their actions. Example: One school system in the state has been considering allowing the police to bring Tasers into the schools to quell unruly students. While this is going […]

Feb. 13, 2010: A Valentine Story of Love and Marriage and Endurance

This is a Valentine story. We had our first date on Valentine’s Day a few eons ago. She and I were juniors in high school and just good friends. Nothing more. We agreed to go together to the Sweetheart Ball sponsored by the school newspaper. Stringent privacy laws prevent me from revealing the name of […]

Feb. 8, 2010: Is That A Zit on Your Forehead or Are We Being Followed?

While you and I have been tending to the mundane matters of life like filing our taxes and paying our bills, members of the General Assembly have been watching too many science fiction movies. Sen. Chip Pearson (R-Dawsonville) aided by Sen. Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock), recently pushed a bill through the State Senate making […]

Feb. 1, 2010: Leave It To Skeeter Skates to Put Things in Perspective

LEAVE IT TO SKEETER SKATES TO PUT THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE Whenever this world starts looking too complicated, I call my friend Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter’s Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Greater Metropolitan Pooler. Skeeter has a wonderful way of putting things into perspective. “Hoss, this is going to have to be a […]

Jan. 25, 2010: What State Politicians Need is a Good Old-fashioned Tea Party

What this state needs is a good old-fashioned Tea Party. Not one directed at the liberal weenies in Washington who tried to ram health care reform down our throats. This protest needs to focus on the State of Georgia. Our governor and members of the General Assembly continue to remind us that state revenues are […]

Jan. 23, 2010: Grandson Has Good Role Models Who Make a Difference

One of my favorite things in the whole wide world is my regular telephone conversations with grandson, Brian. He is just getting his feet wet in the business world and is trying to adequately provide for a wife and child during these fragile economic times. He is finding that it isn’t as easy as it […]

Jan. 18, 2010: Legislature Start A Reminder That There Are Some Things That Even A Goat Won’t Do

Let’s cut our legislators a little slack before they begin their deliberations in the current session of the General Assembly. They need some time to get adjusted. You don’t just go to Atlanta and start passing laws. The first thing you do is find out if anybody moved the bathrooms while you were gone because […]

Jan. 11, 2010: Move Over Humprey and Seth John — Here Comes Sonny

MOVE OVER HUMPHREY AND SETH JOHN – HERE COMES SONNY I read where Gov. Sonny Perdue held a pep rally at the Capitol for state agency heads, state employees and assorted bass fishermen to fire up the troops as he prepares for the last year of what has been a scintillating two terms as our […]

Jan. 4, 2010: Annual Letter to My Grandsons

To Brian and Thomas Yarbrough and Nicholas Wansley: My annual correspondence with you is now entering its second decade. We started when you were gap-toothed, giggly moppets. Now one of you is married and a father, one of you is about to graduate from college, and the third is winding up high school. Even after […]

Dec. 28, 2009: It Is A New Year But Don’t Tell The Corn-Fried Shrimp

IT IS A NEW YEAR BUT DON’T TELL THE CORN-FRIED SHRIMP You can stick a fork in 2009. It is done. I can’t say I am sad to see it go except that it puts me one year closer to the ultimate conversation with my Maker, who can’t wait to hear my excuses for a […]

Dec. 21, 2009: There Are Some Treasures That Money Can’t Buy

I am a rich man, a man of incalculable wealth. Had I read these words through some magical process several decades past, I would have assumed that my bank account would be overflowing and my estate large and prosperous. Not so. Time has given me a new value system. I now know that what makes […]

Dec. 14, 2009: I Wish I Had Been There. In Bethlehem.

I WISH I HAD BEEN THERE. IN BETHLEHEM. I wish I had been there. In Bethlehem. I wish I had witnessed the birth of the baby Jesus in that humble setting in a lowly manger. Was it really as cold that night as it is sometimes depicted on our Christmas cards or was it a […]

Dec. 7, 2009: Investigative Reporter Turns State Politics On Its Head

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER TURNS STATE POLITICS ON ITS HEAD Dale Russell is the best investigative reporter in Georgia, bar none. With a single interview, he has turned state politics on its head. It was Russell, head of the investigative unit at WAGA-TV in Atlanta, along with producer Mindy Larcom, cameraman Mike Carlin and editor Travis Shields […]

Nov. 30, 2009: Paying Homage To Three Wise Men

PAYING HOMAGE TO THREE WISE MEN This is the story of three wise men. They do not come bearing gifts of gold and myrrh and frankincense. Their gifts are service, intelligence and integrity. They don’t have exotic names like Bithisarea, Melichior, and Gathaspa. Theirs are ordinary names: John, Raymond and Roy. But there is nothing […]

Nov. 23, 2009: Southern Expert Puts Latest Health Survey In Perspective

SOUTHERN EXPERT PUTS LATEST HEALTH SURVEY IN PERSPECTIVE Imagine my surprise to read recent news reports that Georgia is among the least healthy states in the nation because of, among other things, our “poor diet.” Obviously, the experts who put the report together have never heard of sweet tea, Vidalia onions, barbecue sandwiches or grits […]

Nov. 15, 2009: Powerful Rules Chairman Plans To Restore Certified Teacher Funds

POWERFUL RULES CHAIRMAN PLANS TO RESTORE CERTIFIED TEACHER FUNDS Attention, National Board Certified teachers in Georgia who got hosed by the state in the last legislative session: I think I have found the guy in the white hat that plans to ride to the rescue. And he is a good one to have on the […]

Nov. 8, 2009: American Muslims Can’t Have It Both Ways

AMERICAN MUSLIMS CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS There are just a few things you can count on in this world: The sun will rise in the east; nobody will ever sing better than Ray Charles and somebody will try to make a martyr out of that piece of camel dung that killed 13 innocent men […]

Nov. 1, 2009: Long-Ago Letter Still A Fitting Tribute To Our Veterans

LONG-AGO LETTER STILL A FITTING TRIBUTE TO OUR VETERANS My friend Sam Griffin, the retired publisher of the Bainbridge Post-Searchlight, recently shared a letter written to him in 1942 by his father, Capt. Marvin Griffin, later to be governor of Georgia, as he and his men, members of the Georgia National Guard’s 101st Coast Artillery/Anti-Aircraft […]

Oct. 26, 2009: An Ode To A Wise Son From A Grateful Father

AN ODE TO A WISE SON FROM A GRATEFUL FATHER I am not going to tell you how old he is because he might not want you to know. So, I will just tell you that on his birthday next week, the last number will have a “zero” behind it and he was born as […]

Oct. 19, 2009: Just What The World Needs: A New Public Opinion Poll

JUST WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS: A NEW PUBLIC OPINION POLL The Yarbrough Multinational Media and Pest Control Company is pleased to announce the results of the first survey by its new subsidiary, Round or Square, Inc., one of the nation’s leading opinion research firms located in a pool hall in Greater Garfield, Ga. Dick Yarbrough, […]

Oct. 12, 2009: Why Should Teachers Believe Anything Politicians Say?

WHY SHOULD TEACHERS BELIEVE ANYTHING POLITICIANS SAY? My son-in-law, Dr. Ted Wansley, teaches at Whitewater High School in Fayette County and coaches the school’s cross-country teams. He is also a National Board Certified teacher. Ted got his doctorate at evening classes at Georgia State University while teaching high school during the day. He could have […]

Oct. 5, 2009: An Identity Crisis That Only A Squirrel Can Love

AN IDENTITY CRISIS THAT ONLY A SQUIRREL CAN LOVE I am having an identity crisis. Identity crises are much more serious than mid-life crises. For the latter, you can buy a toupee or a convertible or visit a tanning salon. If you have an identity crisis, you tend to talk to yourself and people assume […]

Sep. 28, 2009: Drumming Up Appreciation For The Marching Band

DRUMMING UP APPRECIATION FOR THE MARCHING BAND A young man asked recently if I would write a letter on his behalf, recommending him to the University of Georgia. That was an easy request. The lad is as bright as a newly-minted penny and I have no doubts that if UGA remains his first choice, he […]

Sep. 21, 2009: Carter Is Poster Boy For “Acts Based On Racism’

CARTER IS POSTER BOY FOR “ACTS BASED ON RACISM’ I don’t know how Jimmy Carter can look himself in the mirror. He has made hypocrisy an art form. When asked recently about the actions of South Carolina Republican Cong. Joe Wilson, who stunned the crowd during President Barack Obama’s address to a joint session of […]

Sep. 14, 2009: Obama Needs A New Czar And I Have The Perfect Choice

OBAMA NEEDS A NEW CZAR AND I HAVE THE PERFECT CHOICE Dear Mr. President: I don’t know if you see my columns because I can’t get anybody at the White House to return my calls. I do know plenty of politicians in Georgia read me because a lot of them get their drawers in a […]

Sep. 7, 2009: Reflections On The Loss Of A Young Life

If you will allow me a moment of personal privilege, it has been one year since our grandson, Zack Wansley, collapsed and died while training for the Thanksgiving Day Marathon in Atlanta. He was 22. This was not his first Thanksgiving Day race. If memory serves me correctly, it was his eighth. Zack was an […]

Aug. 31, 2009: Georgia Safety Organization To Conduct National Emergency Drills

GEORGIA SAFETY ORGANIZATION TO CONDUCT NATIONAL EMERGENCY DRILLS FOR BUSINESSES AND FAMILIES It has been eight years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington killed some 3,000 innocent people. How soon we forget. Fortunately, there are people like Len Pagano who haven’t forgotten. Pagano […]

Aug. 24, 2009: Random Thoughts On Grinches, Values And Sweet Tea

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON GRINCHES, VALUES AND SWEET TEA Sometimes you just can’t help but feel sorry for Malfunction Junction, aka, the City of Atlanta. Admittedly, it is hard to do because it is such a blowhard town and not half as hip as it thinks it is. But if I was a city booster, I’d […]

Aug. 17, 2009: It’s About More Than Health Care Reform: Ordinary Citizens Are Fed Up With Out-Of-Touch Government

IT’S ABOUT MORE THAN HEALTH CARE REFORM: ORDINARY CITIZENS ARE FED UP WITH OUT-OF-TOUCH GOVERNMENT I was discussing with my son, Ken, the free-for-alls taking place in town hall meetings around the country as angry people confront members of Congress over the Obama Administration’s current health care reform proposals. It isn’t all that surprising, he […]

Aug. 10, 2009: Sweet Tea Summit Covers ‘Go Fish’ And Georgia’s Water Wars

SWEET TEA SUMMIT COVERS ‘GO FISH’ AND GEORGIA’S WATER WARS I have just attended the Sweet Tea Summit. It was like President Obama’s recent Beer Summit except we didn’t have to endure Joe Biden and his motor mouth. Gov. Sonny Perdue’s communications chief Bert Brantley has enough problems on his plate that he didn’t need […]

Aug. 3, 2009: Georgia Democratic Congressman Not Sold On Current Health Care Reform Legislation

GEORGIA DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN NOT SOLD ON CURRENT HEALTH CARE REFORM LEGISLATION I called Democratic Congressman Jim Marshall who represents Georgia’s 8th Congressional District in Middle Georgia to check the status of health care reform currently lurching its way through Congress. I know what is being proposed. What I wanted to know was if this hydra-headed […]

Jul. 27, 2009: Maybe Obama And I Just Need To Calibrate Better

MAYBE OBAMA AND I JUST NEED TO CALIBRATE BETTER If comments made in this space have in any way angered, dismayed or caused dry heaves to anyone who has read them, it may be that I should have calibrated my words differently. I’ll guarantee Barack Obama knows what I’m talking about. If you were watching […]

Jul. 20, 2009: Zell Miller Is A Hard Dog To Keep Under The Porch

ZELL MILLER IS A HARD DOG TO KEEP UNDER THE PORCH This is my first column since my rotator cuff surgery and it hasn’t been easy getting the words to come out the way I intended them to. My left hand is slower than a Georgia Income Tax return and my right hand is totally […]

Jul. 13, 2009: Georgia Council On Economic Education Shows Our Kids Are Smarter Than Critics

GEORGIA COUNCIL ON ECONOMIC EDUCATION SHOWS OUR KIDS ARE SMARTER THAN CRITICS Okay, you Neal Boortz Kool-Aid drinkers (including those who wrote to defend your boy and couldn’t even spell his name correctly), I have a few questions for you: 1: If Andy can produce either 24 loaves of bread or eight pounds of butter […]

Jul. 6, 2009: Perdue’s Works Overshadowed By Insensitivity To Public Perceptions

PERDUE’S WORKS OVERSHADOWED BY INSENSITIVITY TO PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS There is a saying in politics that “perception is reality” and my perception of Gov. Sonny Perdue is that he hasn’t exactly shot the lights out in his two terms as Georgia’s chief executive. There are the publicity stunts too numerous – and too embarrassing – to […]

Jun. 29, 2009: Media Need To Remember That First Amendment Belongs To Us All

MEDIA NEED TO REMEMBER THAT FIRST AMENDMENT BELONGS TO US ALL Looking around for something appropriate to say as our nation celebrates its 223rd birthday, I happened to run across an old clipping in my files from Eugene Methvin, one of the finest journalists ever from the state of Georgia. Methvin is a local boy […]

Jun. 1, 2009: An Open Letter To Georgia’s Public School Teachers

AN OPEN LETTER TO GEORGIA’S PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS Congratulations on completing – no, make that “surviving” – another year in Georgia’s public schools. As some of you know, I have a son and a son-in-law who are high school science teachers. I don’t know why they – and you – do it. On second thought, […]

June 22, 2009: Random Thoughts On Bad Service, Good Water And Other Important Matters

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON BAD SERVICE, GOOD WATER AND OTHER IMPORTANT MATTERS A friend of mine, once a top official in state government, recently tried to get AT&T service to his farm in Middle Georgia. After talking to robots and not getting his calls returned by a human being, he decided he had no choice but […]

Jun. 15, 2009: Strike This Libertarian From ‘Humor-Deficient’ List

STRIKE THIS LIBERTARIAN FROM ‘HUMOR-DEFICIENT’ LIST Hard to believe, but some people actually get their knickers in a wad over observations that emanate from this space. After a careful analysis of critical comments (insert joke here), I have decided that the vast number of complainants suffer from a serious case of humor deficiency. This is […]

Jun. 8, 2009: Barnes Bid For Governor May Be Tougher Than Pundits Think

BARNES BID FOR GOVERNOR MAY BE TOUGHER THAN PUNDITS THINK Whoa! Whoa! Hold on a second. Yes, I know former Gov. Roy Barnes has announced he is running again in 2010 but before all the political pundits, pollsters and press give him the job, there is the little matter of getting elected first. It is […]

May 25, 2009: Sending Guantanamo Prisoners To Georgia Would Solve The Problem

SENDING GUANTANAMO PRISONERS TO GEORGIA WOULD SOLVE THE PROBLEM For once, I am going to have to (shudder) agree with the American Civil Liberties Union. They are busting their britches to have pictures released of some of the 240 detainees at Guantanamo being waterboarded by the CIA. That is a great idea. I believe most […]

May 18, 2009: Radio ‘Talkmaster’ Boortz Is Just That: All Talk

RADIO ‘TALKMASTER’ BOORTZ IS JUST THAT: ALL TALK This is the column I always wanted to write about the commencement speech that radio talk show yakker Neal Boortz always wanted to give. You remember Boortz, don’t you? He is the guy who loves to jump on “pitiful government schools.” Evidently, he has always wanted to […]

May 11, 2009: I Warned You: Dr. Gil Can Pray Up A Storm

I WARNED YOU: DR. GIL CAN PRAY UP A STORM My hair is wet. My socks are mildewed. My joints ache. There is a torrent of water running down the street, and more rain is on the way. Drought? What drought? I hate to say I told you so, but well — I told you […]

May 4, 2009: I Have Seen The Future, And I Like What I See

I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE, AND I LIKE WHAT I SEE After too long an absence, I finally returned to sacred ground at the University of Georgia. For all my babbling about my love for UGA, I have not felt welcomed there for several years. President Michael Adams seems to view me as just short […]

Apr. 27, 2009: Looking Back, Everybody Got What They Deserved From The Olympic Games

LOOKING BACK, EVERYBODY GOT WHAT THEY DESERVED FROM THE OLYMPIC GAMES I was at the Masters a few weeks ago and had to giggle. (Well, not giggle. I don’t think giggling is allowed at Augusta National. But I was smiling.) As I strolled amid the azaleas and pines and watched magnificent golf being played on […]

Apr. 20, 2009: I Wish Zell Miller Would Come Back And Straighten Things Out

I WISH ZELL MILLER WOULD COME BACK AND STRAIGHTEN THINGS OUT I miss the heck out of Zell Miller. I wish he would come back and straighten out the mess under the Gold Dome. And he could, too. His detractors — mostly liberal weenies, these days — go apoplectic at the mention of his name. […]

Apr. 13, 2009: Random Thoughts On Politics, People And Portraits

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON POLITICS, PEOPLE AND PORTRAITS Kudos to Joe Mulholland, district attorney for the South Georgia Circuit, which includes Bainbridge, Camilla, and Cairo. After reading my suggestion that state government rather than schoolteachers take a furlough, the DA told me, “Some of us in government have already taken your argument to heart.” Mulholland says […]

Apr. 6, 2009: If Women Ruled The World, How Would I Know The Difference?

IF WOMEN RULED THE WORLD, HOW WOULD I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE? I heard that former Clinton White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers was coming to Atlanta to keynote a conference with an eye-glazing title: “Possible Woman Conference: Power, Promise and Possibilities,” to take place April 21 at the Georgia World Congress Center. The proposed […]

Mar. 30, 2009: Could My Three Favorite Subjects Be Plotting Against Me?

COULD MY THREE FAVORITE SUBJECTS BE PLOTTING AGAINST ME? We are four months into the new year, and I have heard nary a public peep from President-for-Life Jimmy Carter, our Ambassador to Outer Space Cynthia McKinney or noted land baron Ted “Buffalo Boy” Turner. Churning out breathtaking prose week after week is hard enough without […]

Mar. 23, 2009: Let’s Furlough Legislators And Bureaucrats And Make Them Collect Back Taxes

LET’S FURLOUGH LEGISLATORS AND BUREAUCRATS AND MAKE THEM COLLECT BACK TAXES I have a way to cut the state’s $2 billion deficit significantly while keeping members of the General Assembly, the state’s constitutional officers and assorted bureaucrats busy doing something meaningful for a change. Impossible, you say? Hear me out. I must confess I was […]

Mar. 16, 2009: Ballot Box Most Effective Way To Deal With Legislative Tax Evaders

BALLOT BOX MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO DEAL WITH LEGISLATIVE TAX EVADERS I think I have just figured out a way to get the 22 legislative tax evaders out of the General Assembly and onto the streets where they might have to find real work and quit swilling from the public trough. Don’t re-elect the miscreants. […]

Mar. 9, 2009: Some Legislators Want To Spend Tax Dollars, Not Pay Them

SOME LEGISLATORS WANT TO SPEND TAX DOLLARS, NOT PAY THEM Let me say unequivocally that Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, and I are on the same page regarding the fact that the Georgia Department of Revenue says Williams and about 10 percent of his colleagues in the Georgia General Assembly are delinquent in paying their taxes. […]

Mar. 2, 2009: Dalton Area Frustrated With Politicians’ Lack Of Communications

DALTON AREA FRUSTRATED WITH POLITICIANS’ LACK OF COMMUNICATIONS With apologies to Cool Hand Luke, what we have here is a failure to communicate. The people of Dalton are sorer than a carbuncle at the perceived lack of interest by elected officials in their time of economic suffering. Metro Dalton, which includes Whitfield and Murray counties, […]

Feb. 26, 2009: Nationally Certified Teachers Deserve Better From State Government

NATIONALLY CERTIFIED TEACHERS DESERVE BETTER FROM STATE GOVERNMENT How would you like to work in a business with 236 CEOs telling you what to do, but with only a few having the foggiest notion what your job entails and no responsibility for what happens? In other words, how would you like to be a public […]

Feb. 23, 2009: Casey Cagle Talks About Downsizing, Education And Learning Curves

CASEY CAGLE TALKS ABOUT DOWNSIZING, EDUCATION AND LEARNING CURVES I stopped by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s office the other day to talk about what’s going on in the state these days. I found him refreshingly candid. Actually, I came to complain. State government is a columnist’s dream when you have the Speaker of the House […]

Feb. 8, 2009: Trying To Find Some Good News Isn’t Easy These Days

TRYING TO FIND SOME GOOD NEWS ISN’T EASY THESE DAYS As I was writing this column, the Woman Who Shares My Name wanted to ask two questions. First, would I please talk about positive things this week? “Surely,” she mused, “there has to be some good news you can share with readers instead of your […]

Feb. 1, 2009: There’s Nothing Fishy About New Infantry Museum And Soldier Center

THERE’S NOTHING FISHY ABOUT NEW INFANTRY MUSEUM AND SOLDIER CENTER Sometimes I don’t understand my beloved state of Georgia. How in good conscience can we spend $19 million on something like Go Fish Georgia, which Gov. Sonny Perdue thinks is the greatest thing to hit the state since James Oglethorpe’s two feet? We have a […]

Jan. 26, 2009: Note To Jimmy Carter: There Is A New Sheriff In Town, And He Has Your Number

NOTE TO JIMMY CARTER: THERE IS A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN, AND HE HAS YOUR NUMBER He may have done some things you like and some you don’t like in his first few weeks in office, but President Barack Obama has hit a home run in his appointment of former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell as […]

Jan. 19, 2009: Predictions For The Upcoming Year From Football To Oprah

PREDICTIONS FOR THE UPCOMING YEAR FROM FOOTBALL TO OPRAH I am a little late delivering my 2009 predictions to you, which must have put you in a dither. Reorganizing my sock drawer took longer than I thought. But, even though we are a few weeks into the new year, I offer my same money-back-if-not-satisfied guarantee. […]

Jan. 12, 2009: To My Grandsons: Live Your Life As Zack Lived His

To Nicholas Wansley; Brian and Thomas Yarbrough: This is my ninth year to dispense some grandfatherly advice to you at the beginning of a new year. Things have certainly changed since I began this correspondence. Not only have you gone from pre-teens to adults during that time, including one newly minted father among you. We […]

Jan. 5, 2009: State Transportation Department Conducts Funny Business

STATE TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT CONDUCTS FUNNY BUSINESS American humorist Will Rogers once said, “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” Could he have been talking about Georgia? No question that Department of Transportation Commissioner Gena Evans is a laugh a minute. Just for grins, can you top charges of sending […]

Dec. 29, 2008: Is Something Fishy At The State D.O.T.?

IS SOMETHING FISHY AT THE STATE D.O.T.? American humorist Will Rogers once said, “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” Could he have been talking about Georgia? No question that Department of Transportation Commissioner Gena Evans is a laugh a minute. Just for grins, can you top charges of sending via a government computer sexually […]

Dec. 22, 2008: Looking Back At 2008 Reminds Me How Lucky I Am

LOOKING BACK AT 2008 REMINDS ME HOW LUCKY I AM Don’t tell me it is almost 2009. Good grief! I haven’t finished getting ready for Y2K yet, and here we are already on the brink of a new decade. As has been my custom for many years, I plan to spend New Year’s Eve with […]

Dec. 15, 2008: Gov. Perdue Doesn’t Make Waves — Just Concrete Fishponds And Satisfied Elephants

GOV. PERDUE DOESN’T MAKE WAVES — JUST CONCRETE FISHPONDS AND SATISFIED ELEPHANTS It doesn’t take much to get me bragging about Georgia, if for no other reason than it irritates the hell out of loud-talking Yankees who move here and look down their noses at us even though you couldn’t get them to move back […]

Dec. 8, 2008: Saxby And Bubba Are Back. So Is Georgia Tech

SAXBY AND BUBBA ARE BACK. SO IS GEORGIA TECH I know you have been awaiting my observations on the recent political runoffs in Georgia. Sorry to be late, but I was afraid anything I said would encourage Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin to start running those abominable ads again. I would just as soon have […]

Dec. 1, 2008: Jimmy Carter Gets Left Holding The Bag

JIMMY CARTER GETS LEFT HOLDING THE BAG “Mr. President, I understand you wanted to see me? And why are you holding a garbage bag?” “Yes, I did. I need to get out of the country for a few weeks. Rosalynn is getting on my nerves. She’s always making me take out the garbage. I am […]

Nov. 24, 2008: To My Great-Grandson: I Am Glad You Are Here

TO MY GREAT-GRANDSON: I AM GLAD YOU ARE HERE Dear Cameron Charles Yarbrough: Welcome to the world! You are our first great-grandson, and you could not have come at a better time. Our family has experienced the loss of a life much too young and with too much potential, and our grief has at times […]

Nov. 17, 2008: Random Thoughts On Random Subjects

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON RANDOM SUBJECTS My feelings are hurt. An astute political observer named Larry wrote me, gloating over Barack Obama’s election and pointing out what a racist I am. He cited as proof the column in which I stated gasoline would rise to $6 a gallon before this country would elect a black man […]

Nov. 10, 2008: Ten Things You Need To Know About The Presidential Election

TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States of America. Here are 10 things you need to know about the election. 1. Obama won fair and square. More Americans voted for him than voted for Republican Sen. John […]

Nov. 3, 2008: Kudzu-Eating Goats Offer Great Potential For Georgia

KUDZU-EATING GOATS OFFER GREAT POTENTIAL FOR GEORGIA First, an explanation as to why I am not talking about the elections this week. It is called a deadline. This column runs in a number of major markets around the state, from Rocky Face to Rincon to Sugar Hill. To ensure that all my loyal readers are […]

Oct. 27, 2008: Being Governor Of Georgia Is Not Easy And That’s No Bull

BEING GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA IS NOT EASY AND THAT’S NO BULL Where in the world is George? I’m not talking about George W. I know where that George is. He has donned his flight suit and is preparing to jet to Wall Street where he will land in front of the empty Merrill Lynch building […]

Oct. 20, 2008: Vive La France! My New Best Friends!

VIVE LA FRANCE! MY NEW BEST FRIENDS! I haven’t cared much for the French since some weenie named Jean-Paul Monchau came to Atlanta a few years ago as France’s consul general. He’d barely unpacked his bags before he announced that he intended to have the state of Georgia declare a moratorium on capital punishment and […]

Oct. 13, 2008: Skeeter Skates Dispenses Some Much-Needed Advice

SKEETER SKATES DISPENSES SOME MUCH-NEEDED ADVICE Leave it to my friend and counselor, Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter’s Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Greater Metropolitan Pooler, to shake me out of my doldrums. “Hoss, glad to see you back in the paper,” he growled over the phone. “You are about the only one […]

Oct. 6, 2008: Back In The Saddle, But Still A Little Shaky

BACK IN THE SADDLE, BUT STILL A LITTLE SHAKY After the unexpected death of my beloved grandson Zack Wansley, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this anymore. Twitting inept politicians, know-it-all media, smug entertainers, greedy CEOs and the terminally humorless seemed absurdly irrelevant. Then I began to hear from friends and strangers telling me […]

Sep. 16, 2008: Ken Yarbrough Steps In

My name is Ken Yarbrough. I’m writing this week because my father, the wordsmith that you’ve come to expect in this space, is taking a sabbatical. You see, his oldest grandson died recently, and as you might expect, he’s taking it hard. Please forgive me for presuming that I can capably fill in for him, […]

Sep. 2, 2008: Exclusive: Political Pros Ponder Palin Pick

EXCLUSIVE: POLITICAL PROS PONDER PALIN PICK Want to know how Democratic strategists reacted to John McCain’s selection of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate? Let’s listen in and hear for ourselves: “Okay, folks, let’s get the meeting underway. We have a lot of issues to cover and Sen. Obama is anxious to […]

Aug. 25, 2008: If It Is The ‘New’ AT&T, It Must Be Tuesday

IF IT IS THE ‘NEW’ AT&T, IT MUST BE TUESDAY When my alma mater, BellSouth, was absorbed by Southwestern Bell, aka the “new” AT&T in 2006, then-BellSouth CEO F. Duane Ackerman said, “Technology changes and convergence are shaping a new competitive dynamic and creating tremendous opportunity.” Even my friend, the omniscient Skeeter Skates, owner of […]

Aug. 18, 2008: Trip To Scotland Reminds Me Why I Should Eat My Broccoli

TRIP TO SCOTLAND REMINDS ME WHY I SHOULD EAT MY BROCCOLI I have just returned from taking grandson Nicholas Wansley to Scotland with his grandma to visit the land of her ancestors. I would have taken him to visit my ancestors except I don’t have any idea where they are. The first thing we heard […]

Aug. 11, 2008: The Amazing Skeeter Skates Tells It Like It Is

THE AMAZING SKEETER SKATES TELLS IT LIKE IT IS It never fails. Just let me say one nice thing about the Great State of Georgia and I get letters from people who (a) live in the state, but (b) are originally from a state north of the Mason-Dixon Line that (c) they think is better […]

Aug. 4, 2008: Georgia Native A Key Player In Ford’s Turn-Around Efforts

GEORGIA NATIVE A KEY PLAYER IN FORD’S TURN-AROUND EFFORTS Benny Fowler represents everything that is good about this country, so it is not surprising that American-headquartered Ford Motor Company has him in a key position to help the company in its turn-around efforts. Fowler is group vice president for global quality at Ford Motor Company […]

Jul. 28, 2008: Ten Years Of Making Folks Laugh And Cry Or Rant And Sputter

TEN YEARS OF MAKING FOLKS LAUGH AND CRY OR RANT AND SPUTTER It was 10 years ago this month that the Atlanta Business Chronicle asked me to write a column giving my view of Atlanta two years after the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. I had been the managing director of communications and government relations for […]

Jul. 21, 2008: Georgia At The Epicenter Of The Political World

GEORGIA AT THE EPICENTER OF THE POLITICAL WORLD Are we Georgians a privileged group or what? Here we sit in the greatest state in the union with its majestic mountains; beautiful beaches; the oldest state-chartered university in the nation located in Athens, the Classic City of the South; sweet Vidalia onions and more barbecue than […]

Jul. 14, 2008: Random Thoughts On Random Subjects

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON RANDOM SUBJECT No good deed goes unpunished. Recently I mentioned that Sen. Saxby Chambliss wanted to hear from you regarding your thoughts on the current energy crisis. A lot of you wrote him, and many of you sent me a copy. I found your letters a lot more thoughtful than the reply […]

Jul. 7, 2008: A Salute To Two Good Men

A SALUTE TO TWO GOOD MEN This is a story of two good men. Separated in age by several decades and in geography by several thousand miles, but with much in common: Successful careers, devoted family men, veterans, athletes, men of high character. Both with a love for the University of Georgia. Both my friends. […]

Jun. 30, 2008: There Are Some Questions Even This Columnist Can’t Answer

THERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS EVEN THIS COLUMNIST CAN’T ANSWER You’d better sit down for this one. I must confess that I, your modest and much-beloved columnist, don’t have all the answers. (I can hear the gasps from Adel to Zebulon.) True, I have most of the answers, but occasionally something just doesn’t compute. This is […]

Jun. 23, 2008: Your Troops Need To Believe We Are Worth The Effort

YOUR TROOPS NEED TO BELIEVE WE ARE WORTH THE EFFORT I will have more to say on the subject in a few weeks, but your response to my request for supplies for Marine Lt. Frank Wilson and his Light Armored Reconnaissance unit in Afghanistan has been nothing short of spectacular. I talked recently to Lt. […]

Jun. 16, 2008: Bill Curry Scores One For The Geriatric Gang

BILL CURRY SCORES ONE FOR THE GERIATRIC GANG Hooray for Bill Curry! He is the new football coach of the Georgia State University Panthers. Yes, I know he is a Georgia Tech man, but that is beside the point. The point is that at the ripe young age of 65 Curry is about to jump-start […]

June. 2, 2008: The Killer B’s Of Georgia Politics: Barr, Bubba, Barnes And Bowers

THE KILLER B’S OF GEORGIA POLITICS: BARR, BUBBA, BARNES AND BOWERS When roaming the political jungles of Georgia, beware of the Killer B’s: Barr (Bob) is running for president; Bubba (aka Lauren McDonald) is running for the Georgia Public Service Commission; Barnes (former Democratic Gov. Roy) is being encouraged to run for anything, as is […]

May 26, 2008: Jekyll Island Authority Says Revitalization Plans Still A Work in Progress

JEKYLL ISLAND AUTHORITY SAYS REVITALIZATION PLANS STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS Since I had talked recently to David Egan — whose group, the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island, has great concerns about the island’s proposed revitalization — I thought it only fair to see what the Jekyll Island Authority has to say. (Besides, it affords […]

May 19, 2008: An Evening With The Real Forrest Gump And Other Heroes

AN EVENING WITH THE REAL FORREST GUMP AND OTHER HEROES I have met the real Forrest Gump. Not the ninny sitting on a Savannah park bench, prattling about a box of chocolates. His name is Sammy L. Davis and he is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, this nation’s highest award for military heroism. […]

May 12, 2008: Baseball Trip with Grandson Was a Home Run

BASEBALL TRIP WITH GRANDSON WAS A HOMERUN There are no two ways about it: Being a grandfather is better than a plateful of hot buttered biscuits. Nothing compares to it. Nothing comes close. After deciding that President Peanut would be home long enough to wash his socks before taking off for Timbuktu to mediate a […]

May 5, 2008: Do A Good Deed For Our Troops In Afghanistan

DO A GOOD DEED FOR OUR TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN Okay, listen up. I have a job for you. Actually, it’s not a job. It’s a good deed. Lt. Frank Wilson, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, is deployed in Afghanistan, helping root out the Taliban bad guys. He and his unit are out in […]

Apr. 28, 2008: Jekyll Grassroots Group A Formidable Factor In Redevelopment Plans

JEKYLL GRASSROOTS GROUP A FORMIDABLE FACTOR IN REDEVELOPMENT PLANS I learned the hard way in my corporate life never to underestimate the power of grassroots organizations. They are always the last to blink in a fight. I have the scars to prove it. One such group is the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island, which claims […]

Apr. 21, 2008: Jimmy Carter Has No Right To Undermine Our Nation’s Foreign Policy

JIMMY CARTER HAS NO RIGHT TO UNDERMINE OUR NATION’S FOREIGN POLICY What are we going to do with Jimmy Carter? The man has gone from being a joke to someone who is suddenly very unfunny. Some folks I know think he is senile. Others believe he is bitter about his failed presidency and is trying […]