01/27/2023

December 25, 2022: Junior E. Lee Takes A Look at Y2KXXIII

The New Year is upon us. 2023.  It seems like only yesterday that we were up at midnight on New Year’s Eve, 1999, wringing our hands at what catastrophes might await us at the beginning of Y2K – the year 2000. It was thought there was a problem in the coding of computerized systems that […]

December 18, 2022: A Tribute to The Beloved Woman Who Shared My Name

Two years this week, I told you a final goodbye. In some respects, you were not the woman I knew and loved that left me. The highly organized mind contained within an extremely kind and giving person had been drained of its memory and there were debilitating health issues those last couple of years. But […]

December 11, 2022: Herschel Walker and Advisors Fumbled Senate Campaign

One of the givens in occupying this space weekly is that when I talk about politics, which I do on occasion, anything I opine will be construed negatively by one side or the other. It is difficult for some to comprehend that I might be in the middle of the political road, unlike many (or […]

December 4, 2022: Making An Exception For An Exceptional Story

As a matter of policy, I don’t do book reviews and I get a lot of requests. If you do one, you are pretty much committed to doing them all. If fairness, where do you draw the line? However, today I am going to make an exception because the author is exceptional as is the […]

November 27, 2022: Can Our Democracy Outlast Us?

This is kind of a bummer way to start your day but it is worth reflection: “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” Who said that? Karl Marx? Ayatollah Khomeini? Vladimir Putin? Wrong, wrong and wrong. It was John […]

November 20, 2022: Column Produces An Extraordinary Reunion

It is one of the most rewarding experiences in my 25 years of churning out columns. And it was a total accident. A happy accident. You may recall that back in July I asked my friend, Hans Trupp in Brunswick his take on the recently-released Top Gun Maverick. He was a Top Gun during the […]

November 13, 2022: Brian Kemp’s Political Death Greatly Exaggerated

Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord in Deuteronomy 32:35. Brian Kemp is too nice a guy to say something like that publicly, plus he has been a bit too busy recently to be poking around in Deuteronomy. So I will say it for him. Vengeance is his. Kemp defeated Democrat and national media darling Stacey […]

November 6, 2022: Remembering The Extraordinary Kindnesses Of Vince Dooley

There is no need for a recitation here of Vince Dooley’s myriad and well-deserved accomplishments on and off the football field. You have seen and heard them numerous times since his passing on October 28th at the age of 90. However, there is a side to this great man you might not know about. His […]

October 23, 2022: Some Random Thoughts On Some Random Subjects

If you had the opportunity to speak with a typical Russian family about how the current war with Ukraine has impacted their lives, what would you want to ask them? I may very well have that opportunity in the near future with a family that lives near the Ukrainian border. If you would like to […]

October 16, 2022: Remembering A Group Of Heroes In Iraq

It seems like a lifetime ago and in some ways it was. It has been 17 years this week since I was in Iraq with the men and women of Georgia’s 48th Brigade Combat Team. Even today, it is an experience seared in my brain. How I ended up there was due to my friend, […]

October 9, 2022: No Nobel Prize For Literature Again This Year A Bummer

I just learned that I have been passed over for the Nobel Prize for Literature once again. Bummer. And that crowd over in Stockholm didn’t even have the courtesy to pick up the phone and call me with the bad news. I had to read about it in the paper. A person of my literary […]

October 2, 2022: Fixin’ To Try And Explain Southern Talk, Y’all

I have met a number of folks recently who migrated from across the Mason-You-Know-What-Line and have settled in the Great State of Georgia. We enjoy each other’s company but there is a bit of a language barrier. We all speak the same one –  English – but we speak it differently. They talk fast and […]

September 25, 2022: Some Reflections on National Newspaper Week

SOME REFLECTIONS ON NATIONAL NEWSPAPER WEEK I recall a BellSouth officers conference years ago where we spent several days wrestling with the problems we were facing in the marketplace. At one point, one of my colleagues said with exasperation, “This is a tough business!” to which our CEO John Clendenin shot back, “Name me one […]

September 18, 2022: Republican Governors Want Sanctuary Cities to Walk Their Talk

¡Hola elitistas amantes de los liberales! Nosotros estamos aquí ¿Qué hay para el almuerzo? For those of you around for whom English is still your primary language, the above roughly translates to: “Hello, liberal-loving elitists. Here we are. What’s for lunch?” It seems cities like New York, Chicago, Washington, D. C., and other Democratic bastions […]

September 11: What Would Life Be Without A Cheeseburger?

I suggest you read this in a hurry because I am writing it in a hurry and hoping you and I can get to the finish at the same time before one of us kicks the bucket. It seems life is short and getting shorter. I recently read a piece in the New York Times […]

September 4, 2022: Erk Russell Belongs in The College Football Hall of Fame

Erk Russell should be in the College Football Hall of Fame. Period. End of story. But since I still have quite a bit of space to fill here, let me tell you why he should be and why he is not. For those of you recently arrived in our fair state, Erskine “Erk” Russell was […]

August 28, 2022: The Answer to School Violence Begins At Home

The new three R’s of School Days: Rancor. Rants. Retaliation. And forget the hickory stick. We’re not singing that tune anymore. In Clayton County alone, the school system reports that fights are up some 200% over the same period last year and we are only one month into the new school year. The district had […]

August 21, 2022: What This Angry World Needs Is More Hope

My friend, Norm Solon, was a journalist and speech writer for some of the major companies and trade associations in the country. Now retired, he recently shared with me some of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities he experienced in his long and distinguished career. For starters, how being at the launch of Apollo 11 in July 1969, […]

August 14, 2022: What Would Will Rogers Think Of Today’s Republicans?

American humorist Will Rogers once observed, “I’m not a member of any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.”  There is no question that if ol’ Will was around today, he would probably be a Republican. The Grand Old Party gives new meaning to the term disorganized. For example, former University of Georgia football legend Herschel […]

August 7, 2022: Some Random Thoughts On Some Random Subjects

Fourteenth Century Italian writer Dante Alighieri in his “Divine Comedy” describes Hell as a place for those who have perverted “their human intellect to fraud or malice against their fellowmen.”  He could have been describing Alex Jones and his Infowars followers. For the past decade, this incorrigible blowhard has claimed the massacre in which twenty […]

July 31, 2022: An Open Letter To Georgia’s Public Schoolteachers

DEAR TEACHERS: Let me begin my annual message to you as I am going to end it: Thank you. Thank you for your willingness to go back into the classroom once again this year in spite of every roadblock imaginable. A lot of your colleagues have thrown in the towel and decided that the teaching […]

July 24, 2022: Sharing Some Olympic-Sized Memories Of 1996 Centennial Games

It is hard to believe it has been 26 years this week since the Centennial Olympic Games were in Atlanta. They began on July 19, 1996, and wound up August 4th. To refer to them as Atlanta’s Games is not entirely accurate. Competitions were held throughout the state, from Athens to Gainesville to Savannah and […]

July 17, 2022: Junior E. Lee Talks Politics and Cow Ticks

Well, this is interesting. Donald Trump and Joe Biden have something in common besides being a couple of old white guys. According to a New York Times/Siena College poll, a little less than half of the Republicans polled want Trump as their first choice in the 2024 primary should he make a run to retake […]

July 10, 2022: A Real Top Gun Talks About The Top Gun Movie And More

I may be one of the few people on the planet that has not seen “Top Gun Maverick.”  As of this writing the film, starring Tom Cruise and a sequel to the 1986 hit, “Top Gun,” has grossed over $1 billion at the box office and shows no signs of landing anytime soon. Someone who […]

July 3, 2022: Donald Trump And The Ghost Of Elections Past

Zzzzzzzzzzz! Snort! Snort! Smack! Zzzzzzzzzzz! “Donald. Donald. Please wake up, Donald! I need to talk to you!” “Snort! Umpff! What? Hey, who are you and how did you get into Mar-a-Largo? As a matter of fact, how did you get in my bedroom, you pervert? I’m calling Secret Service. They will have your fanny tossed […]

June 26, 2022: Talking Politics With The RYO Morning Coffee Club

You can tell from the way the telephone rings who is on the other end of line. It is Skeeter Skates. When Skeeter calls, the phone doesn’t just ring. It jumps off the hook. He has that kind of effect on phones and people, too. For those of you who may be new to this […]

June 19, 2022: Is Our Democracy In Danger Of Eroding Away?

We all know the story of how to boil a frog to death (Frog lovers: I’m not suggesting you do so, I’m just trying to make a point here.)  The premise is that if you suddenly plopped a frog into boiling water, it would jump out. But if the frog is put in lukewarm water […]

June 12, 2022: Now That Primaries Are Over, What Will “RITOO” Republicans Do?

Okay, RITOOs (Republicans in Trump’s Orbit Only), what’s next? Planning on sitting out November’s general election in a funk so that Democrats can elect Stacey Abrams governor and give Georgia four or perhaps eight years of left-leaning policies? If so, you will deserve every bill passed, every act ratified, every liberal gubernatorial appointment made to […]

June 5, 2022: Paying Tribute to Betty Foy Sanders and a Life Well-Lived

She was Georgia’s Grand Dame. Our state’s First Lady. A prolific artist. A philanthropist and my muse. She was Betty Foy Sanders, who died on May 29th at the age of 95 after a life well-lived. I first came to her attention for my unabashed admiration for her husband, former Gov. Carl Sanders. It was […]

May 29, 2022: Some Thoughts On A Day That Will Live In Infamy

What a day it was. Tuesday, May 24. A day that will live in infamy. While we were deciding the candidates that will face off in the November general election in Georgia, a crazed gunman walked into an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and killed 19 children and 2 teachers before being killed himself. Nineteen […]

May 22, 2022: Honoring A Beloved Wife And Mother With A Gift That Will Keep On Giving

It is the gift that will keep on giving. And it could not be more rewarding. This past month, my family and I established the Jane J. Yarbrough Endowed Nursing Scholarship in the WellStar  School of Nursing at Kennesaw State University. The scholarship will be awarded to non-traditional students who have already earned a bachelor’s […]

May 15, 2022: Who Needs To Live Forever To Be Immortal?

This is not a piece I was dying to write. It’s about death. The great equalizer. The reason I bring up the subject today is that I read a piece recently that scientists are looking seriously at ways to keep us alive forever. No more wakes. No more inflated obituaries. No more people saying nice […]

April 17, 2022: David Perdue’s Shot At Georgia State Patrol Can’t Be Explained

Back in 1984 as Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale was preparing to lose bigtime to incumbent president Ronald Reagan, he said something he shouldn’t have said and then tried to clarify his remarks. I recall the late Peter Jennings of ABC discussing Mondale’s slip of the tongue with political pundit George Will. In Jennings’ opinion, […]

April 10, 2022: Two Great Minds Assess Impact of Bad Parenting On Schools

Great minds run in pairs. I read an interesting opinion piece in the Atlanta newspapers recently about parenting. The author, Beth Collums, has a master’s degree in clinical psychology and experience as a child and family therapist. She is also a parent. Collums states something we all know but tend to forget: Children are impressionable. […]

April 3, 2022: Vidalia Onions Are A Sweet Deal For Georgia

Well, I am going to have to do it again. Upset some people, I mean. But I can’t help it. It has to be done. I must once again extols the virtues of the Great State of Georgia and why it is Number One while the other 49 fight for sloppy seconds. Last time I […]

March 27, 2022: Russians Share Their Thoughts On Ukraine Invasion

Linden Longino is a retired Atlanta banker who should have Nobel Peace Prize recipient next to his name. In 1995, Longino started a program in connection with the Carter Center called International Paint Pals, an idea simple, ingenious and oh-so needed – inspire children to promote peace, friendship and human rights by creating personal artwork. […]

March 20, 2022: Giving Readers An Opportunity To Weigh In On Some Weighty Issues

Between the pandemic and Putin, it has been a stressful couple of weeks. Thankfully, my readers have come to the rescue. I don’t want to get into a debate with my columnist colleagues but there is no question that my readers are smarter than anybody I’ve ever seen on Jeopardy and sharper than a chainsaw. […]

March 13, 2022: If Georgia Is Such A Bad Place To Live, Why Is Everybody Moving Here?

You may be interested to know that you reside in a dumper of a place called Georgia. That revelation comes courtesy of TOP Data, a market research company with offices all over the world including Atlanta, the capital city of what they consider to be the 35th worst state in the nation in which to […]

March 6, 2022: State Of This Column Can’t Be Overstated

My fellow Georgians: (Yea! Clap! Clap! Clap!)  I come before you today to submit to you my annual State of the Column address. It is with great pride that I tell you that the state of the state of this column is in such a state that it cannot be overstated! (Thunderous roar!) This past […]

February 27, 2022: Ukraine Invasion Raises Questions About Democracy

I am going to break two rules today. First, I am going to leave the friendly confines of Georgia and comment on world events. Second, I am going to talk about world events that may have changed drastically by the time you read this. That is because this column runs around the state in different […]

February 20, 2022: George E. Perdue is Back in Town and Ready To Roll

He’s b-a-a-c-k. I’m talking about George. George, as in former Gov. George E. Perdue. He is back from his stint in Washington as Secretary of Agriculture in the Trump Administration and it is a foregone conclusion that the Georgia Board of Regents will officially appoint him Chancellor of the University System of Georgia. The Regents […]

February 13, 2022: Marjorie Taylor Greene Exposes Chilling Tale Of The Gazpacho Police

As if things couldn’t get worse in Washington, it turns out that U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is spying on members of Congress with police disguised as bowls of cold Spanish soup. That chilling news comes from none other than Georgia  Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene. In an interview on One America News, Greene referred to […]

February 6, 2022: Some Random Thoughts on Some Random Subjects

February is Black History Month. I wonder if there will be any recognition of the accomplishments of Condoleezza Rice, the first Black female secretary of state and the first woman to serve as National Security Advisor, or U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, of Pin Point, Georgia, or renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson, former secretary […]

January 30, 2022: On and Off The Field, The University Of Georgia Is A Winner

As exciting and satisfying as it has been, there is more to the University of Georgia than a College Football National Championship. Way more. I was reminded of that fact when I read UGA president Jere Morehead’s annual State of the University address this week. Take nothing away from that extraordinary achievement on the gridiron […]

January 23, 2022: Former Congressman Says Trump Should Support Not Attack Other Republicans

I can think of no stronger and more reputable conservative voice than that of former U.S. Cong. Bob Barr, who represented Georgia’s 7th congressional district from 1995 to 2003.  Barr was one of the leaders of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and authored the Defense of Marriage Act which defined marriage as the union […]

January 16, 2022: Georgia’s Pandemic Test Scores A No-Brainer

I received an email from a group called Cherry Digital in Portland, Oregon, or what remains of the town after being firebombed to near obliteration by denizens of the Looney Left. They tell me that Georgia adults (that includes you and me, although some readers would dispute my inclusion) are ranked 16th in the nation […]

January 9, 2022: Some Advice To A Great Grandson For The Coming Year

Dear Cameron Charles Yarbrough: It is a new year and once again an opportunity for me to share some thoughts with you as you face a future that is going to be full of challenges. But, then, all futures are challenging because they are filled with unknowns. What counts is how you deal with those […]