A rac­ing mind rarely catches it­self

The Covington News - - Opinion -

Let’s hold off on dis­sect­ing the gen­eral elec­tions un­til the po­lit­i­cal pun­dits have had their say. They don’t know any more than you and I do (af­ter all, we are the vot­ers), but they think they do and telling them oth­er­wise might of­fend them. Po­lit­i­cal pun­dits can be very sen­si­tive.

O n e thing for sure: All the can­di­dates for statewide of­fice will agree that Ge­or­gia is one big honkin’ state. From Dal­ton in the north­west to Brunswick in the south­east is ap­prox­i­mately 360 miles. By con­trast, Washington, D.C. to New York City is 200 miles. Still, I would pre­fer the longer mileage and be able to stay in this great state than go where peo­ple talk too loud and think kudzu is a Ja­panese mar­tial art.

The Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Is­lamic Re­la­tions, a self-de­scribed Mus­lim civil lib­er­ties or­ga­ni­za­tion (Now that’s an oxy­moron wait­ing to hap­pen), got their burqas in a wad when Na­tional Pub­lic Ra­dio an­a­lyst Juan Wil­liams said on Fox Broad­cast­ing’s “Bill O’Reilly Show” that he gets “ner­vous” when he gets on an air­plane and sees Mus­lims. Mus­lims would be the first to tell you that most of the bomb­ings and threats of bomb­ings we have ex­pe­ri­enced in the U.S. over the past decade have been the work of New Age Nor­we­gian veg­e­tar­i­ans.

By the way, I’m not sure why it is nec­es­sary that the fed­eral govern­ment give money to the left-lean­ing NPR. The feds don’t give me money to write this col­umn and I am a lot more in­ter­est­ing and much less con­de­scend­ing than any­body on Pub­lic Broad­cast­ing, with the pos­si­ble ex­cep­tion of the Cookie Mon­ster.

I pre­dict that anti-il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion ac­tivists are this year’s ver­sion of state flag­gers. Re­mem­ber the flag­gers? They were feel­ing their oats when Ge­orge E. Per­due un­seated in­cum­bent Gov. Roy Barnes in 2002. Flag­gers took am­ple credit for Barnes’ de­feat. Per­due then blind­sided them and changed the state flag again. The flag­gers flopped be­cause they never de­vel­oped broad pub­lic sup­port for their cause. It is go­ing to be the same with the il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion crowd. While they have the sup­port of much of the me­dia, the ACLU, na­tional Democrats and as­sorted lib­eral wee­nie groups, they don’t have the sup­port of the gen­eral pub­lic. Look for the Ge­or­gia Leg­is­la­ture to lay them low in 2011.

If you don’t like pub­lic schools, more power to you. It is a free coun­try. But please don’t rant to me about “teach­ers unions.” There is no such thing in Ge­or­gia. The Ge­or­gia As­so­ci­a­tion of Ed­u­ca­tors is an af­fil­i­ate of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ed­u­ca­tors but they have no power as a union in our state. They can­not ne­go­ti­ate wages, work­place is­sues or any­thing else. In fact, the GAE, the Pro­fes­sional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ed­u­ca­tors (PAGE) and the al­pha­bet soup of other ed­u­ca­tion or­ga­ni­za­tions have lit­tle in­flu­ence with the Leg­is­la­ture. The ar­ray of spe­cial in­ter­est groups don’t al­ways speak with one voice when ad­vo­cat­ing for pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion. Leg­is­la­tors know that and act ac­cord­ingly.

I have dis­cov­ered a law firm in sub­ur­ban At­lanta named Slappey and Sadd. Their web­site says they han­dle wrong­ful death and per­sonal in­jury cases. I’m sure they are good at what they do but I won­der if they are ever mis­taken for two of the Seven Dwarfs. (“I’m sorry but Slappey and Sadd are not in. Would you like to talk to Dopey or Doc?”).

Fi­nally: A few months back I told you about the Three Wise Men who have been a ma­jor in­flu­ence in my life: Me­dia mogul John Ja­cobs, of Gainesville; my col­lege pro­fes­sor Dr. Ray­mond Cook, of Val­dosta; and real es­tate maven Roy Hod­nett, of St. Si­mons Is­land. Two are in their 90s and one is a cou­ple of birth­day can­dles away from that mile­stone. Hap­pily, all three are still rockin’ and rollin’. Ja­cobs and his wife, Martha, have been named Phi­lan­thropists of the Year by the North Ge­or­gia Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion. Dr. Cook was present re­cently when I spoke in Val­dosta and had the op­por­tu­nity to tell those as­sem­bled how he in­spired me to stay in school when I was ready to drop out. Hod­nett just cel­e­brated his 90th birth­day with his fam­ily and is still deeply in­volved in the day-to-day op­er­a­tions of his thriv­ing busi­ness. These guys aren’t get­ting older. They are get­ting bet­ter!

Reach Dick Yar­brough at yarb2400@bell­south. net or P.O. Box 725373, At­lanta, GA 31139.

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