Ran­dom thoughts on ran­dom sub­jects like education, pol­i­tics and law en­force­ment

Walker County Messenger - - Front Page - Dick Yar­brough Philoso­pher & pun­dit

Oh, barf. The Ge­or­gia Cen­ter for Op­por­tu­nity — what­ever that is — has come out with a re­port card, giv­ing As and A-pluses to cut-and-run leg­is­la­tors who want to pro­mote pri­vate school schol­ar­ships with pub­lic money rather than deal with the so­ci­etal prob­lems our schools face. What makes their re­port card about as cred­i­ble as a singing frog is they give the highly-re­spected chair­man of the state Se­nate Education Com­mit­tee, Lind­sey Tip­pins, R-Cobb County, a fail­ing grade be­cause he op­poses the cocka­mamie scheme. Sen. Tip­pins, who served 12 years on the Cobb County Board of Education and as its chair­man for three years, knows more and cares more about pub­lic education and those in the trenches than all the op­por­tunis­tic cut-and-run­ners and their Kool-Aid drink­ing friends com­bined. Give the Ge­or­gia Cen­ter for Op­por­tu­nity an “F” for flum­mery. …

Eight-and-a-half-year-old Cameron Charles Yar­brough, great­grand­son ex­traor­di­naire, was in Wash­ing­ton re­cently and dropped in on our se­nior U.S. se­na­tor, Johnny Isak­son, who ac­corded him more time than the se­na­tor could prob­a­bly af­ford. It was a grand and much-ap­pre­ci­ated ges­ture, given that Sen. Isak­son is in the process of re­cov­er­ing from back surgery and was in the midst of steer­ing through the Congress a bi­par­ti­san piece of leg­is­la­tion fo­cused on long-needed ac­count­abil­ity in the Vet­er­ans Af­fairs De­part­ment. Johnny Isak­son gives pol­i­tics a good name. ...

Speak­ing of pol­i­tics, vot­ers in Ge­or­gia’s 6th Con­gres­sional District have elected Repub­li­can Karen Han­del to fill out the re­main­der of former Con­gress­man Tom Price’s term. Price was ap­pointed Sec­re­tary of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices in the Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion. Her op­po­nent, Demo­crat Jon Os­soff, re­port­edly spent $30 mil­lion and still lost. Give me $30 mil­lion and I could get a turnip elected pope. …

As a mem­ber of the State Board of Ju­ve­nile Jus­tice, I have come to know and ap­pre­ci­ate the in­ner work­ings of law en­force­ment, thanks to my col­leagues on the board who rep­re­sent all facets of the pro­fes­sion. For ex­am­ple, the pub­lic doesn’t hear much about the un­sung and of­ten un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers, whose job it is to guard in­mates. As re­cent events in Put­nam County sadly proved, it is dan­ger­ous work. Two in­mates some­how freed them­selves of their shack­les and shot and killed two cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers, who were driv­ing a trans­port bus in Put­nam County. They were later cap­tured in Ten­nessee af­ter an in­ten­sive man­hunt. This leaves the world with these two lowlifes and the loss of two ded­i­cated pub­lic ser­vants who were just do­ing their job. Sad. Sad. … Con­trast that tragedy with Polk County, where six in­mates helped save the life of a deputy who had passed out from the heat and hu­mid­ity dur­ing an out­side work de­tail. The in­mates opened the of­fi­cer’s shirt and re­moved his bul­let­proof vest so they could per­form CPR and also used his phone to call 911. Polk County Sher­iff Johnny Moats re­warded the group by re­duc­ing each man’s sen­tence by 25 per­cent. Good things hap­pen to those who do good deeds. The events in Put­nam County and Polk County are in­escapable proof that in law en­force­ment you never know what is go­ing to hap­pen from one minute to the next. Thank­fully, there are brave souls will­ing to do it. …

While I will cer­tainly take time to cel­e­brate the 241st birth­day of the great­est na­tion on Earth next week, I will also be pre­par­ing for another sig­nif­i­cant ob­ser­vance. Thurs­day, July 20, is Moon Day, when we look into the vast outer reaches of our cos­mos and pay homage to our Am­bas­sador to Outer Space Cyn­thia McKin­ney, a cer­ti­fied moon­beam. McKin­ney is a former Ge­or­gia con­gress­woman and Pales­tinian gun­run­ner whose only claims to fame are bad-mouthing her coun­try and wet-kiss­ing on na­tional tele­vi­sion what­ever poor pres­i­dent hap­pened to be com­ing down the aisle to de­liver the an­nual State of the Union speech. Say what you will about the am­bas­sador, but I think she is out of this world. …

Fi­nally, I be­gin my 19th year as your mod­est and much-beloved colum­nist. Had I known it was go­ing to turn out like this, I would have paid more at­ten­tion when we cov­ered punc­tu­a­tion in my high school English class. Af­ter a long ca­reer as a cor­po­rate suit, I was asked to write one col­umn, one time for one pa­per in 1998. Some 2,000 col­umns later, I now reach more than a half-mil­lion house­holds across the state each week. But only one mat­ters: Yours. You and I are a team.

You can reach Dick Yar­brough at yarb2400@bell­south.net; at P.O. Box 725373, At­lanta, Ge­or­gia 31139; on­line at dick­yarbrough.com or on Face­book at www.face­book. com/dick­yarb.

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