Some random thoughts on some random subjects


Sen. Brandon Beach, R, Alpharetta, has introduced Senate Bill 7, known as the “3G” bill or the “Gangs, Guns, Gone” bill. It would impose a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence for anyone who uses a gun while committing or attempting to commit a violent felony, whether the weapon was discharged or not. The 10 years would precede whatever other sentence might be imposed by the courts. Sen. Beach said the idea for “Gangs, Gun, gone” concept was inspired by longtime, no-nonsense Fulton County Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall who takes a dim view of gangs with guns and wants them gone. . ..

I wonder how the boobirds feel now. You will recall that Gov. Brian Kemp was jeered at the state GOP convention on Jekyll Island a couple of years ago by delegates who felt he didn’t do enough to help Donald Trump win an election they thought (and probably still do) he should have won. Fast forward to today. A poll conducted by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs for the Atlanta newspapers, shows the governor’s approval rating at a record high and that most Georgians say the state is on the right track. He is also positioning Georgia as the primary location for the electric vehicle industry. Since 2018, 35 EV-related projects have brought $23 billion in investments across the state. Since Republicans sometimes have problems figuring out who is the enemy (Hint: The Democrats?), maybe the boobirds can boo each other. . ..

He wouldn’t remember me, but I met future Georgia Speaker of the House Jon Burns a few years back when I spoke at the annual meeting of the Effingham Chamber of Commerce. A very nice guy. I wish him well in his new role. . ..

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has rejected a contract offer that would have guaranteed him $133 million to re-sign with the team. This, for putting a plastic bucket on his head and heaving an oblong sphere to a bunch of other overpaid plastic bucket wearers. In contrast, Georgia public schoolteachers would make roughly 11 percent of that total if they spent 30 years in the profession. It tells you a lot about our value system, doesn’t it? . . ..

Speaking of our schoolteachers, the governor and legislators’ risk serious tendinitis patting themselves on the back for the promise to add $2,000 to teacher pay this session. With a couple of schoolteachers in my family, I know they will appreciate the additional compensation. However, I think what all teachers would appreciate more is some respect for what they do and the circumstances under which they do it. . ..

Raising teacher pay doesn’t seem to have deterred state Rep. John Carson, R-Marietta, from continuing his assault on public schools and those that teach within. He is proposing that tuition subsidies for private K-12 schools be increased from the current $120 million to $200 million next year. This allows the affluent among us to send their kids to private schools – which they could do anyway – and get a like amount credited against their tax bill. What is this guy’s problem with public schools, anyway? Did he fail recess? . . ..

A suggestion to Gov, Kemp. You were instrumental in getting the Board of Regents to do the right thing and name the field at Sanford Stadium for Vince Dooley, which should have been done a long time ago. Thankfully, he lived to see it accomplished, thanks to you. Now, suggest (wink! wink!) that the logo be placed on the field as is done in many other named stadiums across the country. If not, why not? . . . .

Finally, a point of personal privilege. I am proud to be associated with the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia and enthusiastically support it with my time and tithes. That’s because the place is chock-full of outstanding academics and professionals and brighter-than-a-new-penny students. But somebody behind the scenes has to make things run smoothly and deal with all the paperwork. That person was Donna LeBlond who retired last week after 30 years as an administrative associate in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations at Grady. She was my go-to person at Grady. I will miss her and her perennially-positive attitude.

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139 or on Facebook at