Torpy at Large: Cleland’s fight to make peace with ‘The Vietnam War’

Max Cleland said he tried to talk his friend Ken Burns out of making his opus on the Vietnam War, which will premiere Sunday night. “This series is going to kick up dust,” Cleland told the filmmaker. “How can you deal with Vietnam without getting people pissed off? It will split the country again.” Cleland’s torn body represents the absolute folly of that war —...
Max Cleland said he tried to talk his friend Ken Burns out of making his opus on the Vietnam War, which will premiere Sunday night. “This series is going to kick up dust,” Cleland told the...

From the Right, the advice for Trump is to try diplomacy

A roundup of editorials Friday looks at the idea that kicking North Korea out of the UN would go a long way toward helping the current situation, and that having President Donald Trump negotiate instead of threaten would be the best move to make.  Here are some opinions from the Right. From The Wall Street Journal: If the world community is serious about isolating North Korea, kick them out of...
A roundup of editorials Friday looks at the idea that kicking North Korea out of the UN would go a long way toward helping the current situation, and that having President Donald Trump negotiate instead...


DeKalb will extend school day by 20 minutes for days lost to Hurricane Irma

DeKalb will extend school day by 20 minutes for days lost to Hurricane Irma

The DeKalb County School District will lengthen its school days by 20 minutes through December to make up for closing four days last week due to Hurricane Irma. This has been done before by other metro districts. Gwinnett and Decatur extended their school days for 30 minutes in 2014 after ice and snow crippled the region and forced...
Torpy at Large: The crazy foam board caper, only at ATL City Hall

Torpy at Large: The crazy foam board caper, only at ATL City Hall

On Wednesday, someone filed an ethics complaint against Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s office for spending city time and using city resources to print up placards that could be seen as campaign materials. Later that afternoon, the Mayor had those same 28-by-18-inch foam boards posted in the atrium at City Hall outside his office. The placards beat up on City Council President Ceasar Mitchell...

Conclusions outpace facts in police shootings

A person places a 911 call to Georgia Tech campus police alerting them to “a suspicious person on campus,” and describing this person as possibly armed with a knife or gun. Campus police confronted a man fitting the description and ordered him to drop his weapon. He refused to comply, instead challenging them to “Shoot me!” As he advanced toward an officer, he was shot and...

Opinion: Thoughts on Ga. Tech shooting

In an increasingly common pattern, sporadic upheaval and isolated civil disturbance has taken place in American cities after a police shooting, or legal action around one. This time Atlanta was no exception, after a Georgia Tech campus police officer shot and killed student Scout Schultz. Schultz, who had a history of mental illness, was reportedly brandishing a multi-tool and urged officers to use...

Opinion: Single-payer would be costly, invasive mess

The fate of the latest GOP health bill is unclear. But whatever happens, it’s pretty clear Democrats in 2020 will propose single-payer as their option either to “repeal and replace” Trumpcare or to fix Obamacare. Sen. Bernie Sanders is back at it, as he was in 2016, but this time he has friends. Sens. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren — a quartet...
KKK roleplaying and crude rap lyrics: Mistakes but should they end careers?

KKK roleplaying and crude rap lyrics: Mistakes but should they end careers?

Education professor Peter Smagorinsky peppers his University of Georgia undergraduate students with daily email compendiums of teachers-gone-wrong news stories under the heading “Don’t try this at home.” “I share these stories any time a teacher gets in hot water due to poor judgment so my students know how teachers get in trouble,”...
KKK roleplaying & obscene rap lyrics: Mistakes but should they end careers?

KKK roleplaying & obscene rap lyrics: Mistakes but should they end careers?

Education professor Peter Smagorinsky peppers his University of Georgia undergraduate students with daily email compendiums of teachers-gone-wrong news stories under the heading “Don’t try this at home.” “I share these stories any time a teacher gets in hot water due to poor judgment so my students know how teachers get in trouble,”...
Opinion: People too quick to assume police at fault in Georgia Tech shooting

Opinion: People too quick to assume police at fault in Georgia Tech shooting

Rick Diguette is a local writer and retired college instructor who often writes about higher ed issues for this blog.  Today, he raises concerns about the early news reports on the Georgia Tech shooting and how they may have shaped the narrative that police were at fault. By Rick Diguette On Saturday night, a man placed a 911 call to Georgia Tech campus police alerting...

Opinion: A personal reflection on law enforcement, mentally ill

The tragic death of Scout Schultz was avoidable, is incredibly sad, and has touched me for many reasons. There is a sharp increase in suicide rates of young adult men, and I am particularly aware of self-inflicted deaths on and around Georgia’s campuses. I believe Scout Schultz intended to cause his own death, and the Georgia Tech police participated in his plan. On more than a few times, I...

Opinion: In police shootings: Legality, morality and ethics are not the same

Legal justification is not ethical or moral equivalency — that is the first principle I teach in my ethics class to collegiate criminal justice majors. For example, early in my career as a prosecutor, adults of the same sex could be arrested, prosecuted, and jailed for engaging in consensual sexual acts with a person of the same sex. Albeit legally justified, those arrests and prosecutions could...

Readers Write: Sept. 22

Trump’s speech a sad reflection on U.S. Trump’s belligerent speech to the United Nations was disgraceful. It obliterated decades of America’s image as the role model in world leadership. The majority of countries in the U.N. have admired and depended on the U.S. for sanity and support of peaceful solutions. Trump destroyed that illusion with his tough-boy rhetoric that will simply...

Opinion: Don’t turn antifa into folk heroes

I understand the temptation — really, I do — but you can’t go around punching Nazis, not unless they try to punch you first. You also shouldn’t make folk heroes out of people who do go around punching Nazis. And yes, by that I mean antifa. They are not friends of liberty or democracy, and in fact they endanger the very values that they profess to defend. Before we go further...
The Left slams Graham-Cassidy health care bill

The Left slams Graham-Cassidy health care bill

A roundup of editorials Thursday takes a look at the Graham-Cassidy health care proposal. Despite a heavy agenda, the bill is likely to come up on the Senate floor next week. Here are some opinions from the Left. 1. Cassidy-Graham is attractive in theory. But it has a giant flaw. From The Washington Post: An experiment in democracy is interesting, but this bill doesn’t provide a fair one...
Opinion: Jimmy Kimmel, health insurance guru? Yup.

Opinion: Jimmy Kimmel, health insurance guru? Yup.

Jimmy Kimmel is a late-night TV host who dropped out of college to take a radio gig. That’s not a career move that I would recommend, but in Kimmel’s case, it has worked out OK.  Kimmel also happens to have an infant son, Billy, who was born with a serious life-threatening heart defect. Bill Cassidy is a U.S. senator who sits on the Senate Committee for Health...
The Right reacts to Graham-Cassidy

The Right reacts to Graham-Cassidy

A roundup of editorials Thursday takes a look at the Graham-Cassidy health care proposal. Will the bill strike the right balance between the federal government’s role in health care and what states will be expected to do? Here are some opinions from the Right. From Roll Call: The problem with the Graham-Cassidy plan is lack of momentum. A majority of people think it’s time to move on from...
Sign on University of Georgia campus about Georgia Tech shooting upsets students

Sign on University of Georgia campus about Georgia Tech shooting upsets students

This sign displayed outside the Tate Student Center at the University of Georgia Wednesday shocked some students. I assume the sign writer was asking students whether the shooting of Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz was justifiable in its reference to a “clean shoot.” UGA senior Alli Carton told me: “Today this sign was on campus at UGA. Front and center...
Opinion: Why our health-care politics is so jumbled

Opinion: Why our health-care politics is so jumbled

Repealing Obamacare has proved to be a more difficult task than Republicans imagined. So difficult, in fact, that the latest “Obamacare repeal” bill doesn’t actually repeal Obamacare. It cements much of the law in place, in ways Democrats might appreciate if they weren’t busy peddling...
New study: Charter school teachers less likely to call in sick than peers in regular schools

New study: Charter school teachers less likely to call in sick than peers in regular schools

A new report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute looks at the number of teachers who miss 11 or more days of work a year and compares the absentee rates in charter schools and regular public schools. The study finds teachers in charters are less likely to miss school. On average, U.S. teachers miss about eight school days a year due to sick and personal leave; the average...

Readers Write: Sept. 24

Tax breaks are not ‘giveaways’ I always find it interesting when tax breaks for businesses or reductions in tax rates are referred to as “costs.” This confers an attitude that the money actually belongs to the government and that it is “giving something away” to provide tax reductions. How about the perspective that the government is actually taking away less? Tax...
Torpy at Large: When a judge’s attitude seems prissy, minus the ‘r’

Torpy at Large: When a judge’s attitude seems prissy, minus the ‘r’

I suppose adult diapers should be optional for lawyers practicing in the DeKalb County courtroom of Superior Court Chief Judge Courtney Johnson. Johnson was once described by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a “no-nonsense” judge, which I suppose is journalistic shorthand to identify judges who won’t let lawyers go take a pee. Now the state judicial watchdog agency is investigating...

Opinion: What we know, and only think we know, about health care

Repealing Obamacare has proved to be a more difficult task than Republicans imagined. So difficult, in fact, that the latest “Obamacare repeal” bill doesn’t actually repeal Obamacare. It cements much of the law in place, in ways Democrats might appreciate if they weren’t busy peddling fictions about the wonders and feasibility of single-payer health care. How did our health-care...
Opinion: OK, we end the Iran deal. Then what…?

Opinion: OK, we end the Iran deal. Then what…?

(AP) “The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” President Trump told the United Nations this week. “Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it — believe me.” That threat to the world is merely the latest...
Opinion: Poll shows most groups prefer state control of health care

Opinion: Poll shows most groups prefer state control of health care

The Georgia Capitol, not the U.S. Capitol, is where control over an issue like health care belongs. (AJC Photo / Bob Andres) In Tuesday’s post about the Graham-Cassidy health bill , I argued the biggest gain from passing the bill would be shifting more health policy out of the federal level, where it is destined to remain intractably contentious...

Readers Write: Sept. 21

Illegal immigrants not entitled to rights Joel Sati (“DACA pits ‘good immigrants’ against millions of others,” Opinion, Sept. 10) makes a good point and a reasonable argument in declaring the 800,000 young people protected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals aren’t any better than the remaining 12 million illegal immigrants here. They are all human and, therefore...
Opinion roundup from the Right: How good a hire was Manafort; Obamacare repeal plan; Trump and the U.N.

Opinion roundup from the Right: How good a hire was Manafort; Obamacare repeal plan; Trump and the U.N.

A roundup of editorials Monday includes a look at ‘hiring the best’ when it comes to Paul Manafort; the latest effort to repeal Obamacare and what President Trump means when he addresses the United Nations Here are some opinions from the Right.  From The Resurgent: Eric Erickson questions the president’s hiring skills as the investigation into Paul Manafort’s actions continue...
Opinion: While millions lose insurance, the wealthy reap billions. Great!

Opinion: While millions lose insurance, the wealthy reap billions. Great!

They’ve already been burned once, twice, even three times, but congressional Republicans are once again staring at the red-hot griddle that is health-care reform, once again trying to summon the courage to touch it with their bare hands, as if this time it won’t hurt. It will hurt. The latest iteration, hatched by Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Bill Cassidy, is not by any means a compromise...
Opinion: If Congress can’t do it, let the states fix Obamacare

Opinion: If Congress can’t do it, let the states fix Obamacare

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) speaks as Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) listen during a news conference on health care, Sept. 13 in Washington (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS) The latest iteration of a Republican anti-Obamacare bill is being bandied about the Senate GOP caucus...
Georgia Tech student: University must improve outreach and help for suicidal students

Georgia Tech student: University must improve outreach and help for suicidal students

Duo-Wei Yang is a sophomore at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She majors in Computational Media (CM) and is a freelance reporter. She has written a thoughtful piece about how Georgia Tech ought to look at the resources and supports it offers troubled students. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Americans 15-24 and 25-34, according to the Centers for Disease...

Readers Write: Sept. 20

No justice in capital murder cases On Sept. 26 at 7 p.m., Georgia’s second execution is scheduled, involving Keith Leroy Tharpe, who was convicted of killing his sister-in-law back in 1990. The first execution this year was of J.W. Ledford Jr., convicted of the 1991 murder of his neighbor, an elderly physician. Ignoring the actual details of these capital crimes, what jumps out is the lag time...
Opinion: Millions lose insurance = wealthy reap millions

Opinion: Millions lose insurance = wealthy reap millions

They’ve already been burned once, twice, even three times, but congressional Republicans are once again staring at the red-hot griddle that is health-care reform, once again trying to summon the courage and egg each other on to touch it with their bare hands, as if this time it won’t hurt. It will hurt. The latest iteration, hatched by Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen...
A Georgia Tech student dies in tragic confrontation with campus police

A Georgia Tech student dies in tragic confrontation with campus police

With a child now at Georgia Tech, I’ve been following the shooting death late Saturday night of senior computer engineering student Scout Schultz by campus police. The deadly incident occurred behind my son’s dorm on the west campus. My husband and I had driven past the site only a few hours earlier after a quick visit. This morning we learned from our son that...
Georgia Tech students rally around their campus and their police force

Georgia Tech students rally around their campus and their police force

Upset with the damage to their campus and its reputation by a vigil-turned-violent tonight, Georgia Tech students are in the midst of organizing a Tuesday morning clean-up of the protest area, including anti-police graffiti. And they also want to clear up a few facts. Students on social media tonight are blaming the vigil violence on outsiders, although at least one of the three people...
Georgia school chief: Governor’s accountability plan relies too much on testing

Georgia school chief: Governor’s accountability plan relies too much on testing

Not everyone agrees with the vision for Georgia’s education system submitted today to the U.S. Department of Education. Including Gov. Nathan Deal. Georgia was among 33 states facing a deadline today to turn in their school accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced No Child Left Behind.  Seen as an antidote to the overly prescriptive...

Readers Write; Sept. 19

Sheriff deserves praise for texting crackdown Big praise and kudos to our hands-on, awesome Sheriff Ron Freeman (“Forsyth targets texting, driving,” News, Sept. 10) for cracking down on distracted drivers. Texting and driving has truly gotten out of control and it’s about time this issue has been seriously addressed. I personally love seeing the signs posted throughout our county...
Opinion: Antifa are not folk heroes, they’re punks

Opinion: Antifa are not folk heroes, they’re punks

(AP) I understand the temptation — really, I do — but you can’t go around punching Nazis, not unless they try to punch you first. You also shouldn’t make folk heroes out of people who do go around punching Nazis. And yes, by that I mean antifa. They are by no means friends of liberty or democracy, and in fact they endanger the very values that they profess to try...
Opinion: The national debt hits the big 2-0 (trillion)

Opinion: The national debt hits the big 2-0 (trillion)

One of these men only increased the national debt. The other one is looking no better so far. That’s bipartisanship in contemporary America. (Stephen Crowley / The New York Times) I failed to bring your attention last week to this grim milestone (from CBS News ): The news is pegged to the debt-ceiling increase, because that&rsquo...

Readers Write: Sept. 17

A better DACA compromise is possible Perhaps there is a compromise to be found for the DACA people as well as some illegal immigrants. First and foremost, there is a legal process for entering this country. All who enter illegally should understand they have no legal right to stay, or protest deportation. However, for those brought here illegally by their parents, they should also accept responsibility...
Hot on the right: How the border wall hinders immigration enforcement; Democrats’ Bernie problem and a tax plan for today

Hot on the right: How the border wall hinders immigration enforcement; Democrats’ Bernie problem and a tax plan for today

A roundup of today’s editorials that includes on how Donald Trump’s push for a border wall comes at the expense of other actions that could deter illegal immigration more, why push for single-payer health care will hurt the Democrats and how Republicans can craft an effective tax plan.  From The Patriot Post: “If Democrats were smart, they’d let Trump build whatever...

Opinion: Sing it, Rhiannon

Here’s a beautiful song, written originally by Roebuck “Pops” Staples of the Staples Singers back in 1965, performed in this brand new version by the great Rhiannon Giddens. I make it a rule not to post political material on my Friday music post, and in this case I’m assuming that after 50-plus years, neither the song nor its message remain controversial...
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