The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states clearly that nobody can infringe on my right of free speech. You can get in serious trouble for that.
"Bosh," says The Woman Who Shares My Name.
I have no idea what "bosh" means but evidently the Constitution allows her to say stuff like that without the ACLU getting in a dither and we all know that it doesn't take much to get that crowd in a dither.
This whole unpleasant episode started when I told her that I was in a cranky mood and was going to rip into some of the usual suspects in this week's column and get it out of my system before I went to see Santa Claus. That way, when Santa asked me if I had been naughty or nice, I would tell him "nice" — give or take a rogue column or two — and give him a computer printout of all the stuff I want and think I deserve.
"No sir. No ugly column this week," she said. "We are entering the holiday season and your readers see and hear enough unpleasantness every day. I want you to focus on good news this week."
I didn't tell her that you like me cranky. You want me cranky. She would just say "bosh" again. I hate hearing that.
So, to placate her and not have her rat me out to Santa, I will make an extreme effort to be positive. But I am not happy about it and don't expect me to make a habit of this.
Let's start with this good news: We have only a few more weeks to swoon over the administration of Gov. George E. Perdue, whose greatest accomplishments in eight years have consisted of: (a) promoting bass fishing; (b) putting his friends and relatives in high-paying and influential jobs while school teachers were being furloughed and (c) thumbing his nose at us if we don't like it. Even Republican legislators consider his departure a high note.
I am pleased to report that contrary to rumors, the state capitol will not be moved to Gainesville, even though Gov.-elect Nathan Deal and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle are hometown guys and House Speaker David Ralston is from Blue Ridge, which is only a couple of trout streams north.
One powerful insider from Hall County told me confidentially, "We want to make things easy for our state leaders, but we don't want legislators running around unattended on the streets of Gainesville. We are also concerned about having lizard-loafered lobbyists in the Chicken Capital of the World. It is a proven fact that chickens dislike lobbyists intensely and might quit laying eggs in protest."
Speaking of Cagle, there is a negative perception that he has been stripped of most of his power by a group of Republican legislators after the recent elections. However, there is a positive side to the story, however. The lieutenant governor demanded that he be allowed to preside over the Senate on weekends between the hours of midnight and 2 a.m. and to attend ribbon-cuttings of all new 7-Eleven stores as long as he is back before curfew. The man is a scrapper.
I have been trying to find something positive to say to Georgia's Democrats about the election of Nancy Pelosi of the Free State of San Francisco as minority leader of the U.S. House and the face of the party. This may take awhile. In the meantime, will the last moderate Georgia Democrat please turn out the lights when you leave?
President Peanut has been on national television telling anyone who would listen how wonderful he is and how terrific his woebegone administration was and plugging his latest book that goes into great detail about how wonderful he is and how terrific his woebegone administration was. The good news is that he didn't try to convince us that there really are killer rabbits, too.
And then there is the group of scholar-athletes from the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, who recently engaged some future nuclear physicists and bridge builders from the Georgia Institute of Technology in a friendly game of football and emerged - once again - as state champions.
If that is not the most positive news of the year, may the ACLU adopt "God Bless America" as their theme song. Woof! Woof!
Dick Yarbrough is a North Georgia resident whose column appears Saturdays and on gainesvilletimes.com. You can reach him at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; website.