YARBROUGH COLUMN: Some random thoughts on some random subjects

Published 11:30 am Tuesday, February 8, 2022

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February is Black History Month. I wonder if there will be any recognition of the accomplishments of Condoleezza Rice, the first Black female secretary of state and the first woman to serve as National Security Advisor, or U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, of Pin Point, Georgia, or renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson, former secretary of housing and urban development in the Trump Administration or Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the first Black secretary of state.  Probably not. Although all came from modest backgrounds, fought bigotry and attained national prominence, they are all Republicans. I don’t think they will make the cut.

The Atlanta Newspapers recently identified the highest-paid state employees in Georgia for fiscal year 2021. Topping the list is University of Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart, who made $6.7 million. That was before winning the National College Football Championship. Word is that his salary will soon be upped to somewhere around $10 million annually. By contrast, Gov. Brian Kemp’s annual salary is $175,000. Smart makes that much in ten days. It reminds me of New York Yankee slugger Babe Ruth’s comments when told he made more money than the President of the United States. He replied, “Why not? I had a better year than he did.”

On the other hand, the second, third and fourth highest-paid employees in Georgia were Georgia Tech head football coach Geoff Collins ($3.52 million), UGA head basketball coach Tom Crean ($3.2 million) and Josh Pastner, Georgia Tech head basketball coach ($2 million). Even beleaguered Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger ($124,000) has had a better year than those three.

The Winter Olympics are here, in case you were wondering. They are being held in China, in case you care. If anyone thinks having the Olympics in that totalitarian state is going to make a particle of difference in their attitude, I have a slightly used Wuhan bat I will sell you. Sometimes, legislators just have too much time on their hands. Witness state Sen. Frank Ginn, R-Danielsville, who is trying to get legislation passed to let drivers handle their cellphones while stopped at a light or at a stop sign.

(As if they aren’t already doing that.) Ginn says allowing drivers to legally hold their phones would allow them to keep their heads up while they scroll their phone and more easily see the light change and then move promptly.

That is opposed to paying attention without your phone, seeing the light change and then moving promptly when it does. Chances of this inane piece of legislation passing are about as good as my being invited to dance with the Bolshoi Ballet.

I am sure you remember the young white man, Nicholas Sandmann, of Covington, KY, who was vilified in the national media, on social media and by liberal weenies worldwide in January 2019 for his racist acts at the Lincoln Memorial, following a Make America Great Again rally. It seems he and his friends were taunting a Native American activist and others that day. Even his Catholic School and the Covington Diocese condemned the group’s behavior. Oops! Later videos showed it was a group called the Black Hebrew Israelites and their tom-tom beating buddy slinging the racial and homophobic slurs, not the kids. As a result, Sandman sued a number of media outlets for defamation. So far The Washington Post, CNN and NBC have settled with the Sandmann family. Lawsuits are still pending with Gannett, ABC, CBS, the New York Times and Rolling Stone magazine. It is obvious that the national media’s hatred of Donald Trump caused them to compromise their objectivity and now are paying the price.

They have also given us another reason not to trust them and that’s not good.

Finally, every day without The Woman Who Shared My Name is an empty one but particularly on Valentine’s Day. Our first date was on Valentine’s Day when I asked her to attend the Sweetheart Ball in our junior year in high school.

Four years later, I presented her an engagement ring with money I had earned schlepping mail over the Christmas holidays.

Thankfully, she said yes. Otherwise, that would have been a lot of schlepping for nothing. I must remember that Valentine’s Day is all about love and nothing — not even my loss — will change that.