Georgia’s insane gun bill becomes law

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Via the AJC:

House Bill 60, which passed in the final hours of this year’s legislative session, allows Georgians to legally carry firearms in a wide range of new places, including schools, bars, churches and government buildings. A recent analysis also said it could let felons use the state’s “stand your ground” rules to claim self-defense if they feel threatened.

Demonstrating how cowardly the Democrats have become on gun control, the party’s likely nominee for governor, Jason Carter, voted for the bill.

The bill, which takes effect July 1, also legalizes the use of silencers for hunting, clears the way for school staffers to carry guns in school zones and lets leaders of religious congregations choose whether to allow licensed gun holders inside. And it allows permitted gun owners to carry their weapons in government buildings – including parts of courthouses – where there is no security at the entrance.

Paul squared spells embarrassment for Georgia

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I have a bad feeling that Paul Broun is going to come away with the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2014. That may be good news for presumptive Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn, but potentially bad news for Georgia,

Democrats think a Broun win could catapult them to an upset, noting how voters in Missouri and Indiana rejected GOP wingnuts. I’d love to think Georgians would reject Broun but I wouldn’t bet money on it.

If Broun gets as far as I fear, blame Ron Paul’s endorsement of the Athens doctor who “believes that global warming is a hoax, the Earth is 9,000 years old and evolution, embryology and the big-bang theory are ‘lies straight from the Pit of Hell’.” If he gets Ted Cruz’ backing, this race is over.

Our next senator?

Actually, Paul Broun would be even worse. Regardless, our next senator is likely to be an embarrassment.

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) told colleagues on the House floor on Tuesday that young boys and girls should take classes on traditional gender roles in a marriage because there are some things fathers do “maybe a little bit better” than mothers.

Ga. a global punchline, thanks to Cobb Republicans

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The Economist reports on the moronic conspiracy theories who are driving GOP opposition to the one-cent sales tax for the next ten years to fund transportation projects.

It also raises an insane question: are Atlanta’s Democratic mayor, Kasim Reed, and Republican attorney-general, Sam Olens, both agents of the United Nations determined to advance the cause of one-world government and outlaw private property? Before you laugh (well, okay, after you finish laughing), this is not a joke.

Such concerns come not from the LaRouchey fringe, but from mainstream Georgia Republicans. Bill Heath, a Georgia state senator, warned earlier this month that advocates of Agenda 21—a turgid, vapid, self-satisfied and of course non-binding statement of principles on development adopted 20 years ago at the Rio Conference—want to “essentially conquer the world through limiting everything we do, incrementally taking our liberties away from us.”

Agenda 21 was rousingly condemned at the state Republican conference last month as “an encroachment on our sovereignty” (which it might be if it were enforceable, binding, or actually did anything). And a former candidate for governor now running for commissioner of Cobb County, just north of Atlanta, condemned plans to build a jogging and biking trail alongside a highway because, “That’s Agenda 21. Bicycles and pedestrian traffic as an alternative form of transportation to the automobile.”

Hear that, hippies? Every time you walk or bike somewhere instead of driving your car, U Thant wins.

Ga. last in ethics; pols blame the messenger

A new report measuring states on the strength of their laws on public corruption and government openness ranks Georgia last in the nation, a grade state officials dismissed as a biased hit job.

The report, released today, scored states on 330 “corruption risk indicators” including open records law, campaign finance rules, and auditing and budgeting procedures. Georgia received an overall grade of 49 out of 100, an F. …

House Ethics Committee Chairman Joe Wilkinson, R-Sandy Springs, said the report blindsided him, and he criticized the choice of author for Georgia’s report card. Jim Walls, a former Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor and owner of the website Atlanta Unfiltered, gathered, wrote and provided an initial score on the information on Georgia for the report.

“To have Georgia’s laws judged by a blogger instead of a regulatory official, as has been done in the past, is of great concern,” he said.

Wallis guided watchdog reporting while an editor at the AJC. His blog is a public service — something many in the General Assembly know nothing about.

If you don’t believe Wallis about Georgia’s loose ethical standards, look at all the crap Sonny Perdue got away with as governor.

Thou shalt not waste time w/ symbolic legislation

A copy of the Ten Commandments could be posted in all Georgia government buildings and schools under a bill passed unanimously Tuesday by House lawmakers.

Rep. Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, is seeking to expand a 2006 law that already permits the passage from the Old Testament to be displayed in judicial buildings and courthouses when accompanied by other historical documents deemed to have influenced the U.S. legal system.

So what else has Georgia’s General Assembly been up to?

*Car owners could get “In God We Trust” stickers free of charge under a bill passed Tuesday by the state Senate, which adopted the measure after initial plans to make the motto mandatory on all Georgia license plates fell short in committee.

*A bill to limit mass picketing outside private residences has garnered vocal opposition from community leaders, who issued a call Thursday to organize and defeat it.

That last bill was drafted by Sen. Chamber of Commerce.

Georgia’s greatest scam revisited

Georgia’s worst governor ever? Hard to say, but Sonny Perdue was definitely the worst in my lifetime.

It turns out even the most conservative attendance prediction for the Go Fish Georgia Education Center in Perry was too ambitious.

The Telegraph of Macon reports the center drew only 15,000 visitors in its first 12 months of operation. That’s far below the 100,000 tourists projected to visit when the center opened in October 2010.

The dismal turnout gives more ammunition to critics of then-Gov. Sonny Perdue, who supported spending $19 million on the center and statewide boat ramp construction during a budget crisis that included furloughs and layoffs of state employees.

State budget finds room for fishing ponds, football stadiums

Having already subsidized a fishing museum in former Gov. H. Dumpty’s backyard the state of Georgia is now helping fund a unnecessary new football stadium for the Falcons and its billionaire owner.

This month, [Gov. Nathan] Deal included $15 million in his proposed 2012 budget for the GWCC Authority to purchase the old Herndon Homes property next to the potential stadium site from the Atlanta Housing Authority.  GWCC spokesman Mark Geiger said the property could be used for a marshaling yard, for GWCC expansion or parking, or for a stadium.

Last March AJC columnist Kyle Wingfield detailed what the $400 million the state is expected to kick in towards constructing an open-air stadium could go to instead:

With $400 million, the city could erase more than a quarter of its $1.5 billion pension funds deficit. Or it could pay for a big chunk of its continuing, $4 billion water and sewer infrastructure repairs. Those costs are inescapable. Why pass them on to unborn Atlantans when visitors could help us pay them down now?

Just to get a full grasp of what $400 million will buy, let’s look outside the city limits. For that money, we could pay the rest of the cost of deepening the Savannah port, which would benefit the entire state. It would also fund a large part of an outer perimeter or new north-south expressway allowing cargo trucks to bypass Atlanta.

Or we could hedge our bets in the water wars by building new reservoirs to fulfill our water needs in the event we lose access to Lake Lanier.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Gun

The question before a three-judge panel for the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta Thursday is whether Georgia’s prohibition on firearms in places of worship conflicts with the promise of religious freedom in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

GeorgiaCarry.org, which brought the initial lawsuit, believes religious institutions, not Georgia law, should dictate if firearms are allowed inside, and they point to accounts of shootings in churches as examples of why guns are needed even while worshiping.

Hyperbole is what ails America

Watching Michael Moore and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello on Bill Maher’s show reminded me how alike the fringes are.

Left and right, they share a victim’s mentality, along with an inflated sense of their own importance. The sky is always falling, and they never let facts get in the way of a partisan talking point.

To wit: the canonization of Troy Davis, deemed innocent, or guilty, by activists who haven’t bother to study the case. I’m opposed to the death penalty morally and practically but I’m not convinced Davis is innocent. I was bothered that even the slightest of doubt was dismissed.

Likewise, I’m troubled by the blowhards who choose certitude over study. Their minds can’t be changed because they’re never wrong. And increasingly their delusion dominates the narrative.

“I encourage everyone I know to never travel to Georgia, never buy anything made in Georgia, [and] to never do business in Georgia,” Moore said on his website this week.

The Academy-Award winning filmmaker and best-selling author also called on his publisher to pull his memoir, “Here Comes Trouble,” from every Georgia bookstore.

If Grand Central Publishing doesn’t pull the 427-page book, Moore said he will “donate every dime of every royalty my book makes in Georgia to help defeat the racists and killers who run that state.”

Think that’ll influence anyone? And let’s say the boycott was successful. The ones who would be most hurt by it are the working poor Moore claims to represent.

Morello, a self-avowed Marxist, would take it a step further, creaming at the thought of an armed rebellion that he can watch from the comfort of his pricey Hollywood Hills estate.

Time to rage against the extremists, left and right.

Crooked governor defends appointment of bigoted plagiarist

It’s impossible to defend the appointment of a bigot like Phil Kent to the newly created Immigration Enforcement Review Board , and Gov. Nathan Deal, interviewed by 11 Alive’s Doug Richards, doesn’t even try.

Asked whether Kent’ views on multiculturalism (he’s called Barack Obama “a dangerous, anti-white multiculturalist” and claims that Obama’s success in attracting support from younger white Americans is “testimony to the growing number of whites brainwashed by incessant diversity propaganda”) should disqualify him from serving on such an important state panel, Gov. Deal responded:

“I don’t know what Mr. Kent’s views are on that. And I don’t think that has anything to do with [the immigration review board].”

Phil Kent, in his own words (or someone else’s — Kent was forced to resign as The Augusta Chronicle ‘s editorial page editor after admitting to lifting a quote from Pat Buchanan without attribution):

This year could be the “tipping point” when minority babies outnumber white babies.

If this trend is not reversed– and it could be if an immigration moratorium were imposed– what Vassar College author Hua Hsu labels America’s white “centrifugal core” will slowly disappear. This leads to big questions: What will be the values and ideas of a multicultural America? What will it mean to be white after “whiteness” no longer defines the cultural mainstream?

Hsu notes that a glimpse is seen with the popularity of black-originated hip-hop. It opposes the pop mainstream and isn’t assimilating into a traditional, single white iconic image of style— and growing numbers of young whites purchase such music.

Television and movies will increasingly have diverse casts– with whites downgraded. New York radio personality Peter Rosenberg gushes that it is “now very cool and in to have multicultural friends.” The advertising world will radically change. Brown Johnson, a Nickelodean [sic] executive speaking before the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies, touts TV characters who don’t conform to “the white, middle class mold.” Hispanic marketer Rochelle Newman-Carrasco further notes “it has become harder for the blond-haired, blue-eyed commercial actor.”

Many whites “will flee into whiteness.” They will move to where other fair-skinned brethren are to retain their identity— nostalgically yearning for an American authenticity where everyone speaks English. Politically, the country will become more balkanized, with white leaders forming and breaking alliances with their black and Hispanic counterparts. (An example: Gwinnett County— outside of Atlanta, Ga.— will turn into an Hispanic/Muslim enclave if present trends continue. Whites there are already moving to “friendlier” areas.)