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Wednesday, September 20, 2017
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    Elliott Brack

    Elliott Brack
    Elliott Brack is a native Georgian and veteran newspaperman. He published the weekly Wayne County Press for 12 years; was for 13 years the vice president and general manager of Gwinnett Daily News, and for 13 years was associate publisher of the Gwinnett section of The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. He now publishes, in retirement, Web sites on Gwinnett County, http://www.gwinnettforum.com, and Georgia news, http://www.georgiaclips.com.
    Number of posts: 135
    Email address: email
    Subscribe to my RSS Feed: http://likethedew.com/author/elbrack/feed/

    By Elliott Brack:


      enjoy freedom

      Americans distinctively thrive under our Bill of Rights

      by | 0, Add your Comment | May 31, 2017
      Americans distinctively thrive under our Bill of Rights

      Most Americans probably don’t realize how unique are their individual rights, compared to people living under other governments.

      Our Founding Fathers, in all their inspired wisdom, gave early Americans more rights than previously had any government anywhere in the world.  Those same rights, often multiplied in some ways, remain a cornerstone of living in the United States and go a long way in defining what it is to be an American.

      They are easily identified in our Bill of Rights.

      injustice

      Fairness in government is basic to laws and customs of our nation

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Apr 13, 2017
      Fairness in government is basic to laws and customs of our nation

      Though it’s not stated in the U.S. Constitution, the quality of fairness is embodied in our government. After all, we are a nation of laws, and that alone speaks to reason and decorum in deliberations. Throw out fairness and you move toward chaos. Without fairness, you raise questions of trust and partiality and bias, and even decorum. This basis of fairness in our everyday lives extends to relationships and commerce…

      virtually forgotten

      Crumbling buildings in rural south Georgia can depress you

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Mar 29, 2017
      Crumbling buildings in rural south Georgia can depress you

      Returning from South Georgia after attending a funeral this week, we got off the Interstates for a while, and enjoyed the less stressful driving on the back roads. All in all, it‘s much more enjoyable, too, as you see how the crops are doing (the Vidalias are green topped and ready for harvest), check out the small communities, and see Georgia in a way as it was in the past.

      This time one particular element struck me: in much of rural Georgia, there are many, many homes, barns, and other outbuildings that are no longer in service, abandoned, deteriorating, and wasting away…

      long history

      Gerrymandering rampant

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Jan 29, 2017
      Gerrymandering rampant

      “Late in 1788, just after Virginia voted to ratify the Constitution and join the union, former Governor Patrick Henry persuaded the state legislature to remake the Fifth Congressional District, forcing Henry’s political enemy James Madison to run against the formidable James Monroe. The ploy failed and Madison won anyway, eventually becoming the nation’s fourth president. Monroe’s career wasn’t over, though: He succeeded Madison as president.” (Library of Congress.)

      wholesale change

      Trump administration may be turning point for our government

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Jan 14, 2017
      Trump administration may be turning point for our government

      Thinking back politically into the middle of 2016, I must admit that I began to wonder if the GOP challenger Donald Trump might be moving the United States toward a seminal and decisive change.

      The question came into my mind, “Will Trump be a person who will have a transformative moment to the political system similar to the way Ronald Reagan changed the Republican Party?”

      red and black publishing

      Remembering a friend who served a unique nonprofit board service

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Nov 29, 2016
      Elliott Brack

      It’s best to have all types of people making up a nonprofit board.

      A good board consists of people coming at problems from several different angles, creating a board of advisers who can successfully lead the institution toward a good path. You want full and fair discussion, and not people who are essentially “Yes” persons who go along with whatever someone proposes.

      Every idea that comes up doesn’t need to see the continual light of day.

      his ordinary decency

      Authoritative book on Cobb is major service to his reputation

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Jun 13, 2016
      This iconic photo by Charles M. Conlon shows Cobb stealing third base during the 1909 baseball season

      A sports author has done the state of Georgia and Ty Cobb, in particular, a major service.  Author Charles Leerhsen of Brooklyn, N. Y. has published an authoritative biography: Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty. The book enhances and clarifies the reputation of Georgia’s “Big Peach,” who was maybe the most controversial player in baseball. The book won the 2015 Casey Award for the best baseball book of the year.

      Ty Cobb was the greatest batsman in baseball history, an average of .366, the highest lifetime average of any baseball player.

      keeping our kids safe

      Passing stopped school buses more of a problem than you think

      by | 1, Add your Comment | May 20, 2016
      Chlidren getting on a stopped school bus

      Vehicles passing stopped school buses is much more of a problem than most of us realize. At least where I live, Gwinnett’s school system is taking steps to address this situation, at no cost to your school tax bill. But only about 10 school systems in Georgia are participating in a new technology which improves school bus safety.

      Gwinnett is partnering with Redflex Traffic Systems of Phoenix, Ariz. in having traffic cameras on its buses.

      brought it on ourselves

      Questions arise now that presidential contest is almost settled

      by | 0, Add your Comment | May 13, 2016
      Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump - Caricatures by DonkeyHotey

      You must admit that social media has been a mighty contributor to this 2016 political season.

      In another way of saying this: look what we have done to ourselves.

      We couldn’t get enough of Trump, or Bernie, and every so often, some of the other presidential candidates. So we turned inward, creating more bizarre buzzing for the political year.

      inexperienced fruitcakes

      Legislative kooks, weirdos can give Georgia a black eye

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Apr 15, 2016
      American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

      Eventually, if you elect enough kooks and weirdos to the General Assembly, don’t you figure by the time they find their way around the State Capitol, that they might, just might, introduce some crazy legislation?

      It’s impossible to lay blame at any one door. However, these days in Georgia we have many more Republican legislators than Democrats in the 2016 session. (The GOP dominates the Senate 39-17; in the House, there are 118 Republicans; 60 Democrats; one independent; and one vacancy.) When we had Democrats in charge in Georgia, there were more oddball and woeful legislators in the Democratic Party. Today it is just reversed.

      we know who we are

      Seems to be simple way to solve which restroom to enter

      by | 9, Add your Comment | Apr 13, 2016
      A female-identified restroom door by Ann Fisher

      We in Georgia may think we have our problems. Yet recent action by the Legislature in North Carolina puts that state in the ranks of those with reactionary actions flying in the face of reasonableness.

      The North Carolina situation particularly vexes us, in that its action made no sense. Legislators there quickly passed an act, their Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which will force public colleges and universities (as well as other public venues and government buildings) to require their restrooms be used only by people whose biological sex at birth matches the sign on the door.

      nothing stuck

      Trump reminds us of Italy’s Berlusconi, when he was prime minister

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Mar 27, 2016
      Berlusconi drinking and laughing with Trump (composite image)

      While Americans are somewhat thunderstruck by an independently wealthy person, like Donald Trump jumping headlong into the presidential race, and gaining traction, it’s happened in other places in the world.

      One recent ego-centered and financially independent figure on the world scene to seek political power was mightily successful. We refer to former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, who led Italy for nine years through four cabinets, often embarrassing that country with his escapades and outright peccadilloes, and was eventually forced to resign.

      last white man standing

      Could 2016 be the year for the death of the Republican Party?

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Mar 9, 2016
      Could 2016 be the year for the death of the Republican Party?

      This year you may be seeing right before your eyes the death of the Republican Party in national politics.  If it happens, we lament it. (We feel that our country benefits by have a strong two party system.) It appears that the GOP could find itself threatened in this crazy political year. Here’s how this might turn out, outlined in a shortened step-by-step process.

      reverse robin hood

      Georgia doesn’t need casino gambling within its borders

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Feb 27, 2016
      Losing money on slots by Bjørn Giesenbauer

      The casino gambling industry is playing hardball, in a sneaky, unethical and vile manner, as it seeks to compel the Georgia legislature to allow this industry in Georgia.

      We don’t want the gambling industry in Georgia. To begin with, just look at tactics. The industry is preying on Georgia’s children to get this sinister racket to become legal in our state. Here’s how…

      vote early

      Georgia delegate count important to both parties next Tuesday

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Feb 24, 2016
      Georgia delegate count important to both parties next Tuesday

      Have you made up your mind which presidential candidate you’ll be voting for? If you haven’t, the presidential preference primary is just one week off, on March 1. So think speedily. You must decide soon!

      At least what seemed like innumerable Republican candidates has been thinned seriously, with former Florida governor, Jeb Bush, exiting last week…

      profiting on suffering

      Wounded Warrior Project under fire for high overhead

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Feb 12, 2016
      Wounded Warriors money bags is a composite image created for LikeTheDew.com using the Wounded Warrior’s logo on a stock image of money bags (© Steveheap) licensed Dreamstime.com by LikeTheDew.com and paid for by generous readers (click here to donate). http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-many-us-dollar-bills-notes-money-bags-thousands-dollars-pouring-out-cloth-bag-onto-black-background-showing-image41131693

      People shower lots of attention on military veterans today.

      Perhaps it’s because we now have an all-volunteer military. Maybe it’s because with the proliferation of media now, the average American knows more about our troops engaged in military activity all over the world. Perhaps it’s the new patriotism since 9/11. Whatever the reason, people in our country shower a lot of attention on helping veterans of the military service.

      they did what?

      Continued frustration when fighting the telephone monopoly

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Feb 4, 2016
      Continued frustration when fighting the telephone monopoly

      Oh, the frustration of fighting a bureaucracy, any bureaucracy!

      It started out with AT&T installing high-speed fiber optics in our office building. Eventually came a call from AT&T, suggesting that this faster Internet service would be the cat’s meow for me. After several calls, I relented in late November, hearing that I could keep my same business land line telephone numbers. Previously, I had my telephone and Internet service with Windstream Business, and had been happy with that service for about five years or more…

      presidential selection

      Possible entry of Bloomberg for president and South’s March 1 primary

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Feb 1, 2016
      Michael Bloomberg

      With the Georgia (and Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) presidential primaries just about a month away, political antics have been far flung this presidential cycle! No telling what will happen next. This topsy-turvy political year, when matters were not always going as anticipated, now has a new name possibly seeking the office of president: former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Many will welcome Bloomberg’s consideration of a Third Party candidacy…

      bubba still rules

      Some smaller city and county governments merge

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Jan 26, 2016
      Ludowici Billboard

      For years, people in Georgia have been concerned that by having 159 counties, many of them small ones, government is too costly and inefficient.

      Meanwhile, the people who control those counties, the big landowners and the timber companies, are pleased as punch about owning property in smaller counties. After all, it’s a whole lot easier to control government when you have just a few voters than it is in the larger counties, where a diverse and educated population sometimes votes slackard politicians out of office. You don’t see that happening often in the smaller counties.

      Local government once was worse.

      a masterful performance

      “Joyful, Joyful” and Beethoven’s Ninth, plus Bernstein in Berlin

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Dec 28, 2015
      Screen shot of Bernstein - Beethoven no. 9. - Berlin - Freedom concert

      During the holiday season, we hope you (and I) get to hear and sing one of our favorite hymns, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.” Somehow it reminds me of Christmas.

      The stirring hymn was written in 1907 by Henry Van Dyke, a Princeton University professor of English, who was also a Presbyterian minister. His inspiration was two-fold: the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, and the fourth stanza of Ludwig Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

      school cheating scandal

      Settlement against for-profit college firm is good for nation

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Dec 15, 2015
      Mortarboards showing student via UK’s Linkedin page

      Every now and then a big-time civil settlement makes sense and is good for our country. Recently the government brought suit against Education Management Corporation, based in Pittsburgh, Pa., which operated several for-profit colleges. The government maintained that the company was violating rules on paying incentives to employees for signing up unqualified students for Pell grant assistance to attend their schools. One story said all the low-income students needed was “a pulse and a Pell (grant)” for the colleges to enroll them…

      he'd never fall for it

      Would a deadlocked GOP Convention turn to someone not running?

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Dec 3, 2015
      Would a deadlocked GOP Convention turn to someone not running?

      This election season has produced a bumper crop of candidates for the Republican nomination, but just a few seeking the Democratic nomination. After some dropouts in both parties, the list now stands at 11 Republican and three Democrats still running.

      While we question whether Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination, she is moving closer to locking it up. And as we get closer to the first big test, the Iowa caucuses on February l, those 11 Republicans still running…

      don’t bet on it

      We don’t need more gambling here

      by | 5, Add your Comment | Oct 19, 2015
      Hard Rock Casino by Ted Murphy

      For years now, the gambling business has had its eye on Georgia. It recognizes Georgia as a state with a growing population, and therefore, one they see as a target. They aim at establishing gambling in Georgia, to enrich, of course, their own coffers, while promoting that it will bring in more state revenue.

      What this gambling group may not recognize is that Georgia is basically made up of solid, conservative, faith-based families who cast an askance glance at such sins as gambling.

      let freedom ring

      3 cheers to Stone Mountain board for innovative proposal

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Oct 13, 2015
      Stone Mountain Atlanta View by Stone Wayne Hsieh via flickr

      Every now and then something comes down the pike that you know immediately it’s the proper thing to do, and that it just plains makes sense. You also wonder why no one has come up with this obvious idea before.

      We refer to the story of this week that the Stone Mountain Memorial Association is planning to build a memorial to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. atop the granite mountain. Not only that, but the Association has already earmarked monies to build it…

      a national treasure

      Rivera masterpiece worth a trip to Detroit

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Oct 5, 2015
      Another wall showing details of assembly line

      Planning a trip to Michigan, we had heard about the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, so that was our first stop in a week’s trip to Michigan. It is adjacent to Greenfield Village, which we strolled around one morning, then took in the Museum in the afternoon. Both are stellar places to visit. The Village was created by Henry Ford to showcase many of America’s original historic homes.

      freedom to discriminate

      McKoon’s far-out views could benefit the Democrats

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Sep 9, 2015
      Josh McKoon

      It’s a natural law: a pendulum, once swinging, will always reverse its course.

      Sometimes, it takes forever for that pendulum to move the other way. Look at the State of Georgia, Democratic always until 2002, when the Republicans finally won the governor’s office. Up until then, the statehouse had been slowly moving toward a more conservative, Republican bent, with the GOP finally gaining control of both houses in 2004.

      free market vs. fair play

      Food trucks becoming more of an issue across U.S.

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Sep 7, 2015
      Yumbii taco truck

      Sometimes communities get hung up over relatively trivial activities. Take what is happening in North Kansas City, Mo. This suburb, surrounded by the larger Midwest area, has a 2013 population of 4,319, smaller than most of the cities near me in Gwinnett County, Ga. It’s relatively small, only 4.63 square miles, and two miles from downtown Kansas City. There’s a casino in town, and the biggest employers is Cerner, a major  health care giant founded in North Kansas City. The issue that has people in North Kansas City talking is food trucks…

      easier than it looks

      Think about highway roundabouts for improved safety

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Aug 18, 2015
      roundabout

      Americans anticipating a British driving vacation face two problems: driving on the “wrong” (left) side of the road… and British roundabouts. Britain has more roundabouts as a proportion of roads than any other country. Many get confused at negotiating the roundabout, while driving in a left-side steering car gets a little more comfortable after a while.

      Americans vacationing in France face only the roundabout problem, as the French drive on the “right” side of the road. Yet there are more roundabouts in France (30,000 as of 2008) than in any other nation.

      it's preventable

      Why doesn’t this country do something to curb gun violence?

      by | 6, Add your Comment | Jul 26, 2015
      “Another Senseless Mass Shooting” by Rick McKee licensed by LikeTheDew.com at Daryl Cagle’s PoliticalCartoon.com Store

      Guns were the cause of three recent tragedies in the South, in Lafayette this week, Chattanooga last week, and recently in Charleston, S.C. You wonder where it will happen next. For it will.

      What we can’t understand is the continual gun violence all across the country, almost every day in big cities, while the American public nonchalantly goes about its routine activities with little effort to curb these unfortunate incidents.

      Does the American public not recognize what is causing all these problems?

      protecting bigotry

      Georgia doesn’t need “protection” offered by Speaker Ralston

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Jul 14, 2015
      Image: Religious Freedom Laws Cartoon by Paul Fell and licensed by LikeTheDew.com at CartoonStock.com

      Why do legislators think we need so much protection?

      It seems that they are always modifying current law to protect us from that Boogerbear or that Devil? And the fact is that we often don’t need their help at being protected, for we already have more protection in our Bill of Rights and Constitution than most people in other countries of the world. Yet legislators feel that they can re-write the law to give us more protection that we certainly need…

      fire the bums

      One-time bugaboo of term limits now seems good idea

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Jul 13, 2015
      diapers and politicians should be changed often for the same reason

      It’s funny what makes you change your mind.

      All these years I have been against term limits for elected officials. My reason: having old-timers around who knew the ropes made our government better by their insights. But one incident recently made me change my mind on the subject. Now I feel comfortable for being positive on limiting public officials’ terms of office.

      Until recently, there were other reasons I had been against limiting the time a public official could serve. First, there is an automatic term limit, that is, an election every few years, with the voters deciding whether to keep (or limit) the public servants in office. Yes, it’s an unofficial limit.

      non-violent action

      People of Charleston showed the way out of tragedy

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Jun 30, 2015
      People of Charleston showed the way out of tragedy

      Not only that, but that this move to bring the Confederate flag into the discussion would be one that reverberates all across our country, making that symbol of the Old South a new rallying cry for all sorts of people of this country? Who would have thought?

      In effect, it was the human heart speaking to our country, recognizing the sufferings of the people of Charleston, and in particular, the suffering of black people. We remember how our country has itself suffered from those who won’t give up a lost cause….one that brings division, not union, to our nation.

      others disagree

      Something tells some of us Hillary will not be the next president

      by | 8, Add your Comment | Jun 4, 2015
      Hillary Rodham Clinton

      Though many have virtually already elected Hillary Rodham Clinton as the next president, somehow…..somehow we don’t think she will even get the nomination.

      That would be a major shift in what the experts think will happen. It’s to the point that we even heard a stockbroker making stock-buying decisions based on his thinking that Ms. Clinton will in 2017 become the 45th president of the United States. Others who watch politics closely have told us that they don’t feel that Ms. Clinton will be the nominee.

      southern eatin'

      Blue Ridge has what TripAdvisor calls best barbecue in nation

      by | 0, Add your Comment | May 28, 2015
      Blue Ridge has what TripAdvisor calls best barbecue in nation

      Word got out last week that the best barbecue in the nation, says TripAdvisor, is at Joe’s BBQ in Blue Ridge, Ga. Ironically, TripAdvisor said the second best place for barbecue was at another Joe’s Barbecue, this one was in Kansas City, Kan. The two eateries are not related.

      Since we were in the Georgia mountains, why not try out the Blue Ridge place? So we arrived at 11:45 a.m., saw this relatively small restaurant on East First Street, and found there were 33 people in line ahead of us.

      it's smarta

      Gwinnett must act now to have traffic relief … by 2025

      by | 1, Add your Comment | May 12, 2015
      Gwinnett County Traffic photo by Valerie via Flickr

      There’s always a big time gap between conception of an idea and its completion. That’s true in social interactions in getting people to agree, in marketing of a new product, and certainly in construction projects. An old idea is getting more attention in Gwinnett, Ga. More people are recognizing the need for the county to have a modern transit system, that is, to include some sort of rail system, whether it be light rail, perhaps street cars, or heavy rail, either connecting to the MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) system, or even an extension of MARTA itself.

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