God bless America and God bless Mount Paran Christian School in Cobb County. Before a recent football playoff game, every player on the team came running on the field carrying an American flag.
A school official told the Marietta Daily Journal, "The football team decided to all carry flags on the field because of all that's going on in our world with several athletes maybe not showing respect for God and country and the lack of unification in the country after the election. The fact that they did this during a playoff game makes it even more special."
Yes, it does and it makes those ingrates in professional sports who choose to publicly disrespect their country while expecting to get paid millions of American dollars look even more pathetic. By the way, Mount Paran won their game.
This might be a firing offense if the politically correct weenies ever manage to strangle our right of free expression, but you will never see an American citizen described with a hyphen in this column. You are either an American or you are not. President Theodore Roosevelt said, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all."
Teddy Roosevelt said that 101 years ago. He was correct then. He is correct today.
Pardon my grandfatherly pride, but grandson Nicholas Wansley has had a couple of pretty stellar weeks. First, his South Forsyth High School girls cross country team won the Class AAAAAAA state championship in Carrollton, after having finished second last year. How can you top that?
Well, you can go and get yourself married to a young lady by the name of Lyndsay Nichols, who is as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside. Nicholas, like his father and his uncle, is a public high school science teacher, now in his fifth year and teaching International Baccalaureate physics at South Forsyth in Cumming. I keep waiting on politicians and bureaucratic satraps and deep-pocketed special interest groups to suck the joy out of the job, but he just keeps on ticking and public education is the better for it.
Speaking of public education, Kyle Wingfield, the conservative columnist for the Atlanta newspapers and a man for whom I have a lot of respect, is exhorting Republicans to pick up the pieces after Amendment 1, which would have created Opportunity School Districts, was shot down decisively by Georgia voters in one of the most effective grassroots campaigns I have observed.
Wingfield blames the loss on the money the teachers' union sent in opposition. At least we know who opposed it. He doesn't mention all the money spent in support of the amendment by organizations whose identities were kept secret. Color me naive but I'm guessing there was an out-of-state special interest group or two and maybe even a for-profit charter management company lurking behind the screen. There is no place for secrecy in an issue of this importance.
As we watch the transfer of power from the Obama administration to the Trump administration, I would commend "The President's Club" to you. Written by a couple of Time magazine editors who have covered the White House for many years, the book describes how every sitting president comes to a point where they have need to seek the advice and counsel of one or more of their predecessors on a particularly thorny matter, many times involving national security. Men who were once bitter enemies quickly understand that only someone who has sat in the Oval Office can understand the enormity of the issues with which the current president is dealing. We won't know when it happens, but I don't expect anything in the just-concluded election to change that dynamic.
Finally, I hope you notice a new photograph accompanying this space. It replaces maybe the ugliest mug shot in the history of the world - or that is at least what a number of readers told me, as well as The Woman Who Shares My Name. Reader criticism I can handle, but not from someone capable of force-feeding me broccoli for breakfast. Ergo, the new photo. I wonder if Brad Pitt has ever had to go through something like this?
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb.