Rx reform compromise: Let it die

Thinking Right’s weekend free for all. Pick a topic:

● Al Gore and those who attended the Copenhagen conference on global warming should have read Atlanta-based Grier’s Almanac, continuously published since 1807 and once a bible of farmers: “No mathematician or astronomer can possibly cipher out the weather. When such predications are seen in almanacs, they should be regarded as near guesswork entitled to no confidence and as likely to fail as succeed. As with the influence of the Zodiac, however, we put forth the best guesswork for the benefit of those who believe in it.”

● A man robbing the SouthTrust Bank on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive says he needs the money to pay the mortgage. All who think that to be the actual reason the bank was robbed would be very disappointed to know the truth about Santa. Yes and the men who stole 30 cases of beer from a truck making a delivery to Kroger on Monroe Drive were merely thirsty. Ah, Christmas.

● Headline: “Crime falling in recession.” A shock, no doubt, to those who believe that robbery, theft and burglary crimes are committed for economic reasons.

● People who do good deeds for which they expect no reward — and there are many who come forth in this holiday season — are good Samaritans, not heroes. Heroes are people who risk their lives in a specific act of valor to save others. Firemen, policemen, teachers, athletes and others who deserve our appreciation for the jobs they do are often praise-worthy, but almost never heroes.

● Headline: “Health bill deals strain House, Senate.” That need not be. In the spirit of Christmas, find common ground. Compromise. Let this monstrosity die.

● My Christmas wish is that no more stories in 2010 like the one that appeared three days before Christmas. The lender, GE Capital, acquires a 90 percent stake in the company that publishes newspapers in Thomaston and LaGrange and in eight states outside Georgia. Bankruptcy. Newspapers and family-owned ones especially, were the love of my professional life.

● The same AJC that dampens the spirits with the Thomaston and LaGrange newspaper story lifts them with the announcement that Chip Caray will be back broadcasting Atlanta Braves games as the play-by-play voice for 105 games on Fox Sports South and SportSouth. He’s professional, informative and pleasant to the ear.

● “No Country for Old Men” tops the list of the decade’s best movies, as assembled by Associated Press movie critic Christy Lemire. When the day’s news reflects so much inhumanity and brutality — the stepfather who jabbed 42 needles into the body of a two-year-old boy in Brazil, for example — how can anybody enjoy seeing evil on the screen? “No Country…” is unrelenting evil.

● Self-centeredness — as in, for example, the couple that crashed President Obama’s state dinner — is one unattractive quality the nation should resolve to leave in 2009. No chance, though. The parents of a 4-year-old Texas pre-k tot are fighting the local school district, refusing to trim the boy’s long hair, which violates the school’s dress code. It’s amazing how many people in this country believe all institutions should bend to the wishes of the individual. No rules for me.

● In truth, though, the joy of Christmas cannot be suppressed in my world, no matter the frightening course chosen by this Congress and administration or the disappointments and personally destructive behavior witnessed under the Gold Dome. Politics go away. This Christmas we are basking in the beautiful star of Bethlehem that shines in the eyes of our first grandchild, Stella Ann Faur, born Dec. 4. Like her mother, she comes into this world with red hair and a face that steals the hearts of all who gaze upon her. Life is good.

21 comments Add your comment

Michael H. Smith

December 24th, 2009
6:18 pm

Letting the so-called healthcare reform legislation die somewhere between House and Senate is a wonderful suggestion for a justifiable mercy killing, Dr. Wooten. Bet it would be equally as good a cure for Caps and Trades. Besides, Al Gore needs to invent something else now that he has been debunked on creating the Internet and Global Climate Change.

david wayne osedach

December 25th, 2009
10:46 am

Health care reform is here to stay! Get used to the idea. The costs will probably top the forecast of a trillion.

Road Scholar

December 25th, 2009
11:06 am

I realize your editorial is only posted once a week, but is this the best you can do on Christmas Day? I hope that you find some inner peace, esp on a holiday conservatives state is the most important of the year and while stating that all liberals are heathens. Who’s the heathen now?

Chris Broe

December 25th, 2009
1:00 pm

“Newspapers and family-owned ones especially, were the love of my professional life.”

You shouldn’t have sold out, man. That means that you had to convince yourself that you believed what you were told to write, and inch by inch you had to live at odds with whoever you might have become. Every author is forced to read his own words first, so writing a lie is mind-bending and soul-changing.

If you sell out Right or Left, then you have to absorb the party line to make sure your thoughts conform to the sound bites. Eventually, any vestige of individuality that might have survived your inner-mercenary can no longer free itself from the partisan quicksand.

Any sellout ends up performing the same trick for the same praise from the same reader; a photo-op of a photo-op of a photo-op; a multiple mirror image where the subject gets smaller and smaller; an infinite set of chinese boxes in ever smaller boxes; a blade of grass in a field of fescue; a hawk in a spittoon.

To further drive home this point about selling out: A PBS radio news article last week extolled the virtues of drawing a portrait of a fly in a urinal so that a man will aim properly and less urine ends up on the floor. It has to be a fly, not a wasp or a moth. The 6-legged freak lights up a man’s inner radar and public hygiene benefits.

I forgot how to connect this story to selling out. Darn. Xmas is ruined…

Merry Christmas.


December 25th, 2009
4:19 pm

Jim, hoping your Christmas is filled with the joy of family & friends.

What could be dumber than bank robber who tries to sell that excuse? The people who believe him, of course. That would be those of liberal persuasion.

Michael H. Smith

December 25th, 2009
7:37 pm

Perhaps uninformed liberals should listen to other socialist liberals – like Comrade Cynthia – who constantly condemns the Pagan origins of Christmas as indulging in Heathenism?

You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free. Even when it makes you mad to hear it.


December 26th, 2009
8:40 am

Congratulations on the first grandchild. With four, I know exactly how you feel.

It appears that health care “reform” is here to stay. We should now focus on not killing the bill but on moderating the bill. The problem that remains unresolved by the bill, and by the Republican party, is what to do about the soaring costs that are going to decimate Medicare/Medicaid/CHIP & your paycheck. We can never take our eye off of the fact that the “medicare” numbers are going to double when the baby boomers get on the rolls. There will be 88 million people on the rolls, 25% of the population. Both the Republicans & the Democrats are ignoring the problem, kicking the can down the road a few more years. But they continue to draw their $174,000. salary and you folks keep re-electing the same ones to go to Washington and not solve your problems. We need either to kill “medicare” (good luck!) or correct the built in problems, or you folks 45 years of age and younger will see your Federal taxes/withholding double in 25 years. Sorry, but that is just the way it is.


December 26th, 2009
8:41 pm

Over and over and over againl, nothing of substance to say, so just restate the obvious with unenlightened abandon. Pathetic.


December 27th, 2009
12:47 am

Mr. Wooten: what, pray tell, does the length of a four year old’s hair have to do with his ability to master a pre-k curriculum? Unless the tot’s name is Samson, I am thinking not a darn thing.


December 27th, 2009
9:15 am

JM, learning to follow rules is a very important part of a child’s school experience. Break a rule here and break a rule there and you’ll soon have another thug on the streets.


December 27th, 2009
1:42 pm

Why are republicans so afraid of science? Except, of course, where the sciences are used to create financial derivatives, or cloned agricultural products, or some other scientific way to get more work out of workers yet pay them less.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

December 28th, 2009
9:34 am

Hope all had a Merry Christmas. Congrats on the grandbaby, Jim. We are not yet so blessed, at least not so far as we know.

Best movies of the decade: I have only four on my list. “Passion of the Christ” – a movie for the ages. “Amelie” and “Enchanted” – both charming movies with gentle humor. “Team America” – funniest movie since “Blazing Saddles.” “Moulin Rouge” and “Chicago” were the only other ones I thought worthy.

Mixed feeling on the long-haired pre-k. But for the compulsive attendance laws I would call the parents idiots and jerks. Where there is government compulsion, I oppose arbitrary rules. Arbitrary rules are fine for elective associations.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

December 28th, 2009
9:36 am

Hey Michael @ 1:42 yesterday, how’s that Buggy Whip factory doing?

Uh hello...

December 28th, 2009
9:40 am

The Copenhagen Climate Council is addressing climate, not weather.

But I didn’t really expect Wooten or his dogmatic AM-radio-scientists ilk to realize that there was any difference at all.



December 28th, 2009
11:43 am

It stands to reason that Ragweed’s best movie is the one that boils down to “It’s all the fault of the Jews.”


December 28th, 2009
12:14 pm

Conservatives do not hate science. They hate “bad” science. The agenda driven science being sold to the world about climate is bad science. Good science should not be agenda driven. It should not hide disenting opinions, but debate them. And it most certainly should not alter and fabricate data to fit a theory. All of the above applies here.

Dr Happer, head of the Happer labs at Princeton, says there is absolutely no science available to predict climate. There are so many factors which can affect climate, it is simply impossible. He blames politics and feels this research had so much pressure to produce the “right answer” and so much funding riding on the “right answer” that it was impossible to be objective. the result is “bad” science.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

December 28th, 2009
1:08 pm

Poor Tom @ 11:43, you fail to notice that all of the characters, good guys and bad guys, – save two – are Jewish. You note sounds like the raving of one without beliefs entirely.


December 28th, 2009
2:38 pm

Very interesting to see Mr. Wooten’s myopic definition of the word “hero”. Perhaps he needs either new glasses or a new dictionary.


December 29th, 2009
4:17 pm

worst taste in movies for 2009 goes to ragnar midcap…horrible, really horrible.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

December 30th, 2009
9:20 am

Dear Lenny, we would agree that leftists prefer to wallow in misery rather than see their spirits uplifted. We conservatives call that a “mental problem.”


December 30th, 2009
3:05 pm

Well, Jim Wooten

I wish you the best of all things at this time of precious celebration. And then you get to celebrate the birth of a grandchild! Your cup runneth over!

Baseballl and the Braves. I love ‘em. And we will have Chip next year. I still have my paper fan with the picture of Skip and Pete. Got it at one of those GOOD games. I will still miss those two.

Thank you always for giving us your practical and thought provoking columns. They are like a breath of fresh air in the fetid air of current politics. As might be said about the news writers of today, “a good man is hard to find”. So we are fortunate to have you Happy New Year and keep up the good work.