Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● Georgia’s sex offender registry is said to be “full of errors.” It’s a government program. The fleas come with the dog.
● Ah, I was wrong about the Atlanta public school system’s cheating investigation. It wasn’t “don’t ask, don’t tell.” It was “don’t tell, don’t ask.”
● The Cobb County Commission’s trying to decide whether to put a 1-cent special purpose local option sales tax on the ballot in March or November of next year — in advance of the 1-cent regional transportation tax that’ll be on the ballot in 2012.
A tax proposal that’s not on a general election ballot, when turnout is highest, should be defeated as a matter of principle. Don’t play games.
● Just what a school board trying to fix a problem needs: The DeKalb County state legislative delegation announces that it’ll form a review committee “to assist” the district in responding to accreditation questions raised by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Few politicians can resist the temptation to meddle in somebody else’s education business. Next session the DeKalb school board should return the favor by advising legislators on tax revision.
● I don’t mind the Atlanta zoo losing an elephant or two. But, boy, I wish they’d keep up with their rattlesnakes, especially in an urban neighborhood like Grant Park where kids play.
● One of life’s ongoing mysteries is the success of partisans in casting Georgia’s Voter ID laws as something sinister. So what is sinister about Georgia having what some describe as one of the toughest voter verification systems in the country?
● One of the reasons most Americans feel disconnected from their government is revealed in AJC reporter Jeremy Redmon’s account of the inability of responsible and competent law enforcement agencies to get approval from the feds to participate in a program that allows them to check the immigration status of those jailed for other crimes. The Cherokee County and the Forsyth County sheriff’s departments, for example, have been rejected by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities. There’s such a thing as jury nullification of law, meaning that jurors intentionally elect not to recognize a law as valid.
It’s morally reprehensible then — and when government officials do it because they don’t want to enforce the law. (Redmon notes that, in general, metro Atlanta counties that voted for John McCain seek to join the federal program; Obama counties, including Fulton and DeKalb, along with Atlanta, do not.)
● The Obama administration has referred Arizona to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, prompting Gov. Jan Brewer to declare that “the idea of our American government submitting the duly enforced laws of a state of the United States to ‘review’ by the United Nations is internationalism run amok and unconstitutional.” When my band of right-wingers take over, these will be the rules: 1.) No current or former president, member of Congress or Cabinet-level officer can criticize a sitting president while on foreign soil. 2.) No member of the U.S. military shall be subjected to the authority of an international court or tribunal. 3.) Internal laws, policies and practices necessary to carry them out shall not be referred for comment to any international organization by any entity receiving public money. 4.) It is a violation of protocol for any visiting dignitary of any foreign government, or any receiving official of this government, to comment on any domestic law, regulation, policy or government practice.