Morning Reads – Monday, April 24, 2017

Will is not available this morning and I’m the best replacement he could find. So here are your news links from here, there, and everywhere for Monday morning:

ACLU wins battle over “made up” last name for baby

Two Georgia parents are cheering after winning a dispute over the last name chosen to appear on their child’s birth certificate.  The pair chose “Allah” as the last name of their now toddler daughter, despite a state law which mandates a child’s last name must be one of the parents or a combination of the two.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia filed a lawsuit in March on behalf of Elizabeth and Bilal Walk. The pair named their child “ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah,” but the state would not issue the birth certificate because the name was not in compliance with state law.

The family alleged the denial was a violation of the First Amendment and their civil rights while the Georgia Department of Public Health lawyer argued that the state law should supersede a choice last name. Oddly, the state previously issued birth certificates with the last name “Allah” for two older sons.

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Kirby Smart channels his inner Sean Spicer

University of Georgia football coach Kirby Smart is making news headlines and, once again, it stems from a souring relationship with the media.

Smart announced on Tuesday, per the Macon Telegraph, that the media will no longer be permitted to report injuries, both “non-contact jerseys [sic] and injuries seen in front of media,” until he signs off. Reporters are generally on the practice field for seven to 15 minutes per practice and, before the change, the policy was simply no phone calls and no social media posts from the field.

The new policy begins less than a week after Smart slammed the media…in a press conference. Online Athens reports that a freshman defensive back was injured during a practice in front of reporters. Several reporters wrote about the incident and Coach Smart followed with a vocal indication of his dissatisfaction:

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Morning Reads – Thursday, April 20, 2017

On this date in 1972, the manned lunar module from Apollo 16 landed on the moon.


Jimmy Carter

Sweat Tea

Carr announces firearms license reciprocity agreement with Virginia

Another state has been added to the list for firearms license reciprocity in Georgia.

Attorney General Chris Carr announced Wednesday that Virginia firearms licenses will be recognized in Georgia.

Reciprocity stems from a 1996 law which allows Georgia to grant the privilege to citizens from other states that also recognize Georgia’s firearms licenses.

Virginia recently decided to permit Georgia firearms license holders 21 years of age and older to be protected under their carry laws. This means, effective immediately, Georgia now offers reciprocity and honors Virginia firearms licenses.

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You don’t need to know the law to be above the law

I have been a resident of South Georgia for nearly two years now and, in that time, I have seem some real circus shows in government. But few things top what is happening in Tattnall County right now.

I am not exactly sure what my job title is. Writer, pot stirrer, transparency guru, whatever the name of the day may be, I spend my days examining local governments. I was recently contacted by someone who asked me to look into a matter in the county magistrate judges’ office, one that seemed extremely simple if I spent some time sifting through paperwork at the county courthouse.


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Morning Reads – Thursday, April 13, 2017

On this day in 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial. Long live the irony.


Jimmy Carter

Sweet Tea

Morning Reads – Thursday, April 6, 2017

On this date in 1917, Congress approved a declaration of war on Germany and entered World War I on the Allied side.


Jimmy Carter

Sweet Tea

The 10 Worst Bills of the 2017 Legislative Session

The 2017 Georgia legislative session has come to a close and while any bill that didn’t make it out of both chambers is still “live” come 2018, we can rest easy for the next 9 months, knowing our legislators are home – away from their voting machines.

Shoddy language and all, the campus carry legislation passed in a form that looked nothing like the original presentation, so it was a delight to see the medical cannabis laws expanded, though it is still not clear as to whether or not Governor Deal will sign either positive bill.

As for the “bad” ones, I considered simply posting the clerk’s office hyperlink because there was just so much and narrowing it down seemed nearly impossible. The 10 worst bills are below in no particular order. So, consider them all equally ridiculous.

This is what your government does while you’re busy working and raising a family.

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Senate agrees to House sub for cannabis without THC rollback

The Georgia Senate has agreed to the House substitute of this year’s cannabis oil expansion with less than 12 hours remaining in the 2017 legislative session.

Senate Bill 16, sponsored by State Senator Ben Watson & State Representative Allen Peake, expands the list of conditions eligible for cannabis oil, a substance derived from marijuana that is not smokeable. In addition to end stage cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, mitochondrial disease, Parkinson’s disease and sickle cell in end stages, all of which are permitted under current law, the bill added the following conditions:

  • Tourette’s syndrome, if severe
  • Autism spectrum disorder if a person is at least 18 years of age
  • Autism spectrum disorder if autism is severe and person is under 18
  • Epidermolysis bullosa
  • Alzheimer’s disease, severe and end stage
  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, severe or end stage
  • peripheral neuropathy, severe or end stage
  • certain instances of hospice care

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