Friday, March 8, 2013
The question is now before the U.S. Supreme Court in a challenge brought forth by Shelby County, Alabama.
The United States Supreme Court later this year is expected to rule on whether Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional. The case is before the high court due to a challenge by Shelby County, Alabama, which argues the section is unconstitutional because the calculation — based on voting turnout and registration data from the early 1970s — used by the federal government to determine which states must comply with the law is outdated. Shelby County argues that the overt methods of voter intimidation to block black residents in the county and the state from exercising their right to vote no longer exist in the state. Section 5 requires several states, including Georgia, to have any changes to its voting practices approved by the…
Saturday, March 2, 2013
It's a "just good enough diversion," says one critic.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Jack the Giant Slayer is showing at UA North Point Market 8 in regular and 3D versions. Director Bryan Singer offers a new take on an old story: Jack and the Bean Stalk. Only there's much more to this version than trading a cow for a handful of magic beans, then retrieving a harp and a gold egg laying fowl. The focus is on the giants, these huge, ugly, nose-picking, human-hating Guys in the Sky. This go-round Jack (Nicholas Hoult) goes skyward up an amazing beanstalk (definitely a GMO) with a troop of knights to rescue a princess from a race of giants. And then, the giants come down, utilizing more special effects than you can believe possible, some of them very cool. Here's what the critics are saying: The current wave of …
A Georgia advocacy group is pushing for the re-evaluation of the state's marijuana laws.
Marijuana has been decriminalized in Colorado and Washington state. Should Georgia follow suit? Georgia Campaign for Access, Reform & Education (Georgia CARE), a project of the Georgia Taxpayers Alliance, Inc., seeks to change the state's laws on marijuana, eventually leading to a complete legalization of the drug. The group claims this would unburden our criminal justice system, which is laden with marijuana-related crimes and arrests. Georgia CARE has published a "Blueprint to Reform" (attached to this article) that outlines how it perceives marijuana reform and eventual legalization can happen in Georgia. For example, CARE advocates making marijuana a Schedule II drug and allowing medical prescription of cannabis. Following this, the …
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Elizabeth Hooper offers her opinion on legislation she says uses failed practices of No Child Left Behind.
Does anyone remember the constitutional Amendment battle last year? The battle where our Republican leadership wanted us to pass an amendment which expanded the role of government in Georgia and removed local control by giving it to an appointed State Charter Commission? We bought that one hook, line and sinker. Republicans convinced Republicans – some, not all – to forget about the other part of the party platform that talks about limited government and local control. The same group is back at it in the legislature trying to pass more bills which will eventually destroy our open public schools (vs. closed charter public schools – try moving here in January and getting into one). Why? Because promoting charter schools and vouchers is also…
Sunday, February 24, 2013
The Rock turns into a Snitch in his latest film about what a father would do to save his son.
EDITOR'S NOTE: "Snitch" is showing at AMC Mansell Crossing 14 in Alpharetta. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson plays a father whose estranged son is framed on a drug-dealing charge in "Snitch." With his son facing a hefty sentence, The Rock pleads with the U.S. Attorney (played by Susan Sarandon). He soon learns that the only way to get his son's time reduced is to help them find a bigger fish in the drug world. As you might guess, The Rock does just about anything to save his son. You'll be surprised to know that Johnson does more acting and less action in this movie. Nice try Rock…but the film seeks to make a statement about the futility of the war on drugs, only to take a back seat to its thriller elements. It's not a great film but it's not …
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Critics seem to agree that Bruce Willis should have stopped before this fifth installment of the action movie series.
Saturday, February 16
EDITOR'S NOTE: "A Good Day to Die Hard" is showing at UA North Point Market in Alpharetta. It just may be time for the "Die Hard" series of action movies to die. Judging from the collective thumbs down by critics who wanted to like Bruce Willis' latest movie, I would say that New York Detective John McClane should have hung up his shield with the last installment. But no. Now the good John is in Russia, trying to free his son Jack (Jai Courtney) from prison. Turns out his son is really a CIA operative. Let's leave the rest of the plot and the surprises to the brave souls who are really diehard fans of "Die Hard." They're the ones who should be applauded. Here's what the critics are saying: And there is never a shortage. The cold war may be…
Thursday, February 14, 2013
WhatsYourPrice.com, an online dating website where members bid for first dates, reports more than 3,600 Atlanta-area men were a portion of 369,000 across the country who offered an average of $131.70 during the four weeks preceding Valentine's Day.
Would you pay for a first date? Men bidding on first dates and paying women more for them as Valentine's Day approaches, according to the online dating website, WhatsYourPrice.com. It gives 'generous' members the opportunity to date 'attractive' members who may not even give them a chance on traditional dating websites, according to a press release. A singles study by the world's only dating-auction website found that 3,619 Atlanta men made offers for first dates on Valentine's Day, along with a total of 369,282 men across the country during the last 4 weeks. The average price to get a valentine this year: $131.70, which is 62 percent higher than the site’s annual average of $80 for a first date. "Our study revealed that as Valentine’s Day…
Saturday, February 9, 2013
There's a thriller on the loose and a chilling indictment of the nation's pharmaceutical industry.
EDITOR'S NOTE: "Side Effects" is showing at AMC Mansell Crossing 14 in Alpharetta. Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh is behind this thriller that shows you what can happen when prescription medications like antidepressants go haywire in "Side Effects." Rooney Mara plays a woman with a lot going on in her life. Her husband, Channing Tatum, is getting out of prison. She's in a financial crisis and in deep depression. Her psychiatrist, Jude Law, subscribes an experimental new drug at the request of another medical colleague played by Catherine Zeta-Jones. While on the drug, Mara's character sleepwalks her way into a murder, and from there we go on a thriller roller-coaster ride. There is a surprise ending to this film so I will not …
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Nancy Berlo questions why businesses from outside the city should be brought in to compete with restaurants paying city property taxes, and offers her own solutions.
Thursday, February 7
As a 24-year resident of Alpharetta, I am very pleased with most of the new ideas surfacing in our city. I love that new restaurants are deciding to locate in our community, even though I am disappointed that some previous ones have not been able to “make it”. I am happy to see that there is talk of focusing city events outside the basic downtown historic district, and would like to see it extended up the State Hwy. 9 corridor to Windward Parkway and perhaps across Haynes Bridge Rd. to near the NorthPoint Mall area. Hopefully City Council will give some credence to these suggestions. As concerning the idea of food trucks, I have some big problems. Why would the city allow trucks to come in and make money at the expense of the …
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
They are armed with optimism, compassion, and love. They are also armed with knowledge of their subjects. They persevere in spite of lack of support, shrinking resources, and strident demands for improved test scores.
Tuesday, February 5
By Bill Eudaly America is still reeling from the recent shooting in Sandy Hook, CT, that killed 20 students and 6 educators. One can only imagine how their families continue to cope with their loss, or how the rest of us make it every day after such a watershed event. Some suggest more prayer, while others say more gun control. Whatever it is, lord, give us more of it–we sure need it. One suggestion is to arm educators. To some, this is not as absurd as it seems. After all, teachers are already on the front lines in facing overcrowded classrooms, gang violence, and now armed intruders. Loaded guns might seem a helpful solution to the problem. However, it could also increase violence if their weapons fall into the wrong hands. One shudders …