Monday, August 29, 2011

Trouble Under the Gold Dome?

            Is there trouble brewing under the gold dome?  It appears the Atlanta-Journal Constitution has been asking this very question for some time now. In a recent article published Sunday, August 28th, 2011 entitled, “Probe sought Deal data,” the AJC is examining the issue of Governor Nathan Deal’s campaign ethics. The remark is whether or not he violated ethic codes during his run for governor. This is not Governor Deal’s first run in with charges of ethics violations as he was recently investigated by The Office of Congressional Ethics for allegedly using his position of power to protect astate program that increased his company profit.  Deal and his representatives, have been adamant of his innocence in both and all accounts referring to the allegations as political ‘witch hunts’ brought on by opposing or competing political parties. Answers for the irregularities in Governor Deal’s campaign and personal finances have been consistently deflected. 

            It is not a secret but more of a widely held idea that I have always been critical of Nathan Deal and his policies both in and out of congress. I have yet to change my mind in his recent tenure of Governor. In past posts on this blog, I might have even taken a cheap jab or two at his existence as a viable political candidate. I admit, this adds an element of biasedness that takes away from my objective opinion. Not to be completely undone in my efforts however, I will stick completely to the issue at hand. Governor Deal has remained silent and defensive on the allegations of Congressional Ethics violations, and is repeating the same pattern at the state level. This being a representative government, one would think that he would be answerable to the people. The AJC article points to its ideology, and in articles from the past, adhering to a seemingly biased anti-Deal opinion. The only problem with disregarding the AJC as a biased liberal mouth piece is the fact that what they are reporting is actually taking place. Deal was being investigated for campaign ethics violations. Recently, as the article points out, the two ethics officials that were investigating Deal had either their pay cut, or their job cut. The commission’s executive secretary believes the jobs were cut due to the two officials pushing the Nathan Deal issue.  The boss of the two officials claims they are merely victims of budget cuts.  However, since their lay-off/pay decrease, the investigation has been toned down dramatically. The two officials were working on subpoena’s that were not followed up on after their job loss. Instead, the Ethics Commission is now requesting that Deal’s lawyer voluntarily produce campaign records. It appears to the common viewer, that perhaps foul play took place. However, due to most American’s willingness to believe in every conspiracy theory and absurd embellishment, the jury will have to remain out on Deal’s issue of ethics violations. 

            Governor Nathan Deal has not been in office a year and is already coming under the same scrutiny that he saw as a Congressman. It is usually centered around the issue of fiscal policy on his own behalf. Not pointing the finger, or attempting to slander Deal in any way, it is more apparent that there are some dealings that are ‘closed door.’ To be more definitive, there are certain aspects of Deal’s tenure that are vague and indefinite. Perhaps if the Governor would exhibit more transparency with his administration, less “witch hunts” would occur.

The Early Days of Teaching

On August eighth I walked through the doors of high school not as a student but as an educator. One week of pre-planning behind me, and nothing but lesson plans in front me I eagerly began the career I had trained for over four years for.  This is a turning point in my life, and an adventure unfolding every day.  I have begun my career as U.S. History and World History teacher. The goal is to mold young minds into the big picture relevance that presents itself every day. By connecting the past, and removing students from the present state of mind, I hope to give them the tools necessary to understand their reality. This concept of ‘teaching’ however, is not an easy task.
There are some misconceptions about teaching that warrant telling at this point. Teaching is not a typical eight hour job. It is usually ten hours plus depending on the amount of papers one must grade. If I was paid by the hour, I would probably hit overtime around Wednesday. There is a quote circulating that states, “Those that can’t do, teach.” I have thought about that quote recently. I have to admit, I do not fully understand it. Some teachers chose to be teachers. That is what they envisioned themselves doing with their lives. How is that not ‘doing?’  Of course there are some like me, who are teaching, and ‘doing.’ I am currently working on my Masters in History. Will I stop there or drift into the realm of the Ph.D? I do not really know. Some would classify my status at the present as that of an amateur historian. According to Marc Bloch, there is no such thing. There are only good historians, and bad historians. Perhaps my idea of “doing,” will be a cross between historian and High School teacher. One thing is for certain, the complexity and diversity of teaching is a harsh reality not easily accepted. It is hardly the aftermath of a failed attempt.

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