19 September 2014

What Can Scotland's Independence Vote Teach Us About Resurrecting Milton & Campbell Counties

On 18 September 2014, 4,283,392 ballots were cast in the referendum asking a simple question.

Should Scotland be an independent country?

While the "No" votes won the day, it is generally agreed that Scotland and the entire United Kingdom is likely to see wholesale change as devolution of more powers from London to Edinburgh takes place.

As I was watching the election results come in, Thursday night, I could not help but wonder what Scotland's vote could teach us about resurrecting Milton and Campbell counties.

In Fulton County, where I live, there is a long-standing discussion about re-creating the two counties that merged to form Georgia's largest county.

(Campbell and Milton counties should vote on their future much like the Scots did.)
Eighty-three years ago, Campbell County and Milton County both went bankrupt. The two cash-strapped counties combined with Fulton County to give us the borders we know today.

A lot of people, myself included, believe that while consolidating Milton and Campbell counties into Fulton made sense in 1931, it makes little sense to keep Fulton County as it is now.

Quite frankly, Fulton County has become too big for its britches. It is bloated. It is dysfunctional. Fulton County is out of touch with its residents, and should be split up.

In order for that to happen, though, a referendum similar to the one that took place in Scotland would have to occur.

So what can we learn from the Scottish Independence Referendum as we continue the conversation on bringing back Campbell and Milton counties?

18 September 2014

Need Driving Directions to TomorrowWorld? Here They Are, Complete with Maps

If you or your friends are planning to drive to Bouckaert's Farm for TomorrowWorld at the end of September, be prepared for congested traffic. Most of the roads leading to the festival site are two-lane roads in residential neighborhoods.

In addition, the Georgia Department of Transportation is making improvements to the intersection of State Road 154 (Cascade-Palmetto Hwy) with Cedar Grove Road and Ridge Road by replacing the current intersection with a roundabout. As a result of the estimated $3.6 million project, portions of Cedar Grove Road and Cascade-Palmetto Highway are currently closed. A detour, re-routing traffic around the construction, is in place.

But, the Georgia Department of Transportation says the Cedar Grove Road construction won't create any snarls as people make their way to Tomorrowworld.

"We have already provided for the lane closure to be pulled during that week," state DOT spokesperson Natalie Dale told Georgia Unfiltered in an email exchange.

Below are directions to Tomorrowworld:

Democrats Want Georgia's Future Decided by Low-Information Voters

Conservative Rush Limbaugh and Liberal Bill Maher are on the opposite ends of the political spectrum.

But on one thing, they agree.

Low-information voters are dumb dipshits.

Low-information voters are often described as useful idiots; people who are used by those who desire power to further their own cause.

Democrats in Georgia, above all else, desire power. Power is their only passion. Obtaining power is the principle Democrats believe in most. And they are not shy about enlisting useful idiots to achieve their goals.

Lately, there's been a lot of talk about DeKalb County Democrats authorizing Sunday voting in a fairly transparent attempt to boost turnout in their liberal stronghold.

Georgia State Senator Fran Millar (R - Atlanta) was very vociferous in his opposition to Sunday voting, saying that he didn't want more voters. He wanted educated and informed voters.

But that's not what Democrats want.

Democrats want more, in the words of liberal Bill Maher, dipshits. Democrats want more useful idiots. Democrats want more low-information voters to power the Carter/Nunn ticket to victory.

Low-information voters are people who vote for one candidate over another simply because a candidate has a better looking yard sign; has a better sounding name; or is supported by some silly little celebrity. Most low-information voters could not tell you the name of their county commissioner, sheriff, school board member, state Senator, state Representative, Member of Congress, or Governor. And this is not a racial thing. It is across the spectrum.

Low-information voters are the people who Democrats want deciding Georgia's future.

We have some very serious issues facing the great state of Georgia, and elections should not be decided by a group of people who keep up with the Kardashians more than they keep up with the ordinances their local county commission approves.

America already made one mistake when low-information voters put Obama in the White House twice, because it was the "cool and popular thing" to do. Georgia does not need to make the same mistake.

Not Able to Make the Madness? Tune into TomorrowWorld TV on YouTube

We are a week away from the start of TomorrowWorld.

Tickets are still available, but if you want to enjoy the Olympics of Electronic Dance Music from the comfort of your home, TomorrowWorld organizers have that covered.

TomorrowWorld will be live streamed on YouTube each day of the festival, from 7PM until 1AM, at youtube.com/tomorrowland.

17 September 2014

Celebrate Constitution Day by Reading the United States Constitution

On 17 September 1787, the United States Constitution was adopted and signed by thirty-nine delegates to the Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia's Independence Hall.

Two Georgians, Abraham Baldwin and William Few, signed the document and on Wednesday, 2 January 1788, Georgia became the fourth state to ratify the Constitution.

More than 200 years after the Constitution was first adopted, it is remains in effect; a living, breathing document that changes and evolves with the times. Still, the United States Constitution maintains its original principles; principles that hold firm even as the world changes.

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

We the People of the United States are still working to form a more perfect Union, and with the Constitution as our guide, there is no stopping us from reaching that goal.

Below is the entire text of the Constitution of the United States. Take a few moments to read this important document.

DOJ Report: California's Prison Population Increased, While Georgia had Fewer Inmates in 2013

Governor Nathan Deal (R - Georgia) made criminal justice reform a key part of his first term agenda.

Shortly after taking office, Governor Deal convened the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform for Georgians to look at ways the state could, according to Deal, "get to work on promoting recovery and rehabilitation rather than a system that simply hardens criminals."

For three consecutive years, the Governor signed into law criminal justice reform bills that: A.) establishes alternatives to incarceration for low-level, non-violent drug and property offenders and reserves expensive prison beds for the most dangerous offenders; B.) restores judicial discretion by allowing a departure from mandatory minimum sentences in some very limited circumstances; and C.) help rehabilitated offenders successfully re-enter society by removing barriers to employment, housing and education.

Governor Deal's focus criminal justice reform seems to be paying off.

An Atlanta Journal Constitution report said fewer black Georgians are being sent to prison.

Black people still make up more than 60 percent of the state prison population. But in just the past five years, the number of black men being sent to prison has declined 19 percent, and the number of black women has tumbled 33 percent, according to Department of Corrections data obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Rankin and Sheinin (2 August 2014). Fewer black Georgians sent to prison. Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved on 17 September 2014.

In addition, new data from the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics says that while the number of sentenced prisoners grew in 27 states --including three of the four states with the largest prison populations: Texas (up 2 percent), California (up 1 percent), and Florida (up 1 percent)-- sentenced prisoners in Georgia decreased by 1 percent in 2013.

“Since taking office, I have spearheaded legislation to overhaul Georgia’s adult and juvenile criminal justice systems because we simply could not afford the continually increasing costs of incarceration,” Deal said. “Accountability court funding and improved rules for probation detention centers have successfully addressed the large jail backlog and high costs paid to counties housing state offenders. By identifying low-risk, nonviolent offenders and more effective ways to rehabilitate them, we are steering these offenders away from a life of crime and reserving our expensive prison beds for the violent offenders who pose a public safety risk.”

15 September 2014

G3 Festivals Provides a Sneak Peak at the Tomorrowworld Dream Lodges

With the second edition of Tomorrowworld just days away, festival organizers are beginning to reveal more about the event.

(Tomorrowworld Dream Lodges provide luxury and comfort at the three-day music festival. Image courtesy Tomorrowworld.)
Dutch accommodation company G3 Festivals are bringing their exclusive luxury lodges (shown right) to Chattahoochee Hills.

Luxurious tents for two or four persons, the lodges are built on raised FSC-certified hardwood decks offering comfortable indoor and outdoor living space. They come equipped with wooden camp beds, real mattresses, linen and fluffy pillows, plus table and chairs, indoor and outdoor lighting and a cubby-hole for storing valuables. The lodges will be positioned close to the entrance of the festival - which includes a 24-hour reception, bar and restaurant, chill-out area, and even a wellness spa.

"We believe our lodges are the answer to the needs of both the festivals and the visitors," G3 Festivals spokesperson Bas Redhead said.

Earlier this year, the lodges were successfully introduced in Europe at Tomorrowland music festival in Belgium.

The Tomorrowworld Dream Lodges, which started at $2,899, sold out for the festival.

12 September 2014

Fulton County Commission to Vote on Resolution Proclaiming 22 - 29 September "TomorrowWorld Week"

Fulton County is opening its arms and giving Tomorrowworld, the massive electronic dance music festival, a warm welcome next week.

Georgia Unfiltered has learned that Fulton County Commissioners Robb Pitts and Bill Edwards are the co-sponsors of a resolution proclaiming 22 - 29 September Tomorrowworld Week in Fulton County.

The Tomorrowworld Week proclamation is listed on the consent agenda for the Fulton County Commission's 17 September meeting.

Items on the consent agenda are generally considered non-controversial, and are approved by a unanimous vote at the beginning of the Commission meeting.

The resolution (pictured below) cites the study that said the first edition of Tomorrowworld had an "economic impact on the metropolitan Atlanta region equal to the $70 million generated from the Final Four championship games" held in March 2013.

The proclamation also commends Tomorrowworld festival organizers for their contributions to the cultural growth of Fulton County.