Justice Department Approves Georgia Voter I.D. Law

Back in 2007, I wrote several posts about Georgia’s new Voter I.D. Law on my other blog, Slobokan’s Site O’ Schtuff.

Today, I am happy to say that the U.S. Department of Justice has approved the voter I.D. system.

The Justice Department has given Georgia approval to again verify voters’ identity and citizenship, Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced Monday.

Federal officials have pre-cleared a modified new program designed to confirm that prospective voters are U.S. citizens. The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division had repeatedly rejected similar versions of the Georgia program.

It has been mired in legal challenges since 2008…

It’s about time. There is nothing wrong with requiring a voter to show proof of their identity and their citizenship, unless you’re a Democrat.

State Rep. Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta) said, “We should be doing things to encourage them to vote instead of making them jump through hoops”. What hoops? Carrying the same identification they are required to carry if they walk down the street, drive a car, or open an account at a bank? Hello? What hoops are Rep. Bruce referring to?

Oh wait. I remember. The only person jumping through hoops will be Roy Barnes, former Governor (and current candidate for Governor) who was spearheading an effort to overturn the law…

Former Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes had sought the action in a state court, arguing Thursday before Judge Melvin K. Westmoreland that requiring voters to show government-issued photo ID violated the state Constitution.

That’s right. Good ol’ boy Roy, who is the Democratic nominee for Governor was really looking forward to all of those votes from people who thought carrying a photo i.d. would take too much effort or would require them to act like every other member of society.

I think we should light those hoops on fire and watch King Roy sweat a little bit.

If you want to read all my previous posts about the Georgia Voter I.D. Law, here are the links to those posts.

Georgia Voter I.D. Law Upheld
Georgia Voter I.D. Law Not Unconstitutional
State Supreme Court Hears Voter ID Case
The Georgia Voter Yo-Yo Act
Georgia Supreme Court Rejects States Appeal
Georgia Voter ID Law On Hold… Again…
Georgia Voter I.D. Cards Aren’t Quite Ready
Justice Dept. Approves Georgia Voter I.D. Law
Governor Signs Georgia Voter I.D. Law… Again.
Georgia State Senate Debates Voter ID Law. Again.
U.S. Court Denies Appeal On Voter I.D.
Boortz On Yesterday’s Voter I.D. Decision
Georgia Voter I.D. Law On Hold
Got I.D.? No Problem
Nothing More Than A Poll Tax?
The NY Times Is Full Of It
The Georgia Voter ID Bus

Our Return Trip To Glennville

We had such a good time last weekend in Glennville, we decided to venture down to view the Swallow-Tailed Kites one more time. Last weekend, there were just six of us observing the birds. This weekend we had quite a few more.

After meeting at the Little Rock Baptist Church, Gene Wilkinson led us all about a half mile away to observe the arrival of the Swallow-Tailed Kites. It didn’t take long before the first kite came soaring into view.

Swallow-Tailed Kite 1

 

The Swallow-Tailed Kites are one of the most graceful birds to watch, as they soar high on the wind, dive down toward their prey, and then glide peacefully just feet off the ground eating their catch.

Swallow-Tailed Kite 2

 

Within minutes, we had 20 Swallow-Tailed Kites flying over the field.

Swallow-Tailed Kite 11

 

There were plenty of June bugs popping all over the field, and the kites had a field day chasing them down.

Swallow-Tailed Kite 15

 

At one point they birds were flying directly overhead and I thought for a moment they may drop their lunch right on top of our heads.

Swallow-Tailed Kite 24

 

We spent about 2 hours watching these magnificent birds perform their acrobatic stunts, and then we ventured down the road to Jekyll Island again. This time we arrived at low tide and we were able to observe many more birds than we did last weekend.

We got a few photos, but many of the birds were so far offshore we could only see them in the scope.

Royal Tern 2

 

After spending some quality time at the beach, and visiting with Josh Spence, who we just happened to run into at Gould’s Inlet, we began our journey home again.

All in all it was a wonderful day, just as we had hoped. We got to see the magnificence of the Swallow-Tailed Kites again, but the highlight was adding eight, yes eight, life birds to our lists.

It will be a while before we can make it back down there, but we’re already looking forward to birding the Georgia Coast this fall.

Swallow-Tailed Kites Are Magnificent!

As I mentioned yesterday, we were on the road by 4:45 yesterday morning.

Our journey would take us 4 and a half hours toward the Southeast to Glennville, Georgia. The boys handled the drive very well, considering none of them got more than 3 hours sleep because they were so excited about making the trip. We arrived at the location to view the Swallow-Tailed Kites just after 9, and met up with the infamous Mark McShane.

It didn’t take long before the first Swallow-Tailed Kite arrived to start feasting on June bugs.

Swallow-Tailed Kite 3

 

The excitement grew as more and more of these magnificent birds arrived. I was so taken by their beauty, I almost forgot to snap photos. In fact, I didn’t get nearly as many photographs as I had hoped. I wasn’t focusing on lighting or the fact that there were nearly five dozen birds soaring above our heads.

Swallow-Tailed Kite 7

 

As I loaded the photos from the trip onto the computer, I noticed that I didn’t get any “flock photos” to speak of. I have several photos that show 4-5 birds, but none that showed the enormous number of birds flying around. Our oldest son got some video that I will be processing sometime this week, so hopefully he got some good shots of the birds together.

Swallow-Tailed Kite 10

 

It was awesome watching them soar high above in the sky, then dive straight down until they were about one foot off the ground, only the turn at just the right moment and grab the June bugs. As they soared across the grass they were feeding on the wing, never stopping for a second.

Swallow-Tailed Kite 5

 

A few hours later, they were gone again. They show up around the same time each morning and disappear to parts unknown a few hours later. Today’s trip was one of those “you have to do this once in your lifetime” moments, although I can see us making a return trip again very, very, soon.

Not long after the Swallow-Tailed Kites arrived, a few Mississippi Kites joined the feast.

Mississippi Kite 4

 

You wouldn’t know it from my photograph, but the Mississippi Kites are much smaller than their feasting counterparts.

When it was obvious that the Swallow-Tailed Kites had departed for the day, we ventured down the road toward Brunswick, Georgia. The boys and I had never been there, and it was the perfect opportunity to see a few more birds.

We arrived at high-tide, so we didn’t get the chance to see too man shorebirds, which serves us right because Gidget was sitting at home while we were on the beach.

Jekyll Grass 1

 

We watched Brown Pelicans fly up and down the shoreline, diving into the water, as if no one else was there.

Brown Pelican 1

 

After a few hours exploring the Brunswick area, we fueled up the truck and made the trip home.

We walked in the door at 9:15, 16 and a half hours later. It was exhausting, but it was fun, and we’re already planning our next trip so Gidget can go with us.

The boys traveled well, and took a lot of time to research the birds we were going to see, making sure I knewexactly what to look for. Their love for birds and nature is amazing, and I have no doubt that our sons are going to do great things in their lifetime.

Laughing Gull 1

 

I have some more photos up over on my Flickr pages, so make sure you check those out. If you find anything you like let me know, as I do sell prints, but these are not up in the OptiBytes shop just yet.

Let’s Fly!

It’s been a couple months since we’ve gone anywhere, other than the E.L. Huie ponds on a birdwatching trip. Tonight, I am planning a trip up to Rome, Georgia. I love the fact we can drive to places less than an hour away to see some of the most magnificent birds around.

Let's Fly!

 

I was lucky to capture the shot of the Eastern Kingbird shown above. It’s those spontaneous shots that keep me coming back for more.

— Posted with Stuffr! —

One Day Later…

To say I am shocked is an understatement. Last night was the wildest election I have followed since I started voting. I am absolutely stunned. Some good, mostly bad, but completely and absolutely stunned. I just don’t understand what was going through the voters’ heads.

The mission of our local TEA Party organization was to educate the voters, and it’s clear the local TEA parties had absolutely no effect on the outcome of this election. While I think they had a profound effect on the message during the campaign, they had no effect on the voters decision when choosing candidates.

A few candidates won on name recognition alone, and others who busted their ass, won 98% of the straw polls statewide, and gave it everything they had, ended up being kicked to the curb prematurely.

It’s clear that the Republican voters of Georgia did not pick the best candidate to run against Roy Barnes in November. Sure, we still have a run-off on August 10th, but neither Karen Handel nor Nathan Deal are the best candidate for the job. Both of them are better alternatives than Roy Barnes, but they don’t hold a candle to others where liberty and fiscal conservatism are concerned.

With the governors race we have a surrogate showdown between Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin. Gingrich has endorsed Deal and Palin has endorsed Handel. This makes the perfect “career politician” surrogate showdown, with actual career politicians in the candidate as well as endorsing positions.

Doesn’t this make you feel like their way of telling you to “assume the position”?

With the availability of information on the internet, there is no excuse for not researching the best candidate. People have really proven how lazy they are, because voter turn out was extremely low too.

Ten percent of the people have determined the course of the general election for the remainder of the population. I would have thought that conservatives (and independents) across the state would have stepped up to make their voices heard last night, and all we got was the sound of the dedicated few who support incumbents and career politicians.

Republicans in Georgia had a chance to prove they had evolved into a better political party with a mindset on liberty, smaller government, and a return to the values of our founding fathers, but instead they handed the primary election over to the career politicians who got us in this mess in the first place.

Disgusted doesn’t even begin to explain what I am feeling.

Conservatives in general have evolved, but those who just call themselves conservatives are still taking the easy road by listening to one particular talking head at a time and ignoring the issues that matter most.

Yeah, to say I am disgusted is definitely an understatement. 😉

Tomorrow’s The Big Day!

Tomorrow is primary day here in Georgia. It’s been a long and grueling campaign for some candidates, while a couple of incumbents have skated by with no opposition.

Whether you are a registered Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or independent (like me), make sure you get out there tomorrow and vote. Mid-term elections are notorious for extremely low voter turnout, and your vote could literally make the difference whether or not your candidate makes it to the general election.

I voted last Friday afternoon, so I could sit home tomorrow and watch the exit polls and keep my eye glued to the election returns. People say it all the time, but this year is probably the most important mid-term election of my generation (and I am not that young anymore). With out-of-control spending, an out-of-control Congress, and an egomaniacal out-of-control President, we need to elect candidates that will get our country back on track and stop the downward spiral our country is taking.

I am confident that many of the candidates I voted for will win their primary campaigns, and I look forward to voting for them again in the upcoming general election. Once we get this mid-term cycle straightened out, we can all focus on 2012!

My new bumpersticker