This is Viewpoints for Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 14, 2013 

Baseball memories

Many thanks to Bobby Pope for his occasional columns on the good ole days. I guess I’m one of the sports fans in Macon who’s old enough to appreciate the memories. His most recent piece about the old Atlanta Crackers and Ponce de Leon Park stirred some particularly fond ones.

I too grew up following the Crackers more enthusiastically than even the major league teams. In fact, the main reason I became an Atlanta Braves fan in the mid-1950s was that the Crackers had become their minor-league affiliate.

Yes, I remember Bob Montag and Frank DiPrima. I also loved Frank Torre and Chuck Tanner, who went on to successful careers with the Milwaukee Braves, and others like Corky Valentine and Country Brown, who never arrived in the big leagues.

When the Macon Braves were still in town, Harmon Killebrew made an appearance at Luther Williams Field and I lined up to get his autograph. While he was signing, I asked him if he recalled an inside-the-park homer he hit at Ponce de Leon one time against the Crackers. The long fly ball rolled up the center-field terrace by the big magnolia tree that Pope described in his column. Killebrew, who was never known for his speed during his great career, flashed a wry smile and wise-cracked, “Yeah, I was fast, wasn’t I?”

-- John Marson Dunaway

Macon

Remedial parenting

The Bibb County School System just completed Criterion-Referenced Competency Test last week and soon we’ll have the results of our students’ achievements. My hope is that for all the dedicated efforts of the students, parents, teachers and staff involved in the education of our children, we desire to see continuous improvement in academic learning.

One thing we know without question, when a parent or parents are actively involved in their children’s educational experience, that child more often than not, have continuous academic success. As a parent, if your child is not demonstrating the expected level of success, ask yourself these questions:

• Did I, as a parent, establish academic expectations with my child before and during this school year?

• How often did I talk with my child at a level of their understanding about the importance of an academic education?

• How often did I meet with my child teachers to gain insight about my child performance and how I could assist?

• Did I engage my child with home (work) assignments to improve their education experience?

If your child is not achieving at their grade level or on the CRCT, before you blame the Bibb County School System, teachers and staff, ask yourself the above questions. There are parents who have children in Bibb County who have done none of the above. If this describes you, your grade is an “F” and you should be required to attend remedial training classes to learn your responsibilities.

-- Danny Boykin

Macon

Take your chances

There have been several letters to the editor about killing snakes. In fact, it is illegal in Georgia to harm, molest or kill a non-venomous snake. Almost all of the snakes you see around your home are of the non-venomous type and your chances of being bitten by a venomous snake are less than being hit by lightning or dying in a car accident (especially with our unsafe roads).

-- Lee Martin

Macon

Sweep?

In the coming consolidation election, it is my fervent hope that none of the irritants currently serving on Macon City Council will be elected. There are enough of those presently serving on the county commission. There is all together too much bickering and not enough decisions being made to settle the community’s needs. While we’re at it, let’s vacate the school board and get someone in there who knows how to run it without upping taxes and wasting what they are given.

-- Frank Steel

Macon

End the IRS

Lighting fireworks on the Fourth of July didn’t restore freedom taken by the tyranny of the IRS. Reading the Declaration of Independence underscored this nation’s return to conditions Founding Fathers found intolerable: government use of fear to take property and control citizens.

The tax code threatens liberty. It cannot be understood by those who must comply with that code or live in fear of penalties imposed by the IRS. A law that cannot be understood is not a law derived from the consent of the governed. If audited, the basic principle of trial-by-jury is replaced by presumed guilt. The accused must prove his innocence. The 16th Amendment must be repealed. End the IRS.

Missouri’s Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder recently said, “No law abiding American should ever have to fear a call from a government official.” The IRS, a tool of fear used by politicians to control citizens, businesses, reward friends and punish enemies, has no place in a free society.

Only the FairTax HR25/S122 ends the IRS and supports the repeal of the 16th Amendment. End direct taxation on jobs and income. Call Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee (202-225-3561). Demand FairTaxHR25 be brought out of committee. End the IRS.

-- Beverly Martin

Fulton, Mo.

Useless group

The unfortunate loss of Steve Allen from the Bibb County Board of Election is just plain ridiculous. Bibb County Democrats might end up like those of us in Houston County without a Democratic Committee. Plus, all our state representatives like Sen. Ross Tolleson, Sen. Cecil Staton, Rep. Larry O’Neal and Rep. Willie Talton, are Republicans who are mostly controlled by special interests. Plus our Republican Rep. Austin Scott, is no Jim Marshall and is hardly known on our base which is our state’s biggest employer.

The Houston County Republican committee meetings have been known to entertain the idea of unconstitutional drug testing of those applying for welfare. Which according to a reporter from the county’s legal journal, which is a right-wing rag, brought forth a standing ovation from that obviously conservative group. No memorable discussions of solutions about the issue of encroachment at RAFB. Just patriotic ramblings. Blah.

-- Frank W. Gadbois

Warner Robins

Made the jump

Accused NSA leaker, Eric Snowden, said that “I cannot live in a country that has to spy on its citizens.” He chose to run to those bastions of democracy, individual freedom and unfettered speech, China and the Soviet Union. The very same Communist countries known for violently silencing any and all opposition from its citizens. The countries that spy on their citizens even more so than the United States. Snowden has jumped out of the proverbial frying pan and into the fire.

-- William D. Carter

Bonaire

Fighting self-determination

The Battle of Gettysburg, Penn., during the War Between the States, was fought July 1–3, 1863 and recently commemorated by a reenactment. The combat resulted in the largest number of casualties of the entire War and is often described as the turning point. On Thursday, Nov. 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln dedicated the Soldiers’ National Cemetery with one of the shortest and most famous speeches of all time. In commenting on the oration, American journalist, H.L. Mencken wrote, “the highest emotion (was) reduced to a few poetical phrases. Lincoln himself never even remotely approached it. It is genuinely stupendous. But let us not forget that it is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the argument in it. Put it into the cold words of everyday. The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination -- that government of the people, by the people, for the people, should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves.”

-- John Wayne Dobson

Macon

One world

We, our, us, as opposed to them, they and those people. We are one people and will remain one until the end of time and beyond. All of us were created by one. None of us had a choice of our gender or color, but we do have a choice in how we relate to each other and treat each other.

After 237 years of celebrating our independence, we should start from this day and year forward being one people and accepting each other no matter the race. After all, biblically we are all connected. Why not make it literally? One world, one people.

-- Peggy Mohammed

Macon

Prayer for Today

Forgive us, Lord, of all our sins. Create in us a clean heart, then restore back to us the joy of thy salvation, that we may worship thee in spirit and truth. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

-- Pastor Joe C. Scott Sr.

Macon

Readers -- ministers, rabbis, priests and laypersons alike are invited to contribute prayers to this weekly feature. Mail them to “Prayer,” The Telegraph, P.O. Box 4167, Macon, GA 31213; or fax to (478) 744-4385; or e-mail letters@macon.com.

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