Fifty years ago, there were those in America who felt obligated to perform challenging work throughout our nation removing those persons with ideas or vestiges of same that could be deemed communist in nature from our society, in government, in education, in the entertainment industry, etc. It was the era of McCarthyism.
Dr. Catherine Meeks Another training day column and her self-described long journey ahead in terms of dismantling racism in the Episcopal Church and outside the church appears to guarantee herself a lifelong job to continue her 40 year venture with her educational approach, which she describes as her gift of grace and the skills to allow light to shine around the systems of oppression that continue to plague us.
I thought our community had dodged the racism reconciliation circular firing squad espoused by Pacific Consulting Group brought in by Dr. Romain Dallemand to impugn our souls of racism, upon Dallemands resignation, but this hope appears to have been as elusive as Dallemands miracle. I regret to add to Meeks challenge and join the two very verbal white men cited in the training session, to disagree with her approach as evidenced by her writings as published in The Telegraph.
I only disagree, but do not propose to set Meeks right, as she described, because my gifts are minimal by comparison and I carry the burden of a DNA mix of Scotch/Irish/ American Creek Indian, and proudly work in seven rural cemeteries, most of whom have family burials from the Revolutionary War to current times. I am a son of the South, having lived my entire life here, and my ancestral line here runs more than 300 years deep. Yes, some of my forebears served in the Confederate Army, as others have served over generations in the armed forces of the United States, including myself as an enlisted man in the Korean War, proudly serving under Master Sgt. Fields, the finest soldier I ever met, an American of African heritage and veteran of WWII.
I cannot be responsible for history, only study it. I honor ancestors and descendents alike by not besmirching the family name. I offer the concern that picking at a wound can result in festering instead of healing, if that is really what is desired. I do, however, repeat what I once read, Who better to describe another than one who is?
-- Arthur D. Brook.
I am disappointed in our community. On Thursday Jan. 30, my mother suffered a medical emergency outside on the corner of Cotton Avenue and Cherry Street. She was leaning against a building, right beside a door, for more than 45 minutes. Dozens of people passed by her but nobody asked if she needed help or if she was OK. She couldnt breathe and was suffering stress on her heart. She is now in the hospital, sedated and on a respirator. Who knows if this will have a lasting impact?
-- Samantha Bergeron
With regard to R.H. Moultons and Denise Gates letter about the water authority cutting of water with no warning, I, too, had that situation occur to me several years back. But the difference between us was that I did not blame the water authority or the Postal Service. I took ownership of the root of the situation that I caused by not contacting them to see why I didnt get a bill. I know I get a water bill, electric bill and gas bill every month. If I charged something on a credit card, would I not contact the credit card company if I didnt get a bill? This is an age of technology, utilize it to pay your bills online, look up your own account statements online, and pay automatically, but dont blame the company because you didnt take ownership of your account.
-- J. Radke
America is making progress in the fight against colorectal cancer. However, it still remains the third leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States. Many people do not realize that simply aging can put you at higher risk for developing colon cancer and that early stage colon cancer doesnt usually cause symptoms. Colorectal cancer is one of only a few cancers that can be prevented because screening allows doctors to find and remove hidden growths (called polyps) before they become cancer. Removing polyps can prevent cancer altogether.
Colon cancer screening tests can also detect cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage. Unfortunately, nearly half of all Americans are not getting the recommended screenings they need. Many deaths expected from colorectal cancer this year could be avoided.
During National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month this March, I hope members of our community will become more aware of the need to get screened for colorectal cancer. Once you turn 50, it is important that you talk to your doctor about getting screened regularly for colon cancer. The blue star represents the eternal memory of people whose lives have been lost to colorectal cancer and the hope for a future free of the disease. Each time you see the blue star, remember and share the facts -- colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable.
For more information, visit www.umsga.com, or www.NCCRT.org.
-- Layth Saymeh M.D.
Gastroenterology & Hepatology
United Medical Specialists
No COLA for retirees
I feel like Georgias retirees have been forgotten by our governor and state legislators. Because we havent received a cost of living increase, our retirement pensions have remained relatively the same for the past six years. The cost of living -- food, clothing, utilities, gasoline, health care, etc. -- have all gone up and keep rising. Need I even mention that our health insurance premiums have taken a huge jump this year?
The state used to care for its employees when they retired. That apparently is no longer true. Its only lip service. They certainly dont show it because they sure havent provided for our needs. After giving a lifetime to public service I hoped that my service to the citizens of Georgia would be appreciated by our elected officials in Atlanta. However, I dont feel our governor or our state legislators appreciate the sacrifices we made by choosing a career in public service.
I ask that citizens contact our governor and state legislators and ask them to support an immediate COLA increase for Georgias retired workers. State retirees are very concerned about our diminishing financial resources. Speaking as a retired career employee of the state of Georgia whose subsistence depends on an ever diminishing pension check, I feel forsaken by the governor and legislators.
I still have a pen and a telephone, however futile that may be. I feel that it is time to replace any legislator who does not and will not support taking care of Georgias career retirees. Yes, the governor and my representatives have all heard from me today.
-- David Clinard
The coming bribe
One might wonder why the president has been so cavalier about breaking promise after promise that he made when he was marketing Obamacare to a skeptical public during his first term. Was he naive enough to believe that five million people (and many millions more this year) wouldnt notice that their insurance policies were canceled? Or that these same people wouldnt care that the policies they now must shop for in the exchanges often dont let them keep their favorite doctors? Did he think most middle class families wouldnt mind that their premiums are now significantly higher rather than the $2,400 per year savings that the president promised? Did President Obama imagine that Catholic charities, hospitals and businesses wouldnt have a problem with being forced to offer insurance plans with birth control? And that pro-lifers wouldnt eventually realize that their taxes would be illegally used to subsidize all the abortion-on-demand policies in the exchange?
The short answer is that the president is neither naive nor ignorant. He is committed. Committed to transforming America into a European-style country where high unemployment is the norm and the government dictates every phase of business, education and daily living. And because he is committed, he really doesnt care about the broken promises. He doesnt care because he believes that, in time, a majority of us will realize that he really knows better than we do about what is best for us. But as for now, he doesnt quite have 51 percent of the electorate solidly behind him. And therein lies one of the main purposes of Obamacare -- to skim millions of lower middle class voters onto the Medicaid rolls with the prospect of free health care and thus ensure millions more Democratic voters for future elections. Therefore, the one Obamacare promise that the president will never break is the promise to enlarge the Medicaid rolls.
I hope those Americans who dislike Obamacare arent counting on it imploding on itself. Itll never happen as long as this man is president. He will break any promise, raise any tax, bail out any insurance company and offend any religious sensibility before he lets that happen. Its all a numbers game with committed ideologues like the president. He just needs 51 percent of the voters and he will never stop dreaming up ways to bribe them to vote for him and his party. Heres my out-on-a-limb prediction of one of the ways hell try to save Obamacare if it starts to become unsustainable: If President Obama doesnt get enough young people to sign up for Obamacare, he will offer to forgive some portion of their student loans to entice them on board. Doesnt that sound just like him?
Its sad. We were left a legacy of freedom by all the generations of Americans that went before us. Will we be the generation that lets itself be bribed into destroying this precious legacy for our children?
-- Rinda Wilson
Delta-9-telrahyrococannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that creates the high users seek. Euphoria, calmness, anxiety, paranoia, depression, increased appetite, time distortion, schizophrenia, short-term memory loss, mystic thinking, increased heart rate and blood pressure are some of its effects. These effect are reduced after three or four hours; however the effects can linger for days to weeks after the high wears off.
THC is fat-soluble and stays in the bodys fatty tissue and can be found in the urine, blood, hair, saliva, brain cells, sperm and female eggs from three to 30 days after use. THC becomes physiological and physically addictive; furthermore, children produced by users develop compulsive behavior disorders.
The strength of THC varies greatly and once extracted can be inserted into any consumable product. The legalization of marijuana for any reason is opening Pandoras Box and in that box is THC.
-- Travis L. Middleton
May I have the mayors and the commissioners attention? I hope you are all rested after the free trip to Athens. Four months ago, I advised your staff and a very hostile public servant that the garbage cart at one of my rentals was in dire need of replacement. I was told replacement carts were not part of the budget. Hopefully, your staff can be allowed to serve all of the taxpayers that afford you and yours a cushy existence.
-- Joe Hubbard
Dear God, thank you so much for your insights during 2013, such as people responding in kind as they are treated and that through Christ I can bring peace into any daily encounter. Also, thank you for your discipline, helping me through my mistakes and my remembering to give you the credit for the successes of last year. Surely, in wishing to realize our potential, all of us need to allow and even ask you to dictate our purpose in life. And, of course, all the glory goes to you. Amen.
-- Chris Westbrook
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 email@example.com.