As the nation stumbles
The turmoil of this election has given me pause. Though we Americans see ourselves as a supposed superpower, we have two presidential candidates who fall short of the standard we have strived to uphold. They are supported by a news media that is confused between the basic concepts of news and opinion.
Some 200 years ago a question was posed to President Thomas Jefferson by a loyal friend: “Thomas, which of the two would you prefer: a good nation with a bad newspaper or a bad nation with a good newspaper?” The president favored the latter. A well informed public can make good decisions. My question is, which do we have now? Unfortunately, the American public is often faced with opinions, not facts, from which to make a wise decision. The opinions we do have are often formed with little research, such as the public opinion formed by the recent Macon shooting article.
A news reporter stated that Officer Ussery made the comment, “Monkeys can move faster than y’all.” The deputy was disciplined for using an old Southern expression, “Monkey, get down from there before you fall!” The expression refers to one’s offspring as monkeys, and that is all. The expression has nothing to do with skin color or anything derogatory or hurtful, which is how it was perceived by many. I feel that there is too much political correctness and not enough common sense.
Daniel E. Lee, Macon
Jelena Lee, Bonaire
No perfect world
I completely understand the opposition to Amendment 1. I have friends who teach in one of the top school systems in Middle Georgia and have appreciation for the hard job teachers have. The thought of state takeover of a school system makes the Libertarian in me shake my head in disbelief.
In a perfect world, there would be no need for an Amendment 1. In that world, taxes and government spending would be within consitutional limits. Parents would be able to send their children to whatever school they chose without needing a government handout (i.e.: vouchers) because they’d be keeping more of the money they earn. But as you well know, we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world where lots of taxpayer money is spent on wasteful things. That includes underperforming schools.
So I ask almost rhetorically, what are we to do? Should taxpayers be expected to see their money wasted on schools failing to educate their students? Wanting to maintain local control is a laudable concept and normally I would be on that side. But continuing to give money to schools that aren’t doing their job is like paying a football coach who can’t win games.
Yes, I realize many of the faiiling schools are in urban areas. Yes, I realize poor children have disadvantages when it comes to education. But that’s not an excuse to allow schools to continue down a self-destructive path. If Amendment 1 is bad, don’t just complain about it. Come up with ideas and change the way things are done.
As sports columnist Woody Paige has said many times when appearing on ESPN’s “Around The Horn,” be solution-oriented. Because if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.
Dave Whitaker, Danville
Welcomed like family
My family and I are humbled beyond words by the community of Macon. We left our home early Oct. 6 in advance of a mandatory evacuation from Hurricane Matthew. We had thankfully made reservations at the last vacant hotel in Georgia, which happened to be in Macon. After going through our home and carefully selecting our most treasured possessions (after our children and pets, of course), we headed for Macon not knowing what we would be returning to. The storm was predicted to cause catastrophic damage to Georgia’s barrier islands.
Upon our arrival in Macon, we searched for a park to have lunch and stretch our legs. We landed at North Macon Park. While there, we were approached by two individuals with the city of Macon who graciously welcomed us and let us know where there were plenty of pet-friendly places to see and activities to do in the city. Throughout our five night stay, we visited the Rookery, Amerson River Park, the Georgia National Fair (I know it isn’t technically in Macon) and many other restaurants near the hotel in which we stayed. We were overwhelmed by the sincere welcome, the hospitality, the kind words, and many appreciated prayers. We will return to your community as a destination in the future. Thank you, Maconites, for making us feel at home during such a challenging time.
St. Simons Island
Cutting Social Security
Republicans, led by Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., are mounting a frontal attack on Social Security. Perdue says Congress should consider taking Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid off of autopilot and empowering lawmakers to reauthorize their spending levels on an annual or biennial basis. Perdue insinuates the only way to tackle the nation’s debt is to fundamentally change the way America’s earned-benefit programs have been managed since their creation.
Specifically, Perdue wants to give Congress new authority to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits each year (or at least every other year) including the creation of arbitrary spending caps. Both moves ignore the unique nature of how Social Security and Medicare are funded; specifically, the fact that American workers contribute to these earned benefits through payroll contributions. Not one cent of general tax revenue goes to Social Security.
Perdue is not ignorant. He knows that Social Security did not contribute one cent to the national debt. And cutting Social Security will not reduce the debt. The question is: Why is Perdue so down on senior citizens?
For seniors who voted for Perdue, this is how he wants to repay you: Cut your Social Security and Medicare. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., shares Perdue’s view to cut Social Security. I encourage seniors not to make the same mistake by voting to re-elect Isakson. Jim Barksdale opposes cutting Social Security and favors increasing Social Security.
Ronald L. Cain, Elko