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Community Forum: Yarbrough doesn't truly understand Carter
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Dick Yarbrough's column, "Carter should stick to wood and poetry," was appalling both in its tone and in the ignorance he demonstrated about the post presidential activities of our 39th president, Jimmy Carter.

As it happens, my husband and I spent Thursday and Friday at the Carter Center followed by the opportunity to take our family to Plains on Saturday and Sunday, where we heard President Carter teach a Sunday school class at Maranatha Baptist Church, something he does at least twice a month.

I was not appalled that Yarbrough dislikes Carter; rather it was the rude and patronizing tone in which he dismissed Carter's attempt to bring peace to Israel and Palestine. Maybe Dick's momma did not teach him to respect those whose character and achievement demand respect as my momma did.

But until Mr. Yarbrough has done as much as President Carter has to bring relief to human suffering, I believe he should at least be factual and accurate in his pronouncements about Mr. Carter's efforts.

Jimmy Carter is a person that we can all emulate in our retirement years. He may not be able to bring a peaceful solution to the Israel-Palestine situation, but our government has not tried for six years to negotiate for peace.

On the same trip, the Carters also visited several countries in Africa, where Carter Center programs have virtually eliminated Guinea worm and river blindness; the center also is attacking, with great success, other diseases like malaria which kills so many on the African continent every year.

It is true that President Carter has written more than 20 books since the end of his presidency. Many of them were best-sellers. In addition, he makes time to build Habitat for Humanity homes and, yes, make some furniture that is sold for the benefit of Carter Center programs. He is a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and lives a life that is consistent with his Christian faith, the values America stands for and one to which we all should aspire to emulate in our retirement years.

I, for one, believe that our country would be a better place if our rhetoric was less strident and more mindful of the principles followed at the Carter Center. "Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."

Dick Yarborough, stick to writing about Georgia football and avoid topics about which you simply are uninformed.

Robin B. Harben

Today's political evils threaten our way of life
The "Axis of Evil," as stated by President Bush a few years ago, was Iraq, Iran and North Korea due to their radical leaders and acts of aggression.

But what could the top 10 evil talking points be during this election year? How would "evil" play out in today's political environment? How would it differ by political party as we listen to their sound bites?
Here are the political evil top 10 talking points, first for Republicans and then Democrats:

1. Terrorism and rogue leaders vs. Fox News and talk radio.
2. Government-controlled health care vs. individual-controlled health care.
3. Congress' pork spending vs. military spending.
4. Higher taxes vs. tax cuts. (Fair Tax?)
5. More government control vs. less government control.
6. Abortion vs. right to life.
7. Code Pink and vs. Religious Right and NRA.
8. Entertainers and political elitist vs. corporate greed and capital gains. (And the evil rich are?)
9. Race baiters vs. guns and God.
10. ACLU vs. tort reform.

You get the idea and can probably add to my list. But, the big question remains: Will Americans ever figure out what is best for our nation or will the "gimme" crowd win?

For the sake of our country and all who have fought for it, the silent majority is thankful and proud to be an America. Rich or not, we're all blessed to be citizens of this great nation. Why do so many take risk to get here? We're the promise land, where dreams are made and found.

We must understand that pride of country and one's self will foster a nation that will grow and prosper as her individuals do. But some politicians, in order to control you, want us to feel obsessed with class warfare and delusional concepts toward life struggles. That breeds resentment and hate as it tears down our core values that will only deliver us into a disastrous state.

There are people, even Americans, who don't believe in our Constitution or way of life. They will do anything to see it destroyed.

Some come disguised as environmentalists who manipulate our earth and animals to further their cause, or just anti-capitalism. Then there's the politician who's a socialist or just plain corrupt who uses influence to line his pockets. A corporation that financially manipulates people and profits or launders money for terrorism. The pastor or cleric who leads his flock into conflictions that are not godly, but spreads his movement of hate in America. The lawyer who manipulates our laws to further his docket and destroy our Constitution. And let's not forget that nice guy who lives in your neighborhood that, unbeknownst to the world, is planning mass human destruction.

Since evil exists in so many ways, we must become more independent and tap into our resources. Why spend our money to build the coffers of a rogue nation? Why are we not drilling for oil here? We have oil reserves and technology. Why are we not giving more tax breaks that will generate individual saving and investing? Why no individual tax breaks for medical insurance? Why is it not "made in America?"

The answers are in Washington, and Congress holds the keys. Or does China, Mexico, India, Saudi Arabia or Venezuela hold us captive?

"Freedom isn't free" is a wise quote to remember in this election year. And yes, there will be change. A new president will emerge; now if only we had term limits on Congress.

Jane Browder

A state water solution: Use Flint River project
When I was growing up in Lula in the 1940s, we considered the Chattahoochee River to be one of our greatest natural resources both for recreation and water. Several cities and towns along the river obtained a water supply without question. When the Lake Lanier reservoir was completed, the only thing that changed was that we had more of this resource, along with hydroelectric power, for the growing metro area.

Sometime later, a federal project was established and funded for a reservoir on the Flint River, which shares flow with the Chattahoochee into Lake Seminole on the Georgia-Florida border. From there, the Apalachicola River flows into Florida.

When Jimmy Carter became president, he had the Flint River project defunded and canceled. This changed the downstream demand for water flow from Lake Lanier, resulting in the water dispute we have today.

It is not too late to re-establish the Flint River project and ease the demand on Lake Lanier. We should all prevail on all of our elected representatives in Washington to get this done. Otherwise, the Army Corps of Engineers can set new boundaries for Lake Lanier, which may never be full again, as we know it. The long-range forecasts call for a continuing drought into the future.

Bob Stone