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Your Views: Forks in the road of democracy lead to agitation
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Agitation seems to be everywhere. Currently this agitation is seen and heard by those disrupting the annual August democratic town-hall meetings.

Leaving aside the question of whether this activity is a grass-roots movement or a coordinated effort on the part of the insurance industry, it is fair to say that this is an effective tactic for dividing people and getting segments of the population to foolishly act against their own best interest.

The word "democracy" conjures up images of the rabble or the mob, and many of our founders feared too much democracy. I suggest that in these staged disruptions of political debate we actually are seeing not democracy at work but a renewed fear of democracy, a coordinated effort to undermine the workings of our democracy, by equating government with tyranny, and violent mob action with democracy at work. It is all provoked by business interests, by bought-and-paid-for politicians from both parties, and by the gullible among us, speaking (or parroting) with forked tongues, using lies for truth and image for fact.

Those who speak with forked tongues continually tempt the more gullible among us to believe that government is the problem. That democratic government is the worst form of tyranny and the true enemy of liberty and freedom.

The failure, now affecting governance in this country, is a result of this lie, and the corrosive effects of corporate money filling the vacuum of influence. A vacuum created because "we the people" found the distractions spewing from the media spin-machines more comfortable and tolerable than our responsibilities in being citizens.

The road ahead is complex. Health care is center-stage today. But tomorrow, we will return to the issue of accepting or rejecting the science of global warming, and what to do about it; deciding if water is a human right or a commodity; and, the perennial issues of population, resource depletion and empire’s claim to all, for itself, by force and violence.

I want to suggest that each of these issues is actually a fork in the road ahead of us. They are opportunities for us to use the instrument of government crafted and entrusted to us as by our revolutionary ancestors as a tool for the common good. Or sadly, we can continue as before, cowered by complexity, willingly ignorant of the facts, and all too willing to let the narrow self-interest of others (those who speak with forked tongues) do our thinking for us.

Yogi Berra once said, "when you come to a fork in the road, take it." The American Revolution was our revolutionary ancestors fork in the road. They took it. We benefited from their adventurous spirit. Our children’s children will benefit or suffer by how we face the forks in the road ahead.

Bruce Rodgers
Sautee Nacoochee

From a landlord’s viewpoint, multiple pets are a nuisance
I could not help but get a little stirred up with the comments made by the young fellow from Athens with the three dogs who has been turned away by rental agencies and landlords.

I have had and loved pets all of my life, but I completely understand and support the actions of the agencies or persons who do not wish to have pets on their property.

I can’t believe someone would even consider a child being more damaging to a property than a well-trained dog. I have never known of a child to chew the banister supports off of the front porch, dig holes in the yard, bark and disturb the neighbors, attack another child or adult with their teeth and require stitches or surgery.

I have never heard of a child defecating and urinating in the yard on a daily basis. I have never heard of a child scratching the finish off of the doors with their fingernails. I have never heard of a child bringing fleas into a house requiring an exterminator to treat the house or apartment complex for 90 days at the owners’ expense.

Even the most well-behaved pet has its moments of misbehavior and we have not even mentioned our feline friends. It only takes a couple of bad pet experiences to outweigh the good ones.

Perhaps this young renter should take advantage of the low real estate prices and buy a duplex, then rent the other side of the duplex to a nice renter with three perfect dogs (one of which needs to have pit bull in its pedigree). He’ll experience firsthand the joys of renting to pet owners.

Fred Powell