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Your Views: Leaders spin truth for their sake, not ours
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Sweet talk is not enough. Politicians gifted with the ability to speak well have easily persuaded the voters of this country to their point-of-view. Add to this the ingredient of a suave appearance and an attitude of "if you've got it flaunt it," it gets even easier.

Men are best at it when attempting to woo the opposite sex. Politicians are even better; they have refined it to an art form. They call it "spin" and sell it as truth. They make their language shine with the express purpose to deceive.

Washington, D.C., is fulled with politicians gifted with the power to embellish, to arrange their words to beguile and do deceitfully influence. They sell themselves with promises they never intended to keep and deceit they knew was an untruth when spoken.

This is not the leadership America needs, nor is it the leadership envisioned by our founders. This is not the leadership many had hoped would bring about change, a sound fiscal policy.

Our elected national leaders, instead of doing the right and honorable thing, the job the people elected them to do, conveniently begin their endless beguiling claim to a mandate from the people to do whatever they please, the Constitution be damned.

They rush a stimulus bill through Congress deceitfully saying "don't read it, just trust us; if not done now, it will be too late;' it will create jobs." The result being an unemployment rate approaching 10 percent.

They control the press so they can continue to beguile the people. They plant their own people in the press conferences who read prepared questions so as to put out their spin, to make it sound familiar, to make it appear the right thing to do.

They file 300-page amendments to a cap and trade bill in the dark of the night knowing even their own colleagues won't have time to read it, knowing all the while who will and who won't do their bidding, the people be damned.

And then only when the citizens of Iran flee from tyranny and only after right-thinking people demand a response from our leaders do you hear anything but a lukewarm response from Washington.

And now, as the good people of America have celebrated July 4, 2009, in memory and reverence of our Declaration of Independence 233 years ago, our leadership can't wait to condemn the sovereign nation and citizens of Honduras for insisting their president adhere to their Constitution and the rule-of-law of their country.

The writers of this historic document set out in detail King George's long train of abuses, the history of repeated injuries and usurpations, the absolute tyranny, and his refusal to assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. And none of this was set out without first appealing to the supreme judge of the world.

The supreme judge of this world is also the light of this world. With his help, good and right thing Americans will shine the light of truth on our leadership.

We the people insist our leaders made the public will their guile and the public good their end. This is their mandate. Govern us accordingly!

William I. Sykes Jr.

Ailing oak tree should come down for safety's sake
There is a dying tree on the Old Cornelia Highway. It has been trimmed so the branches won't grow into the power lines. The other side, which hangs over the highway, has been neglected allowing it to grow and grow and grow.

The sweet summer rains have produced many leaves, which add to the weight of the tree. I would guess this tree, leaves, branches and trunk would weigh in the neighborhood of possibly three tons. A real heavyweight for sure.

I expect it will come down sometime this summer, perhaps the extra weight of the next rain may do the job. This tree hangs precariously over the highway; both lanes would be affected in the event of the "fall of the mighty oak."

The heart of this tree is exposed showing some late-stage rot; the first 12 or 15 feet show a vertical crack and some serious signs of strain. Just how much longer can it stand?

I cringe when I drive under this once beautiful tree as I head north on Old Cornelia Highway. A red ribbon is tied around the tree. Perhaps someone is going to take it down.

I hope they do. This giant could very well add some names to the Hall County obituary list.

Roger Keebaugh

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