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Your Views: Politicians earn benefits the rest of us dont get
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I am glad that Rep. Nathan Deal is running for governor. This way I will be able to vote against him and be able to campaign against him.

When the representative in our district died (Rep. Charlie Norwood), I sent an e-mail to Deal's office in D.C. because at one time he represented Habersham County. But I did not get any answer from him. The question was a very simple one, which I sent to Sen. Johnny Isakson. The question was how I could order a U.S. flag that has flown over the Capitol. Sen. Isakson answered my e-mail. No answer from Rep. Deal, which I can use at the polls.

I now read in the newspaper that Medicare and the Medicare trust fund are about to run out of funds. Our Congress used those trust funds for other spending and issued paper bonds, which are in a file cabinet near D.C. and are not worth the paper they are written on. Among some of this spending were Congress' fabulous salary, medical care and retirement, of which Rep. Deal has been a member for the last 18 years.

I recall several years ago where our state legislators stated that they needed a raise because they couldn't afford two living places. What about sharing, and who was forcing them to run for any office? Most people want the power and I guess the opportunities for greed that come with political office. I guess this is how corruption of a few give bad names to some our of our representatives.

There is not much difference in either political parties. In the backrooms, it can be heard "help get our candidates get elected, then we can get the good jobs," not "we need to get the good people elected, so that, they can get the country going in the right direction."

I read in the local newspaper several years ago the local school board who said "for the time we put in we should get a raise" and they did get a raise. What happened to our patriotic spirit of volunteerism? Why do we have to be paid for (and in some cases, very highly because they get to set their salary) political office?

I have done my duty. I ran for school board and was defeated in the election. When I discovered why I was defeated, I then ran for at-large City Council (two, four year terms) and won a majority of all four wards. All this for no pay, but I did get and asked for campaign funds.

I am retired from the U.S. Army with 38 active service and reserve National Guard and standby Reserve. I have retired from civilian manufacturing with 35 years as a mechanical engineer. My retirement pay and benefits are no where near what Deal will get for his 18 years in Congress.

I have made up my mind to vote for nonincumbents for the next several elections to get new blood and stop spending and try to get our country back where it should be.

Herdus C. Arrington

Want to save the planet? Let your grass grow
During some of the record-breaking low temperatures this past winter, I became concerned about global warming and other anti-capitalist issues such as my carbon footprint.

After week of racking my feeble cotton-picking mind over these issues, I concluded that the sun controls Earth's climate and global warming is just a political ploy designed to mask the reality of an impending ice age. Else why record low temperatures?

As I seriously contemplated the concept of carbon footprints, I remembers the famous carbon cycle revealed during my government schooling years. Basically this says all organic compounds, such as stove wood, ear wax, gasoline, road kill, etc., represent forms of carbon storage. Upon destruction or decay of these compounds, the entrapped carbon atoms are released, where they once again meander around in the atmosphere.

After weeks of worry and mental anguish I finally reached the conclusion that I was not able to control the sun, ergo, global warming. With global warming beyond my control, I began to concentrate on how to reduce my own personal carbon footprint. The answer was so simple that I even amazed myself of how brilliant I must be.

I designated my property lawn maintenance-free. Being lawn maintenance-free means no grass cutting or burning of dead plant material. Those who would badmouth the pile of brush in front of my house and the waste high grass growing in my maintenance free lawn keep these facts in mind. All the greenery including the leaves on the pecan trees are carbon absorption sites. Each piece of dead plant material in my brush pile is a carbon storage site. If you want to see my carbon footprint, just drive by and turn green with envy.

In the event you should drive by and be offended by the lawn maintenance-free approach to reducing my carbon footprint don't hesitate to stop and tell me so. I have a functional gasoline push mower out back, but you must BYOB: Bring your own beer.

William P. Clark
Flowery Branch