As the presidential campaign enters its final convulsions, it is apparent that a sizeable portion of the generally uninformed electorate desires and really believes that a president can prevent all pain and resolve all discomforts. They want that man in office even if they have to register felons and noncitizens to vote.
The illusion that life will always be sunny, pleasant and prosperous defies rational expression, and postulates a situation that does not now, nor ever has, existed. No government can (or ever has been able to) completely assure the prosperity and security of its people. This false expectation is held by many in our age.
The secret to our happiness and prosperity is really no secret at all. The people of a nation can choose to live moral, modest and virtuous lives. They can work productively together as families and communities out of their own sense of familial bonds and brotherly love. They can teach their children to be strong in principle, but to stand firmly on those principles, even when that position is unpopular with Hollywood or the evening news reporter.
They can teach their children to be tolerant in behavior, honest in their dealings with their fellow men and to expect the same in return from others. And as they teach their children, they can live as examples, repenting of their own mistakes as the need arises.
It appears that our people have become so weakened by prosperity and indulgence of every kind that we have forgotten lessons that other nations paid so dearly to experience. If we chose not to remember, circumstances will likely arise that will speak all too loudly in our otherwise deaf ears.
If the American people have chosen to abandon their virtue to the point where they are willing to give all power to one man and his waiting cabal in order to supposedly make everything all right, a man under whose hand some magical "change" will supposedly be wrought, they only need surrender their freedom. Freedom is such a small price to pay for assured comfort. The Russians (1918), French (1789) and Romans (multiple times) can attest to this truth.
"It is a very great mistake to imagine that the object of loyalty is the authority and interest of one individual man, however dignified by the applause or enriched by the success of popular actions." -- Samuel Adams, American patriot.
Michael J. Riemann
Alcohol would ruin lives in White County
My husband, Verner London, ran for chairman of the White County Commission in 1962 on a dry ticket to remove alcohol from the county. At the time, there were numerous beer joints in the county. Verner went all over the county asking people to vote for him.
He went to see Cliff Blalock Sr., a respected businessman in the county, and gave Cliff one of his campaign cards. Cliff said he was for beer and he turned around and tore it up and put it in the trash can. However, Verner was elected as Commission Chairman and served from 1963 to 1966.
But one day Blalock came to Verner's home and told Verner that he had gotten saved and accepted Jesus Christ into his life and that he had been wrong about the beer issue and that he was a changed man. He told Verner that he would help get rid of beer in the county.
In early 1964, Cliff came to a County Commission meeting and asked Charlie Abernathy, another commissioner, if they did a tax re-evaluation would he vote to do away with beer and issuing anymore licenses. He said that he would and he and Verner voted to get rid of beer in the county. Since then there has not been any alcohol in the county, except for the city of Helen.
During those same years, Verner had a poultry shaving business and worked several employees, some of which had alcohol problems. Over a period of 33 years, Verner pastured nine Baptist churches in White, Hall and Habersham counties. We have seen many families' homes wrecked as the result of alcohol. We have seen children who went without food and clothing as a result of alcoholic parents. Many of the same children suffered in getting a good education.
I encourage everyone to get out and vote against beer and wine in our county. If we get it in, we may never have another chance to reverse this decision. I felt led to write this letter and may God Bless each of you to vote "no" to beer and wine.
Our nation needs new leadership
Our country does need a change in leadership. Eight years of Republican rule have brought us a failed economy; an expensive, endless war with diminishing armed forces strength; fewer jobs; and a decreasing middle class.
A Democratic approach -- which would involve shifting the tax cuts from the wealthiest Americans and big corporations to the middle class and small businesses; developing a time line to withdraw our troops from Iraq; and rebuilding our infrastructure -- might produce more jobs and cure some of what ails this nation.
I, for one, think so.