Recently, this editorial board gave kudos to City Manager Isaiah Hugley and Councilor Pops Barnes for their public objection to me saying we use "slave labor" to do public works. They accused me of using deliberate exaggeration and hyperbole to make a point.
The truth is the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude except for punishment for crime.
This could be a classic case of the mis-education of the American Negro and since the board agreed, of some white Americans, too.
This unfair, unjust and oppressive criminal injustice system has perfected how to capitalize and profit from those who are the least and weakest of our society, the mentally ill, substances abusers and the poor. Nobody has to tell me it's about the money, stupid. We have become comfortable with so many negative and ungodly characteristics of our culture that this present age is now under the judgment of God.
We have called the Faith Community to 90 days of fasting and prayer. As we repent and turn to God, we expect His intervention in these matters.
The important issues include: 1. Transitioning a percentage of these prison jobs to paying jobs; 2. No speedy trial for non-violent offenders and the impact this is having on their families; 3. This man-made poverty and economic caste system, fueling a subculture and underclass that is becoming more and more dangerous to us all; 4. Allowing separate and unequal schools that are worse than the separate and unequal schools of the '50s and '60s; and 5. Obstructionism and a resistance to change played out by allowing the death of a change agent, Dr. Jim Burns, to be swept under the rug. We pray that this year, God will reveal the truth about the death of Jim Burns.
Richard A. Jessie
The collaboration between Colin Martin, a so-called conservative Republican, and attorney Frank Myers, a former local Democratic chairman, in the passage of the local regional TSPLOST makes the old adage come to fruition, "policies makes strange bedfellows!"
The TSPLOST is a regressive tax that negatively affects the elderly on fixed income, the lower and middle income households the most. The TSPLOST is one percent of all purchases, costing the average household in Muscogee County approximately $300 million for projects in Muscogee County and the other $61 million goes to the other 15 counties within the River Valley Transportation Region.
The insanity exists when these counties are in direct competition with Muscogee County and we are just giving away our tax dollars to them!
Colin Martin summed it up in his website, greenislandhillbilly.blogsport.com, when he was promoting the TSPLOST in the rural counties of the River Valley Transportation Region: "Finally, in the rural areas, the message was simple. You spend money in Columbus. Here is a chance to get it back for transportation. It will be more money than you'll ever see otherwise."
I can't believe Colin's motto: "Hold on, help is on the way." Public safety and city employees should be complaining about this unfair tax and how it was imposed upon us.
The Republican Party has a majority in the General Assembly that created 12 transportation regions in a divide-and-conquer mentality instead of a state referendum which would have faced defeat. They violated home rule, penalized counties that did not participate in voting/targeted low voter turnout on July 31, and redistributed wealth to other counties through taxation.
Paul S. Olson
Liberty will out
Religious fanaticism, in my opinion, borders on mental illness. No matter how viscerally disturbing Muslim (or other rigid theological) sects are, I find comfort in the fact that these mind-numbing groups will eventually fail.
I realized this when listening with great joy to music the other day. Some orthodoxies prohibit or restrict music and the visual arts to protect their "purity." But these art forms reflect some of the most characteristic human traits of our species. The intellectual shackles of these religious movements will be broken by the very core nature of human thought. Western societies have long enjoyed freedom of artistic expression and we are all the better for it (even if I don't like someone playing a boom box blasting rap at my gas station). Think Bach, The Beatles, van Gogh, Rembrandt, etc.
So take heart. As troubling as these primitive thinking thugs are, eventually, if we can just contain their sick hatred, freedom of thought will prevail.
The mental giants in the General Assembly have introduced a "religious freedom" bill that copies the other mental giants out west which permits discrimination in the name of religion.
These mental giants are the spokespersons for God. If you don't believe it, just ask them.
Jesus taught that we must love each other. I guess I missed something in my reading of the Bible.
In any event, we can all take comfort that our representatives in Atlanta are guarding our moral conduct while ignoring real issues.
Some things are less important than real problems. The protection of perceived moral failings is a perfect example.