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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
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January 23, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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& EDITORIALS "Declare among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not." - Jeremiah 50:2 A 20111, 2017, 2016 ~ Editorial Page ex:el!ence 20!8 wilmer: ~st Headline Writing ~ro ~'~1~~ 20111, 2017 wilmef:. ~sr News Photography I~l~'-(( ~gl 2018, ~17 ~ I'lel~, Bes~ Humorous Column- On the Porch~ ON THE PORCH by Wilt Davis N~w that I'm on my third child, I've got this parent- g thing down pretty good. Mrs. Davis left me last week for a business trip to rlando. My in-laws in Macon offered to keep our lively four-year-old boy during the trip. Of course I could han- dle all three of them, no problem. I am just that kind of dad. But don't you know teachers can tell when a studenfs mom is out of town? Their hair is a mess. Their dothes don't match. Their lunchbox includes two bags of Doritos and a Twinkle. Yep, I'm not so proud that I don't take help when it's offered. So I did. Plus it gave me some time alone with the two teenagers, a chance to teach them valuable life lessons before we launch them into the real world, such as the value of Waffle House. So that's where we went for The Last Supper before the wild child and the verbose wife returned on Friday. "It sure has been quietV we all x~.~x~ agreed. My mother-in-law offered to pick up the little one from school again on Friday; even though the wife was retuming that night. "Oh no," I assured her. "You've had him long enough. I will get him. I miss the little guy? Then, I dropped my track off at the Pit Stop for some minor repairs and walked to work. There were stories to write. There were ads to sell. There were websites to update. And yes, there was my ever-present ADD. Finally, at 3:30 p.m. my ~-fe was calling from an interstate in Florida, and I knew immediately I had blown it. "The school is calling wanting to know why Ford hasn't been picked upS' she said. Ummm. I did have a good excuse. I didn't have a car! Thinking of that little boy sitting alone in the school office waiting on his absent-minded father, I immediately pressed news editor Richard Dumas into service gwing me a ride to Pit Stop to get my truck. We raced down Lee Street only to be stopped at the railroad crossing for a slow train. "Crap!" I quickly dialed Pit Stop to see if my car was ready. "HSs got it in the shop working on itS' Leah said. "Double crap!" "Richard, get out of this traffic jam and go to the soccer field. FlU get my daughter's car since she's at soccer practice" I said. Meanwhile the wife texted. "School called again? Dumas delivered me to Banks Stephens Middle School where I found my daughter's car by the soccer field. "Thanks!" I said, jumping out and finding no key inside the car. Uggg. It was now 3:45 p.m. I wasn't sure what time the school turns orphaned children over to DFACS custod but I was sure it was close now. "School called again;' the wife texted once more. I saw the girls practicing on a field about 200 yards away and sprinted toward them to find my daughter, and her As I approached them I kept scanning the girls and didn't spy my Abbie. "This is JV,' they told me. "Varsity is in the gym? "Triple crap!" So now I began sprinting hundreds of yards back to the gym. At last I found my daughter, got her key and rounded the corner to T.G. Scott Elementary School on two wheels. I ran inside and found assistant principal Chad Sanders on the phone with the police. "Yessir, the suspect father is here now, so I'll be talking to him about this child abandonment situation;' he said. He was kidding. I think. Thankfiall)~ the four-year-old, as always, was glad to see me anyway. "DAY-DAY!!" he screamed. Some fathers struggle keeping their kids when their wife is out of town. It takes a special dad to screw up when they're NOT keeping them. Isn't it great my boy was glad to see me anyway? d~e Monr~e www. MyMCR.net is published every week by The Monroe County Reporter Inc. Will Davis, President Robert M. Williams Jr Vice President Cheryl S, Williams, Secretary-Treasurer OUR STAFF Will Davis Publisher/Editor publisher@mymcr.net Richard Dumas News Editor forsyth@myrncr net A d vCe~i~iln~nMl~a ~a~: Ir i~ Trellis Grant Business Manager business@mymcr net Diane Glidewell Community Editor news@mymcr net Brandon Park Creative Director graphics@mymcr.net Oft~cial Organ of Monroe County and the City of Forsyth 50 N. Jackson St. Forsyth, GA 31029 Periodicals Postage Paid at Forsyth, GA 31029 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: THE MONROE COUNTY REPORTER P.O. Box 795, Forsyth, GA 31029 SUBSCRIPTION RATE: In County: $40 Out of County:. $48 Single Copy:. $1 Deadlines noon on Friday pnor to issue. Comments featured on opinion pages are the oeation of the writers, the do not necessarily reflect the opinioos ~ Reporter management. Publication No. USPS 997-840 PEACH STATE POLITICS by Kyle Wingfield The partial shutdown of the federal government wrapped up its fourth week just as the Georgia General Assembly completed its first week of action in 2019. One imagines the shutdown will end before state legis- lators finish their annual work some- time in early spring, but one never knows. The incongru- ity between these two legislative branches is another occasion to note the state body's su- perior fitness for doing the people's work. The question is why this should be so. Here are a few possibilities. The first and most obvious is that state leg- islators are closer to the ~ /~/'@,~ people. This is true in the literal sense: Atlanta is nearer to every part of Georgia than Washington, D.C is to any part of our state. It's also true in that they represent smaller geo- graphic areas: At the most, our state senators represent parts of 11 coun- ties, whereas our two U.S. senators jointly represent all 159. Likewise, each state House member represents fewer than 60,000 people, each U.S. House member more than 750,000. More than a century has passed since the U.S. House expanded to the current 435 members, during which time America's population has more than tripled. There's nothing magic, nor necessarily optimal, about that number 435. Britain's Parliament has 650 members (roughly one per 100,000 Britons) and Germany's Bundestag has 709 members (about one per 115,000 Germans). You might think the last thing we need in this countryis a bigger Con- gress, but there's a chance it would make the body more responsive and more representative. Size and proportion are hardly the only structural flaws with Congress. Another one relates to deadlines; the problem being they haven't many. It is widely observed that Congress has become accustomed to governing by crisis. This owes in part to the absence of any deadline other than the ones cre- ated by lawmakers' own dereliction of du . The state Legislature is allowed 40 workdays per year. There's no date by which those 40 days must be used - in theory; lawmakers could work three or four days in each month - but the limit is useful. Also helpful is the added time pressure for members of a part-time legislature, most of whom have other jobs awaiting them, to return home if they want to keep those iobs. The General Assembly's lone man- date is to pass a budget. It is possible lawmakers could let the 40th day expire without passing a budget, and we should acknowledge the leader- ship required to ensure that doesn't happen. Yet, the time limit combined with that dear prioritization means the budget sets much of the tone and tempo for the session. Everything else must fit around it. It also helps that Georgia must balance its budget each year. Now, there are reasons Congress could not easily do that, and there are even reasons Congress perhaps should not do that in any given year. But consider how unlikely the current shutdown would be - over a matter of about $5 billion - if it weren't assumed and even accepted that Washington was going to bor- row almost $1 trillion this year. It is hard to believe Congress and the White House would be haggling over a border wall, at any price, if they had to balance all the other spending against the available tax revenues. Or, conversely, much of the other spending would have long since been discontinued, shifted to state and local governments, or left to the private sector to figure out, minimiz- ing the effect of a shutdown for any reason. It should come as no surprise that a legislature whose members are doser to the people, with a firm deadline for legislating and more pressure to balance the budget, functions better than one lacking all three. So why do we keep adding to the pile of things we expect the dysfunctional body to handle? The president and CEO of the Geor- gia Public Policy Foundation, Kyle Wingfield's column runs in papers around the state of Georgia. TAKING A LIKENS TO YOU by Dale Likens I Last night I had a by the open door to our terrible things about me. thought! Why wouldn't I dream. It was not classroom. She paused HE S A LIAR!" some know your eve ,dream or ood. I dreamed I momentarily and than of the signs said. "HE'S every nightmare ,She held back in school shouted out the most CURSED!" others said. my hand tighter. You just teaching children much older than I had taught before. The students were as tall as I was; looking more like adults than chil- dren. Most of the stu- dents looked mean and uncontrol- lable. Their eyes were glassy with hatred spilling out like teardrops rolling down their cheeks and finally spewing out their mouths. As I began to teach I realized the students were not listening to me; they were speaking to each other, repeating exactly what the other child had said to them. Over and over they continually cried out that they must get rid of me. I was not fit to be their teacher. "He's a Nazi!" Some were shouting back and forth. "He's not fit to be our teacher!" Others were saying. "We must get rid of him!" One of the young ladies sat in her seat with her one leg folded under the other; Her foot dangled over her seat. In her hand was a fin- gemail file. She sat there with a smirk on her face, slowly filing her finger- nails while she stared into space. She raised her hand to her mouth and yawned so all could see that she was pitifully bored of me. The children laughed at her antics. They thought she was funny. I noticed one of our new teachers walking profane words I had ever heard, direct- ing her foul language at me. She began to laugh and the students applauded and laughed joyfully with her. In spite of all the aA shou ng and hatred that filled the room I continued to teach. As I looked down at my students, I noticed a few were listening to me. One young lady was looking up at me with tears in her eyes. But the tears she was shedding were not tears of hatred. They were tears of compassion. "I believe in you!" She whispered softly. A young man who sat in the middle of the room spoke up through all the complaining. "He's a kind teacher!" He shouted through all the complain- ing. "He's only doing what is right! Our superinten- dent and Board of Educa- tion hired him because they believe he is the right person to be teaching this dass!" "You're just like he is! The other students yelled. "You're low-dass like our teacher! That's why you like him! You're deplor- able! You're evil! You prob- ably shop at Walmart!" Now they laughed harder. Outside I could hear more chanting and abusive language. I took a moment to glance through the window and noticed some parents were carrying signs that quoted "HE'S A NAZI! HE'S STUPID!" Across the street a smaller group of parents gathered with signs also. This group was quiet. They simply hdd their signs of approval and sup- port of me as a teacher. Later that evening my wife and I stopped at a local restaurant to enjoy a peaceful supper. Without warning, a small group of angry people came to our table. "You're not wanted here!" They shouted. "Go somewhere else! We don't want you here!" Suddenly I awoke from my dream and quickly jolted up in bed. In the cold of the night air I noticed I was beginning to break into a warm sweat. "What's wrong?" my wife asked as she sat up in bed and put her arm around me. "You must have had some nightmare. You were tossing and turning all night!" As we sat together in our bed I explained my dream to my wife, word for word. When I finished speaking I threw my covers from my body and set my feet to the floor. Karen crawled from her side of the bed and quickly joined me as we sat on the edge of our bed pondering the reason for my dream. "It's no mystery to me;' Karen spoke softly. Coming out of my stupor, I responded with a smile. "So you have it all figured out, do you?" I said. "Of course!" She an- swered as she dasped her hand to mine. A beautiful smile shone through the glimmering of the night light. "I know your every had a vision of America as it is today! Those unruly students represent the media and those who have nothing but hatred for President Trump and all his followers. The super- intendent and Board of Education are simply the voters who put our Presi- dent into office:' "Oh, my goodness! I said, still shaking the dust from my mind. "That new teacher using all that pro- fanity! I see the connec- tion! She's the freshman representative. She's the one who called President Trump that filthy name on television while those around her laughed and applauded her! And the young lady filing her fingernails is one of those staunch 'no-Trumpers' who was pretending to be bored while sitting on CNN and listening to a President Trump sup- porter. Wow! I now know you are so right, Hon!" I rubbed my eyes. "Some- times I think I watch too much news. But the truth is, if I don't watch the news, or ifI don't have these dreams I'm afraid my voice will never be heard" "Keep dreaming, Hon!" Karen said as we crawled back into bed. She kissed me on my forehead. '~kmerica needs to hear from you! Some night your dreams will be of a wonderful America! And your students in your dreams will be as beauti- ful and kind as they once were! Just wait and see!" God bless. Dale Likens is an author who lives in Monroe County. I