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March 7, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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& EDrrOR]AI Declare among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not; Jeremiah 50:2 2016 and 2017 winner: Editorial Page excellence ~c~lA ~%. 2016 winner: Sports Photography excellence 2016 winner: News Pl~otography excellence 2016 winner: Front Page excellence 2017 winner: Best Humor Column - On the Porch ON THE PORCH bZ Wilt Davis ' how you do it Tdidn't do it. I i)mmise. Yes, the Reporters Vent at I www, .mymcr.net crashed this week, which is why you I wont find any vents in their usual spot on page 3A. I One disgruntled reader was breaking her computer ,J,mouse clicking 'l ikes" to her vents about me. I don t know ff that caused the problem. I do know vents critical of us give us no reason to break our vent. As you read in last week's paper, we give our critics ample opportunity to have their say. Never fear, we have a top-notch computer whiz work- ing to get the Vent back up and running soon for your edification, education and entertainment, not necessarily in that order. Meanwhile, we~l see whether the Monroe County school board addresses the issue of how it hired a substitute teacher who had pled guilty to attempted child molestation at its first meeting since that news broke, next Tuesday, March 13 at 6:30 p.m. The school system still has refused to provide this x~ ~~ newspaper with acopyofthe background check it did on Mr. Stewart. And it has refi~d to identify what other documents it is withholding from the pubhc. I hope the school system will one day learn a valuable lesson in how not to do "crisis managemenf' from this episode. First, before all the facts were known, it insisted it did nothing wrong and that it knew things we did not. Then, confronted with more evi- dence, it said the teacher met the criteria when he was hired, mumbling something about maybe changing some policies. '"We've got to circle to wagons," said one school leader, perhaps accidentally blurting out the truth. Here's what school board chairman Nolen Howard could've said: '%Ve have made a huge error in hiring some- one convicted of attempted child molestation. For that we apologize to the parents and children of Monroe County. Realizing our background checks were insufficient, we are now doing new, more thorough background checks on all our employees. Keeping our students safe is our highest pri- ority. And because of this oversight, and to show our parents and taxpayers we take this seriously, we have suspended the person responsible for this careless background check without pay for one week. We will work hard to earn again the trust of our parents and taxpayers." Now, that wasn't hard was it? then he switched to this race. Tolbert is the only Continued from page 1A Monroe County candi- date so far to qualify for to oppose them yet. a legislative seat, and Former commissioner he and wife Stacy own Mike Bflderback, who Tolbert and Associates, represented District 3 an investment and insur- before he was elected ance company. If Tolbert chairman, said he's not won, he'd be Monroe interested but will wait County's first lawmaker to challenge current in Atlanta since Jim Cole chairman Greg Tapley in stepped down in 2009. 2021. Rep. Robert Dickey Meanwhile there was (R-Musella) has qualified a surprise entry into again to run for District Monroe County's state 140. legislative races. Bibb State Sen. John County commissioner Kennedy (R-Macon) has Gary Bechtel qualified to qualified again to run run for the GOP nomina- for his Senate District tion to represent House 18, which includes all of District 141, the seat Monroe and part of Bibb that Rep. Allen Peake County. announced he is leaving Monroe County at year's end. Superior Court Judge Bechtel joins Shane Tommy Wilson has quali- Mobley and Monroe fled to run for the bench County's own Todd again in the Towahga Tolbert in the race for Judicial Circuit, which that open House seat. includes Monroe, Lamar Mobley owns a health- and Butts counties. care company and was As of Tuesday, Dickey, running for insurance Kennedy and Wilson face commissioner until no opposition but qualify- Peake announced he ing lasts until noon on would not run again, and Friday. tt~ Mon~m CM,umy 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 STAFF Will Davis ~ ~ Trellis Grant Publisher/Editor Business Manager publisher@mymcr.net business@rhymer.net Richard Dumas ~ ~ Diane Glidewell News Editor Community Editor forsyth@mymcr.net news@mymcr,net Carolyn Martel ~ ~ Brandon Park Advertising Manager *~/~ I- Creative Director ads@mymcr.net ~ graphics@mymcr.net Official 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: $35 Out of County: $48 Single Copy: $1 Deadlines noon on Friday prior to issue. Comments featured on opinion pages are the creation of the wTitels, the do not necessarily reflect the opinions oflhe Reporter management. Publication No. USPS 997-840 PEACH STATE POLITICS by Kyle Wi field T egislators this past I week passed a signifi- I cant income-tax cut for 1 Both the ~ouse and the Senate passed their own versions of a plan to coordinate and expand mass tran- sit in metro Atlanta. A of bills to boost rural Georgia advanced in the legislative process, as did measures to take cellphones out of drivers' hands and keep the mentally ill from buying guns. Agree or disagree with any or all of those, they are substantive, meaningful pohcies receiving sober consideration. And yet, the only story many Georgians -- not to mention millions outside the state -- might recall from the week's action under the Gold Dome is the move by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to block the elimination of the jet-fuel tax for commercial airlines because Delta Air Lines ended a minor dis- count for NRA members. If that's not emblematic of the age of Trump, I don't know what is. The substance of Trumpism alarms many people. Possible pohti- cal dalliances with Moscow by his campaign, restrictionist immigra- tion policies, httle seriousness about the national debt, the new tariffs on aluminum and steel he announced Thursday: There's something worri- some for everyone. But even when the substance has been better -- the long-needed revamp of the corporate tax code, regulatory rehef, success against ISIS -- it's only temporarily gained notice before being drowned out by the latest tweet, or outburst, or White House infighting. At some point, all many people remember is the style of Trumpism, which can range from tinpot dicta- tor to somewhat-controlled chaos. You have surely heard even the MAGA-iest Trump supporter concede it would be nice if the president would either stop tweeting or learn to bite his tongue just a bit. Yes, the lack of political correctness or what experienced poli- ticians call "message discipline" endeared him to some voters. But eventually the unpredictability wears on people. So you might think the political class would take a hint and avoid running a bunch of ~'~ clones of this style. But theirs is an industry in which many copycats just want to wring one more elec- toral victory (or consulting contract) out of a formula that worked once before, no matter how poorly the suit fits their client. And when the substance is impossible to mimic -- because hey, it's hard to predict who will be the last person in the president's ear before he opens his mouth -- the style is all that's left. While we haven't (yet) gotten to lUST THE WAY IT IS by Sloan Oliver t has been three weeks since the deadly Florida school shooting and there continues to be a great deal of discussion about gun violence. Let's do a quick review. Nikolas Cruz, the con- fessed killer, is a disturbed young man and has been for many years. The police and sheriff deputies were called to his house upwards of 40 times over the past few years. A Cruz classmate said, "Something wasn't right about him" and described him as "an evil kid." Cruz was known to kill ani- mals, drink gasoline, and "cut" himself- all are signs of severe mental illness. Family members, friends, and teachers knew that Cruz had mental problems. On social media, Cruz threatened to kill people and shoot up a school. Twice, people called the FBI's hotline about Cruz and his legitimate threats to kill people. Then, on February 14 Cruz carried out his threats and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Fortunately, Scot Petersen, an armed deputy sheriff, was on school grounds when Cruz started shooting. Unfortunately, Petersen is the coward of Broward County and refused to enter the building while Cruz was murdering his victims. Then, three more Broward County deputies arrived and they cowered with Petersen and, also, refused to confront Cruz. CRUZ'S MURDERING ram- page was a tragedy from start to finish. The shooting was tragic, but the greatest tragedy is that the truth is being denied. It's like we're living in an Orwellian world in which a journey "through the looking glass" is called the truth and the truth is called a lie. The police did nothing to prevent this massacre, the sheriff's depart- ment did nothing, the FBI did nothing, and the armed deputies did nothing; yet, they're not being blamed for the killing spree. Heck, Cruz is barely being blamed. No, with all the preventive mea- sures that were ignored, the left and their naive teenage pawns are blaming lawful gun owners, the National Rifle Association, Republicans, and even President Trump for all the recent mass kill- ings in our country. The left and liberals are denying reality which makes me question their sanity. The left's sheer stupidity would be humorous if it weren't so danger- OUS. IF A problem is never properly identified; the problem will never that point in this year's gubernato- rial election, this past week was an indication we might be heading in that direction. It's an open question whether Cagle helped himself in May's GOP primary and/or hurt himself in the general election, should he win the nomination. But he was hardly the only Republican to employ the talk tough/tweet tough method. Not to be out-pandered, Secretary of State Brian Kemp proposed replacing a sound tax change (removing a tax on a business input, i.e. jet fuel) with a truly un-sound one (a sales tax holiday, which shifts consumption rather than stimulat- ing it, for guns and ammunition). The real problem here, as the Kemp ~1/~ ~'-.~,(. example ought to if the Cagle illustrate one didn't, is the style eventually becomes the substance. We already saw that with some lower-tier candidates. It's not reas- suring to see the front-runners adopt that tactic. Kyle Wingfield writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Monroe County Reporter and other newspapers. Reach him and read more at ww~.bit.ly/Kyle Wingfield O be solved. Just ask any family member of an alcoholic, domestic abuser, drug addict, or schizo- phrenic - you must first identify the underlying causes before you can solve the problem. So, let's look at one underlying cause of gun violence. Given Cruz's history of mental illness and his multiple law enforcement encounters, how was he able to purchase a weap- on? Easy, he passed a background check. That leads to the question: with all these law enforcement encounters, how was he able to pass a background check? That answer is rooted in liberalism and requires some explanation. BACK WHEN Obama was president, he was upset that black, teenage males, and other minorities, were being sent to prison disproportion- ate to their population in what is commonly called the school-to- prison (STP) pipe- line. Obama and his Department of Justice (DOJ) wanted to end that pipeline. If the STP pipeline could be reduced by changing the lawless behavior of minority teens, that would be great. However, Obama, the DOJ, and Broward County had no desire to change the behav- ior of lawless teens. Instead, the DOJ worked with Broward County, and other school districts across the country, to drastically reduce the number of school-related arrests by sim- ply stopping to make arrests for various crimes. It was called the Promise Program. That's cor- rect; the Promise Program called for police and sheriff's depart- ments, with the Approval of local school districts, to not report, not investigate and not make arrests for certain crimes, and magically the teen arrest rates dropped. School-related arrests in Broward County went from 1,062 in the 2011-12 school year to 392 in 2015-16, one of the lowest arrest rates in Florida. Oh, and the reduced arrests meant that the school district received more education grant money because they were able to reduce school- related arrests. So, there was a HUGE incentive to not make school-related arrests. Liberal academia made the decision to reduce teen arrests by not making arrests - problem solved. (Note: many policemen were disgusted with this "don't arrest" for certain crimes but could do nothing.) THEREFORE, based on Obama's wishes to reduce the number of young minorities being arrested, is there any question why Nikolas Cruz (Hispanic sounding name) wasn't arrested any of the 39 times the police were called to his house? Remember, if someone never gets arrested, there is no derogatory information inputted into the national database. And back- ground checks for gun purchases rely on derogatory information inputted by law enforcement agencies. The national database is only as good as the information entered; bad input = fraudulent results. And that's one example of how liberalism denies the truth. HERE'S MORE proof of liberal nonsense about gun vio- lence: during an interview President Trump called would be school shooters "savage wackos" to which CNN called such talk "dangerous" and "mean spirited." Note to CNN - School shooters are danger- ous and they are sav- age wackos. Or con- sider that a CNN ana- lyst said that arming teachers is a bad idea because most teach- ers are women and then asked, '~Where does a woman hide a gun while wearing a skirt?" Then, we have Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC news host, who said that arming teachers is stupid because "a bullet fired from an AR-15 travels 3x faster than one from a handgun." What can you say to such broad based liberal ignorance? 5/o O/,'v'er THIS FLORIDA school shoot- ing highlights the fact that gov- ernment failed at all levels - local, state, and federal. Background checks failed to prevent a bad guy from buying guns, and the sheriff deputies failed to defend stu- dents when the shooting started. Despite all that, liberals want more government and more gun control. They demand guns be confiscated, and they demand our safety and security be put in the hands of the very institutions that failed us. No thanks. WEEKLY QUOTE: We've iden- tiffed one of the primary causes of gun violence; it's liberalism. Sloan Oliver is a retired Army officer He lives in Bolingbroke with his wife Sandra. Email him at sloanoliver@earthlink, net.