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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
July 17, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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July 17, 2019

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nDeclare among the notions, and publish, and set up standard; _(_)__ ON THE PORCH by Will Davis Illegals welcome?! onroe County is known for zero tolerance of non—county residents attending our schools. The school system has for years sent family rvices coordinator Gwen Byrd out to inspect the homes of students if it questions their Monroe County residency ‘ “Where’s his tooth brush?“ “Where does he sleep?” “Where does he keep his clothes?” Those are some questions Byrd may ask as she tries to determine whether students are honest—to- God Monroe County residents. Sometimes Byrd even has to take a deputy with her, just to be on the safe side. Perhaps such tactics are neces- sary. It’s true that lots of Middle Georgia families want their children to attend our highly- acclaimed schools, and Monroe County housing is more expen- sive than our neighbors. The story on page 3A of this week’s edition is yet another example of how our test scores lead the region. Some counties simply charge a fee to non-local families who want to attend their schools. Perhaps those counties don’t have the demand that Monroe County schools have. But last week, the school board decided that while we sub- ject area families to a veritable proctology exam if we suspect a student doesn’t really live in the county, we will at the same time roll out the red carpet for non-Americans who want to attend our schools. The board voted 4-3 to adopt a head-in-the—sand policy whereby we will not check the immigration status of any student The policy was recommended by the Georgia School Board Association (GSBA). This is the same Atlanta-based lobby group that persuaded our school board recently to just claim every exemption pos- sible when it closes meetings to the public. Georgia law allows local governments to kick the public out of meetings only for three reasons: to discuss litigation, personnel or the sale of real estate. The law says the board must identify which of these reasons they’re locking the public out Members must also sign an affidavit swearing that it was the reason. But the GSBA convinced our school board recently that they could just cite all three exemptions as a giant, sweeping CYA, even if it doesn’ t discuss two of the three options. The move violated the letter and the spirit of the open meetings law. Thankfully our board recently reversed itself and halted that practice. On the subject of immigration, the GSBA may be right that enforcement is supposed to be a federal or state responsibility. But as school board member Greg Head argued, it’s clear that’s not happening. . “Somebody has to start doing something,” said Head Board member Stuart Pippin pointed out that the school system on one hand is requiring citizen parents to provide gobs of forms proving residency and vaccines, yet on the other hand won’t even bother checking a student’s immigra- tion status. Kudos to Head, Pippin and board member Eva Bilderback for opposing the don’t-ask—don’t—tell policy. And kudos to them for having the courage to at least start a debate in the school board chamber. This is what has been lacking for so many years. School board meetings, not just here but around the state, have often devolved into dog and pony shows empty of any meaningful discussion. School leaders go to great lengths to avoid anything controversial or interesting. only with great resistance did the board recently begin allowing taxpayers to address them publicly without days of advance notice. Self-govemment is necessarily messy and involves debate. That’s healthy and it’s how our school board should be run. Thankfully, Monroe County voters have made enough changes in the board that we now have debates. But we still have work to do. We apparently need at least one more new BOE member to get positive results, at least on this issue. If we vote well, perhaps we’ll get a school board that operates at the pleasure of the taxpayers of Monroe County, rather than QWQ‘R the big shots at the Georgia School Board Association the Monroe Corinty porter is published every week by The Monroe County Reporter Inc. Will Davis, President - Robert M. Williams .lr., Vice President Cheryl S. Williams, Secretary-Treasurer OUR STAFF Will Davis Publisher/Editor Trellis Grant Business Manager businesséimymcmet Diane Glldewell Community Editor . Richard Dumas News Editor forsythomymcmei Amy Haisten Creative Director Official Organ “Monro. County and tho City of Forsyth 50 N. Jackson St, PO Box 795 Forsyth, GA 31029 Periodicals Postage Paid at Forsyth. GA 31029 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: THE, MONROE COUNTY REPORTER - 478-994-2358 SUBSCRIPTION RATE: In County: $40 - Out of (ounty: $48 - Single Copy: :1 Wmfmfiflaypflammmmfemmdmopinbnpagesmmeaeauonof’ tinwfltnsttiedonotnecassamymflemfeophbmofmefieportermmgam Publication No. USPS 997-840 ' 'ons EDITORIALS PEACH STATE POLITICS by Kyle Wingiielcl Obamacare’s end would be boon he first time The ACA’s heavy-handed if the lawsuit succeeds. Obamacare sup- regulation of insurance Eliminating the ACA porters had their plans led many Americans would amount to a big do- day in court, the to conclude they were over. The actual number of law largely survived. Could better of paying the tax people who truly can’t get another lawsuit to over— penalty than to buy a plan insurance because of their turn the law prove more with both a high premium medical conditions is quite successful? And would and a high deductible. small: as low as 2% to 3% that be a good thing, at this That’s moot now. The of the population accord- point? Republican- ing to some estimates. Texas v. led Congress They can and should get Azar is the in late 2017 direct help with their cov- latest legal reduced the erage. But the authors of challenge to penalty for the ACA instead decided the Afford- not comply— to remake the market in able Care Act, ing with the hopes of helping them. commonly mandate to That has wreaked havoc known as $0. That led for a larger number of Obamacare. to the cur- Americans. Millions have The state of rent lawsuit, learned just how hollow Texas — joined which argues was President Obama’s by 17 others, the ACA infamous promise that “if including must not be you like your plan, you can Georgia — is 734 constitutional keep your plan.” For many, seeking to anymore now receiving a notice that their have the law that the tax is current plan is being dis— declared unconstitutional gone. continued has become an because of the very legal A federal district judge unwelcome annual ritual. reasoning that allowed it to earlier this year ruled in Even those who can find be upheld in 2012. Texas’ favor, and this past a plan they like, or at least In that first case, a week the Fifth Circuit U.S. deem acceptable, have 5-4 majority of the US. Court of Appeals heard the been paying unacceptably Supreme Court led by case. However the appeals high premiums for them. Chief Justice John Roberts court rules, it’s possible And while Democrats ruled the ACA’s individual the case will make it to the circa 2009-10 derided mandate passed consti- Supreme Court. cheaper insurance as “junk tutional muster because Predicting how that plans” that didn’t provide it amounted to a tax, and might go — and whether many benefits, now con- Congress has wide latitude Roberts would view this sumers in the individual to impose taxes. lawsuit as springing a trap and small-group markets That was the crux of the he laid seven years ago, or are faced with expensive lawsuit because the man- as a cheeky poke in his eye junk plans that require date was seen as crucial to — is a fool’s errand. But we them to also pay large making the rest of the law can calm some of the fears deductibles before receiv- function. That proved false: about what would happen ing many benefits. This is 20l9, 2018, 10”, 20") winner: ldvrrrinl l'uge extellenr‘e 20“}, 2018 winnorifies! Headline Willing 2°l9 winner: Best (iomnwmly Service 2019 winner: Res? lOyOul and Desrgn 20W winner: Bes‘ Serious Column Dow Daniel -» publish, and conceal not." Jeremiah 50:2 a direct result of the law’s attempt to help those with pre-existing conditions by making other insured persons pay more for their own plans. \ To the extent state , governments were asleep at the switch prior to the: ACA, they’ll have no such excuse this time. Many , states are already work— . ing on proposals to waive certain aspects of the ACA; if the law goes away, they’d be able to implement many if not all of those changes without asking for Wash- ington’s permission. , Georgia in particular is knee-deep into that Work Much of the uncertainty. Gov. Brian Kemp’s admin- istration faces concerns how far federal bureaucrats will let them go. Take away the ACA framework, and the Kemp team can make those decisions for them.- selves, based on what’s best for Georgians. Odds are, the ACA isn’t going to be thrown out by the courts now. But on the off chance it is, don’t 1 believe all the scare stories being told about what , would happen next. ' The president and CEO: of the Georgia Public :, Policy Foundation, Kyle 3 Wingfigld’s column runs iii papers around thestate of Georgia. ‘ l ,1 TAKlNG A llKENS TO YOU by Dale likens Democrats have. a“ God‘gp‘rob‘lem few years ago my wife and in America were very emotional for I were traveling the long a few, brief days. “Congress even did and sometimes tedious the unheard of and sang the song trip home from our son’s ‘God Bless America’ on the Capitol and daughter—in—law’s house in Arizona. Since most of the trip home was traveled on Route 10 and since we would be passing through San Antonio, Texas we decided to stop and visit Pastor John Hagee’s church in steps,” he reminded us. In his 2012 article, Pastor Hagee ‘ mentioned that 53 million ba- bies had been aborted since 1973. (*Today’s total is much nearer 60 million, according to LifeNews as of January San Antonio. We had 2018 while Bound4Life watched Pastor Hagee claims abortion by black for a number of years women is almost 'four on television and times greater than white decided now wag the women.) Homosexual time to take a short marriages had suddenly stop, rest for the night become endorsed by the and visit him and his president of the United church personally. States and ordained by It certainly was a . many churches. Currently worthwhile stop be- , . (*in the year 2019) one cause we not only lis— V of the candidates for the tened to Pastor Hagee ‘ Democratic Party is a give an eiglightening “Dd/e 8’75 hongsexual “married” to sermon, ut we were one er man. blessed and honored I cannot truly sit here to meet Pastor Hagee in person and spend a few minutes speaking with him. Needless to say, he Was very cordial and treated us as old friends. Recently I was going through some old papers and newsletters I had One day tucked away on the corner of my desk when I came across a newslet— ter from Pastor Hagee dated October x 2012. As I read the newsletter I was astonished to be reminded of the points of interest Pastor Hagee had brought to light seven long years ago. One of his first questions was, “Were you there on 9/ 1 1?” Then he proceeded to ask if we had watched the endless newsreels recording the actions of a few radical Muslims as they flew commercial airliners into the World Trade Center. V The truth is I don’t remember ex- actly where I was at the moment this atrocity first appeared on television. Of course I remember the planes ' crashing into the World Trade Cen- ter. I remember people jumping out of windows to their deaths below. I remember the smoke that billowed out of those buildings and I remem- V her the shock I felt when the total number of people murdered that da was nearly 3,000! ' Pastor Hagee pointed out that we and report that abortion or homo- sexuality is any worse than any other sin. I cannot say that I am not a worse sinner than they are. I person- ally know many of those who are homosexuals and some of those who have aborted babies. Some are very close to me. I truly love these people and pray for them. But to simply say that because I am also a sinner, who will someday answer to God, justi- fies the lifestyle they live is just as wrong as saying since they sin it’s all right for me to sin. We are all guilty in God’s eyes and we all must repent Of our sins. It is not a horrible thing to cry out to GOd and ask for His forgiveness. It is not a‘ horrible thing to repent. We must all repent. But God is forgiving! In regards to the horrible incident Of 9/ 11 where a few radical Muslims murdered nearly 3,000 Americans on American soil, U.S. Represen- tative Ilhan Abdullah Omar (a present~day Muslim representa- tive from Minnesota), simply says, “Something happened by .sOmebody that day! That’s all we know!” You may correct me if I’m wrong, but a few years ago my wife and I re- . member very well when the Demo- crats assembled together and asked It}; 4"..3'1’ for voices to be raised if they wanted God to be acknowledged in their ;‘ party or not. The speaker, whoever he was, asked for a voice of approval from the crowd. As we listened ‘2 closely my wife and I heard the speaker ask for those who wanted to keep God in their party. The crowd softly voiced their acceptance to‘ * keep God in their party. Then he ‘ asked for those who wished that God be left out of theig-party. Sud-“l denly their voices boomed across 7 the airwaves. However, the speakef commented that the majority were; in favor‘of keeping God in their J party—even though it was not the? way my wife and 'I heard the votinJ . I certainly would not have believer? my ears if it were not for the fact that my wife heard the voting the same) way I did. Let’s suppose it was only a night— mare my wife and I each had one ‘1 night and woke up to discover it was not truelthat the Democrats voted.) ‘ God out of their party. we might be relieved until we take a good look I at their party today. ,It appears they may have shoved God out of their party without taking a vote. As for the Republican Party, I am excited to say many are proudly ‘1 speaking for the American people’ and strongly acknowledging God as our true leader; However, many have sadly become RIN OS quietly hiding in the dark halls of our goVernmen’t buildings, cowardly waiting to see which way the wind will blow Sadly, since I have been on this I earth I have watched God being ‘ thrown out of our schools, out of our government and out of many of our churches. I have watched Christians accept the sins of our society rather than standing up and defending ‘3 biblical principles that once ruled our country. ‘v I Corinthians 6:9 says, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God?” Psalm 33:12 ’says, “Blessed is the { nation whose God is the Lor .” And Psalm 9:17 says that “All nations that forget God are turned into hell.” The last time I looked up the word ‘ALL’ it meant ‘ALL’! God bless! ‘ . Dale Likens is an author who lives‘in Monroe County. +4-