November 18, 2010 Issue


Gaskin on political bickering

Dear Editor:

I get so tired of all the blame and name calling from people of both sides of the political parties.

I vote republican, always have, with that said I don’t agree with everything they stand for but before you blame the republicans for all the problems and debt in this country right now, perhaps you should take a few moments to read an article in The New York Times written by Steven A. Holmes and published on Sept. 30, 1999.



Of course I cannot print the entire article here but it talks about how the Clinton administration put pressure on Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, to give loans to low-and moderate income families, the same families who by the way can now no longer afford those loans and hence the housing market crisis began and those same people are now in foreclosure or have already lost their homes.

I use that as only one example to show that yes the republicans have made mistakes but so have the democrats. I guess it is easy to sit and blame one party or the other so why don’t we just be honest here and admit that both parties are responsible for the shape this country is in.

This is where I have a problem with both republicans and democrats, instead of them working together to try to make this country better they get paid to sit up there getting their fat checks to argue amongst each other and don’t accomplish anything that is for the betterment or everyone.

As long as a republican or a democrat sits in office we will always have one half of the country unhappy and throwing blame or the other half doing the same, one party cannot speak for all people, yet we are all Americans. Is it really fair to any of us that our government be so one sided?

I will be honest with you, I wish we had a strong Independent Party, a party that is able to see both sides of the issues. From talking to people I think that a lot of people are beginning to feel the same way, they are tired of the same old republican and democrat mess, they sit up on Capitol Hill and argue and bicker and accomplish nothing at the expense of all of us.

So please before you start blaming just one party for all the problems in this country take a real hard look at both sides, and stop walking through life with blinders on. Everyone who is a republican is not a redneck, and everyone who dislikes President Obama is not a racist, just like everyone who is a democrat is not a minority and not on welfare.

There are good, honest, hard-working people on both party lines and as good honest hard working people we need to learn to get along together and embrace each other’s differences rather than always blaming someone who sees things different from you.

Ms. Tamera D. Gaskin

Hockenbury honors our veterans

Dear Editor:

I would like to submit this for publication as a Verterans Day contribution in remembrance of all our soldiers; those who have gone on and those who remain.

Again an ultimate sacrifice and an eternal price have been paid for the cause of our liberties and freedoms for which we cherish and are so very grateful.

May God continue to bless us with his tender mercies and with faith, hope, courage and the freedom to use our free agency wisely.

In Flanders Fields
By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD

In Flanders Fields the Poppies blow
Between the crosses row by row,
That mark our place and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing , fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the DEAD. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw the
torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Thank you so very much,

Catherine Hockenbury

Haythorne impressed by team and parents at playoff game

Dear Editor:

This past Friday night I was blessed to experience something very special. In this paper you will read an article about the Thomas Jefferson Academy’s Jaguars game against Terrell Academy. We lost by five points.

Our boys took another step to manhood Friday night. They played their hearts out and cried their eyes out. It was incredible to watch them fight until the last second and each one of them taking personal responsibility for every mistake on the field while their teammates and parents tried to convince them it was not their fault. I do believe the word “if” was used about a million times after the game Friday night!

My night was not over; upon returning to the crowded parking lot I found I was the lucky winner of the crack head lottery. Yes, my vehicle and one other was broken into. The passenger window was busted and they went through the car removing…my life, aka my purse.

There I am stranded in Dawson, Georgia, no money, no identification…nothing but a broken window. Then it happened, TJ people just started coming up offering help and money, there were so many offers I was overwhelmed.

After everyone left we got on the road with the window “repaired,” the cold night air was filtering through the car, but I was not cold. I was warm because of all the kindness and compassion that I have just experienced. Wow! Then I realized this is where the boys got it from, their parents!

So parents, just keep up the hard work of role modeling for our kids, they are learning…I saw that Friday night. Kids pay attention to your parents…they are quite incredible! Thank you for all your help! Boys you are always champions to us! Oh yes, I now know why Dawson Georgia is not featured on the tourist guide for Georgia!

A Million “Thank You’s” and God Peace!

Teresa Haythorn

Edwards proud of support for local Ferst Foundation project

Dear Editor:

Thank you for The News and Farmer’s Oct. 7th front page article announcing the beginning of the Ferst Foundation of Jefferson County. This new effort, led by citizens, civic groups and businesses from throughout our county, intends to make free age appropriate books available to every child in Jefferson County from birth to 5 years old.

The program represents the combined efforts of three organizations. First of all, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library selects the books and arranges for their publication at very low cost. Secondly, the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, located in Madison, Georgia, and founded by Ms. Robin Ferst, coordinates the program and provides excellent administrative support for our county. And, finally, our local Ferst Foundation of Jefferson County Community Action Team (CAT) is responsible for publicizing the program locally, identifying and registering children who are eligible to participate, and raising funds to cover the program’s expenses. All funds raised will go entirely to providing books for preschoolers.

We know that this program works. In other counties in Georgia where this program has been tried, there have been marked improvements in school readiness when the children enter elementary school. There are two central reasons that folks in our county …particularly educators… are firmly convinced this program is needed. First of all, statistics show that children who are reading poorly early in school don’t perform as well throughout their academic careers. The hard fact is that it is difficult and expensive to improve the reading skills of children who begin school unprepared. Secondly, we are convinced that poor literacy may be a bigger concern for Jefferson County than for the average county in our state. That is because Jefferson County’s population has a number of attributes that contribute to poor childhood reading. For example, in Jefferson County, a) fully a third of all children live in poverty, b) over a third live in homes with a single parent, and c) some 30 percent of our babies are born to mothers with less than a high school education. All these factors are highly correlated with early literacy difficulties. Indeed, we have heard local educators say that some of our entering school children demonstrate no familiarity with books. Sadly, some do not even know how to hold books properly.

The good news is that our initial efforts have met with great success. As we have gone about the county talking about literacy problems and familiarizing folks with the Ferst Foundation of Jefferson County, we invariably find receptive audiences. People seem to understand the importance of the problem and want to do something to help. In fact, as a result of the compassion and generosity of our citizens, we are close to meeting our first year’s fundraising goal…notwithstanding these difficult economic times.

So again, thanks to The News and Farmer for helping us get the word out, and thanks to all those in Jefferson County who are helping us get our program under way. Anyone who would like to learn more about the Ferst Foundation; have a speaker come to address an organization; or make a contribution whether personally, for an organization, or for a business, can contact me at the Jefferson County Library at 478-625-3751.


Patricia Edwards, Chair
Ferst Foundation of Jefferson County
Community Action Team

Stewart tired of Clements’ rants

Dear Editor:

Well said, Wesley Burton… The paper prints way too much “garbage” written by Robert Clements. Remember: nobody made you the subject matter expert on all the issues you rant about in the small town paper.

Clements acts as if he has job with The News and Farmer as a weekly writer. It appears that you have enough opinions to write about without adding Glascock County.

And talk about amusing letters…Every week people are subjected to your asinine opinions about Obama, politics and Jefferson County… And many are wondering does your opinionated train of thought have a caboose?

My final comment to both you and Hockenbury is “Whatever!” and here are a few wise words by William Osler, “Learn to accept in silence the minor aggravations, cultivate the gift of taciturnity, and consume your own smoke with an extra draft of hard work, so that those about you may not be annoyed with the dust and soot of your complaints.”

My letters tend to be edited by the Editor. Can’t wait to see if this one is printed – as is.

Enough already,

Linda D. Stewart


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