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 OPINION PAGE - FEBRUARY 16, 2000 - DANIELSVILLE, GA

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Column
By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
February 9, 2000

Frankly Speaking

Attacks on South are misguided
It is refreshing to see that some people outside the South, as well as a number of black writers, can see the misguided nature of the attacks on Southern culture. Two blacks and a Yankee came out in defense of the South last week.
Philip Terzian, associate editor of the Providence (R.I.) Journal, published an article that was reprinted in the Atlanta papers in which he listed a series of politically incorrect events that occurred under the U.S. flag. His argument appears to be that the U.S. flag has flown over far more negative events than the Confederate flag.
Terzian identifies himself as a member of the Sons of Union Veterans, whose ancestor was killed in the Civil War. He said, "While people may differ about the virtues and defects of the causes for which men have fought and died in history, there is little difference between honoring the sacrifice of men who died at Gettysburg and men who died in the Battle of the Bulge."
"Let both sides honor the distinguished past and leave the other alone," he concluded.
Al McCray, a black business owner, called the dispute over the Confederate flag "misguided." Writing in Tampa Bay Online, McCray said he was not concerned about the rebel flag, which he refereed to as "a piece of cloth." His concern, he said, is "the fact that our so-called unelected and nonappointed leaders, Jesse and company, would put so much time, resources and energy into a feel-good issue."
McCray argued that the black leadership should be addressing issues such as one-parent homes, black-on-black crime, learning how to use computers and the Internet, teenage pregnancies, AIDS prevention and a long list of other concerns.
J.J. Johnson is the Editor in Chief of the Sierra Times.com in Nevada. Although he is black, he is an avid defender of the South and Southern culture.
Johnston puts the lie to arguments that blacks did not support the Confederacy by pointing out that he has ancestors who fought on both sides. His description indicates that his Confederate ancestor volunteered, while the Union member was drafted.
Throughout the article, Johnston refers to OUR Confederate battle flag, making it clear that the flag represents all Southerners equally, black and white. He tells any black readers that "you bein' played for a fool. By who? Not by those evil conservatives, but by the liberal white man. The ones who'll take your vote, then tell you you're not good enough to make it on your own."
In his closing paragraph, Johnston said, "Let that flag wave proudly as a monument to the last Army in this country that actually fought for the Constitution."
There are many voices across America willing to tell you the truth about the anti-South liberal bigots. All you have to do is listen.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal.

Column
By Adam Fouche
The Madison County Journal
February 16, 2000

How to get a woman
Today's topic is: how to successfully build a deck for your home.
The essential tool for building any deck, no matter what size or design, is a square. You've got to have a square. Without a square, your joists and footers just won't line up right, nothing will be plumb, and you will end up...
Okay, now that I've effectively turned away all female readers from this column, I can just talk to you guys. The real topic for today is: how to get a woman.
Now, I know that Valentine's Day has just passed, and I hope that you didn't spend the day alone. But if you did, you're in luck because I'm going to help you out. Follow my surefire ways to get a woman and I guarantee that you will not be lonely ever again.
The first thing you have to do is make a good impression. This is very important. The best place to make a good first impression is in the grocery store.
Girls like a guy with confidence. With this in mind, I suggest you fill your buggy with Frosted Flakes, puppy food and tampons. The Frosted Flakes will show her that you are not ashamed of the fact that you eat Frosted Flakes for breakfast, a good indicator of confidence. The puppy food will make her think that you have a puppy at home. Women love little puppies. The tampons, well, they'll just show her that you aren't too embarrassed to buy them. Trust me, she can't help but be impressed.
This second step is a crucial one. More than likely, she will come up to you and talk to you, especially since you have Frosted Flakes, puppy food and tampons in your buggy.
Often, she may ask you a question, such as, "Don't you need milk for your cereal?" or, maybe,
continued on page 5A
"Have you recently escaped from a mental institution?"
No matter what she asks-and this is important so pay attention and take notes-you should always say, "Hey baby, can I get your digits?" This is very important. Don't say "phone number," say "digits."
Some guys, especially if you are wearing blue jean shorts and a white tee shirt (which, by the way, you should never wear in public or at home for that matter), may have to add a line like, "You must be tired because you've been running through my mind all day," or, "Somebody call 911 'cause baby you're on fire."
After she gives you her number, and she will, you need to set up a date. You will have to think up something adventurous for the two of you to do. Girls like adventure.
My suggestion would be for you to take her to dinner and then to the movies. However, you should park a long way from the movie theater, you'll see why later.
Once in the theater, you can use the "yawning" trick to put your arm around her. Ladies never, ever suspect you are doing this. They merely think you yawned then decided to put your arm around them. Trust me, I've asked.
Before the date, you should pay a policeman in your town to chase you and your date on foot when you are walking back to the car after the movie. You should tell him that when he catches you, he has to say, "Sire, you shouldn't be walking around out here in the dark because somebody might come up and knock you in the back of the head with a stick."
The girl you are with will love this. She'll think you're some kind of rebel because the police are chasing you and her interest in your past will be ignited. Also, she will think that you are brave because you chose to take the risk to walk to your car on a dangerous street at night. After the police scene, you will have her.
Hopefully, I have helped at least one of you out there. If so, it would all be worth it. Should you need any more advanced techniques, you can send $19.95 plus $3.95 for shipping and handling to obtain my latest book "How To Get A Woman No Matter What." Sorry, no C.O.D.'s.
In the meantime, I'll be right here at the grocery store, trying to fill up my buggy.
Adam Fouche is an unmarried (but taken) reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.



Letter
The Madison County Journal
February 16, 2000

Time to set record straight on BRSWCD vs. Stricklett
Dear editor:
On behalf of my client, Mark Stricklett, I wish to set the record straight regarding the "facts" which the Broad River Soil and Water Conservation District sought to publicize in recent weeks. Space limitations of this forum will not permit a complete discussion of the relevant legal theories, facts and, most importantly, evidence. Anyone interested in learning the full story should read the court's file, case no. 97-MV-392-B in the Superior Court of Madison County.
The "facts" which Broad River sought to make known to the public are nothing more than Broad River's contentions, which were considered by Judge William Grant in the context of the Stricklett's motion for summary judgment (which consisted of legal arguments, affidavits and other documentary evidence stacking one inch high). Judge Grant had the benefit (or the burden?) of hearing the full story. He found that Broad River failed to produce sufficient evidence to prove their contentions.
In one example, Judge Grant found that, "The Plaintiffs [Broad River] assert that the home potentially interferes with their ability to repair and maintain the dam. The Plaintiffs fail to present a single example of how the home could cause this potential interference."
In another example Judge Grant found that, "The Plantiffs also argue that they are exposed to liability if the home ever suffers flood damage.... Third, the Plaintiffs offer no law or theory that would demonstrate that their liability concern is legitimate."
In a third example, Judge Grant found that, "Instead, the Plaintiff lists the possibility that the home could interfere with the building of additional spillway capacity. First, the Plaintiff does not show that there is any actual potential for this happening. Second, the Plaintiffs do not show that Defendants home prevents an increase in spillway capacity." The house is not located within the emergency spillway, but Broad River continues to repeat that clearly erroneous contention.
An expert's report by Mr. Francis Fiegle II, P.E., Program Manager Safe Dams Program, Georgia D.N.R., presented by Broad River even states, "I do not believe its [the home's] location nor the driveway substantially changes how the dam operates."
Broad River contends that a portion of the dam was removed during construction of the house, yet no evidence was ever produced to support the contention. The Strickletts staunchly deny any alteration to the topography of the dam after their purchase of the property.
Judge Grant concluded that, "The only evidence of record before the Court demonstrates that the Defendants' home does not substantially interfere with Plaintiffs' use and enjoyment of the easement."
Having failed to prove their case in a court of law and equity, Broad River now seeks to make its case in the court of public opinion. Broad River is publicizing unsubstantiated contentions, already rejected by the court, as if those contentions were incontrovertible facts. Presumably, Broad River expects that the public will never learn the whole story.
What purpose does this public expression by Broad River accomplish? Perhaps it serves only to avoid political responsibility for their past choices and actions in this matter. Perhaps, instead, Broad River is trying to avoid responsibility for the future consequences of many past decades of neglect of this dam (see the annual inspection reports) by making the suggestion that any future failure will result from the mere presence of the Stricklett's house, rather than Broad River's failure to maintain the dam. Regardless of the intent, the result amounts to nothing more than unfounded harassment and defamation of the Strickletts.
As to Broad River's appeal of the summary judgment, it has been reported that the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission, which oversees the various local districts, has withdrawn its support of that appeal. Broad River stands alone in its desire to seek appellate review.
Finally, Broad River fails to mention that Judge Grant also found that the legal doctrines of laches and equitable estoppel barred Broad River's claim against the Strickletts. Broad River, when asked by Mark Stricklett what effect their easement had on his right to build a house, could not, or would not, say. No plat illustrating the contours of the flood easement was ever produced. A "map" referred to in the written easement was improperly recorded and could not be found until well into litigation. Most importantly, when Broad River's agents saw firsthand the beginning of construction, they became concerned about the location. Broad River nevertheless waited three months before mentioning that concern to Mr. Stricklett, during which time the house was completed at substantial cost.
I will conclude by offering two questions to ponder: When individuals wield the power of the state, and bring the inexhaustible resources of the state to bear against another individual, what responsibility do they have to exercise logic, reason and sound judgment? How are such individuals held accountable when they fail in that responsibility?
Sincerely,
Kerry S. Doolittle
Attorney at Law


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