Madison County Opinion...

 March 22, 2000


Column
By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
March 22, 2000

Frankly Speaking
Census forms go beyond limits set by Constitution
The U.S. Census Bureau is in shock. Millions of Americans are objecting to the questions on the 2000 census forms. Aides to many Congressmen report a "firestorm of complaints." Why? People are finally realizing that government has become far too intrusive. To the government, no one has privacy rights.
This is just another example of government's abandonment of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution requires that a census be taken every 10 years to determine the distribution of seats in the U.S. Congress. That is the only purpose for which the Constitution authorizes a census. But the bureaucrats and professional politicians decided to use the census as an opportunity to find out as much about us as possible.
Why? They say that they need the information in order to fairly distribute federal funds for schools, highways, poverty programs. Of course, they fail to report that none of these programs are authorized by the Constitution.
Here in Georgia, Governor Roy Barnes is featured in a TV advertisement whining that Georgia lost billions of dollars to other states because the 1990 census did not find all the Georgia members. Of course, if the federal government was not involving itself in programs that are the responsibility of the states, Georgia money would not be sent to Washington in the first place.
The rebellion against the census is taking many forms. Some people simply refuse to return them. Others list their address, the number of residents and leave the rest of the form blank. Several pro-South groups are encouraging people to check the "other" block on the question about race and write in "Southern" or "Confederate."
What can the census people do about this rebellion? According to census officers, you can be fined $100 for failure to return the form, and up to $500 for providing false information. Of course, if anyone decides to appeal these fines, it is possible that the courts will throw them out. At best, it will take the Census Bureau many months and much money to collect them.
I cannot tell you to break the law, no matter how strongly I feel that the law is wrong. You will have to decide that for yourself. I will point out to you that civil disobedience is an honored tradition. Most of our current civil rights laws came about as a result of people refusing to obey "Jim Crow" laws.
In the meantime, make your objections known to your elected officials. Remind them that they took an oath to protect the Constitution, and that these census forms clearly go far beyond the limits set by that constitution. Then, when you have an opportunity to do so, vote for those candidates who call for a return to constitutional government, even if they are from one of the smaller parties.
Government will accept no limits to its power until we the people take political power back from the bureaucrats and professional politicians. The 2000 census is a good place to start.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal.


Letter
The Madison County Journal
March 22, 2000

Disagrees with Duncan's letter
Dear editor:
Martha Duncan's letter in the March 15, 2000, Madison County Journal was well written and heartfelt. From what I read it would appear that Ms. Duncan believes that parents should take more responsibility in their children's lives and I agree with that notion. She used several examples to support her position. However, it would seem that Ms. Duncan, in her effort to make her point, misspoke on some of the facts she chose to use.
"I regret that I live in a society where, in the name of freedom: Men can routinely abuse children; Enraged drivers can kill just because they've had a bad day; People can ingest all types of sexual perversions from the privacy of their own screens - computer and TV; Boyfriends and girlfriends can maim and torture ex's in the name of 'love.'"
The only item correct in Ms. Duncan's paragraph above is the "freedom to ingest all types of sexual perversions." Like it or not, this is one of those inalienable rights granted by God as defined by the founding fathers in the Bill of Rights, which has been refined and re-defined by the Supreme Court on numerous occasions.
As regards to killing someone "in the name of freedom," to my knowledge, except in time of war or self defense, the killing of another human being "in the name of freedom" is illegal and abhorrent. While there are enough ghastly murder stories to fill a library, homicide is an abuse of freedom, not a result of freedom.
Speaking of abuses, "in the name of freedom men can routinely abuse children," is not only wrong, I find it personally contemptible and insulting.
According to the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, women by an almost two to one margin over men, are the abusers of children in America. Maltreatment of children is broken down in to five categories by the center; they are: physical abuse, neglect, medical neglect, sexual abuse and psychological abuse. Of these five categories, women lead men in four, only in the sexual abuse category do men lead women. However, the sexual abuse category represents only 12.5 percent of the total confirmed cases of child abuse and this figure is on the decline.
In confirmed child abuse cases 62.3 percent of the time it's the woman who is the abuser. So the statement "men routinely abuse children" is clearly wrong. Worse still, in 75.4 percent of all confirmed cases it's the child's parents who are guilty of abuse with relatives coming in at 10 percent, non-caretakers and unknowns at 12 percent, and "other" at one percent.
What Ms. Duncan is trying to intimate is that parents must become involved in their children's day-to-day lives, teach right from wrong, and instill a want and willingness to learn. In this, Ms. Duncan is correct. Our schools must remain just that - schools - and not a daycare center, as it seems they are becoming.
However, Ms. Duncan, too, must accept a certain amount of responsibility as well. I certainly hope that in Ms. Duncan's day-to-day work she is teaching the facts and figures as they are, not the feel-good-sound-good rhetoric she displayed in her recent letter.
Sincerely,
Horace D. Giles
Colbert

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Column
By Zach Mitcham
The Madison County Journal
March 22, 2000

'The Poison Kitchen'
If you are interested in true tales of bravery, you might want to read the third and ninth chapters in Ron Rosenbaum's book "Explaining Hitler," published in 1998. Those passages present a dramatic, yet little-known newspaper story.
Rosenbaum studied German newspapers from the early 1930s and interviewed journalists in that country during that time. Part of his book focuses on a group of Munich Post reporters and editors Hitler deemed "the poison kitchen," because Hitler felt these men were the practitioners of "poisonous pen journalism," set on tearing him down with falsehoods.
Actually, these men faced imprisonment and death, trying unsuccessfully to warn the world about the man who embodied evil.
They included Martin Gruber, Erhard Auer, Edmund Goldschagg, Julius Zerfass and others.
Rosenbaum wrote that "they were, in effect, enlightened police reporters covering a homicide story in the guise of a political one."
In the final years before Hitler took power, these reporters published one secret after another about Hitler, linking him and his subordinates to sex scandals, financial corruption and serial political murder.
Rosenbaum wrote that "if Hitler went to Berlin and spent lavishly at a luxury hotel, the next morning the Post would print the hotel bill under the derisive headline 'How Hitler Lives.'"
But the journalists also shed a bright light on Hitler's darker political methods, printing a running tally of the political murders credited to the "Hitler Party" and exposing "Cell G" in 1932, the death squad within the Nazi party.
Still, Hitler had the final word, as he too often did, ending the Post's 12-year war against him by sending SA troops in the newspaper's building in March 1933. They destroyed the office and hauled the reporters and editors off to prison.
Rosenbaum also writes about another of Hitler's newspaper enemies, Fritz Gerlich of Der Gerade Weg, who took a shocking stab at the Nazi party leader, printing an inflammatory photo and story in 1932, which ultimately led to the newspaper-man's death. Gerlich ran a picture of the man who championed Aryan purity with a black bride and a headline, "Does Hitler have Mongolian blood?" The article and photo were clearly meant to offend and wound the racist, but more importantly, the ostensible intent was to grab people's attention and show them Hitler's hypocrisy.
Rosenbaum says that Gerlich's article had "the mock-scholarly rhetoric of Swift's Modest Proposal," applying the "racial science" of one of Hitler's own racial theorists to conduct "the trial of Hitler's nose," using photographic closeups to show "just how abysmally Hitler failed to live up to his own racial criteria."
Gerlich was murdered soon after this ran, his bloody spectacles sent by the Gestapo to his wife.
It has always puzzled me that such an evil man could take power in a such an advanced country. Were people simply deceived? Did they not know who Hitler was?
Rosenbaum shows, through his study of newspaper archives, that the German people knew. Hitler's true character was made painfully clear in newsprint on a regular basis well before he ruled the country.
There were, in fact, those who screamed and pounded their fists, hoping the world would listen. Unfortunately, too many good people put their hands to their ears, ignoring the pleas through many painful years.
I can't speak about this time in history with any authority or real depth, but I found the bravery of these newspaper men remarkable - worthy of a column, worthy of remembrance.
Zach Mitcham is editor of The Madison County Journal.

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