Banks County Opinions...

March 29, 2000


Editorial
The Banks County News
March 29, 2000

Legislators shouldn't have backed down on animal protection act
It's a shame legislators took the claws out of a proposed animal protection act calling for harsher penalties for cruelty to animals. Legislators debated the bill for two hours on the last day of the session before taking out the stiffer penalties proposed for harsh animal abuse.
The final bill approved did make maliciously maiming or killing an animal a felony with a fine of up to $15,000. But willful neglect of an animal, even if results in death, is still a misdemeanor.
Some legislators whined that the proposed bill would have harmed those who shot a rabid dog or went hunting for deer. That is ridiculous and was just a smoke screen to distract the true intent of the bill which was to punish those who torture cats, dogs and horses for no reason other than some sort of twisted self-satisfaction.
Federal agencies have long found that serial killers and other murderers often say they began killing with torturing animals before moving on to people. State and local agencies also often point to the close connection between the two.
It's time for legislators to crack down on those who mistreat animals and make them responsible for their actions. Too often, they receive a slap on the hand and a small fine. Let's hope the legislators give this bill another look next year.

Beer mustaches?
While we are all for better treatment of animals, a campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals promoting drinking beer over milk is silly. It also sends the wrong message to underage college kids, which it is aimed toward.
PETA is encouraging college students to drink beer instead of milk because of the alleged treatment of dairy cows. They are giving out free bottle openers in the shape of a beer bottle with the message. "Save a cow's life" and "Drink responsibly. Don't drink milk." The campaign also encourages students go get rid of those "milk mustaches" you see in other ads and put on a "beer mustache."
This campaign not only encourages drinking among underage college students, it takes attention away from those serious about improving the treatment of animals. PETA need to find a better way to promote its goals.


Letter
The Banks County News
March 29, 2000

Disagrees with Linder's proposal
Dear Editor:
Your readers share their U.S. Representative, John Linder, with us here in Athens. He is pressing for a national sales tax and the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee is meeting April 11 on just that one single topic. It is time for us to let the committee know how we feel about it, specifically that we oppose:
·taxing current tax-free death benefits between beloved baby boomers.
·taxing Roth IRA benefits (government promised these to be tax-free: a sales tax would be double-taxation).
·everyone being in a 30 percent (including Georgia's sales tax) tax bracket, even those making as little as $10,000 per year.
·people's already low tax-free benefits being tightened by 30 percent or more.
·a crippled economy, with people buying used (not new) goods to save that 30 percent sales tax. And on it goes.
Rep. John Lewis and Rep. Mae Collins are on the April 11 committee. Let them know how you feel. Better, on the Internet, go to www.congress.gov/linder_survey.htm and complete his survey addressing this and many other issues.
A 30 percent sales tax in Georgia is a horrible idea.
Sincerely,
Rick Waters
Athens

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Column
By Angie Gary
The Banks County News
March 29, 2000

What politicians really mean...
As election time rolls around, politicians will be found going door-to-door campaigning. Their rhetoric often begins to sound the same. You notice that they all seem to have the same thing to say and they all have the same vague, general goals in mind.
With that in mind, I got a good laugh out of an article I read recently titled, "Spin-to-English guide: What politicians really mean" by Chris Chichester.
He had common comments given by politicians and his translation of what the candidates really mean. I thought I would share four of my favorites that Chichester came up with and then a few of my own. My four favorites from the article are:
·"We're not going to comment."
Translation: "Don't waste our time with your stupid questions. We hate reporters."
·"We're making progress on the budget. We're meeting. Staffs are meeting."
Translation: "The budget is late again and we are totally clueless."
·"It's smoke and mirrors."
Translation: "We don't support our opponent's proposal and we can't explain why."
·"Clearly..."
Translation: Term used to alert the reporter that spinning like a top will commence.
Now for a few of my own translations, I dug deep into my files to find common phrases politicians have given me over the years. I then analyzed them to come up with my translation of what they really meant.
·"I fully support the Open Meetings Law and the Open Records Law. My door will always be open to the media and the public."
Translation: "I don't like you. I will do everything I can to keep you out of the county/city/school business. Once I win this election, I hope I never see you again."
·"I want to bring in a new wave of welfare reform."
Translation: "I don't like poor people. They usually don't vote anyway."
·"I want to get criminals off the streets and keep them off."
Translation: "I really don't care what happens to criminals. They usually don't vote either."
·"I want to help children. I am for the child. I will do all I can to make this a better world for children."
Translation: "Just vote for me. I really can't stand the little brats, but kissing kids always wins votes. I just want to win, win, win."
·"I just want to serve the community. I want to help the people."
Translation: "I don't care about the community. I just have this really big ego and I want to be powerful. I want it all and I deserve it."
I hope everyone realizes my translations are made in fun. I'm sure that all of the politicians are sincere in their goals. Happy campaigning!!
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald.


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