The Madison County Journal
February 14, 2001
Time to reduce bureaucracy
President Bush has made an interesting proposal that federal
money be used to finance the charitable activities of "faith
based" and private organizations. I have a better idea.
I agree that people who need help receive the best aid from private
charities. Local churches, civic clubs and organizations formed
to address local problems. Such groups can respond quickly without
having to wade through government red tape. They have the ability
to determine who truly needs assistance and who is trying to
live off the system. They have no political agenda that might
determine who gets aid and who gets ignored.
Here in Madison County, we have numerous deserving organizations.
Some receive a portion of their funding from government sources,
other are totally privately financed. These volunteer organizations
provide everything from fire protection to emergency medical
aid and search and rescue operations. Others provide emergency
food and clothing assistance, toys for needy children at Christmas
or ramps for handicapped residents.
With more funding, these groups are capable of meeting the special
needs of our citizens. And they do it without a massive government
bureaucracy. What we need is a way to finance these agencies
without paying for layer after layer of bureaucrats, their offices,
transportation, utilities and other perks.
When we send our money to Washington, they take the major part
to finance government, then send back whatever is left. Numerous
studies of this process show that as much as $8 out of $10 are
used up by the bureaucracy, with 20 percent or less actually
reaching the people. Even then, a significant part of the money
arriving at the local level is soaked up by fraud, excessive
payments to a few recipients or diversion to purposes other than
the intended uses.
The only way to ensure that the majority of funds earmarked for
public assistance are so used is to never send it to Washington
in the first place. In my opinion, the federal welfare system
should be abandoned, and the taxes used to finance it returned
to the taxpayers. With more money in our pockets, we the people
will have the opportunity to support those charities that prove
they deserve our support. We can see where our money goes, how
it is used and who benefits.
Liberals will object to this idea, of course. They will say that
we are putting the poor at risk of being neglected. I don't think
so. Americans have proven repeatedly that we are the most generous
people on earth. If a family in our community needs our support,
the community will help.
Those who are ripping off the system are the ones who will have
to start supporting themselves, but that is as it should be.
Removing welfare programs from the federal bureaucracy will go
a long way toward returning constitutional government to this
nation. I can find nothing in the U.S. Constitution that authorizes
federal spending on welfare. And the 10th Amendment prohibits
the federal government from exercising powers not granted it
by the Constitution. The massive fraud and waste in federal welfare
programs make it clear why our founders left public assistance
to the states and the people.
Faith-based and community organizations are the best source of
assistance for the needy. We don't need government financing
these organizations. Eliminate federal welfare programs and send
the money back to the taxpayers. We will take care of our own.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal.
His web page can be accessed at www.mcga.net.
The Madison County Journal
February 14, 2001
How did we get these names?
There's Buzzard Flopper Creek in Cherokee County, a waterway
believed to have been named for an Indian named Buzzard Flopper
(or flapper) who lived on the Etowah River.
There's Radium Springs in Dougherty County. The name was changed
from Blue Springs to Radium Springs after water tests revealed
"7.12 mache units of radium emanation per litre."
And here's one of my favorites, "Pobiddy Crossroad"
in Talbot County. Legend has it that this crossroad was named
when a mother hen had a brood of little "biddies" and
one of them ran out in the road and got killed by a horse, which
led to the exclamation, "That's the end of that po'biddy."
I love to hear stories of how places got their names. And Georgia
has some good ones. There's a book I've been reading, "Georgia
Place Names" by Kenneth Krakow, an Iowa native, who turned
a term paper project at Mercer into a book, which was published
The author admitted that his research was no "exact science."
The fact is, there's no way to prove or disprove certain stories
-such as how "Pobiddy Crossroad" was named.
But it's fun to flip through the book and read the odd stories.
Here are some of the stranger names listed: Hog Potato Branch,
Hog Heaven Branch, Iceberg, Hunger and Hardship Creek, Pink Knot
Creek, Old Screamer Mountain, Grab All, Gopher Town, Funkhouser,
Frogtown Pass, Four Killer Creek, Old Hell Bight, No Business
Creek, No Man's Friend Pond and Bad Creek. Then there's Worse
Creek - which is not far from Bad Creek.
According to Krakow, there's a place in Barrow County called
Nodoroc, which he reports is a mud volcano three and half miles
east of Winder. He wrote that it "is similar to some found
in Burma' and said it "erupted shortly after the area was
settled and was given its Indian name meaning, 'Hell.'"
(Editor's note: Remember, Krakow wrote his book in 1975. So if
this place did exist, it's probably under a Golden Pantry or
subdivision by now.)
There's the story of the town of Ideal incorporated in 1907 in
Macon County. Two railroad executives were looking for a place
to put a railroad stop. They paused at a place and one of them
said the site was "ideal." And the other man proclaimed,
"And you have just named it."
There's the story of a post office named Fargo in Clinch County.
A postmaster explained that a lumber company built a railroad
from Valdosta and this was "just as FAR as it would GO."
Then there's the old post office in Laurens County called "Nameless,"
because, of the many names submitted for the post office, none
Madison County, of course, was named after the nation's fourth
president, James Madison. And Krakow makes some interesting suggestions
on some of its names.
For instance, he said that Ila was derived from the "Choctaw
word 'illa,' meaning 'dead.'" And Pocataligo may have been
named after a balky mule or a turtle that wouldn't budge, so
you poke it's tail to make it go, hence, "poke'e tail'e
Krakow also writes about the old Madison Springs community, first
named Alexanderville, after James Alexander, who purchased the
land to develop a public resort. The place was referred to as
the "Saratoga of the South" until the resort community
ended when its hotel burned Jan. 30, 1871.
There's no doubt that people form tighter bonds with their community
when they learn about its past, including how places were named.
With this in mind, The Madison County Journal has published several
articles about the county's history, such as pieces on old barns
and old country stores.
But we'd like to print more. For instance, we plan to run an
article on how some of the county's roads were named. If you
have a story about a road in Madison County, we'd like to hear
And if you have any suggestions on other articles related to
Madison County's past, please give us a call at 795-2567.
Zach Mitcham is editor of The Madison County Journal.