More Jackson County Opinions...

SEPTEMBER 25, 2002


Column
By:Rochelle Beckstine
The Jackson Herald
September 25, 2002

The hair/gut ratio
Pythagoras had his theorem.
Maybe I can establish Mitcham’s theories and observations.
Here’s a start:
1.) The male hair/gut ratio: This is defined as follows: “The acceptable length of hair on a man’s head grows shorter as his waist expands.” As my waist grew in my mid-20s, I recognized that I just started to feel sloppy as my hair got longer. So, for me, hair squared plus waist squared equals sloppy squared.
2.) Flannery O’Connor wrote “A good man is hard to find.” But how about a good shoe? Heck yeah, a good shoe is hard to find. And yes, I am a shoe loyalist. There’s this old brown pair that I’ve worn pretty much everywhere, everyday for over five years. I’ve bought other pairs and I’ll give ‘em a chance, try to break them in, but they never make the cut. And days later, I’ll be back to that trusted, old pair as sure as Otis hits the bottle. Remember Otis, don’t you? From Andy Griffeth.
3.) The more a guy talks about his golf game, the less you have to fear him on the course. That goes for any other sport or endeavor.
4.) The elimination of the “small” choice of fries or drinks in some eating establishments is just the first wave of a vast conspiracy to eliminate traditional sizes from our vocabulary. Soon we will no longer have medium or large, or even extra-large. There will just be biggie, big-biggie, Oh-my-biggie.
5.) The one-finger wave means a different thing in the country than in the city.
6.) Kindness is helping overkill. You know what I mean. That nice lady sees you put your fork down to try to breathe between shovels full of food, then insists that you “take out” for a fourth or fifth time.
7.) Love seems inversely proportional to credit taken. (No I didn’t rip that off of a fortune cookie.)
8.) Letting a person in front of you in traffic is not a tremendous act of kindness. However, it always warrant a “thank you” wave of the hand or nod of the head. Anything less is very irritating to the one who has been polite.
9.) Snoring is shocking when you hear yourself do it. Sometimes I wake and open my eyes, then snort with an inward blast of air, alarming myself.
10.) Speaking of sleep, nobody cares about your dream unless they’re in it. Tell one of your dreams to somebody and get a little long-winded with it. Unless, it’s about how that person saved your life or hit a home run, I guarantee their mind will drift.
I know my lame “proofs and theorems” won’t stand up like “a squared plus b squared equals c squared.”
But — at least for this week — it beats writing about Iraq.
Zach Mitcham is an editor with MainStreet Newspapers.

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Column
By: Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
September 25, 2002

Playing the political game
The Republican Party is in deep trouble.
I came to that conclusion after reading the letter from the Republican National Committee.
The letter began, “Dear Fellow Republican.”
That was news to me. And I am sure it comes as a surprise to my two or three conservative Republican friends who see me as a long-haired, radical, leftist, hippie-type, tree-hugging, bed-wetting, liberal Democrat.
What I am is an independent who doesn’t belong to any political party, and votes for who he thinks is the best man. And yes, sometimes the best man is a woman.
(A decade ago four friends and I tried to organize the Moderate Party, but it never got off the ground. It didn’t grow beyond the five original members. Everybody else insisted on holding onto their extremist views — either extremely conservative or extremely liberal, a.k.a. Republican or Democratic.)
So it also would have been news to me if I had received a letter from the Democratic National Committee that began, “Dear Fellow Democrat.”
I hesitate to tell you what the letter from the RNC said, because it is going to drive some of my Republican friends nuts.
I am not just a “Dear Fellow Republican.” According to the letter, I am “among a select group of Republicans.”
Hallelujah, I am one of the chosen ones, “chosen to take part in an official Census of the Republican Party.”
The GOP Census Document was enclosed and was “assigned and prepared especially for you (me) as a representative of all Republicans living in your (my) voting district.”
Oh, how happy the Republicans living in my voting district must be this morning. And how secure they must feel, knowing that I represent them.
I not only represent them in the present; I am planning their future. “Your answers to the GOP Census Document will be used to develop a Blueprint for the Republican Party for the next 10 years.”
(Shoot, I couldn’t develop a blueprint for a birdhouse, much less one for a political party. I don’t know which end of a screwdriver to hold, or which end of a politician to kick.)
I am also saving the Grand Old Party a lot of money. The RNC letter poor-mouthed, “It is cost prohibitive for the Republican Party to print and mail an official Republican Party Census to each and everyone of the 55,000,000 Republicans nationwide. . . .” (Poor babies.)
Then it told me once again that my “answers will represent the views and opinions of all Republican voters living in your voting district.”
(Let us pause here and listen once again to the applause of my two or three Republican friends.)
There was one other bit of evidence that led me to believe the GOP is operating in the red.
“No postage necessary if mailed in the United States,” said the upper right hand corner of the return envelope where the stamp is usually stuck.
In the upper left hand corner where the return address usually appears was this plea: “By using your own first class stamp to return this envelope, you will be helping us save much needed funds.”
When Trent Lott, Dennis Hastert and Dick Armey weren’t poor-mouthing (their names were on the letterhead), they were boosting my ego and making me feel like a really important player in the political game.
“Make no mistake — without your answers to the Republican Party Census Document, our leadership will not know how you and other Republicans at the grassroots level of our Party feel about the critical issues facing our nation in the next century.”
(That’s what they said: “the next century.” If I were a Republican I would be worried about the next year.)
And I’m going to be responsible for the Party reaching many more “Dear Republican Friends.”
“Based on your response, the RNC plans to print and mail a Republican Party Census to 5.5 million Republicans so that we can get a statistically reliable sampling of our Party.”
Why is it that the next four paragraphs make me think that the RNC was finally getting around to the purpose of the letter?
“But at cost of $.40 each, our Census of the Republican Party will cost the RNC over $2.2 million.
“So along with your completed GOP Census Document, won’t you also enclose a contribution of $500, $250, $100, $50 or even $25 to the Republican National Committee?
“Your gift of $500 will allow another 1,250 Republicans to take part in this official census. And $250 will help us reach 625 of our fellow party activists.
“But more importantly, your contribution of any size will help the RNC unify our Party in advance of this fall’s election!”
Why do I have this feeling that the RNC is more interested in my money than it is in my thoughts?
There were a couple of interesting options on the Census Document. I didn’t check either one.
“Yes, I support the RNC, but am unable to participate at this time. However, I have enclosed $11 to cover the cost of tabulating my survey.”
(How cheap can you get? The fact that I have to pay to tabulate my own survey also leads me to believe that the RNC is flat broke.)
The next option: “No, I favor electing liberal Democrats over the next ten years.”
I didn’t check that one either, because I don’t know what liberal Democrats will be running for office over the next ten years. But I can tell you this: if Cynthia McKinney, Al Gore and Bill Clinton are running, I’m voting Liberterian.
(You know what I’m thinking right now? The fact that I received this poorly written letter causes me to believe it may be a scam perpetrated upon the Republicans by the Democrats. I don’t trust any of ’em. OK, so I am a cynic. Skeptic, too.)
Honest, I don’t believe this letter was sent to a select group of Republicans. If it was, I really do wonder about the GOP. It seems more appropriate for the great unwashed rank and file Bubbas and Rednecks who are more interested in their next beer than they are their next county commissioner or president.
If George Bush had personally invited me to the $5,000-per-plate fundraiser over at the Ritz Carlton, I would have been impressed.
But not to worry, Republican friends. Whether real or bogus, I did not return the Census Document or make a contribution. So I won’t be messing up your party’s blueprint with my wise, intelligent, sensible, moderate opinions.
Virgil Adams is a former owner and editor of The Jackson Herald.


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