Madison County Opinion...

OCTOBER 16, 2002


Column
By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
October 16, 2002

Frankly Speaking
Barnes running for president?
Roy Barnes is running for president. I am now convinced that he has had that as his goal from the beginning.
Everything Barnes has done as Governor of Georgia has been targeted toward a run for the White House. Most obvious is his massive fund-raising program. Clearly, Barnes does not need $19 million to run for another term as governor. That is 10 times the amount raised by his opponent.
One of the first actions Barnes took as governor was to “reform” the political process in Georgia. The chief reform was to raise the minimum campaign donation for incumbents from $1,000 to $10,000. Next he started doing everything he could to obtain these huge donations from as many people as possible. The first year of his governorship he raised more than Republican candidate Sonny Perdue has been able to find during his entire campaign.
So well has Barnes’ money grubbing worked, that he has effectively shut out all other candidates from available campaign donations.
In his zeal to raise money, he has sold out his Southern heritage by wiping out our beautiful flag. Why? So a handful of big money contributors could rake in millions from a basketball tournament
In fact, Barnes is staking his future on the support of the now majority of Atlantans who come from outside the state. He has abandoned his Southern roots in favor of the opinions of Northern opportunists who are following the tracks of their carpetbagger ancestors by flooding south in search of riches. We have a word for Southerners like that: “scalawag.”
Recent news stories revealed that virtually all judicial appointments made by Barnes have gone to large contributors. They reportedly found name after name that jointly appear on his appointment list as well as his fundraising reports.
To make sure he is able to continue these steps toward the presidency, Barnes has gerrymandered Georgia’s election districts in an effort to pack the state legislature with people who will vote his bidding while neglecting the desires of the majority of the state’s citizens. In doing so, he has fragmented local communities, created districts that have no coherence, made it impossible for elected officials to serve all areas of the distorted districts. The rights of “We the People” to be fairly and effectively represented have fallen victim to Barnes’ political ambitions.
Barnes wants to be president. He is using his position as Governor as a stepping stone to the White House. In the process he is grinding his boots into the poor dumb rednecks of Georgia’s rural communities. Boy, my neck is hurting already.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His web page can be accessed at www.mcga.net. His e-mail address is frankg@mcga.net.

Column
By Zach Mitcham
The Madison County Journal
October 16, 2002

From the Editor's Desk
Talking books, movies
Whether you like N Sync or Mozart, Danielle Steele or Dostoevsky, beef jerky or French cuisine, you probably give the thumbs up when you see a good thing and wonder why others shrug their shoulders or offer an “oh please.”
I’m no different. While I’m no literary scholar or film critic, I like to talk about books and movies. I can be annoying in my insistence on what is worthy of praise or ridicule.
And here are some things I know are good, things I think everybody should appreciate:
I mentioned Fyodor Dostoevsky, the great Russian novelist. In “Crime and Punishment,” Dostoevsky explores the mind of a murderer, from planning the crime to the killing to living with the guilt and finally the punishment. The author does not vilify the killer. Instead, the reader follows his torment and sympathizes with him. It’s an intriguing and chilling story. Another great novel is Cormac McCarthy’s “All the Pretty Horses,” a tale of two American teenagers riding on horseback deep into Mexico. A movie was made a couple of years ago based on this novel. McCarthy can weave a great plot, but it’s his use of language that has earned him the billing as “today’s Faulkner.”
Other books I like are: “The Sheltering Sky” by Paul Bowles, a novel about the travels of an American couple in Africa; “Dirty Work” by Larry Brown, a tale about two maimed Vietnam veterans; “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote, a non-fiction account of the gruesome killing of a family by two men, later executed for the crime. I also enjoyed Paul Fussell’s “Wartime: Understanding Human Behavior in the Second World War.” Fussell’s book gave me a better perspective of the hardship endured by so many and the real ugliness of war. Joseph Campbell’s “Myths to Live By” is a good read. Campbell provides a broad view of religion, outlining traditions in various cultures over thousands of years.
On to films. Two of my favorites — “Cool Hand Luke” and “The Hustler” — star Paul Newman. As an inmate, Cool Hand Luke attains a hero status among his fellow inmates, but he eventually lets them down when the jail guards break his will to fight. And the inmates turn on Luke when he appears weak. In “The Hustler,” Newman is a pool shark obsessed with beating Minnesota Fats, played by Jackie Gleason. In trying to be the best, Newman’s character risks everything and loses a lot.
Other favorite movies of mine include “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Dead Poets Society,” “A River Runs Through It,” “Raising Arizona,” “Fargo,” “The Natural,” “Apocalypse Now,” “The Godfather I,” “The Thin Red Line,” “O Brother Where Art Thou,” “Flirting,””Sometimes a Great Notion,” “Bottle Rocket,” “Waiting for Guffman” and “High Fidelity.”
Right now it’s easy to get wrapped up in all of the unsettling news about snipers and a looming war. With all the tensions around, it’s nice to remember some of the diversions I love best.
We all need that from time to time.
Zach Mitcham is editor of The Madison County Journal.

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