More Jackson County Opinions...

OCTOBER 23, 2002

By:Rochelle Beckstine
The Jackson Herald
October 23, 2002

Christmas just 69 days away
Christmas is just 69 days away.
Does that give anyone else heart palpitations? I have a list two and a half pages long of things I need to literally sit down and make between now and Christmas Eve. I need divine intervention.
Everything is planned out. I’ve spent plenty of time planning what I was going to do, making lists of things I need to buy in order to make what I’ve planned, going to the three different stores and actually buying the stuff, and organizing the stuff into my sewing center. Now I have to do it. But I have to have at least one solid hour I can devote to it in order to make pulling all of the stuff out worthwhile. That is the proverbial needle in the haystack. How do you convince a toddler to play with her toys while you turn all of your attention to something besides her? I’ve found it to be nearly impossible. She wants to be in my lap, pulling my thread or messing with the buttons on my Singer. Or there’s the way she usually suckers me in. Imperially she stands with head held so straight you could balance Dr. Seuss’ ABC Book on it. She looks at me expectantly with a book in one hand. “Down,” she says, holding her arm out toward me and pointing with her finger to a spot on the floor just in front of her. There’s no way to say no to that.
So the projects aren’t getting ticked off my list as they are completed.
But I can do it.
I will do it.
I’ll just ignore the phone message light and forego eight hours of sleep (I’ll be fine with only six). I’ll lock the front door and pretend I’m not home when strangers come knocking wanting to sell me candy bars or wrapping paper or large industrial strength toilet paper. (I didn’t even ask.) I’ll get home from work and lock Piper and me into my sewing room and we won’t come out until the last project is done.
It isn’t that they are very long projects, but it seems to me that the days are getting shorter. I know in my head there are still 24 hours in a day or 1,440 minutes, but my heart is starting to feel boxed in. I am the chicken running around in that children’s story shouting “The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling!” And while I take Tums for heartburn and Nortriptilene for migraines I bargain with Mother Nature to lengthen October indefinitely or at least until I finish sewing the five aprons that are on the top of my to-do list. Who knows what I’ll have to promise in November in order to make 22 jars of Apple Butter and 29 jars of Dutch Apple Pie Jam and paint glasses and make 10 bowls. AHHHH! And somewhere in the rush I have to obtain a green thumb so I can grow three types of herbs from seed for my best friend’s birthday November 15.
There have been Christmases past when I arrived at the nearest discount store with a $100 bill and a list of relatives and friends too long to buy what everybody deserved to get and only able to buy what I could afford. So not too long ago my husband and I decided to take the commercialism out of Christmas and make it about what really counts — thoughtfulness, caring and compassion. For an hour every day, I spend time thinking of one relative or another and envisioning the look on their face when I can say, “I made that. I thought you would love it.”
All the fretting and the heartburn and the migraines and the work will pay off. Instead of unwrapping something made in Hong Kong or Indonesia, people will open something made specifically for them during little pieces of time when I was supposed to be the one “counting” while my daughter was “hiding.”

Rochelle Beckstine is a columnist for MainStreet Newspapers.

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By: Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
October 23, 2002

One thing leads to another
I’m through with religion for a while. Promise.
After today I’m through with politics for a while. Promise.
But today it is politically imperative that I urge you to get off your duffs and go vote. Otherwise, we may become slaves to socialism, communism, anarchism or some other gosh-awful form of government.
If you think about it, we could even become slaves to liberalism or conservatism. One thing leads to another, you know. If we ever become a one-party, totalitarian nation, watch out! Extreme liberalism could lead to socialism to communism. Extreme conservatism could lead to a police state.
Communism doesn’t sound too bad. “To each according to his needs; from each according to his ability.”
Anyway, one of my political science professors in college said that was the communist theory. He said Acts 4:32-37 describes the concept. I would discuss this, but I’m supposed to be done with religion for a while.
The way things are going here lately, a modern-day version of that would be “to each according to his needs; from each—nothing.” There are a good many deadbeats out there, and they all ain’t daddies.
Let me add this: If we took Acts 4:32-37 literally and divided up all our stuff and had everything in common, in six months the rich would be rich again and the poor would be poor on handouts and contributing zilch.
Now, I am not talking about those who are poor through no fault of their own. I am talking about those who are poor by choice.
I sure would like to hear a preacher preach on Acts 4:32-27 and explain to me why he thinks that’d work.
(Gosh, it’s hard to get off religion or to separate religion and politics, isn’t it?)
Anyway, vote. And if there’s a communist running, vote against him.
In Georgia, I don’t think you need worry about that. I understand it’s virtually impossible to get on the ballot here unless you are a Democrat or a Republican. No third parties allowed.
And that makes Neal Boortz very unhappy.
Boortz is the quintessential Libertarian. If you listen to him on WSB radio every morning, you know that. And regardless of whether you agree with him, you know he is the best talk radio host in the country. He makes the supposed godfather of talk radio, Rush What’s-His-Name, look like a rank amateur.
You also know that Boortz will grow on you.
Sometime ago I called the AJC with a Vent. The Vent guy chose not to publish it, and I don’t know why. Here is what I said: “I am a long-haired, radical, leftist, hippie-type, tree hugging, bed-wetting, liberal Democrat. I have been listening to Neal Boortz, and I think I am beginning to agree with him. Should I be worried?”
If any of you can counsel me regarding this concern, I sure would like to hear from you.
If you have been paying attention the last four or five weeks, you are aware that I have not mentioned the Libertarian Party. I have been engaged in extensive research. Also, I have been waiting for Neal to further enlighten me.
As near as I can tell, at this point in time, a Libertarian is a person who advocates liberty, especially in thought or conduct; someone who maintains the doctrine of the freedom of the will.
You will notice that the first five letters of liberal and the first five letters of Libertarian are the same. After that, all bets are off. Liberals want more government. Libertarians want to be left alone.
Let us move on to the next chapter: anarchism.
No, I am not saying that libertarian leads to anarchism. Neal Boortz would be outraged. I’m just asking you to think. And remember, one thing does lead to another. Liberalism to socialism to communism. Conservatism to police state. Remember?
Anarchism comes from a Greek word meaning “without government.” I don’t know this for a fact (I need to do more research), but Libertarians will put up with a little bit of government if that little bit of government will just leave them alone. That’s not the same as anarchism.
Anarchism is the belief that every form of regulation or government is immoral, and that the restraint of one person by another is an evil that must be destroyed.
So one thing leads to another. And anarchism leads to....
You’ve already guessed, haven’t you? I’ll give you the benefit of my vast research next week.
Oh, oh, I said I was through with religion and politics for a while. I promised.
And like a good politician, I’m keeping that promise. I ain’t talkin’ religion and politics no more. Professor Barnes gave me an A in English and signed me up for a course in history. Class meets next Wednesday.
In the meantime, prepare to vote next month. We don’t want liberalism or conservatism to lead to one of those gosh-awful bad isms. We don’t, do we?
Virgil Adams is a former owner and editor of The Jackson Herald.
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