More Jackson County Opinions...

MAY 14, 2003


Column
By:Bill Shipp
The Jackson Herald
May 7, 2003

Removing two stains
Two deep wounds in the Georgia psyche began healing last week.
Carl Isaacs was finally executed. And the divisive debate over the Georgia flag was effectively ended.
No public official appeared to take credit for putting to rest either matter.
Such modesty is understandable, especially in the case of Isaacs.
Thirty years ago, May 14, 1973, Isaacs and his fellow thugs brutally murdered six members of the Ned Alday family in Seminole County. A year later, Isaacs was convicted and sentenced to death.
The Alday survivors and Seminole County trusted the court system to provide justice. They were betrayed.
The Isaacs conviction went up and down the judicial system a dozen times. Legal papers moving the case through the appeals courts inexplicably took years to process.
Finally, defense lawyers, responsible for keeping the brutal killer alive for nearly three decades, argued absurdly that his prolonged imprisonment amounted to “cruel and unusual punishment” and, therefore, he should be spared. Never mind that these same lawyers created the situation.
At last, Isaacs’ string ran out. The state executed him Tuesday, May 6. His survival until Tuesday had remained a compelling argument against imposing the death penalty upon any other criminal. How could the state execute anyone else while allowing this butcher to live? That argument has now been removed.
Judges who kept Isaacs from the death chamber for so long should feel forever shamed. His guilt and the magnitude of his crime were never in doubt.
Now that he is dead, he should not be forgotten. The name Carl Isaacs should be a grim reminder of a terrible breakdown in the judicial system. Isaacs lived to smirk and wink because so many judges cowered from allowing the executioner to proceed with his work.
After the execution, Bo McLeod, editor and publisher of the Donalsonville News (in Seminole County), wrote in an obituary for Isaacs:
“Isaacs held the record for the longest tenure on death row in the nation at the time of his death, brought on by an exhaustion of all known and fabricated stunts of the legal profession, financed and encouraged by a variety of disbelievers of simple law and order.”
* * *
Now the flag - and poor Gov. Sonny Perdue. The unhappy-looking governor signed into law Thursday a bill scuttling Roy Barnes’ banner and installing in its place a new flag based on the Confederate “Stars and Bars.” (The flag fight had consumed more time than another other item, including the budget, in the recent legislative session.)
Noisy “flaggers,” demanding a return to the 1956 Dixie-cross flag, could muster no more than 25 people outside the Capitol to protest the new banner. About 50 people showed up to cheer.
The flaggers may not know it, but the rest of Georgia is now ready to move on. The flag fight is over. Or at least it ought to be.
Gov. Perdue had an opportunity to take bows for settling the flag dispute, which he rekindled as an issue in last year’s gubernatorial campaign. But he demurred. Instead, he said he wanted the world to know that the Legislature, not the governor, was responsible for the new law, which precludes a referendum on the Confederate battle emblem.
Perdue, apparently fearful of further angering the diminishing flaggers lobby, said he wanted - really wanted - a referendum that would include a vote on the Confederate battle emblem. But he said he signed the flag bill because it was the best he could do. The flaggers immediately put up a Web site depicting Perdue as a frightened chicken.
“I’m disappointed that Georgians will not have all the options on the ballot,” the governor told the press. An aide said Perdue had received more than 8,000 letters and e-mails asking him to veto the measure.
Ironically, state Rep. Bobby Franklin, R-Marietta, one of the legislators responsible for designing the new flag, had difficulty gaining admittance to Perdue’s office to witness the bill signing. An aide to the governor tried to block him. And the lawmaker most responsible for passing the flag bill, state Sen. George Hooks, D-Americus, was nowhere in sight. Neither was Rep. Tyrone Brooks, D-DeKalb, the African-American lawmaker who had led the years-long fight to retire the Confederate battle emblem.
Former Gov. Roy Barnes, who in the past has blamed his re-election defeat on minimizing the Dixie cross on the flag, could not be reached for comment.
But his former Chief of Staff Bobby Kahn said, “The important thing to us was that the Confederate battle flag was removed in 2001. It was Gov. Barnes’ intent to avoid the very divisive and destructive process we’ve been through over the past four months.”
All in all, Georgia had several good days last week. Dare we hope for more?
You can reach Bill Shipp at P.O. Box 440755, Kennesaw, GA 30160 or by calling (770) 422-2543, e-mail: bshipp@bellsouth.net, Web address: http://www.billshipp.com

Jackson County Opinion Index

Column
By: Adam Fouche
The Jackson Herald
May 7, 2003

Parents: Watch out for Oreos
The newest threat to kids these days isn’t drugs. It isn’t alcohol. It isn’t crime or bad neighborhoods or even pornography.
No, a new monster has reared its ugly head that seeks to claim the lives of innocent children. That monster is an Oreo cookie.
Media outlets broke the news early this week that a lawyer in good ole California filed suit against Nabisco claiming that its line of Oreo cookies could kill kids
The Associated Press reports the attorney as arguing that “the trans fatty acid that makes the filling creamy and the cookies crisp are too dangerous for children to eat.”
The public interest lawyer has asked for a complete ban of the dangerous cookies in California. Parents, you must heed this warning immediately.
Don’t worry with talking to your kids about drugs and marijuana and cigarettes. No. Those are much more minor worries for you now.
The small round pieces of cookie and cream goodness are far worse for your child than any illegal narcotic could ever be.
In fact, we need to take this thing one step farther. Instead of just Oreos, we must ban all cookies.
Get rid of chocolate and powdered sugar and brown sugar and even fake sugar too. No more donuts and no more Skittles.
Throw away your vanilla wafers and Kit-Kats. Put out the cupcakes and honey buns and Little Debbies.
We should get rid of apple pie, pecan pie, key lime pie, chicken pot pie, peach cobbler and cheesecake with cherries on top and that golden brown graham cracker crust.
No more cake and ice cream at birthday parties. Instead, serve celery and carrots without ranch dressing.
No more Easter candy or Christmas candy or Valentine candy (big savings there) or Halloween candy. Instead, pass out radishes and turnip green leaves and (ugh!) rutabagas.
Your kids don’t need to taste all these delicious foods. They could kill them. And it’s our duty to protect children from such horrible monsters as giant, kid-eating Oreos.
While we’re at it, let’s just ban everything, from sweet tea to Cow Tails to Fruit Roll Ups. And let’s sue everybody for everything.
Only then can we make the world safer. Only then can we rid this planet of wholesome treats, replacing them with less harmful narcotics.
Please people. I’m begging you. We can’t let this go on any longer. We must rise up and ....
Aww, the heck with it. I’m hungry. I think I’ll just have some Oreos.
Got milk?
Adam Fouche is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers His email address is fouche@nbank.net.


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