Remembering 9/11 :: September 11, 2001

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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Opinion

Once again, the United States Supreme Court has proven Clarence Darrow, a civil liberties attorney and long-time advocate for the Constitution, correct in his assertion that “there is no such thing as justice—in or out of court.” In meting out this particular miscarriage of justice, the Supreme Court recently refused to hear the case of a pregnant woman who was repeatedly tasered by Seattle police during a routine traffic stop simply because she refused to sign a speeding ticket.

Malaika Brooks, 33 years old and seven months pregnant, was driving her 11-year-old son to school on a November morning in 2004, when she was pulled over for driving 32 mph in a 20 mph school zone. Instructing her son to walk the rest of the way to school, Malaika handed over her driver’s license to Officer Juan Ornelas for processing. However, when instructed to sign the speeding ticket—which the state inexplicably requires, Malaika declared that she wished to contest the charge, insisting that she had not done anything wrong and fearing that signing the ticket would signify an admission of guilt.

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The question of presidential birth legitimacy brought up by “birthers” needs to be addressed. Was our 21st President, Chester A. Arthur born in Vermont or Canada as some have claimed? His mother was an American but his father was from Ireland, so would a Canadian birth invalidate Arthur's Presidency? (Arthur was James Garfield's VP and he became president after the Garfield assassination.) Though there was no definitive evidence of Arthur being foreign born, the issue was a significant diversionary talking point of the 1880 election.

Fast forward 132 years, replacing Canada with Kenya, Arthur with Obama, and you have all the fixings for another full course meal of baloney. I enjoy postulating about outlandish things as much as the next conspiracy nut. I also understand that the burden of proof lies with those making a claim. Repeating something doesn't make it so. There may be a fire where there is smoke, or maybe just a smokescreen.

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When I think of politicians, I can’t help but think of manipulative, deceptive, conniving individuals who use their titles to abuse their authority in order to push a personal agenda, and well, for the most part, I still find that to be true.

Now, I am not from Macon County, and as Ronnie Beale always reminds me, “I may not be from Macon County, but I got here just as fast as I could.” And after having the pleasure of working in Macon County for nearly a year now, I have found that the politicians who are working to serve Maconians are the exception to the rule, and in my opinion, are not only fair, honest politicians, but are also men of exemplary character.

Like I said, I have been covering meetings for various Town and County Boards for about a year now, and with my experience, I have come to know most of the county’s leaders pretty well. I would feel confident saying that the Macon County Board of Commissioners is a group of exceptional men who truly love the place they serve and the people who voted them into office.

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As a staff member at the Macon County News, delivering the paper is the reward for working hard in the office to put together the newspaper. So on Thursdays, the staff are able to get out of the office into the daylight, move around a little and meet people outside the four walls in which we work so hard.

People line up on delivery day just to be one of the first to get this week’s paper. At the grocery stores, readers often grab papers before they are even cut from the bundle or taken out of the truck. Many take more than one for their mothers, their neighbors, their businesses or just so a husband and wife can each have one of their own to read. It is gratifying to know that our product is appreciated and sought after on a weekly basis. We also get to hear firsthand what folks really think about our publication.

“We just love this little rag,” someone said, offering a backhanded compliment to say the least. Others are not so subtle, “This is the best newspaper,” they say. For all your compliments and comments, thank you.

This June marks 30 years that The Macon County News has been a fixture in this area. Betsey and Gary Gooder had an idea for a free distribution newspaper and the rest, as they say, is history. It has undergone many changes through the years but the concept is still the same. In the very first issue, organizations were invited to “call, send, or bring in information about their activities, programs and projects.” Business pages were open to “personnel changes and appointments, growth and expansions of local retailers, realtors and brokers, service people and industries.”

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