HAPPY LABOR DAY! :: Monday, September 1, 2014

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Opinion Editorial

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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As this is being written, the debut of Facebook as a publicly traded stock is off to a rocky start with share prices taking a significant dip from its original offering. Being a mild critic of this web giant, I do have a small measure of glee. I believe that eventually Facebook will meet the same fate as the former king of the social networking hill – Myspace, that has faded into obscurity. But, then again, I also predicted the demise of karaoke and rap music.

In an earlier generation, television earned the nickname of boob tube for a reason. Too much of a good thing can be a waste of time. At least back then, data on what you watched or how much you watched wasn't being collected by various sources such as prospective employers. “George, I see you have been watching a lot of Three Stooges, any particular reason for this?”

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published: 10/18/2013
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