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Beware of Barrow


The good news is that Regina Thomas, a progressive Democrat, managed to bring in 24 percent of the vote in her bid for Congress. The bad news is that her opponent John Barrow got 76 percent, especially since Barrow is a “blue-dog Democrat.”

Barrow’s voting record has been far more Republican than Democratic. When he does on occasion happen to vote Democratic, he does so unthinkingly following orders from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, herself not well noted for being soundly Democratic either.

One time Barrow did vote for democratic principles by opposing telecom immunity in the FISA bill. Later however, once he had received $8,100 from telecom lobbying for his campaign fund, he reversed his vote by approving of telecom immunity. He wasn’t alone in this sell-out, though, since a large number of other Congressmen followed suit by reversing their votes on FISA, campaign donations in hand.

There is speculation of a Republican cross-over vote for Barrow. I’m not too sure what such a strategy would entail, whether Republicans are thinking that Barrow would prove to be a weaker candidate against their nominee or if they just like the way Barrow votes their way, a Republican in Democratic clothing.

If it were only Democrats out voting for Barrow, then those Democrats need to wake up to the facts about Barrow’s voting record. They need to wake up to his political expediency and Republican leanings. And they need to start voting for progressive candidates like Regina Thomas whose positions favor the majority of people, not Republican elitists.

William H. Strong

Crack: Still wack


Crack has planted its flag deeply into the broken, beating heart of my neighborhood for years. While I’m pretty libertarian about most personal conduct issues, crack crosses the line because it drives people to desperation the likes of which most concerned citizens have rarely seen.

When it hit town, porch furniture began disappearing as appetites for more crack drove people to steal any and every thing that could be stolen and sold. Gangs began waging warfare in broad daylight with no rules of engagement and too many innocent bystanders fell in the crossfire.

Crack is the mastermind behind so many bad headlines. Can we as concerned citizens afford not to question whether more jail/ less drug treatment strategies solve this problem? Please consider that most policy makers don’t live where furniture takes flight or in-your-face encounters are part of the hazard of venturing outside.

Crack defies even the most aggressive policing because displacing dealers does nothing to cure users. Where non-crack related arguments can turn violent, their frequency is wildly overshadowed by the inflationary influence Crack has in creating crisis where none previously existed and pushing existing tensions beyond the point of no return. It is a weapon of mass destruction whose identity isn’t a mystery and whose effectiveness is immediate!

When crack comes to town, it’s a whole new ballgame and few in public safety are ready to treat as it is: a major public health issue with major public safety overtones. Cure crack users and the urban warfare it brings dries up.

That does also mean police budgets may dry up some, but remaining resources can then be dedicated to other problem areas. There was crime before crack, but less of it.

Nadra Enzi

A letter from Joyce


I would like to thank all of my former patients at Effingham Hospital for letting me care for them and their loved ones.

We have always prided ourselves in giving extra care to our friends, family, and neighbors.

Due to changes made by “upper management” they will no longer employ CNA’s(certifided nursing assistants)in the hospital section, but will continue to use them in the nursing home.

They offered us the same position in the nursing home or they gave us a two week notice. I am physically unable to do the heavy lifting in the nursing home so I have to resign.

I loved my job and I took great pride in what I did. I loved caring for the people that I knew and loved. That is what is so special in a rural hospital--knowing everyone.

My last day was June 6, 2008. Thanks again for letting me help with your care. I will miss all of you. The caring nurses will be doing total patient care now, so give them your support as they will need it.

Joyce Brannen