By: Dick Hodgetts
By: Fred Johnson
The U.S. has the only missile defense system in the world. Shooting a bullet to hit another bullet in mid-flight is basically what an anti-ICBM missile must do. No warheads are involved because the kinetic energy of a collision at 20,000 miles per hour is enough to reduce an incoming missile to dust. Only the United States has the technology to accomplish this.
Our anti-missile program began over 50 years ago in 1963 with the development of a long-range and short-range anti-missile missile. Russia responded by building a few concrete block houses around Moscow and Leningrad and claimed it could also shoot down incoming ICBMs. In 1969 the U.S. signed the SALT I talks began between Russia and the U.S. to stop the development of anti-ICBM missiles.
This treaty was signed in 1969 and the U.S. stopped work on their anti-missile programs, and Russia tore down their empty concrete blockhouses. President Carter signed the SALT II Treaty in 1979. Jimmy Carter said this about the treaty: “Rejection of this treaty would be a devastating blow to the United States…and a massive destructive blow to world peace.” Shortly after signing the treaty, Russia invaded Afghanistan – so much for negotiating “world peace” with the Russians. President Reagan took a different tact after his election. Instead of trying to negotiate peace with Russia he declared that they were an evil empire and that he was increasing our defense spending by 20 percent.
By: Celia Murrary
This means war. A beautiful Saturday morning while cradling a warm coffee cup, I took a lazy stroll around the house to give all my potted beauties a drink from the hose. Turning on the spigot, I approached my planters on front steps.
Carnage! Where once fertile sweet potato vines and flowers blossomed nothing more than dirt clods and purple stubs remained. Plant parts, bits of pink flower flesh strewn everywhere. The INHUMANITY! Once again, I had fallen victim to that devil-horned, cloven-hoofed, brown-eyed, tick-infested marauding Mongol herd.
I hate Bambi.
What have I become? I hear my mother’s voice, “The Bible says you must never hate.” But the Bible also says the devil prowls to and fro stalking the earth as a lion. I know differently. The devil skips and jumps and prances invading the pure earthly bodies of Bambi and Mama each dark and sinister night.
Late spring held much promise. Like the sea calls to a sailor, the soil of my side yard whimpered to me. With the help of Lofton Taylor, who has been in charge of our yard for decades, I cleared, tilled and raked the land for my garden. All 6x10 feet. I planted peppers from the preschool sale. Tomato shoots from Rose Mary Hughes. Corn grown from seed by my 5-year-old. Squash, watermelon, eggplant and okra. Spent countless hours sweating and weeding. Though apologizing profusely in social situations about dirt under my fingernails, secretly I reveled in my new life mission.
Farmer. The land and I were as one. I smelled of earth and it smelled of me.
We both smelled. So earthy.
Then one morning I awoke to all little green tomatoes gone, squash nibbled to stubs, corn stalks shredded. Visions of frying okra brutally dashed against the white shores of Lake Rutledge.
Remember the part near the end of the film "The Wizard of Oz" where Dorothy finally makes it to the Emerald City?
She, Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion have finally made their way down the Yellow Brick Road just to get stonewalled by some mysterious, all-knowing, floating head that demands the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West in return for granting their wishes.
So, after a near-death experience at the Witch's castle, the group defeats her and gains her broomstick, which they then diligently take back to the Wizard. OK, yeah, he grants their wishes, but that's only after they discover the "great and powerful Oz" to be nothing more than a mere special effects guru who "grants their wishes" through what sounds like some kind of simple psychobabble.
Now we're not saying Dorothy, or the Wizard for that matter, was right. Or wrong. We're just saying that, had she asked some questions of that random, floating head, it might've saved her some trouble.
And we at the Morgan County Citizen feel we can relate to Dorothy.
It's been made clear to us (through Letters to the Editor, phone calls, even conversation on the street) that you, readers, want to know more.
We get that. We are working to ask the tough questions, and get the truth from those who represent us. That's our job.
Asking questions earlier may have gotten us some better answers. And sooner. Prior to our journey to the Emerald City.
But we're there now. We've arrived and met the Wizard, and we can't change that.
What we CAN do is demand transparency.
You, as county taxpayers, and we, as the local newspaper, deserve to know what's going on behind the curtain: how this county is being operated, and who is doing the operating.
In the end, though, this isn't about the giant, floating head. Or about the Wizard.
By: Dick Hodgetts; Columnist
You may see her walking down Main Street, her pace is brisk and her carriage is very erect, she often wears light blue clothes that match her sparkling blue eyes. Invariably she is looking from side to side, to take in all that is about her. The first impression is that Dollie is experiencing life to its fullest. You may be taken by her smile which is present most of the time. Dollie Pettis has a story that is worth sharing even if she is loath to personal recognition. For in her story are some simple truths worth considering.
Raised in nearby Rockdale County her youth was centered in her church. An evening program in her teen years introduced her to two missionaries, one who spread the Gospel in Brazil, another who did the same in China. When she married Ernest Pettis, who wanted to dedicate his life and career to mission work, it was not as difficult a choice for her as it would be for many. Her view: “becoming a Missionary is not different than any other call to being a Christian”.
Soon she and Ernest and their small child were assigned to Korea, where the Presbyterian Church decided to focus much of its missionary work. First, there was Mission School in Tokyo, where they learned to speak Korean. Equally important, it was 1952 and Korea had just gone through an ugly and devastating invasion from North Korea and China. Every family was impacted by this war between the two Korean societies. Prior to the Korean War, the peninsula had been a colony of Japan. The Japanese were brutal administrators. After the defeat of Japan, Korea is devastated by the Korean War; and again suffers grievously.