The Newton Citizen Poll is a compilation of opinions submitted by readers. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Citizen newspapers. If you agree or disagree with something you read here, you may respond by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep your comments brief.
"I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient with a shiny new gold tooth, multiple elaborate tattoos, a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and a new cellular telephone equipped with her favorite R&B tune for a ring tone. Glancing over the chart, one could not help noticing her payer status: Medicaid. She smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and, somehow, still has money to buy beer. And our president expects me to pay for this woman's health care? Our nation's health care crisis is not a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. It is a crisis of culture - a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on vices while refusing to take care of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. A culture that thinks 'I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me.' Life is really not that hard. Most of us reap what we sow."
"I can't believe people are calling the Sheriff's Office to complain about sitting in gridlock traffic due to road closures after the flooding. What are they supposed to do about it? Let the people go into flooded areas that are unsafe? I mean really, people need to just grow up and have a bit of patience and realize it is for their own good! And in regards to the new public park in Fairview Estates ... why is the county spending that type of money on a park when they can't even afford to pay their own employees what they deserve? They've had hours cut, holidays taken away, and who knows what else they are having to sacrifice to help this county run and remain safe. Why is a park even a concern?"
Editor's note: Funding for the park is from federal stimulus dollars, which cannot be used to fund county maintenance and operations.
"As far as the Lanny Barnes situation goes, I find it hard to believe a pastor's wife would conduct herself in such a manner. If she is as devout in her religious beliefs as she wants people to think, then she would know that in the Scripture God says 'Vengeance shall be mine.' She needs to do some soul-searching. Also they picked the right family to harass, if that were my loved one and someone was protesting their funeral, well let's just say the outcome would not have been a peaceful one. Knowing the man is burning in hell won't undo what he did, but that is the only satisfaction that is available to the victims of this tragedy."
"There are many people in the black community who are aware that Lanny Barnes was sick (mentally unstable) before he committed his infamous crime. Many have an issue because he reportedly was smiling when he committed his crimes. The same people that are screaming about the NAACP and the silence from this organization have the nerve to say that the 'race card' is being unfairly played by his family. Many who knew him said that Lanny hasn't been quite right since his father passed away when he was very young. Blacks aren't the only one who use the race card, and the same nice people who say why should whites today have to pay for the injustices their forefathers placed upon blacks during slavery and the Jim Crowe years not very long ago. You feel that you shouldn't have to pay for something that your parent or great grandparents did no matter how inhumane and cruel, but you want to subject the Barnes family to inhumane treatment because of what a member of their family did. After this tragedy took place there was an outpouring of sympathy from the black community and some even attended the church on the Square the family was affiliated with."
"If the writing test is so important for fifth-, eighth- and 11th-grade students to pass, why is there so little writing required in the public schools? My fifth-grade child hasn't been asked to write one thing and we are in week nine."
"It is sad that the Georgia Department of Education only cares about test scores and not the education of our children. If a child can learn tricks to pass a test, it doesn't matter if they 'know' the material and can ever use it again. Very sad."
"The 9/19 opinion section had a comment about the USPS issuing a stamp honoring a Muslim holiday. To find out more I went to the USPS Web site and this is what I found. 'On September 23, 2008, in Washington, D.C., the Postal Service issued a 42-cent, Eid special stamp, designed/calligraphed by Mohamed Zakariya of Arlington, Virginia. This stamp was previously issued with the same design and with a 34-cent denomination in 2001, a 37-cent denomination in 2002, a 39-cent denomination in 2006, and 41-cent denomination in 2007.' All issues of this stamp was under orders from the Bush administration, not the Obama administration. Those who want to use fear and hate to destroy our country should not assume the rest of us will just keep believing the lies they are spreading. And by the way, all presidents are temporary, as should be all of our elected officials."
"I know that sometimes in the hectic world that we live in it is real easy to forget about the people we love that live alone. Their whole lives they took care of themselves and everyone around them and now they are out there living alone, and we sometimes forget that they may need to be looked out for a little. Well, we would like to take the time to say thank you to a member of law enforcement in Newton County. He was off duty and still chose to do a nice thing because he really cared. Our mother lives alone and he lives down the road from her and noticed when he passed by that there was a strange car in her drive and stopped to check and make sure all was fine. Thank goodness it was. A neighbor had just broken down and needed to park their car for a little while. But we are so thankful that there are still people in the world that are genuinely good people and live near our mom."
"In his speech on behalf of the United Way, Brig. Gen. Les Carroll stated that 'only 1 percent of our population can't establish the freedom and morals we cherish.' He is absolutely right and what's more, most people, including our national leaders do not realize the seriousness of the situation. Last year, Gen. William Wallace, commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, stated that only 27 percent of the youth between the ages of 17 and 24 are eligible for recruiting. The remainder, he said 'are morally, intellectually or physically unfit for service.' This has forced the Army to lower its eligibility standards. We better wake up, or we won't be a world power much longer."
"How can the Barnes family even consider playing the race card? Lanny Barnes ... chose a white family to try and kill. Yes, when you intentionally run over five people and run back and forth over them four times and smile and laugh the entire time you are committing the crime, you are the racist. His mother and sister should have been embarrassed the afternoon this black man attacked a white family. They should have been embarrassed to have a son and brother who hated white people and children enough to be so cruel and inhuman. Who could commit such a horrible and deadly act? The Casola and King family should have sued the Barnes family the day it happened. ... Lanny Barnes got the state and county to pay for his bone marrow transplant and hospital bills. The King and Casola families are struggling to pay the bills he caused their families. ... "
"If your newspaper were to take a poll on the Lanny Barnes situation, they would certainly find out that the black people in this community do not believe that the Casola or King families see race in this horrible ordeal. It would not have mattered if Lanny Barnes had been white, Asian, Mexican or purple polka dot. When a man kills an innocent child and tries to kill four other people, the color of his skin does not mean anything. We are looking at the crime and who he is as a person ... Race does not play a part into this horrible ordeal. Black people here in Covington think this man was wrong. When someone hurts your family or friends, you are not looking at their skin color. You are looking at them and how they could do this to your family. ... Let's bury this along with Lanny Barnes and let it go. Nothing will change the fact that he committed the crime and nothing will change the fact that they had a permit and were 500 feet from the funeral home. ... Everyone is grieving and everyone needs to give it to God - they need to move on and let this all fade away."
"Anyone wishing to view the undercover video of ACORN can do so by looking on the Web site biggovernment.com. I recently learned that Bank of America, Chase, and Citibank had made contributions to ACORN. These are banks that received bailout funds from the government. How can these banks do that? Receive taxpayer money and then donate it to ACORN? I now wonder if ACORN played a part in the election of some in our county. I recall an article in the Citizen that an attorney from a large law firm in Atlanta and was working for Obama's campaign, was interested in the voter list in Rockdale County. Maybe the Citizen has a good undercover reporter that can do some investigating of what role that ACORN played in our local elections."
"I wonder if anyone else realizes what's going on behind the scenes. The Obama Administration is busy trying to get the Amnesty Bill maneuvered through Congress and get it passed before a health care bill is approved. That means the 12 million illegal immigrants already in the U.S. would receive amnesty and be eligible to become U.S. citizens, thereby qualifying them for health care and Social Security benefits. Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky - not to mention crooked."
"I would like to say thanks to Pam Dew and to everyone who helps with Special Olympics. You guys are doing a great job with our kids!"
"Mrs. Barnes and daughters need to sit back and realize what Lanny Barnes did. He should have been charged with a racial act. I am black and I know that to do something like he did in the McDonald's parking lot, he hated white people. ... Why didn't people ask his family why he wanted to kill five innocent white people? Don't play the race card. These people were trying to find some way to put closure to this horrible incident. I passed by the funeral home. They were across the street. They had signs but they were not verbally saying or shouting anything. They were simply expressing their feelings. What happened to people's rights to express their feelings. Lanny Barnes sure expressed his feelings that day in May at McDonald's. He showed his true feelings for white people. Let it go, Barnes family. You don't even have any physical scars to show. The Casola family still has the scars on their bodies."
"I would like to know how much financial support, the ACORN organization gave to our local elected officials and to our congressmen and to those that are now running against our current Sen. Isakson."
"I was calling about motorcycles. Why is it that they can drive 65 to 70 mph in an 35-mph speed zone? You never see one get caught for speeding. Why is that? You can hear them for miles away and so if the law was anywhere around the neighborhood they could hear them, but you never see any of them getting caught."
"I was calling about the upcoming car show on the Square in Covington he Rotary Club is sponsoring. They say you can't show your car unless it is 25 years old. I think that is pathetic. If this is not discrimination, then I would like to know what it is. We pay over $800 a year in tax and we can't carry our car up there and show it just because it is not 25 years old. I think that is pathetic."
Editor's note: The car show is called "Cars of the Past" and is devoted to cars that are 25 years old or older. The state Department of Motor Vehicles recognizes cars that are over 25 as antiques.
"I would like to comment on Michelle Obama's dress that she wore to go with Obama to the United Nations. She looked like she was going to the beach. She should have dressed more dignified for her husband. Maybe she will get it through her head you don't wear a sun dress to a thing like that."