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Freedom of speech our most sacred right

Freedom of speech our most sacred right

Our new nation arose in the 18th century and great men argued about and composed the radical historical document that we call our Constitution. Continental Army soldiers shed their blood as an investment in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that Washington, Jefferson and others penned in the 1780s. Many great and honorable men and women have shed more blood in the years that followed to guarantee that America would be the home of liberty and opportunity. Young men and women go off to serve their country every day and it is the ideals established by the Founding Fathers that inspire and guide their way.

The most sacred of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights commands government to make no laws "abridging the freedom of speech." Braver men than I have often said that even though they disagreed with a particular kind of speech, they would fight to the death the right to say it.

How far we have come when a newspaper columnist is criticized for writing bad news. Newton County school board member Jeff Meadors wrote in a recent Rockdale/Newton Citizen column that among schools in the Joint Development Authority (Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Jasper), Newton County schools come up last in several critical areas. Several days ago, Newton County Chamber of Commerce President Hunter Hall asked Mr. Meadors to stop writing his column for the Citizen. Hall stated that though Meadors' data was accurate, the column was "harmful" to the Chamber and its efforts to secure industries like Baxter International. The position that Mr. Hall espouses would only applaud "good" news about Newton County and the Board of Education's efforts to educate our young people and prepare them to enter the adult world.

Public figures in the area certainly want a better life for our children and strive to create an environment for prosperity, but when they want to ignore the reality and close their eyes, ears and minds to the bad, little will change and industries like Baxter and others may need to find qualified workers from the other three counties.

We see slogans everywhere that tell us, "Freedom is not free," but if we applaud Mr. Hall and not freedom of speech, we may find that freedom is an illusion. Ask someone who fled the Iron Curtain countries to come to America. God bless the USA and the free speech we inherited because of the dreams and sacrifice of others.

-- Virgil Costley Jr.

Covington

Comments

tomgahunter 1 year, 12 months ago

The writer "Hit this one out of the park"...

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Satan69 1 year, 11 months ago

Mind boggling.  We have a commissioner who reports to jail regularly or did earlier this year on Tuesdays and Hunter Hall chooses an educator to attack and an elected person.  I don't care what you think about any of this it is free speech free press and if Hunter Hall will attack this guy today he will attack you tomorrow.  He has brought more bad attention to this county with his liquor crap and now this get rid of him.

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Chambermaid 1 year, 11 months ago

I wonder what Hunter Hall thinks about the weekly school crime reports?  I demand to know what is going on in the public schools.  I help pay for these darn schools and have no kids in them but I want to see the good the bad and the ugly and all I see since lately is the ugly and it is real ughly as in Madea would say you so ugly you look like you real daddy.

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CBSfinder 1 year, 11 months ago

I was at this meeting.  It was clear to me from this they had already talked it out so I wonder if Hall felt he was going to be playground bully and get a public shot at violating the BOE policy on time limit and on personal attacks on a BOE member.  It was personal because he mentioned things that had nothing to do with the column -  many things in fact like workplace and things that are silly and frivolous and really only have to do with what we all know - the only board member willing to call out system corruption of the Carpenters.  We have a spineless board who smiles at poor test scores, bad crime reports and low graduation rates and tells us to vote against special charters?  Oh really?  Sounds like the only one with a brain is the one they drag through the mud. 

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Henrycounselor 1 year, 11 months ago

I think what you see in Hunter Hall is desperation.  He complained to the man's work - totally inappropriate.  Complained to the BOE like some juvenile and from what I could hear they had already talked it out so WTF?

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KBeet 1 year, 11 months ago

Not only have I heard Hunter Hall complain about the school system in Newton County and state that it is the b ig problem bringing companies to Newton but I have been told he owns land in Morgan County so what is his big deal and what are his real plans?

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Iknowddatsright 1 year, 11 months ago

Hunter Hall is good for one thing - spouting off about liquor by the drink liquor by the drink liquor by the drink.

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Calisweetheart 1 year, 11 months ago

Judge Costley you have my highest respect and thank you for speaking out like many others have I do not know why Hall remains Chamber Pres at this point.  I don't care if you like or hate an elected official or what they do or don't do. . Usually we don't know the whole story but truth?  I mean come on telling the truth in Newton County is wrong?  Look at the school crime reports.  The columnist does not have to tell me anything about data I see the crime at Alcovy High for myself and in the school crime reports but for Hunter Hall to complain to the man's workplace?  OUT OF LINE and Hall should not only go but issue a public apology and he may just want to get a lawyer himself.  Like or hate anyone elected officers should not be dressed down personally in public.

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