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Columnist’s opinions are ‘outrageous’

Published 11:00pm Friday, December 7, 2012

We recently recognized Red Ribbon Week in Troy. A highlight was the opportunity for the mayor and city council to hear several youngsters from our community share their essay about the harmful effects of alcohol and drug abuse. They explained how substance abuse ravages lives and destroys families. It was very encouraging to hear them share about the things they do, and the activities they pursue, as alternatives to the addiction caused by the use of alcohol and drugs. These kids knew what they were talking about. They realized the wisdom in making the right choices for their lives. We were so proud of them.

We need to encourage our young people and not hinder their growth by spewing such garbage like that printed in an article in today’s Messenger. It was written by Dr. Scott Beauller (Executive Director of the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University) and headlined, “Legalize Today: It Makes Economic Sense.” I am shocked and disappointed by his remarks. Dr. Beauller talks about, “how attitudes about drug abuse are changing.” He states, “the war on drugs in the U.S. has been a failure,” so he suggests the U.S. should: “Legalize the market for marijuana, heroin, or crystal meth, and crime from the legal drug trade will be equal to the amount of crime coming from the Starbucks coffee trade (i.e., near zero!).” He goes on to say that, “criminalizing products people want doesn’t end well for society.” He ends his letter by saying. “just think of all the dollars and productivity being eaten up by imprisoning drug offenders, “ and states, “More relaxed drug laws do not lead to societal collapse,. . .looser drug laws, instead, make society safer, better, and a little more fun.” Dr. Beauller’s comments, in my opinion, are outrageous.

I am reminded of remarks the Rev. Dr. Billy Graham made in one of his crusades some years ago. He said, “This generation has produced more alcoholics, more drug addicts, more criminals, more broken homes, more assaults, more murders and more suicides . . . It is time for us to begin to take stock of our failures, blunders and costly mistakes.” Dr. Graham is right. Dr. Beauller is wrong.!!! That is what I think and He is who I believe! Merry CHRISTmas to all!

Johnny Witherington

Troy

Forestry professional

speaks out on ordinance

I don’t think anyone at the commission meeting on Oct. 22, 2012, would say they wanted unsafe roads. I would never want any elected official to vote for something that they thought would compromise the safety for our citizens.

I think first you must check the facts on the ordinance that is being referred to. The model ordinance the commission is looking at adopting was given to them by The Association of County Commissioners of Alabama (ACCA), not the Alabama Forestry Association. The ACCA model ordinance goes way beyond what’s allowed in current Alabama law.

I feel as though forestry professionals have been unfairly singled out because the ACCA model ordinance only specifically refers to “logging.” If safety is the main concern how can all other commercial vehicles not be asked to use the same ordinance? Why are we being singled out on this issue when all types of trucks are using the same roads as forestry professionals and they aren’t being asked to provide the same things that you are asking of us in the ACCA model ordinance?

This is another example of a regulation that is being unfairly placed on one of our county’s largest and most vital revenue producing industries. There are already laws on the books in our state that cover what the ACCA model ordinance proposes to do. No industry in Pike County needs this extra burden placed upon it.

Now I want you to put yourself in a timber professional’s boots for just a minute. Our industry wants safe roads. We want to be treated fairly as all people do. We have laws currently i place that take care of people who damage roads, and our industry is more than willing to help keep our roads in good shape. So with all of this aid why would anybody want to make it harder for so many families that depend on forestry? This goes for people that cut timber, haul timber and yes even people who own timber. I feel there are better ways to address your concerns without the passage of this ordinance.

John W. Henderson

Lifelong Pike County resident, landowner and forestry professional

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  • bangbang

    “This generation has produced more alcoholics, more drug addicts, more criminals, more broken homes, more assaults, more murders and more suicides . . . It is time for us to begin to take stock of our failures, blunders and costly mistakes.”

    Perhaps the results would be different if people with substance abuse issues were treated with compassion rather than as criminals. What sense would it make to imprison every person caught with alcohol?

    Do you think Jesus would spend his tome advocating locking people up or would he try to help them reform their lives? I think we all know the answer.

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    • OldSchoolPike3Worker

      What about the victims of crimes that are committed by drug users? What about the families destroyed by drugs? Shouldn’t we be “compassionate” by try to prevent drug use from happening in the first place?

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      • bangbang

        “Shouldn’t we be “compassionate” by try to prevent drug use from happening in the first place?”

        Yes. We should focus our resources on education and infrastructure and capturing and prosecuting those who ACTUALLY commit crimes.

        Punishing people for using a substance because others may commit crimes as a result of the same substances is irrational and immoral, and squanders tax dollars.

        Should you be imprisoned for drinking a beer because your neighbor gets drunk and kills someone while drunk driving?

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  • Observer

    The war on drugs has been a total failure. Legalizing drugs and taxing them out of existence would not work either. What should be employed is the “Tylenol cure” for illegal drugs. Intercept drugs but instead of destroying them, simply mix in some cyanide and then return them to the drug stream. Because illegal drug dealers cannot package their products to assure safety, the drug users will to too scared to buy and use them. The tampering with Tylenol years ago is what resulted in so many products we use today being packaged with multiple tamper-proof seals to assure customers of their safety.

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    • bangbang

      This is absurd and disgusting. Poisoning Americans to protect their health and safety of others?

      If the government was competent enough to to locate and infiltrate supply lines that easily then the war on drugs wouldn’t be such a colossal failure.

      NOT TO MENTION the government has a program like this back during prohibition. It didn’t work and thousands died.

      “Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people.”

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      • Observer

        The government cannot infiltrate and intercept enough for seizure to do any good – as demonstrated by the past half- century of drug enforement efforts. But, even intercepting and adjusting a small sampling would be a significant deterrant – must as the “Tylenol” title implies. The tampering with Tylenol years ago resulted in the extreme measures taken today to assure buyers they are getting clean medicines etc., which illegal dealers will have trouble duplicating.

        Those who are using heroine, cocaine, meth, etc, are killing themselves anyway – this would simply shorten the suffering and reduce the financial strain on their families.

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        • bangbang

          I’m sure every recovered addict in the world and their loved ones would have something to say with your compassionate plan of “speeding up the process.” You’re little plan is callous and was proven ineffective when the government tried it with alcohol.

          NEWSFLASH: Tylenol and illegal drugs are in two completely different markets. Illegitimate markets do not response to market forces the same way.

          Also, if you consider yourself a christian, then I would like to have you ask yourself if poisoning people is something you think Jesus would advocate.

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  • henrimasters

    Mr. Witherington as a servant of the people of Troy you should reserve your religious beliefs for your church and home and not try to impose them on your consitituents. If you had ever been anywhere besides Troy in your life you might have a better understanding about society. As for you position on the legalization of marijuana it is obvious you are stuck in the failed conservative approach to the entire issue. Maybe you should educate yourself beyond the boundaries of your right-wing conservative religious views so you have a better understanding about the real world around you.

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  • OldSchoolPike3Worker

    I live is Mr. Witherington’s district. We all support him 100%. As far as servants of the people and their religious beliefs, This is still America! We still have the First Amendment. A public servant can say what they wish and believe how they see fit.

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  • henrimasters

    Old School I agree everyone is entitled to their own religious beliefs but as a public servant those views should not be imposed on those that may believe differently. I assure you not 100% in his district suppport him in his religion. When one takes on public service they are representing 100% of the people and religion has no place in public governance. I know this concept is not appreciated by many christians but it is the way of our world. religion is a personal matter period!

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    • OldSchoolPike3Worker

      So what you are saying is that elected officials must forfeit their First Amendment right of freedom of religion in order to properly perform their duties as a public servant?

      Christians were called hypocrites for not supporting Obamacare. Why were Christians expected to mix their religious views with their political views on socialized medicine but not on legalizing drugs?

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  • henrimasters

    Certainly not. His right to freedom of religion is not affected at all. He is free to practice he just should not impose his views on the general public as a public servant. Not sure what you meant by the second statement but I think you were addressing the birth control issue as related to health care. My view is that an employer has no right to limit care and medication based on a religious perspective. It is none of their business.

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