South Georgia 4th edition page one
Did Sonny Lie? - Hate or Heritage.
by John R. Taylor
You have no doubt seen the signs beside the road which read, "No votes for turncoats", or something to that effect. And it cannot be argued that the supporters restoring of the old Georgia flag, had an impact on electing the first Republican governor since reconstruction, not to mention a number of republican legislators. We will cover two topics here because it would not be fair to write of one without the other. Did Sonny lie? And, does the old Georgia flag, complete with the controversial Confederate Battle Flag, represent hate or heritage. Or is it truly a mix of each.
On the first issue, let us define lie. To lie, is to knowingly and willing give false information. A broken promise, that you honestly intended to keep, is not a lie; it is a broken promise, but not a lie. On the other hand, if you never had any intention of keeping the promise, then it is a lie and a broken promise. We also must look at the sprit of a lie. We did have a referendum on which flag we wanted; the referendum just did not include the flag in question. Did Sonny Perdue ever promise that there would be a referendum with the old flag as a choice? Or did he just promise a referendum on the flag without ever actually stated that the old flag would be an option. I don't know. If he never did the later, then he can argue that he kept his promise.
Of course this is all kind of silly. We all know what those flag folks wanted. He knew too. And I think he meant to let the citizens of Georgia vote on the issue, with the old flag as an option. He probably thought, what is more democratic that letting the people vote. Why did he not do it? Will he did it not for the same reason Roy Barns slipped the old blue flag in on us. Pressure - political and economic pressure - from a world of sources, for one, the NCAA. (The National Collegiate Athletics Association, or as it's known in Tuscaloosa, The National Conspiracy Against Alabama.) They warned that if the controversial flag was reinstated they would pull the Final Four Basketball tournament, SEC football championship game and all matter of other revenue and prestige generating events form Atlanta and other Georgia sites. Many large corporations also warned that Atlanta would not be a convention destination.
These, and untold others warned of dyer consequences to the state if
it did not yield to their will. All this, along with what he saw
happening in South Carolina, with a NAACP boycott and protest, would
have been enough to persuade almost anyone.
So, it appears that Sonny did his best; did as much as anyone could
have done. Is it right that those interest groups can use their
pressure to deny the citizens of Georgia the right to vote? It doesn't
seem the way democracy and representative government is supposed to
work to me. But until there is an organization to represent those on
the outside of this issue, there is nothing much they can do. Without
an organized counter to the boycotts and public relation campaigns
that those who oppose them use, they don't have a chance. They can't
vote on the issue. They can vote, but who will they vote for? Will
they punish Perdue by voting for a democrat? Well if they think Sonny
Perdue did them wrong, they would be unhappy indeed with Mark Taylor.
Our second topic, hate or heritage. Is the flag issue even something
of importance enough to be having all this controversy over? There are
many who say it is not. They say, "it's no big deal one way or the
other. Get over it!" Despite their shortsightedness, it is a big deal.
Flags are now, and have for centuries been, symbols of great
importance. Our national flag today is of great importance, not for
the fibers of fabric and dyes it is made from, but for the great ideas
and sacrifices it is symbolic of. It is the ensign of nation, the icon
of our common bound. It is for this reason that our enemies love to
Because flags are symbolic, they are important. In our current
controversy there are two distinct points of view. One view is that
the old flag, with its Confederate Battle Flag, is symbolic of
slavery, treason, rebellion, racism, rights denied and hate. The
reasons behind why they feel this way is obvious. For much of the War
Between the States, it was that banner which flew over the men who
fought against the United States. They had taken up arms for their
state's right to keep slavery, among other things.
The other view is not, in this contemporary world, so easy to
understand, but it nevertheless has validity too. That view is that
the flag is a symbol of noble, brave ancestors who offered up, and in
many cases gave their lives for virtuous causes. Standing here in this
modern time we cannot fully grasp the environment in which these
The first thing we must understand is that the average Confederate
solider did not fight for slavery. The over whelming majority did not
own slaves and many were actually opposed to it. Jefferson Davis and
Robert E. Lee, the President of the CSA and its leading general, did
not own slaves and were opposed to it. During the war, slavery was
legal in Washington D.C. , Maryland and Delaware. The Emancipation
Proclamation only freed the slaves in the rebellious states. At least
three of my progenitors fought for the Confederacy in the war, and two
of the three did not own slaves. At least one of the two who did not
was certainly affluent enough to afford to if he chose, so we can
assume he had an objection to it. If the war was only about slavery
then why did these men, and thousands like them, risk their safety and
indeed their very lives?
In the 1860s most people lived and died without ever leaving the state
in which they were born.. Many people never met a person for another
state. It is impossible for us, living in a world of television,
telephone, the Internet, cars, planes and all the other things which
make our world so small, to understand, even in a small way, how
people of that time thought. If we today don't think of ourselves as
Americans first, it is assuredly far above were we consider ourselves
Georgians, or Oregonians. Being an Alabamian or Californian is today
of no more consequence that living on 1st avenue or 133rd street. But
then, at time only four score and seven years removed from being
English colonies and less than four score years from being united
states united only by the Articles of Confederation with no strong
central government, most people thought of themselves as a Tennessean,
Ohioan or what have you first and as American second.
Also, although President Lincoln was very savvy in forcing the south
to fire the first shots of the war at Fort Sumter, southerners felt,
and rightly so, that they were being invaded and that they were only
defending their homes. It was the Federal troops who march into the
south. Not until relatively late in the war did the Confederates
invade the north; at the famous, and disastrous for the south, battle
of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
The prevalent feeling in the south at the time, both of the slave
holders and those opposing it, was that the north was trying to
unjustly and illegally impose its will on the south. They felt that it
was the constitutional right of any state to exercise all the
authority it was entitled to under the constitution. The Federal
government only had the authority expressly granted it in the
constitution, anything not expressly granted was the right of the
states. That a thing was good, bad, right or wrong had nothing to do
with it. Murder is unquestionable wrong, but because the constitution
is silent on it, the Federal government has no authority on the
matter. It was then, and is now a state matter. Most southerners felt
that slavery was a state matter not to be arbitrated by the Federal
Government. If anything, the constitution implicitly condoned slavery
by making provisions for it. The constitution let slaves count as 2/3
person in allocating congressional seats in the House.
The argument that slavery was a state matter became a moot point after
secession. The south believed that each state had joined the Union
voluntary, and thus had an inherit right to withdraw from it at the
state's inclination. That the rebelling states had to be readmitted to
the Union after the war only adds merit to this claim.
That southerners at the time of the Civil War were raciest cannot be
argued. They were, as were northerners. Then, as is sadly true today,
most people are raciest. But many men who fought for the southern
cause were good men who strongly believed they were doing the right
thing. Many fought so that their children and their posterity would
not have to endure the oppression of a defeated people. And because
they lost the south has been a defeated people.
Even today the negative effects of that war are still felt. That the
freeing of virtually an entire race of people from bondage is a great
and noble thing is a given. But that that war has impeded the progress
of all southerners, both black and white, is also a given. If the
emancipation of all Americans could have been accomplished without
that horrific war, much of the hatred and bitterness among blacks and
whites in the south would never have existed.
to be continued next week.
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What is a Powered Parachute? A powered parachute is a flexible winged,
aerial recreational vehicle. It combines an engine with a flexible
parachute wing technology similar to that used by sport parachutists.
The parachute, unlike the rigid structures of airplanes or ultralights,
is built of Nylon fabric with Spectra suspension lines. The forward
motion of the vehicle forces air into the multiple ‘cells’ along the
wing’s leading edge, pressurizing it and holding its precisely
calculated airfoil shape.
The airframe is suspended below the wing by multiple Spectra lines.
The airframe supports the pilot, the engine, the propeller, and the
controls. It rides on its three wheels when on the ground.
You begin your flight on flat ground with your canopy spread out
behind your machine. As you drive into the wind the parachute wing
kites up and begins to take the shape of an airfoil.
Once your wing is fully inflated, you begin to add even more throttle.
As you add throttle, the machine speeds up until it lifts off of the
ground. You have achieved flight! The vehicle is inherently safe
because the airframe is suspended below the wing, giving the system
what is called 'pendulum stability.' For example, if a gust of wind
swings the airframe out to one side in flight, gravity will swing it
back into position below the center of the wing. This action will keep
the wing level; and this is why a powered parachute will fly straight
ahead with no attention from the pilot. Of course, controls allow
turns whenever the pilot wants. Simply applying pressure to a foot
pedal will guide the vehicle away from the "straight and narrow path"
it tries to maintain. In addition, the wing is designed to always fly
at the same 'angle of attack' (the angle at which it meets the air as
it moves forward.) This means that a powered parachute will always fly
at basically the same airspeed (26 mph.) If the pilot increases power,
the vehicle climbs and increases altitude; at an intermediate setting
it will cruise at level flight; and, if power is decreased, it will
gently descend and land. With only left and right steering and up and
down controls, the vehicle is very easy to fly. You begin to land by
finding your field, lining up into the wind and then lowering the
throttle to start your descent.
As you get closer to the ground you adjust the throttle to maintain a
After the aircraft touches down you pull completely back on the
throttle, shut down the engine and collapse the canopy. You have
completed your flight!
Pilots normally land a powered parachute under power just like you
would most any other aircraft. But if a powered parachute pilot shuts
down the engine in flight, the vehicle becomes a normal, steerable,
unpowered gliding parachute, just like those used by sky divers.
Actually, because the parachutes used are much larger than sport
parachutes, the vehicle would come down at a rate of only about two
thirds as fast as a jumper under canopy. And since the vehicle has a
suspension and padding, the pilot has yet another added protection.
With their low takeoff and landing speeds, powered parachutes do not
need an airport; open fields work well. A pilot's license is not
required because powered parachutes are classified by the FAA as
ultralight vehicles. These features make flying very inexpensive.
A powered parachute's unusual configuration offers you the magic of
pure recreational flight, combining low cost with simplicity and
safety, and without the necessity of extensive instruction or
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What is it?
Is it a fort? A garden? No, it's a cemetery. Jutting up for the old
Avondale Mall parking lot is the old Crowley family cemetery. The old
Avondale Mall has been closed for a long time now. Wal-Mart may be
coming but it will make no difference to the Crowleys buried in this
most unusual of cemeteries. What is now a two story high granite
walled structure was at one time on ground level. Before the Columbus,
(now Avondale) Mall was developed this curiosity was just a family
cemetery much like others in the area.
The original developers and the Crowley descendants reached an
agreement when they sold the land for the mall that the cemetery that
the graves would be protected forever.
When the landscapers made the mall parking lot they graded the
surrounding land down and then built the stone wall around the
cemetery. A padlocked metal gate restricts access to stairs leading to
the top of the tower. Buried there are Benjamin Crowley, one of the
first white settlers of DeKalb County, and several family members. The
cemetery was used from the early 19th century until the Civil War.
If you are ever in Atlanta and have some time on your hands, look the
Cowley Cemetery at old Avondale Mall.
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By Jenny Miller
"One hand on the Bible, one hand on the gun." Lyrics to a song by Jim
Croce completely emphasize the truth about war. It's ironic how the
activists who most strongly oppose war are not religious. I guess that
says a lot about our society today. Do we pick and choose what we want
to abide by when it comes to religious doctrine? How can we stand and
say the pledge of allegiance and even mention God? If God wants us to
murder others to get our way then I'm not so sure I'm on his side
either. One out of every ten people that get killed during a war are
actual soldiers. The other nine are women, children, and innocent
citizens that are weaponless and the only sin that they have committed
is that they hate the people who have senselessly slaughtered there
own, right before their eyes. And is that even a sin?
Are we so foolish as to think that violence and
murder is the answer? I think it was God who said, "Turn the other
cheek." So do we want to be like God in the untainted and laudable
aspect, but when it comes to the conscientious objector aspect we
don't really think it is the best idea? Isn't it the sixth commandment
that states, "Thou shalt not kill"? So, let me get this straight, it's
not acceptable to kill an unborn child, but it is acceptable to kill a
full-grown man. If so, what makes you and I any less worthy to live
than a fetus?
"Those who want to live, let them fight, and
those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do
not deserve to live." Do you agree with that quote? I mean, after all,
being passive in life isn't really going to get you very far. Violence
is not always the answer, but sometimes it must be applied. Well, if
you concur with that quote then you concur with Adolf Hitler, a man
that surely didn't lower his gun in times of disagreement. A man that
thought slaying was the answer. But I guess it makes no difference to
us. It isn't our family being slaughtered and tortured, it isn't our
sons and daughters that are getting shot in the streets; it's theirs.
So we can sit in our comfortable chairs and sip our coffee saying,
"they deserve to die, they should have listened." And it makes no
difference to us.
Jenny Miller is very active for animal rights and anti-war
movements. Her columns appear occasionally.
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Impact of Teachers
By John R. Taylor
The following story is true. The names have been changed to protect
Teachers are the absolute most important people
in any society and teaching, the most important task. Those who go to
a classroom everyday are not the only teachers. Parents are the
primary teachers in all the history of our civilization. They have not
all always been good teachers, many were not, and that fact is always
reflected in the kind of society that results. Formal teachers play a
very important role, be it in school, church, at work or where have
you. Because of this they deserve much more from us than they are now
getting, more respect, more money, more of a voice. It is not the
direct point of this story, but we should never miss an opportunity to
speak out for teachers, and we should commit our time, finances,
influences and energy to making it a fairer world for teachers.
What is the point of this story, is that
teachers, formal and informal, can and do have an astonishing impact,
for good or for ill, on the lives of those who they teach. In many
cases that impact is not known by the teacher, or at least the degree
of its importance is not known by them.
Let us review a scripture. It is the words of
our Savior recorded in Matthew 25:31-46. "When the Son of man shall
come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit
upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all the
nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd
divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his
right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto
them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the
kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was
hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I
was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was
sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then
shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an
hungred, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? Or when saw we
thee a stranger, and took thee in? or Naked, and clothed thee? Or when
saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall
answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have
done it unto one of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
"Then shall he say also unto them on the left
hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for
the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no
meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye
took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and
ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when
saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick,
or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer
them, saying, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one
of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away
into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."
As with most all scripture, these verses are
filled with layers meaning. The meaning which is on the surface and
probably the most important is the universal truth that when a person
is in the service of their fellowman, they are only in the service of
their God. And below that there are many life lessons to be learned.
One of these lessons is that our actions have a tremendous impact on
the lives of others, even when we might not even remember the actions.
Jimmy's first grade teacher was Miss Mackey. She
was young, beautiful and sweet to all her students and they all loved
her. Even as an adult, Jimmy had no trouble remembering her. His
memories of her were good, how she sought to find reasons to praise
him and his classmates, her reassuring smile and her occasional pats
on the back. He had always thought of her as being as good a first
grade teacher as anyone could have. However, there was that one bad
memory, a memory which changed his life.
Jimmy's best friend in first grade was named
Larry. Larry was not like the other children. Today they would say he
was mentally challenged, back then they said he was mentally retarded.
He wasn't severely disabled, but the school work was hard for him,
particularly in a regular classroom. The work was not at all hard for
Jimmy, but he did find it boring. Jimmy was not challenged at all
intellectually, later he would be tested and found to be in the top
one percent of Americans on a standardized IQ test. But Jimmy never
finished his work. There was too much to daydream about, too much to
talk about. There just wasn't time for school work. Daily, together,
Larry and Jimmy would take the wrath of Miss Mackey. Her wrath really
wasn't much as wrath goes. It was more of a pep talk. She would offer
kind words of encouragement, sometimes squeeze their hand and tell
them how she had so much confidence in tier doing the work tomorrow.
As the days and weeks and then months rolled by
Miss Mackey probably had given up on either boy ever doing his work,
but then something happened. Toward the end of the day, in among the
concourses of young scholars who filed up to the teacher's desk to
dutifully turn in their completed assignments, was a stranger. It was
Jimmy. When he placed the papers on Miss Mackey's desk she looked at
them, and then grabbed Jimmy and hugged him to her. She held him tight
and said, "Oh, Jimmy, I am so proud of you!" Embracing Jimmy so tight
and rocking him side to side she exclaimed, "I knew you could do it!
You have made me so happy!" Jimmy thought she was squeezing all the
air out of his lungs. He thought he was going to pass out. But he
didn't care. This is great he thought. For this I'll do my work
everyday. Just before he blacked out, she released him and held him by
the shoulders at arms length. She was still telling him how great he
was for doing his work, but he wasn't listening anymore. He had become
aware of the other children and was embarrassed. He caught something
about Miss Mackey putting a gold star beside his name in the grade
book. He never had a gold star before but he knew many of the other
children had. Then she said, "I am going to put a gold star on your
shirt." She pressed a small gold star onto Jimmy's shirt collar.
That was when things went bad. She got up from
her desk and took Jimmy by the hand and led him over to Larry's desk.
As they stood over Larry's desk, he looked up at Miss Mackey holding
Jimmy's collar, pushing the star at Larry. "Larry, do you see what
Jimmy got? He did all his work. Why can't you do your work like Jimmy?
If you would do your work you could have a gold star like Jimmy."
Jimmy looked down at his friend and could see the tears welling up in
his big brown eyes. How bad he must feel he thought. On and on it
went. Miss Mackey's words were not harsh; they were soft, and meant to
encourage. But now the tears flowed freely down the face of this poor
first grader. Oh, how Jimmy wished he could make it stop. The pain of
watching his young friend suffer was far worst than any whipping he
had ever had, and he had had a belt applied to his backside with great
gusto very often.
It was nine years before Jimmy ever did his work
again. It may have had nothing to do with the pain he saw in the
tearing eyes of little Larry. Maybe he was just lazy. Maybe. Miss
Mackey finished the year out being the loving and kind teacher she had
always been. Jimmy was sure Larry had fully forgiven her, and he had
forgiven her as well. But something was different. Something was lost.
Jimmy saw little of Larry after first grade. Larry was put in a
special class and they only saw each other walking home from school or
maybe when there was a big program in the assembly hall. Jimmy moved
on and made new friends. He hoped Larry had friends too.
From the first grade until the ninth, Jimmy made
mostly Bs and Cs with an A here or there. Half way through the ninth
grade Jimmy got a new stepfather and stepbrother. Steve, his
stepbrother, was very smart and always made straight As. Jimmy didn't
really care one way or the other about this until Mac, his new
stepfather, talked to him about his first report card. He had done a
little better than his average, no Cs and a few more As than usual.
Mac meant to be kind, reassuring and uplifting. "Now Jimmy, I want you
to understand that you don't have to make straight As. Steve has never
made anything but As, and are very proud of him for that, but that
doesn't mean we love him more or that we are not proud of you. As long
as you do your best that's all we ask, and if you do your best, you
can do or be anything you want. Now this is a very good report card.
It is not all As, but I am sure you worked very hard and I am very
proud of you."
Jimmy never again made less than an A on a report card in high school.
He went on to graduate from a university with honors and just under a
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terrorist every time we turn the key
By John R. Taylor
You have heard all those who want to mind everybody else's business
scream about your SUV. How you should feel guilty about driving one
because you are aiding terrorist and destroying the environment. Well
maybe you are, but isn't it going a bit far when we don't have even
the freedom to choose what we drive? If we are willing to pay $50 for
a tank of fuel that will take you 200 miles, I think you should have
that right. I like paying $16 for a tank that will take me 400 miles
better; of course I'd like it better were it four or five dollars.
The problem is that we should be able to drive
what we want and can afford, and not dirty up all our air, and help
those who wish us dead. And we can. We may not do it, but it is
completely in our power to do it. What we all together must realize is
that it is not so important what we pour our fuel into, but rather
what the fuel is we are putting in it. The gasoline we now use is
distilled from petroleum crude oil, a resource we have in great
supply, but not nearly so great as our colossal appetite for it.
Because we can't supply it domestically we have no choice but to
import it. The United Kingdom has a vast North Sea reserve and we
import enormous quantities form them. This adds to our trade deficit
and is therefore damaging to our economy, however the UK is our ally
and doing business with them is much more favorable than doing
business with counties and peoples who are trying to destroy us. But
we require so much oil that we must get it from everywhere. OPEC, the
Oil Producing and Exporting Countries, is a cartel of mostly Middle
Eastern countries; Venezuela being the notable exception. That their
anti-competitive practice of suppliers banning together to control the
price of a commodity is unethical and would be illegal in this
country, should be enough for us not to trade with them to say nothing
of the fact that of every dollar we Americans spend on their oil much
of it goes to sponsor terrorism and acts of violence against us and
our allies. We are most literally trading with the enemy. The attacks
of 9/11 were funded by American dollars paid to Saudi Arabia for oil.
We can fix all this by simply using alcohol as a
motor fuel rather that gasoline. The Model T was originally designed
to run off alcohol, but because gasoline was cheep and being discarded
from the distillation of kerosene anyway, they switched to gas.
Today's modern automobiles with their computer controlled fuel
injection systems could easily be made to use alcohol. Many new cars
are already multi-fuel ready. Most South American countries today use
an ethanol product which is at least 75% alcohol.
There are three main reasons to switch to
alcohol fuel in all gasoline powered cars. Any one of these reason
alone are compelling enough to make the transition, together they may
be our epitaph.
We can supply our own alcohol. While there are
naysayers who say otherwise, we can unquestionable produce enough
alcohol to meet our needs. An alcohol-for-fuel industry would have to
be created. The relative small volumes of alcohol made for human
consumption and medical prepossess would be nothing to the vast
refining operations to supply the millions upon millions of gallons
needed to fuel our cars. But to question that we can get it done is
ridiculous; just build more stills. It might become a cottage
industry; I'm sure there are some good ol' boys around here that know
how to make alcohol.
The present logistical and delivery systems can
be completely utilized. The same trucks which now bring gasoline to
pumps at the store on the corner can bring alcohol to those same
pumps. The oil companies, who are the major opponents to an alcohol
fuel system, could provide the distillation and refining facilities.
They should take a hint for the tobacco industry. That industry knows
that it will one day die, so the companies in that industry have
bought food companies, financial service businesses, and other
non-tobacco ventures. While the oil industry will not die in my
lifetime, we should not buy one drop of oil from Saudi Arabia to burn
in our cars.
Stopping the importation of oil would not only
severely cripple the money pipeline to Moslem terrorist, it would also
balance our trade deficit. It is true we have created many new
potential problems in trade by shipping our jobs overseas,
nevertheless it is oil which puts us at the greatest disadvantage.
Understanding trade deficits is a topic for another time; but know
this - our trade deficit negatively impacts each and every American.
The second major reason that we should burn
alcohol in our cars instead of gasoline is that it is a renewable
resource. We have used enormous amounts of oil, and there are even now
immense amounts in the ground that we have not pumped out, and
probably much more that we have not yet discovered. But one fact is
inescapable. The amount of oil, however large that amount is, is
finite. When it is gone, it is gone. We cannot make more of it. One
day we will run out. Is it not smart to save an unreplenishable
resource for uses which only it can supply? Why burn it up in our cars
when there is a replensihable and renewable substitute? We can create
a perpetual supply of alcohol.
The third of the major reasons to switch now to
an alcohol-for-fuel system is that it is immeasurably cleaner burning
that any fossil fuels. There has recently been a study which showed
that our automobiles are the chief factor in air pollution. Coal-fired
electric power plants were previously thought to be the number one
culprit. Whether they are number one or two on the list of dirty air
makers, changing to an alcohol fuel would make our air a great deal
cleaner for us and all of our posterity.
There has been and will continue to be those who
fight with all their might to stop this from happening, but they all
are motivated by self-serving reasons and hidden agendas. But it must
happen. We owe it to our children.