Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor@pikecountytimes.com
 
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Welcome to the Pike County Times.com Letters to the Editor Page.

These editorials reflect the opinions of their authors and don't necessarily reflect my personal opinions. Feel free to express your opinion with a letter to the editor to: editor@pikecountytimes.com.

Letter writing guidelines are as follows: I do not have a word limit. However, all editorials must be respectful even when hard points are made about any topic including local, state, or national politics.

If I have a problem with an editorial, I will let you know by email and it can either be resolved or not printed because I will proof your letter for grammatical errors, but I do not edit letters based on content. And last but not least, your editorial must be accompanied by your name and a county or city of residence.

 
Thought for the Week

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors,
and let every new year find you a better man." - Benjamin Franklin
 
Restoring the Dignity of Work

1.9.18

Dear Editor,

The American dream is our nation’s most enduring promise. But, too many people are struggling to turn the American dream into a reality.

After my hometown and the surrounding area lost its manufacturing jobs, I watched family, friends and neighbors live through this scenario in my hometown. Many others in the Third District of Georgia can tell a similar story. For the first time in generations, more people move into poverty than into the middle class. Failing schools, broken neighborhoods and loss of hope take hold. The dignity of work is replaced by the indignity of dependence. The once tightly woven fabric of the community is slowly ripped apart, and people begin to look for someone or something to blame. As this happens around the nation, our national fabric is torn and feels a lot like a tattered Old Glory flapping in the ever-changing breeze.

Well I think it’s time to change our mindset. Instead of casting blame for our struggles, let us set a pathway forward. Let us make sure that the promises we made can be kept. Let us have the courage to have honest conversations and commit to fixing what is broken.

At the heart of this conversation is our broken welfare system. This system perpetuates the cycle of generational poverty and tells millions of Americans that self-sufficiency will always be just out of reach.

The dignity of work is an essential part of the American experience. Our nation was built by generations of doers, but our current welfare system is robbing our fellow citizens of their ability to contribute to society. This is morally wrong. Together, I want to build a safety net that empowers people to create better lives for themselves, their families and their communities.

I want to be clear. This does not mean pulling the rug out from under people. It means giving them the tools they need to succeed in our modern economy.

This conversation begins with you. This year, I will hold events to hear from local leaders and everyday Georgians about how the federal government can reform welfare programs to end the cycle of generational poverty rather than perpetuate it.

I firmly believe that every issue we face as a nation can be resolved. Together, communities can find a way forward. Americans are hungry for meaningful work and the opportunity to unleash their limitless human potential. It is time to recognize there are no quick fixes, no silver bullets and that we must have the courage to be honest with one another about what it takes to allow every citizen the opportunity to thrive.

We have big problems and real issues to solve. But just as demoralizing the loss of hope is, the restoration of hope is ever more powerful. We have the tools and will-power to restore faith in the American dream, and it’s time for us to get to work.

Congressman Drew Ferguson
Represents Georgia's 3rd District which includes Pike County

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Monsanto: “Too Big for Their Britches”

1.9.18

Dear Editor,

One of the greatest challenges of raising kids is discerning when to give them more responsibility and when to have a “come to Jesus” meeting because they have gotten “too big for their britches.” As a cotton farmer following the Monsanto-Bayer merger, I recognize the telltale signs of a child that needs to be reined in a bit. As an economist, I see that Monsanto already exhibits monopolistic behavior, and they receive profits on virtually every bag of cotton seed sold in the U.S.

I first recall paying the “technology fee” in 1999. In that year I averaged $7.80 per acre in seed cost for conventional cotton and $33.38 per acre for the first transgenic cotton I planted, which was DPL 33B. Monsanto was quite smart in marketing its cotton, and I paid two bills for a cotton bag: one bill for cotton seed and the other for a “tech fee.” For instance, in 1999 I paid Delta Pine Land $50 per bag of genetically modified cotton and Monsanto $167 per bag. Monsanto convinced farmers to pay four times the price for cotton seed by spending less money on chemicals and producing a higher yield, and Monsanto recouped half the savings on chemicals.

This year, Monsanto received a revenue stream on every cotton acre I planted – not because I am a loyal Monsanto customer, but because there is no other option. Monsanto sets the price because they can. One of the defining characteristics of a monopoly is the ability to set prices, and Monsanto has proven their ability to do that. In fact, they set their tech fees at different rates for different regions across the country. Monsanto does not allow me to get in my truck and drive across the river to Alabama to buy cotton seed because for some reason Alabama farmers pay less in “tech fees” than we do in South Georgia. I also pay more in South Georgia than I would in the Delta or High Plains regions.

Looking at a couple of my farms over the years….In 1999 I planted transgenic cotton on the Beard place, which cost $33 per acre and yielded 774 pounds of lint per acre. In the 2017 crop year I planted transgenic cotton on the same farm and yielded 667 pounds of cotton at a seed cost of $120 per acre. Anomaly? Let us look at the Barber farm in Irwinville. In 1999 I planted a conventional cotton, which cost $7.80 per acre and yielded 537 pounds of lint. On that same farm this year I planted a transgenic variety (because no conventional cotton seed is available) at a cost of $120 per acre and produced 542 pounds of lint. To summarize, I now pay 15 times more for my cotton seed than I did in 1999, and I am do not receive a measurable increase in yield. I also average five insecticide applications per year at a cost of $12 to $20 per acre. In 1999, I averaged less than $10 per acre for all insecticide applications (18 percent of my cotton acres in 1999 were BT transgenic cotton, such as insecticide producing cotton plant).

Monsanto now receives all of my cotton profits. They look like a monopoly, they price like a monopoly and they ruthlessly protect their patent rights to keep their monopoly. We need a “come to Jesus” meeting with Monsanto to stop this huge merger because they have definitely gotten “too big for their britches.”

Representative Clay Pirkle represents the citizens of District 155, which includes all of Ben Hill, Irwin, and Turner counties, and portions of Tift and Coffee counties. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 2015, and currently serves as Secretary on the State Properties Committee. He also serves on the Motor Vehicles, Agriculture & Consumer Affairs, and Science & Technology committees.

By State Representative Clay Pirkle (R-Ashburn)

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Christ’s Corner

1.1.18

Dear Editor,

John 8:12 - Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

I want to start off by saying Happy New Year to all of you connected to us here at Christ’s Corner! We love you and appreciate you. We want to say thank you for your prayers and support.

In our passage to close out this year, Jesus is confronted with a woman who the Pharisee’s and scribes say was caught in the act of adultery. They were out to trap Jesus in His words and bring condemnation on this woman.

As the new year approaches and the old year ends, I want to ask you something. What are you bringing into the new year? Are you carrying guilt? Have you been condemning yourself over something you have done wrong or didn’t do just right? There may be things you didn’t get to do that you wanted to and your feeling bad about it. Has God told you to do something to do and you haven’t done it? Like this woman, you may be feeling low and condemnation may have set in your heart. You may have the feeling of worthlessness.

I’ve got good news. This woman stood condemned by those around her, imagine what she may have been feeling. They were ready to kill her! All stood to condemn her except Jesus! Jesus was her defense. As He defended her, He took the opportunity to share this word which is our passage today: “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Condemnation, guilt, frustration, and fear brings darkness. Are we following Jesus? If not, now is the time. Romans 8:1 says, “there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.”. Jesus came to take that away. Because of Him, we don’t have to carry that weight but we are able to take those things to HIM. As we go into this brand-new year, follow the light which is Jesus Christ. If you’re carrying condemnation, guilt, frustration, and fear, leave it at the cross of Christ. In Jesus we are set free! Go into this free in Jesus!

God Bless;
Tony Green
Anna & Tony Green
Email: christcorner74@gmail.com
Website: www.christscorner.org
Facebook: Christ’s Corner

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A Response to Sexual Harrassment Allegations

12.19.17

This letter is in response to the articles covering the sexual harassment allegations made against men in the media and government throughout the United States.

To all males living in this country I issue a collective statement: enough already! Who are you to impose your sexual desires on someone because they did not give you their consent? Once again we are witnessing those in authority positions taking advantage of the situation. Resignation is the least you can do. Prosecution is the best we can do...and we will.

What did you expect to gain from making sexual advances on a human being? If this isn't an indication of the failure to grow up I don't know what is. Those men who have permeated this transgression must seek counseling before they destroy more lives executing their perverted conquest. Otherwise time spent in prison will allow them to dwell on their evil actions while trying to survive an environment which is the closest equivalent to hell on earth.

Perhaps I had the advantage of growing up with four sisters in my family which some say predispositions males to be kinder to females throughout all stages of their life. Frankly I remember times when I was embarrassed for making incidental contact with a female followed by an immediate apology.

Ladies of America please be assured that the actions of a few do not represent the feelings and beliefs of the many. You are our mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins etc. that compose one equal half of the species we call the human race. For that matter do not despair because the true honest and gentle men of this country know better than to act inappropriately in your company. We will always cherish your beauty, charm and most importantly your intelligence. Now help us to drive this dreadful scourge from the planet once and for all. It is up to all of us. Let us begin.

Joe Bialek
Cleveland OH

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Thank You to Helen Carter

12.5.17

For nearly 20 years Helen Carter has worked for the Pike County Extension Service. She has guided and taught our kids through the county 4-H programs, helping them to develop skills and knowledge valuable throughout their lives. My own granddaughter, now grown, used many of the things she learned in 4-H while leading children's programs at Sandy Springs Library.

Miss Helen retired last week, November 30 to be exact. I do not know who will take her place, but they have a really hard act to follow. Miss Helen, I thank you for your hard work, patience and devotion to our children for all of these years.

Brenda Botsford
Molena

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