Walter Patterson Herald ColumnistIf you watched the Vice-Presidential debate last week, you saw clearly why we need a change in Washington.
“Clueless Joe Biden” played fast and loose with the facts, and we saw a vice-president as phony as his implant hair and sparkling white dentures. The challenger, Paul Ryan, articulated a serious intellectual message to the American people that said, “We cannot continue the course we are on. We will be bankrupt on the course the Democrats have charted.”
“Clueless Joe” blamed Bush for the economic crisis we are in, but notice, he offered no solutions to the problems we face other than to hold on with both hands to social programs that are bankrupting our country and promise more “tax and spend” government. He held on to his and Obama’s “tax the rich” mantra. He declared that no part of Social Security would be privatized, and then he fudged on the part about Obamacare taking $716 billion out of Medicare. For a man who had spent all of his adult life in the Senate, his lack of basic knowledge was appalling. What was more appalling was his lack of a moral compass.
Biden is supposed to be a foreign policy expert. In fact, if you will take a stroll back in time, Obama selected Biden for his so-called expertise in this one area. However, he could not explain why our Ambassador, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans were slaughtered in Libya. He said he was told that a film made by an American Coptic Christian had so inflamed the Arab world that they went on a spontaneous rampage and attacked our embassy. There is just one problem. His own people have testified in Congress that this assertion is false. Even the mainstream press had the facts 24 hours after the killings had occurred.
No! The truth is that this film had nothing to do with the terrorist attack that killed our ambassador. Although he smiled, rolled his eyes, and showed great disrespect to Paul Ryan, he could never come out with the truth. I don’t know if we will ever know the truth, but Congress is on the case, and some very damning evidence has come out against the Obama administration. More will come out eventually, but that does not excuse the Obama Administration for their total incompetence in dealing with this terrorist attack. Paul Ryan said it best. “Obama’s and Biden’s foreign policy is unraveling right before our eyes.”
Biden claimed that Iran would never be allowed to build a nuclear weapon. “We will know exactly when they have the materials to build a bomb and something to put the uranium into.” Really? They did not know that a terrorist attack was going to occur in Libya against our Consulate, yet they will know exactly when Iran gets the bomb? Give me a break. This is nonsense. “Clueless Joe” was throwing mud against the wall hoping that something would stick. If Obama could not protect his own ambassador, how in the world can he protect America from a nuclear armed Iran?
I kept waiting for Paul Ryan to ask Biden about the one trillion dollar tax increase he and Mr. Obama are proposing. Biden purports to love the middle class. In fact, he says that he wants to “level the playing field” so that everyone has a fair chance. These are code words for socialism. Old Joe wants all of us to be equally miserable. The proof of this is the current job market. Our economy during the last quarter grew at 1.3 percent, and at this rate, it will take 25 years to get our employment rate back to where it was when George Bush was president.
This economy belongs to Obama, Biden and the Democrats. They have had four years to fix this economy and get people back to work. Instead, they blame George Bush, or they blame the Republicans for not passing another piece of socialist legislation that would only drive our country deeper in debt with no chance of putting people back to work.
This election is about jobs. We know that the Obama Administration cannot produce jobs and build a strong economy. They cannot even pass a Federal Budget, something that they have neglected to do for over three years. Mitt Romney is a business man, a successful business man. He understands basic economics, and he understands what it takes to get this country working again. Paul Ryan delivered that message to our country and to a disrespectful Vice President who couldn’t create a job if his life depended on it. The American people saw firsthand “Clueless Joe” continue to deliver a dangerous brand of Democrat incompetence, and there will be a day of reckoning soon.
Jamie Patterson Managing EditorThis weekend was a real eye-opener for me as I was reminded on several occasions how time was passing by so quickly.
My family and I traveled to south Mississippi this past Saturday for the annual Jackson family reunion. I always look forward to the reunion because it allows me time to show off my own family and mingle with my Paw Paw’s side of the bunch.
However, this year was a little different for me because I was reminded of how much older I am getting.
We loaded up the kids and headed down the interstate Saturday morning, ready to see old faces and dive into some great old-fashioned food.
I remembered the route like it was yesterday. We took the Crystal Springs exit off the interstate, headed into Georgetown where the old train engine still sits by the tracks and made a quick pass through Wanilla where Mrs. Wilson’s house still stood. The elderly lady who hemmed my pants for me every school season died several years ago, but her home could still be spotted from the highway.
The paper mill still sent that awful smell through the air, but I knew within seconds we would enter Monticello.
I knew I sounded like an old-timer when we first made our way into the city limits, but I couldn’t help myself.
“Ever since they put that darn new highway in, I can’t tell where I am going,” I said, gripping the steering wheel. “Why can’t they just leave things alone?”
I finally managed to snake my way around the new concrete passageway to find Nobles Road, where my grandparents lived all my childhood.
The heavy forest that ran along the country road was now completely cleared. The busy hum of the new highway could now be seen in the clear distance.
The brick house of my grandparents was still there. But the red barn that served as storage and a hiding spot for curious kids was gone.
Continuing down the road, I told my husband Jason who lived in every house. It was good to see those same names on a few of the mailboxes.
But it tugged at my heart to pass our own mailbox on the way back. The word “Jackson” was painted over. Now it said “Thames.”
The people in that house had no idea which room had been mine. They didn’t know about the flag pole that Paw Paw painted every year in the front yard. They were clueless about my faithful dog Roho who was buried under the magnolia tree in the yard.
My tire swing was gone. The old bell that I loved to ring had been removed. Paw Paw’s garden patch was covered with grass.
It was as if we were never there.
Heading through town, I shoved my arms out the window, busy telling Jason what place was what. We stopped at Ward’s and had lunch. Their burgers were still just as delicious.
Our old church still stood proudly on the corner. Paw Paw’s old high school had been converted to a visitor’s center. The Sonic still had teenagers under its covered parking.
But the Piggly Wiggly had been demolished. The old gas station that I bought ice cream at stood vacant. The old furniture factory was abandoned.
I thought about what else was gone as we made our way to the cemetery.
Looking at the dates of my relatives’ tombstones, it really hit me how time marches on. I was only 13 years old when my Paw Paw died. Now, I was hovering over his grave with my own two children.
It bothered me to think about all the things that had changed over the years as we made our way to the reunion in Laurel. Places change, people leave us. But we still push on, hanging on to those memories.
It continued to press at my brain until I sat down in the rocking chair at my great aunt’s house. Talking about the good old days with my second cousin, I remembered how we would travel to this same house many years ago for the reunion. During my childhood, Paw Paw would always bring us there for the Jackson family reunion.
The highway seemed more lonely now as the interstate could be seen in the distance. A few renovations were made to the house, but you could still see traces of the past. A few places at the dinner table were now empty, however.
But it brought a smile to my house to see my son James playing in the same spot in the yard that I played in when I was a kid. It was funny to see Elsie eating under the carport just as I did when I was little.
Taking a sip of coffee that morning on the front porch, I grinned at James as he ran through the same yard I had found happiness in during the reunions of long ago.
Places may change. People may come and go.
But the good things seem to carry on.
Jason Patterson Editor & PublisherThis time of year I’m always as excited as a kid looking forward to Christmas because deer season has finally arrived.
I have also come to dread some things about this time of year because as a hunter I know that I’ll be associated with people who do stupid things like dumping carcasses in front of Dumpsters, trespassing and shooting from the roads.
These people aren’t hunters of course, but many people don’t understand the difference.
Many hunters, at their own risk, often forget that the majority of the population doesn’t hunt. Most don’t care if others do, but that could change if they begin associating the actions of those who refuse to follow the rules.
One individual has already raised the bar this week by shooting a young deer right in someone’s front yard in Yazoo County.
The action was dumb on several levels:
1. It’s not gun season to begin with.
2. Even during gun season, only someone who isn’t smart enough to be given a firearm or a true psychopath would shoot in the direction of someone’s home.
3. The deer was so small it wasn’t even a legal deer.
4. There was apparently no effort to recover the deer. Even poachers and road hunters usually take the meat.
Archery season has barely gotten started and we already have a new low. Hopefully that’s going to be the worst of it, but nothing surprises me anymore.
What hunters can do to improve this situation is refuse to tolerate unacceptable behavior.
If you see someone dumping carcasses in a public place like at the Dumpsters or on the roadside, explain to them how their actions can have a negative impact on us all.
You will probably have to explain very carefully. Anyone who doesn’t realize it’s a bad idea to leave a stinking and rotting carcass where someone has to step over it to throw away their garbage probably isn’t a deep thinker.
If you catch someone trespassing, have them prosecuted. People work too hard and spend too much money preparing and maintaining their land for trespassers to reap the benefits. It’s also a safety issue. You need to know where others are when you’re hunting.
The same thing goes for road hunting. Report them.
The recent incident where someone shot a deer right in front of a house, shows how dangerous this is. Like many Yazoo County residents in rural communities, I often have deer in my front yard, and I don’t want some fool taking potshots at them while my family is in harm’s way.
If more people would become less tolerant of these things, the problem would be reduced significantly. There’s nothing better anyone can do to protect hunting rights.
Jamie Patterson Managing EditorWhen a child is sick, the whole house can turn into a hectic place.
But with our son James, he managed to turn Yazoo City upside down with his ailment.
I knew it was serious when his kindergarten teacher called me last week at work to tell me that he had a 103-degree fever. Thinking a good night’s rest and medicine would do the trick, we took it pretty easy at the house that evening.
When he woke up the next morning with another high fever, I knew it was time to make an appointment.
“Am I gonna get a shot,” James asked, with a concerned look in his face.
“I doubt it,” I said. “The doctor will probably just give you some medicine.”
The great thing about working with your husband is that you can work out a schedule that works for the both of you. Jason would take him to his appointment that morning while I worked at the office. After lunch, we would switch up.
As I settled in for my second cup of coffee later that morning, Jason called me to tell me that James had strep throat.
And...that he would have to get a shot. I felt horrible because I led James to believe that he wouldn’t get one. But I continued on with my work, not giving it a second thought.
It was time for our switch up so Jason and I met up about an hour later.
“It was awful,” Jason said, with a look of terror remaining on his face.
James hid behind a chair, clearly guilty of whatever he did at the doctor’s office.
Apparently, when the man arrived with the stick that they rub the back of your throat with to test for strep throat, James lost it. He informed the nurse that he would not be sticking that stick down his throat.
James then tried to assault him before biting down on the stick so hard they were afraid he would break his teeth.
“Are you serious,” I asked Jason, as he retold the tale.
“It gets worse,” he replied. “He was spitting and squirming and fighting as hard as he could. I had to wrap my legs around his to keep him from kicking. It seemed like it would never end.”
They were finally able to perform the strep test thanks to a very persistent effort.
“Then it was time for the shot,” Jason said, rubbing his head.
I had to take a seat.
“What happened,” I asked, looking at James who was still looking down.
“They had to bring in backup from the front desk,” Jason said. “I had to lay across his chest. They had to hold his legs too because he was still kicking.”
To top it off, James was screaming at the top of his lungs the whole time.
“No he didn’t,” I said.
“Oh, yes, he did,” Jason replied.
I was so embarrassed. My child had turned a doctor’s office completely upside down by himself.
When James and I got home that afternoon, I asked him why he acted that way.
“You lied to me,” he said, pretty pathetically. “I did get a shot.”
He then pulled his pants down to point at the bandage on his upper thigh.
“Look at this,” he said, this time a little more assertive.
Later that evening, Jason and I contemplated on sending the entire office a gift basket or something for their troubles.
“You know, I would like to think that they are used to kids acting nuts when they get a shot,” I said. “But I have a feeling that this was a first for them.”
“It was out of control,” Jason said, getting that concerned look on his face again.
Quite embarrassed by the whole thing, I tried not to think about it. Until church that Sunday when a very friendly man approached me on the way from Sunday School.
“I heard your son wasn’t too happy about his appointment,” he said.
I soon discovered he was in the waiting room when James had his breakdown.
“Yes, that was my son,” I said.
It made me feel better when he began to laugh about it.
Now...I just have to figure out a way to persuade Jason to take the kids to get their flu shots. Any suggestions?