The Clarion Issue

Counter Editorials and Opinions on Current Events and Attitudes


    Volume III, Issue II                                                                    February/March 2002


The Bush Administration:Allowing the Rich To Eat Your Lunch     Back to Top

By R.A. Pearson

The recent collapse of Enron and the subsequent rape and pillage of the employees, stockholders, and public by the executives of the company have shocked the New War watching American public back into the reality of the present Bush - Cheney Administration's policies favoring big business over the common working man. The influence buying of Enron through massive campaign contributions and the easy access of Enron into the administration's decision making processes only go to prove that the
Bush led GOP will live up to the party slogan: 'Gas, Oil, and Plutonium.'

The collapse of Enron is only the most recent and shocking in a list of Bush actions favoring the wealthy in his short administration. The ill-fated tax cut of the summer has cut the amount of tax money coming into the coffers of the Federal Government; however, most of the real cuts and benefits went to the wealthy few. The millionaire business entrepreneur now pays less taxes and will continue to do so in the future, but how much of a tax cut did the forty-thousand dollar a year welder or the thirty-five thousand dollar a year school teacher receive? In reality, these people received very little in terms of a tax cut. (Remember the $300 check for each taxpayer was a democratic idea). Today the massive tax cut along with the New War on Terrorism has shot down the
tremendous financial surplus of a year ago and plunged the American Government into deficit spending. Any hope of bailing out Social Security, Medicare or helping to provide Medicare with a prescription drug plan are now way in the future. If you plan on having your own nest egg and not needing Social Security or Medicare... ask an Enron retiree how their 401-K is doing these days!

Under President Bush the economy has fallen flat on its face and the GOP trickle down, tax cut for the wealthy ideas has not worked. A prime example of a Bush bail out was the federal government's donations to the airlines after September 11th. The Government spent billions of dollars to bail out the airlines and keep them afloat although most of the airlines were in trouble prior to September 11th. The millions given to each airline allowed the six-figure salaried CEOs and other executives to keep their jobs, stock options, and prevented their stock from falling to far down. However, all the bail out provided for many of the airline mechanics, baggage handlers, ticket clerks, and other average workers was a pink slip. The Bush Administration refused to provide any extra unemployment compensation to these hard working Americans... after all; they were not CEOs or high paid executives.

The collapse of Enron, a Texas based energy conglomerate, has turned America's eyes from the New War to the home front for the first time since September 11th. Enron hid its debt from the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and other government regulators as well as its stockholders, including employees who had Enron stock as part of their 401-K retirement plans. Special laws were passed to allow Enron to secrete its debt and continue to purchase smaller companies which were robed of liquid finances and in which Enron hid its debt and financial problems. Employees of these newly purchased companies were forced to roll over to the Enron 401-K plans and their valuable stock was replaced with Enron stock that Enron management knew was soon to be worthless. When the fall came the CEO and other top company officials sold their soon to be worthless stock for millions, but the 410-K holders were forbidden to sell their Enron stock.

Enron was a major contributor to the Bush-Cheney election campaign of 2000 giving over two million dollars to the election fund. This made Enron the largest, single contributor to the Bush-Cheney ticket. Enron also gave campaign funding to 71 Senators and 188 House members, both Republicans and Democrats received funds; however, the GOP candidates received the bulk of the donations. Enron officials met with administration officials on at least six occasions, and the possible presence of Enron officials at the top secrete Cheney energy policy advisory group last spring is still a mystery. Enron definitely bought its way into the inner circle of power in the Bush Administration and the American political system. When things headed south at Enron the company's
political set up allowed the cooperation's upper management to sell of their stock at a high price at expense of the common shareholder and many common working people's retirement savings. Enron is a Bush based debacle.

The Bush Administration is quick to blame the Clinton Administration for many of the economic and security problems that have occurred in the past year. Bush apologists on Capital Hill and in the conservative media blame everyone but the presen tadministration for America's problems. The fact remains that the tax cut, the airline bailout, the squandering of the budget surplus, and the Enron fiasco have all occurred on the Bush watch. President Bush needs to remember that he is a minority
president (he received only 48% of the vote in 2000) and many Americans do not favor his economic policies. More and more Americans see the GOP philosophies as allowing the rich to eat the lunch of the working class in our great land.


Do We Get Our Money's Worth? Reflections On Some Current Questions By
"The Old Conservative"
         Back to Top

The Clarion Issue's editor, "Big Al," approached me a while back about writing an article about our glorious elected officials in Washington, D. C. He seemed to think that we were not getting our bang for the buck.

Being the old "conservative" that I am, I had to do some real hard thinking about it. Every time they do something right, they turn around and do a dufus.

Now let's see if I have this straight. We live in a representative democracy where we elect our representatives to serve our best interests. That means that they should be looking out for us. Things that are bad for us as a country should not be considered. Things that are good for the country should be considered. That sounds simple. Then why do we
get the feeling that this is not what is happening?

Consider the recent Pentagon/anti-terrorism bill that was recently passed by Congress. This was a very important piece of legislation. Funding the military in this day and time is one our most important priorities. Anti-terrorism is right up there with it. Yet when the bill was pushed through the Senate, senators of all types, Republicans and Democrats alike, added 103 amendments to the bill. Many of these "riders" dealt with pet projects having nothing to do with the main bill. Now we are all realistic enough to know that some of those amendments had a snowball's chance in Hades of making it through to final passage, but is this really the venue that should be used for approval? A bill of this significance should be voted on as a pure entity. Every year I keep
hoping that we can get away from the "pork" bills which pay for projects like taking the top off of a mountain in order to build an airport that supports one chicken farm. Surely, Congress can see that the continued funding of a manure factory that was used to support the war effort during World War II is now a waste, regardless of whose district or state it is in. These bills are a waste of the taxpayer's money.

Did someone say something about pay? Congressional pay has been increased again. Say it isn't so! With the hundreds of thousands of jobs that have been lost during the last six months and the number that are scheduled for elimination during this coming year, should congress really be getting a pay raise? Don't get me wrong now, I like to get a decent pay raise every now and then myself, but shouldn't we also be fiscally responsible to the country. I wouldn't mind it so much if they would spend their terms of office working for the people instead of working to get re-elected. I guess that is just the old country boy coming out
in me.

I keep hearing these voices. "TAXES!" Wow, was that ever a powerful suggestion! I will give them a little credit for trying to help us out in the tax department. I have to admit that I did see my withholding tax bill go down a little bit. And that $600.00 refund was nice. I did my part to sustain the economy. I spent every last penny. So I say, keeps it coming. I think that if you look back over history every time Congress did give a tax cut that the economy did in fact turn around. So why are the liberals trying to delay some of the tax cuts that they just approved? They try to use some tax hike mumbo jumbo rhetoric. Deficit-Smeficit!

If we do have a deficit for the next couple of years, is it really going to hurt? Show me a time in history that we were involved in a
conflict and/or a recession that we didn't run a deficit. This country has proven time and time again that we can overcome them if we just think and act fiscally responsible. And why not help out some of the big guys. They (loose terminology) worked hard to get where they are today. If I made that kind of money (like the equivalent of congressional pay), I would like to keep a little more of it. I just finished filing my 2001 income tax return today (ouch) and believe me, I know I worked hard for all I got. I am proud to announce that I will be getting a refund of $116 from the federal government. But after you take away the $64 that
I owe the state I will be left with a whole $42 to take my wife on our Bahamas cruise. So I say keep those cuts coming and don't delay.

The American people are not stupid. Most of us do see what is happening on Capitol Hill and appreciate the good work that some of our elected officials have done since September 11th. But why must they fall back to the old ways. They have the opportunity now to continue to do work to help the entire country. Congress must take on the real issues that need to be addressed, not their pet projects or re-election. That will get keep an official in office and continue to keep this country on top of the world. Congress must work together instead of against each other.

So, to the original question, do we get out money's worth from our elected officials? Cluny - what do you think?


Confederate Flag Banned At Confederate Cemetary        Back to Top

By R. A. Pearson

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Department of Veterans Affairs ruling that banned the flying of the Confederate Battle Flag over Point Lookout Confederate Cemetery in Maryland. The ruling in late December 2001 overturned a lower court decision that allowed the Confederate banner to fly over the graves of over 3000 Confederate prisoners who died in one of the North's largest POW camps of the Civil War. The decision went on to uphold the VA policy of flying the Confederate Battle Emblem only on Memorial Day and Confederate Memorial Day.The VA's stated intent is "to preserve these cemeteries as quite places to honor the American dead, free from controversy and partisan conflict", and to honor those buried there as Americans not Confederate soldiers.

While the Clarion Issue concedes that the Confederate Battle Flag has become a source of controversy (due to its use by various hate and white supremacy groups) and should be removed from public buildings and state flags, the removal of Confederate Flags from Confederate Cemeteries is pushing the envelope on political correctness. The Confederate Flag does have a place in history, and flying over the graves of Confederate war dead is one of those places.

There are also alternatives to the flying of the Confederate Battle Flag. The South had several other flags that could be used instead of the Battle Emblem, none of which carry the objectionable qualities of the Battle Flag. The First National Flag of the Confederacy is a nice flag and was used throughout the war by Confederate troops. The Bonnie Blue Flag could also be substituted for the Battle Emblem. Either of these flags would honor the Southern war dead at buried Point Lookout and would be a historical representation of the cause the soldiers fought for as Americans (and Southerners) during that tragic war.

It is a disgrace to the memory of the Confederate soldiers that a flag that they fought for home and hearth under has been turned into a symbol of hate by groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. Like the burning cross used to call the highland clans to battle in Scotland, the Confederate Battle Flag has been perverted into symbol for which it was unintended. The Confederate Battle Emblem was once the flag of proud soldiers who endured hardships beyond our comprehension. Now it is a subject of political controversy.

The Clarion Issue staff contends that the Confederate Battle Emblem has its place in history, and Civil War Battlefields and cemeteries are such places. We also feel that the Klan and other hate groups should find and adopt their own symbols and not try to link their hate to historic symbols such as the burning cross of Scotland and the Confederate
Battle Flag. As for political correctness, we will never refer to the Minutemen as "Minutepeople," and we will not refer to the Founding Fathers as "Founding Persons." We will not refer to bald men as being follically challenged. America has a New War to fight, a peace to win, and many internal issues to solve. Why argue over a historic flag at a historic cemetery?


California Schools Go Too Far Teaching About Islam           Back to Top

By R. A. Pearson

California parents have voiced displeasure over the 7th grade textbook and curriculum which seems to promote Islam while relegating Christianity to just another religion. Parents in Byron, California, were alarmed when they learned that students were encouraged to adopt Islamic names, learn the major tenets of Islam, use Islamic dress, and even stage their own jihad. September 11th or not, this is an outrage. The state-adopted textbook in California is Houghton-Mifflin's Across
the Centuries. Complaints about the textbook center around the treatment of Christianity in a matter-of- fact manner while highlighting some of the negative aspects of Christian history 'across the centuries.' The text tended to present Islam as a truly-reveled religion, and that Mohammed seemed to get the Qur'an and other revelations right from God. The book does not mention any massacres, cruelties, or any negative aspects of Islam.

The Clarion Issue encourages the teaching of facts about all religious faiths but on an even playing field. The life of Mohammed, what the Qur'an is, the five pillars of Islam, and other important information like Islamic dietary rules, is important for a 7th gradestudent to know, but a three week course with Islamic dress, the observance of Ramadan, and a jihad is definitely overkill.

Perhaps the California Department of Education will address the complaints of the parents, but it is California where political correctness is more important than what parents want for their children and where even playing fields for the majority's wishes do not count for much. Who knows what California will do? After all...California produced 'Ge-had Johnny', the American Taliban!


Humor Us           Back to Top

In the hospital the relatives gathered in the waiting room, their family member lay gravely ill in a room nearby. Finally the doctor came in looking tired and somber. "I'm afraid I'm the bearer of bad news," he said as he surveyed the worried faces. "The only hope for your loved one at this time is a brain transplant. It is an experimental procedure, semi-risky and you will have to pay for the brain yourselves."The family sat in silence as they absorbed the news. After a great length of time someone asked, "Well, how much does a brain cost?"

The doctor responded quickly, "$5,000 for a male brain and $200 for a female brain."The moment turned awkward. Men in the room tried not to smile, avoiding eye contact with the women, but a few actually smirked. A man, unable to control his curiosity, blurted out the question everyone wanted to ask. "Why is the male brain so much more expensive?"The doctor smiled at the childish innocence and so to the entire group said, "It is just standard pricing procedure. We have to mark down the price of the female brains, because they have actually been used."

A GREAT ONE LINER

"THE CLOSEST I EVER GOT TO A 4.0 IN COLLEGE WAS MY BLOOD ALCOHOL CONTENT."


Speak'in Southern
Southern Words From The 'New War'

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Tally-band (Taliban) - 1) What them rich English fellers, like Prince Charles and that Camilla Barker Bowels woman, shout when they see a fox. 2) A group of old towelhead idiots who vale women, grow beards, and head for the hills when a real airforce shows up.

Northern Alliance - 1) A group of Yankees. 2) The good guys in that thar New War.

Pash-toon (Pashtun) - 1) A very pash (plush), ornate, or elaborate cuspidor (spittoon). 2) A whole bunch of Afghans from the south. Southerners wonder if they dress in gray?

Lawyer-jerk-ya ( Loya jirga) - 1) What your shyster lawyer does to ya in order to make more moo-la (money). 2) An assembly of tribal leaders over thar in Afghanistan.

USAGE:

Billy Ray- "Hay Elmer. Did ja hear about that English feller who got killet during one of them there Fox hunts?
Elmer- "Naw Billy Ray, what happened?"
Billy Ray- "When they seen the fox he shouted Tally-band, and a whole bunch of James Bomb 007 type of agents, dressed like em'er fox hounds, shot him dead as a doornail.
Elmer- "How'd ya hear 'bout that Billy Ray"
Billy Ray-"I read all 'bout it in the National Enquirer."

Bubba-"Hay Catfish, how 'bout them posh-toons?
Catfish-"I aint seen no fancy cus-spit-doors since they taken'em out of the Courthouse".


Charlene-"What about the New War and the Northern Alliance?"
Tracy Jo- " Well if ya ask me- All yankeees are the same".

Wilma Lou-"I heared tell that in two years they gona have a lawyer-jerk-ya over thar in Afghan'stan to decide 'bout the government of the place.
Frank-"Yea, with a bunch of Lawyers in one place they'll be a lot of jerk-in going on."

 


 


Clarion Issue Briefs
The South

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Bush Administration Opens New Oil Lease Areas in the Gulf of Mexico

While the nation watched the New War in Afghanistan, the pro-oil Bush Administration opened a 1.5 million section of the Gulf of Mexico to bids from oil companies for oil exploration and drilling. The area opened by the bids in early December included tracts off the coast of Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. The area opened for lease is at least 100 miles off the coast of Florida, thanks in part to protest from the President's brother, Governor Jeb Bush ( R ) of Florida, who felt that the area originally proposed (17 miles off the coast) could harm tourism in the sunshine state.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Shell Offshore placed most of the bids.

Environmentalist groups plan to fight the action and to stop the drilling for oil in these new areas by lawsuits, political action and other forms of protest. Pro-drilling forces claim that only the development of new domestic sources of oil can help to wean the United States from its dependence on foreign oil. As usual, the Bush Administration failed to encourage conservation as a viable option to combat the nation's dependence on foreign energy sources.


Confederate Air Force To Change Name         Back to Top

In January 2002 the Confederate Air Force will change its name to the Commemorative Air Force. The name change is designed to help reflect the group's objective of restoring and maintaining World War II vintage aircraft. The move will also relieve the pressure on air show sponsors reluctant to sponsor the group's activities due to the 'Confederate' part of the name. The organization, however, will keep the CAF initials.

The CAF has nothing to do with the Civil War. The early members of the group found the words 'Confederate Air Force' painted on the fuselage of a Mustang fighter, an early acquisition of the outfit, one morning at an airfield in Texas. The name stuck, and the CAF spread to 27 states and four countries. The CAF has restored over 140 vintage WWII aircraft.

The CAF is a nonprofit, volunteer, organization. Although the group helps educate the people about the vintage aircraft, it has run into problems with sponsors and fund raising due to its name. The members voted to change the name to Commemorative Air Force in order to aid in fund raising.

The CAF spokespersons have not indicated weather the Confederate Air Force officers' commissions will transfer over to the Commemorative Air Force, or even if the good Southerners who purchased commissions will want to 'fly' with the new organization. If these commissions are allowed to expire, the Clarion Issue estimates the South may loose 1581 Colonels, 473 Lt. Colonels, 332 Majors, 51 Captains, and some 139 Lieutenants. The South may also loose 9 enlisted men that could not afford the
commissions.


Georgia To Spend Almost 55 Million On New Voting Technology           Back to Top

As part of the 2002 budget the State of Georgia will spend nearly 55 million dollars to equip the entire state with new electronic voting devices. According to Georgia's Secretary of State Cathy Cox who is in charge of elections in the state, the new devices have been tested in twelve municipal elections over the past year and should prevent many of the problems the nation (especially Florida) experienced in the 2000 hanging chad presidential election.The funding included money for pre-election voter education.


Shamrock Vs Fez,Shriners Will Not Be At Savannah's St. Patrick's Day Parade           Back to Top

The South's largest St. Patrick's Day Parade will not include shriners this year due to a disagreement between parade organizers and the participating shriners. In the past over 2000 members of the shrine have entertained the green clad crowds in Savannah, Georgia, as clowns, pirates, and of course belly dancers. The organizers are under pressure to make the parade shorter and wanted to cut down the number of shrine participants. Many of the 500,000 people who watch the parade feel the shriners are not the problem.

The parade has gotten longer as the number of Hyperbrebian societies in Savannah has grown and as the number of politicians who put in an appearance has increased. Take out a few politicians and rotate the Hyperberbian societies each year, and the parade will be shorter. Of course, who wants to tell Governor Barnes the Bubbas of Georgia are still mad at him about the flag, and he needs to stay out of sight (he will get that message in the election) or tell the Harp and Shamrock Society it is not your turn to be in the parade. No one, so why tell the shriners to cut their numbers down?

An "honorary Irishman" once described the Savannah parade as "an excellent opportunity for participants and onlookers alike to indulge in hyperberbian revelry." If you need a translation it is a bunch of drunks on the side of the street watching a bunch of drunks walk down the middle of the street. Who cares how long the parade is, have another glass of green beer and worry about the length of the line at the port-o-potty!


Groundhogs Disagree on End of Winter; Civil War Looms           Back to Top

The South's major weather forecaster, General Beauguard Lee of Lilburn, Georgia, has turned in a drastically different end of winter forecast than his Northern rival Punxsutawney Phil of Pennsylvania. Beauguard Lee did not see his shadow on Feburary 2nd thus signaling an early end of winter; however Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and headed back into his house indicating six more weeks of winter.

When asked about the uncompromising conflict between the rodent's prognostications several local southernersassured dumbfounded groundhog watchers that Beau had the correct forecast. "After all," said several onlookers, "who are you going to believe? Beauguard Lee or some Yankee groundhog who has a name no one can even spell!"

Most observers agreed that a cooling off period is in order over this groundhog controversy, and another Civil War may be averted.


Georiga Lawmaker Proposes Law Forbidding Answering The Door in The Nude           Back to Top

Ga. House of Representatives member Dorothy Pelote of Savannah has introduced a bill that prohibits an individual from answering the door in the nude. The legislation would stop any person from stepping outside in the raw but it is designed to stop people from shocking door-to-door salesmen, girl scouts selling cookies, and even door-to door evangelists.

The Georgia ACLU indicates that if the bill becomes law it would be a clear violation of the Georgia Supreme Court rulings protecting individual rights in the home.

Prior to this bill, Pelote has introduced legislation in the Georgia General Assembly designed to require short fingernails for students and legislation that would prohibit grocery store bag boys from licking their fingers. Many Georgians were relieved when these bills died in the General Assembly.

Pelote made the news last year when she claimed to have been visited by the sprit of missing intern Chandra Levy. Pelote, a ten-year veteran of the General Assembly indicates she will not seek reelection in 2002.


Texas Man Accused Of Killing Hitchhiker Who Refused To Pay For Gas       Back to Top

Pineland Texas residents, Blake Little (34) and three others, are in legal trouble after allegedly running over a hitchhiker. They gave a ride to Ken Bimbo Tillery (44) when Tillery agreed to pay $5 for gas. As the ride progressed the price for the gas went up, eventually reaching $50. When the truck stopped at a gas station, Tillery ran and was perused by the four men in the truck. Tillery was eventually caught, held down, and run over with the truck, according to Tom Maddox, Sheriff of Sabine County, Texas.

Little was arrested two days later on murder charges. Sheriff Maddox believes drugs and alcohol were involved in the incident.

The incident occurred in the area of Texas where James Byrd Jr., an Afro-American, was killed three years ago by being dragged behind a truck. Several white men war tried and convicted of a hate crime. Little and the other three men involved are Afro-American and Tillery is white; however, investigators have not indicated if race was an issue in the
crime.


The Nation           Back to Top

Religious Zealots Burn Harry Potter Books In New Mexico

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Members of the Christ Community Church, led by their minister Jack Brock, staged a book burn in the New Mexico town of Alamogordo in late December of last year. The pastor referred to the Harry Potter books as 'a masterpiece of satanic deception'. He went on to indicate that, 'These books teach children how they can get into witchcraft and become a witch, wizard, or warlock.'

The bonfire also included Ouiji boards, AC/DC recordings and even the works of Shakespeare. The book burning was highly publicized about Alamogordo and drew a large crowd. The line of book burning protestors was a quarter of a mile long and included a protestor dressed as Adolph Hitler.

The Clarion Issue wonders if any of the Christ Community Church's flock will attend any of the showings of the new movie Lord of the Rings, the movie adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy books about middle earth and full of magic, wizards, and monsters. The flocks' burning of Shakespeare's works reminds one of the actions of the minister and flock in the movie Porky's, where thereligious group protested and shut down ' An Evening With Shakespeare' being performed by a high school drama department. Any minister that can whip his flock into such hysteria is heading down the slippery slope of megalomania. 'Thus says the
shepherd, thus says the flock.' All that is missing from this New Mexico reenactment of Porky's is the Ku Klux Klan!


New Type of Large Squid Found in Gulf of Mexico and Elsewhere          Back to Top

On December 20th scientist announced the discovery of a previously unknown type of squid discovered about one mile under water in the Gulf of Mexico. The squid was captured on video shot from a submarine. A live specimen has not been captured. The same type of squid has also been seen in the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans. The video reveals a large body with extremely large fins and extra long arms about ten times the length of the body. The arms and tentacles are the same length which is unusual in squids.

According to one scientist who appeared on a nationally broadcast radio talk show, a specimen of the squid must be obtained before the animal can be classified and given a specific scientific name. It is a shame that Frank Zappa is not around to work this new squid into a song or live performance!


Hunters Help Support Homeless With Surplus Meat          Back to Top

The National Rifle Association's program "Hunters for the Hungry" is a service designed to encourage hunters to donate their surplus meat to homeless shelters. The service helps to link the hunter and the shelter together with the information to help set up the donation. The program has helped provide meat for thousands of meals for the homeless.

According to the NRA's "Hunters for the Homeless Program" coordinator Phil Garth, the major problem is that there seems to be more people willing to donate meat than meat processors participating in the program. Garth stated that "the hunters just can't take the deer to the food bank. You actually get more animals than the processors can handle and that is because they're limited by the cost."

The "Hunters for the Hungry Program" began in the early 1990s and had provided homeless shelters with deer, elk, and other game. In Virginia over 10 tons of meat has been donated to the homeless and over five tons has been donated in Maryland. The program is expected to grow as more hunters and especially processors become aware and get involved in the program.

However, the program is not without its critics. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) contends that the NRA's Hunters for the Hungry program is an excuse for hunters to shoot more animals under the pretext of charity. The PETA spokesman indicated that the hunters could feed more people by donating the money spent on licenses, firearms, and other equipment to the homeless shelters instead of "foisting artery-clogging dead animal meat products on them."

Another similar hunter-food share program, the Safari Club International's "Sportsmen against Hunger" delivers an annual 250 million meals a year to food banks all made from donated game. PETA's thanksgiving tofu turkey drive provided meals to about 1000 homeless people. Perhaps PETA is the turkey here.


Unwanted Telemarketing Calls May Become An Unpleasant Memory            Back to Top

Those annoying, unwanted 6:30 P.M. telemarketing call that interrupts dinner or the news may soon be part of the past. Newly proposed rules before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would create a national 'do not call' list. The phone subscriber would simply call a toll-free number and have their and number listed on the 'do not call' list. The telemarketing companies who called a listed number would receive a fine up to $11,000. The FTC will hold hearings in June to on the proposed changes in policy.

The FTC also plans to tighten regulations on the telemarketing practice of hiding their identities from caller ID boxes and sharing information among themselves about their customers.


The World

Singapore Plays Host To World Conference On Toilets

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Late last year the city-state of Singapore hosted the first World Summit on toilets. The week-long summit and toilet show focused on the design, ventilation, incontinence, and future of devices known by such names as Johns, water closets, crappers, and commodes. Jack Sim, president of the Restroom Association of Singapore and keynote speaker at the summit promised that "The proliferation of this movement worldwide will inevitably lead to improvements in toilet environment everywhere." The august theme of the summit was "Our toilets: the past, the present and the future."

The summit included a mime demonstrating proper vs. improper toilet habits. Good toilet habits included always flushing and washing hands after toilet use. Other summit events included a tour of Singapore's finest toilet facilities.

China sent 20 delegates to the summit in hopes that the delegation would uncover tips on improving China's antiquated toilet and sewer system before the world arrives in Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Chinese delegates were treated to a tour of Singapore's most modern restrooms and saw the most advanced commodes in the city. China hopes to improve over 350 public toilets in over 450 tourist sites in the next five years.

The delegates also toured the Singapore Zoo and visited the zoo's facilities. The restrooms were housed inside rock walls and plants in order to provide the user with a true "outdoor" experience.

Over 500 restroom professionals from all over the world attended the conference and show, which included a forum on investing in toilets and restrooms for profit. The Clarion Issue hopes the next World Summit on Toilets will be held in Flushing, New York.


Balkan Counterfeiters Tool Up To Print Phony Euros

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Counterfeiters in the Balkan states are gearing up their ink, plates and other various printing apparatus to make counterfeit paper Euros. The counterfeiters hope to take advantage of the retailers unfamiliarity with the new currency in Europe in order to easily pass their fake Euros all over Europe. The poor economic conditions in the Balkan area have made counterfeiting a major industry in that part of Europe. The counterfeiters have successfully copied the German mark for years. Experts expect to see the fake notes in small denominations all over Europe in 2002.


Swaziland Moves Toward Execution By Lethal Injection; Hangman Unavailable           Back to Top

The African nation of Swaziland has been searching for a hangman for over a year; however, they have been unable to find a reasonable candidate for employment. The small country in Southern Africa has begun to make plans to use lethal injections in the wake of the unsuccessful worldwide search.

According to Maweni Simelane, the Justice Minister of Swaziland, any qualified medical practitioner can perform the lethal injection
procedure and "we will probably be introducing the system this year." There are nine death row inmates in Swaziland's Matsapha Prison outside Mbabane, the capital city. The last execution in Swaziland was in 1983.


News From Camden County, Ga.

MACS in St. Mary's Ga.
by Sam Merier

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Military and Civilian Society, MACS, is a non-profit organization located at 106 Dandy St., St. Marys, Georgia. MACS is open to membership to anyone that is interested in joining the fellow members to help, enjoy and assist the local community by being dedicated to its betterment without regard to race, religion, gender, or profession. MACS is made up of men women and families from all backgrounds, both civilian and military, dedicated to the community. Macs members have joined together to assist those in need and aid in various and numerous community activities.MACS strives to promote and develop involvement and understanding through out all levels of the community.

MACS opened on July 6, 1998. One of the first contributions of the organization was to build a wheelchair ramp for a person who had just become wheelchair bound. Since that time several wheelchair ramps have been built at no cost to the recipients or their families. MACS members have also repaired at least one roof, also at no cost to the individual \family.

MACS spearheaded the effort in bringing the Vietnam Moving Wall to St. Marys. This project included numerous fundraisers and hours of hard work by both MACS members and people at every level of the community. The money was raised and the Vietnam Moving Wall was a huge success and seen by thousands of people.

The holiday period is a very busy time at MACS. On Thanksgiving the organization prepares a full Thanksgiving meal for the needy in Camden County. Using food donated by members and others in the community MACS served and delivered over 200 meals last Thanksgiving. At Christmas MACS provided food and gifts for three less fortunate families who would not have had a Christmas without community aid.

MACS, the Downtown Merchants, and the Warehouse Waterfront Theatre host the Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day Parades. MACS began the St. Patrick's Day parade four years ago and it has continued to grow every year. Come see St. Marys own leprechaun in action. There will be a St. Paddy's Day party after the parade at MACS. The parade and party will be on Saturday, March 16th this year. There will be venders, food, and arts and crafts.

MACS is always looking for new members. None of the community service provided by MACS could be done without the efforts of the members. MACS also sponsors events like the St. Valentine's Day Sock Hop, Oyster Roasts, and other special events. MACS has great food and is open for lunch and dinner. Come in and look through the scrapbook and see if MACS is right for you. Decide for your self if you would like to help others help themselves through the work at MACS. Call 882-7588 for more
information.


Sports Shorts
BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME (MAYBE)
by R.A Pearson

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During the 2001-2002 football season the Jacksonville Jaguars posted a 6-10 record. The attendance was so dismal that three games were blacked out so that local TV audiences could not view the game. Even a Thursday night game on ESPN fell victim to the NFL's black out policy. Alltel Stadium is simply too large.

The Jacksonville Stadium (Alltel Stadium) was built to house the Georgia-Florida football game, which draws an estimated 100,000 fans to Jacksonville each fall. The enthusiastic Jaguar fans initially purchased the overpriced Jaguar tickets in season ticket packages, but as the newness of the Jags faded and as individual game day tickets became more available people began to pass on expensive season ticket packages. Now the stadium is too large for the typical crowd, and the run of the mill fan suffers from the NFL's black out policy.

To combat this inequity, Jacksonville now plans to ENLARGE the stadium, at an estimated cost of 45 million dollars, adding even more seats and sky boxes insuring even more NFL blackouts. As part of the Super Bowl XXXIX deal, the city pledged to add 6,000 seats to Alltel Stadium. How do the Jaguars plan to sell these seats when the 3-11 Jags take on the 2-12 Jets at 8:30 on a Thursday night in December 2008 with a game time temperature of 36 degrees plus a wind chill? That will be a NFL black out for sure.

As a final insult to the fans for not spending an estimated 400 dollars for a family of four to attend a game, TV-4 punishes the fans by not broadcasting any game on Sundays when there is a blackout. TV-4, however, does inundate their viewers with coaches and player interviews for almost a week as they express their excuses for not winning the game that was blacked out and which no one was able to watch.Why enlarge a stadium that is too large and you cannot sell out to begin with?


PETA VS PACKERS

Once again the good folks at PETA are attacking an American institution. This time the self-proclaimed animal defense organization is asking the Green Bay Packers to change their name to the Green Bay Six-Packers. The Packer nickname is a name that honors the hard working (and admittedly hard drinking) blue-collar individuals who work in the meat packing houses of that frozen city in Wisconsin. PETA claims the name helps glorify the mistreatment of animals in the slaughterhouses of America. The Clarion Issue doubts that even the free beer doled out by PETA at historic Lambeau Field will be enough to get the cheese-heads to consider a name change.

We also need to report that there is no truth to the rumor that the meat packers union is trying to change its name to PETA (People for Eating Tasty Animals) to counter the name change movement by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). The Clarion Issue predicts that PETA's Six-Packer movement will be about as successful as their protest of the 100th anniversary of Animal Crackers and PETA's Thanksgiving Tofu Turkey give-away and sale.



MIAMI BAILS OUT BCS
By R. A. Pearson

The 37-14 victory of the Miami Hurricanes over the Nebraska Cornhuskers helped bail out the computer generated Bowl Championship Series (BCS) for one more year. Everyone felt Miami deserved to play, but many college football fans and followers doubted that Nebraska was a ligament contender as number two. The Oregon Ducks' (10-1) strong showing against the Colorado Buffalos in the Fiesta Bowl certainly adds credence to the Ducks claim of being hosed by the BCS's computer selection criteria.

The BCS computer takes into account several factors other than the teams won loss record. The computers factor in strength of schedule, common opponents, and margin of victory among other things. These go into a computer and out comes a bowl ranking which is used in spite of the fact that the sports writers' poll and the college coaches' poll may disagree. A major concern many have in the BCS formula is the margin of victory factor that forces strong teams to run up the score on weaker opponents.

Why does FSU have to beat Duke 57-3? Why does Nebraska have to defeat Kansas 51-7? They do it to gain points in the BCS standings. There is no need in this factor being part of the BCS or any other formula. A victory is a victory. Why embarrass a group of college athletes, deny playing time to younger kids who have worked all year and could get valuable experience, and run the risk of getting starters hurt only to score points in a BCS formula? It is down right absurd and very unsportsmanlike in nature. If need be, establish a 'enough is enough' margin of victory and call off the dogs. Better yet, get rid of the BCS all together and have a playoff like in all other sports.


Clarion Issue Trivia

Who was highball ?

A. A horse who won the Triple Crown in 1927.
B. The dog that survived the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929.
C. Captain Cavendish's cat on the HMS Erubus' voyage of exploration in 1577.
D. The name of Alice's pool cue on the Honeymooners TV show.

Answer B


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The Southern Calendar

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February Events

Last Weekend The Battle of Aiken, S.C. at Aiken, S.C.
A civil war reenactment. Aiken is 20-30 miles east of Augusta, Ga. and e-z to access of I-20.
www.battleofaiken.org

March Events

17 St. Patrick's Day
Savannah, Ga. Parade and large celebration. www.savannahnow.com
Dublin, Ga. Parade and celebration. Central Ga. off I-16. www.dublin-georgia.com
MACS in St. Marys, Ga. party and celebration www.mc2@tds.net

Last weekend Dogwood Festival Attapulgus, Ga.
Small town festival w/ parade, food, arts & crafts. Between Bainbridge, Ga and Tallahassee, Fla.
www.bainbridgegachamber.com click on festivals

April Events

First weekend Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta, Ga www.pga.com

Mid April Civil War Re-enactments at Kaufman, Texas
www.rootsweb.com/txkaufma/civilwar/kaufcocw/htm

Third weekend Grits Festival at Warwick, Ga
.
A small town festival with plenty of grits. Arts & crafts, entertainment, food.
http://www.gritsfest.com/index2htm

Talladega 500 at Talladega Speedway, Talladega, Ala.
www.nascar.com

Colquitt, Ga Festival Colquitt,Ga.
Civil War re-enactments, tennis tournament, parade, & antiques.
www.bainbridgegachamber.com click on festivals

Clarion Issue Ads


M.A.C.S. IN ST. MARYS, GAST. PATRICKS DAY PARTY
16 March 7:30- 9:00
www.mc2@tds.net


Dar-Lin Research

Genealogical Research
"Find Your Family Tree"
dcresearch@tds.net on the web at www.dar-lin.com
912-576-2675

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