Category Archives: November 2013

Make your Thanksgiving Day count…

November 28, 2013
Thanksgiving Day: a national holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year;  prayer of thanks: a prayer that offers thanks to God.
This is the definition you will find when you look up the meaning of Thanksgiving. But this holiday is all this and more to me. It should be a special time when families should come together and count their blessings. Even in the hard times, you should still ban together, because family is all you have in this world that you can never replace, the good ones and yes, even the bad ones.
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There’s a saying about families:” When you shake our family tree, a bunch a nuts will fall out.” Well, this is true in any family. You can’t choose your family, they are God’s gift to you. You may not even like some of them, but there should be times you should be able to make allowances for them, and Thanksgiving is one of them.
 Many families have chosen to stop having family gatherings due to conflict in the family these days and I think this is huge mistake. Because how are you ever going to get past the conflict if you choose not to have any contact with them? People have blow-ups within the family all the time, and sometimes things are said in the heat of the moment that seem really terrible at the time. Which brings me to another saying, one of my favorites: “This too shall pass.”
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Ninety percent of the time, if you allow a little time to pass, things will eventually settle down and you can begin to make amends. No family is perfect, so don’t ever catch yourself looking at someone else’s and think “I wish I were in that family”. I assure you, that family has just as many problems as yours, if not more. They just may be better at hiding it.
Family gatherings are very special to me and we may have had our share of problems within ours, but at the end of the day, we all still love each other. And our family gatherings are priceless. We all truly enjoy one another. After stuffing our faces to the point of agony, we all sit and socialize, laughing and talking sometimes for hours. These are times I wouldn’t trade anything for, because you cannot put a price of this kind of fellowship.
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 So, as this Christmas season approaches, remember to reach out to those around you; the once close friends you have lost contact with, the neighbor across the street who is always there for you, and yes, even to those who have wronged you once considered your friend. Most especially, reach out to those who don’t have any family because the Holidays are a really hard time for them.
 Because here’s the thing about time, we never know when our time is going to run out and you may not have as much as you think to repair those bridges that were once burned. Many who have lost loved ones or were never able to repair friendships will tell that time can be your friend, or it can be your enemy and issues you think that are really important to you at this moment, are just not worth holding onto if you lose that person forever.
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Thanksgiving is just another day is you choose to see it this way. Or, you can choose to make the most of it, with family, friends, an abundant feast, good times and making memories to last a lifetime. Life is what you make it, my friend and you hold all the cards. You can make the choice to be happy, or you can be miserable, but it’s the latter part that is so exhausting. It takes more energy to hate someone than it does to love them.
So, if you have parted ways with your family on a bitter note, now is the time to patch up. It is common for families to have misunderstandings. However, it may be wrong to assume that your family no longer loves you. The bond of love runs deep, and conflicts can be resolved with trust and understanding. This Thanksgiving Day, extend an olive branch and talk peace.
When you walk away from your Thanksgiving feast this year, make sure that not only is your stomach full, but your heart is too. Count your blessings, but also be sure to make your blessings count. Remember, it’s not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them is a true measure of Thanksgiving.
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Note: Last week, there was a sentence that went into my article about disability fraud that I meant to go back and change, or even take out. So, I retract the statement I made that read: “If you’re crazy enough to draw a check then you need to be locked up somewhere”.
 
 I am perfectly aware there are REAL people out there who suffer from mental disorders that struggle every day of their life. These are not the ones who my problem is with, it is the ones who CLAIM to have mental issues because they know this route is hard to prove in a medical sense of the word. These are people who can get out there and work as well you can, but they are lazy and have learned how to work the system.
 
 So, if this statement offended you, please accept my apologies. This was never my intention. Also, please remember, this is in fact, an editorial, which means these are strictly my opinions and you don’t have agree with them. There is no correct or incorrect method to use here. Whether you agree or disagree, the Voices page is here for you express your opinions. So, let’s hear from you…
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The Real Faces of Disability

November 20, 2013
How many of you know someone who is drawing a disability check that does not deserve one? Well, I think this pretty much covers everyone, now doesn’t it?
In April 2013, statistics showed a 29% jump since 2003 in the number of Americans with little or no work experience getting disability payments, this meaning these people have never paid in a cent in taxes. Sure, there are many who deserve these benefits, but this number is growing smaller by the day. Nowadays, you have more people who are on disability for “diseases” that are quite frankly, just a crock. Alcoholism, obesity, depression, pregnancy…and my personal favorite, mental health.
 If I worked in an SSI Office, I would have a field day, because here’s my way of thinking. If you’re overweight to the point of not working, then get out and lose some weight. If your drinking is hindering you from working, then stop. If you can’t stop getting pregnant, then seek out a tubal ligation, or better yet, abstinence. If you’re depressed, the get a job and you won’t have much time to think about how sad you are. And as far as mental health goes, well…that’s a whole other issue entirely.
 And here’s the sad thing…the people who really need to be on disability have either spent years trying to get the benefits, only to be denied time and time again. Then, you have another portion of citizens actually have a disability who choose to be a part of the work force and have learned to live with this disability. They don’t use their disability as a crutch as some do and they actually have to work twice as hard as we do to get the same end results. These are the people who I have the utmost respect for…
Take for instance, Mr. Charles Hill from Lineville, AL.  In 1962, just one day before Thanksgiving, he lost his right hand and part of his arm in an accident at his place of employment at the age of 21. Charles was working as a meat grinder when in a split second, the accident occurred. To make matters worse, his arm was caught in the electric grinder after being severed. So, a portion of this machine had to be removed, with Charles’ arm still attached. He was taken to Clay County Hospital in the back of a police car, because in these days, there was no ambulance or 911 to call. Even though he was in unbelievable pain, Charles remained conscious during this time so he could tell them how to disassemble the machine. As soon as the machinery was disassembled and his arm free, then he lost consciousness.
Charles Hill is shown holding his great-grandbaby, Levi
Charles Hill is shown holding his great-grandbaby, Levi
 
Charles long-time girlfriend, Jane, stayed by his side during this difficult time, and in just one month, they would be married on Christmas Day. Not many women would have made the choice to spend the rest of their life with a person who was considered to be handicapped, which shows what kind of person Jane was. She kept Charles grounded and never made him feel inferior in any way. In fact, she has been his biggest cheerleader for 51 years and counting. Their union would produce two children, Anthony and Anna, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Charles & Jane Hill on their wedding day
Charles & Jane Hill on their wedding day
 
Charles immediately began searching for employment after being released from the hospital, only to be turned away again and again. They would take one look at him and send him away, but he kept on pounding the pavement every day. Finally, after going to Higgin’s Slacks every day for some time, Plant Manager Mr. Parrish hired Charles to be a Bundle Boy, a fast-paced job that required a lot of lifting. In less than three months, he lost almost 50 pounds, but he able to sufficiently do the tasks. Charles was employed at Higgin’s until 1969.
The next forty years of his life took him through many different types of employment, from manual to professional. Charles did construction work, owned a junk yard, worked on vehicles, even building motors from the ground up, owned chicken houses, and sold life insurance. Charles Hill worked so hard that many people never even noticed he only had one hand. Charles never once drew a dime of disability until he was 62 years old, and then it was due to the deterioration of his shoulder. And even then, he had a hard time being approved. What an extraordinary and inspirational story that should be placed in every Social Security Office across the nation.
Charles and Jane still going strong after 51 years of marriage
Charles and Jane still going strong after 51 years of marriage
Another person that fits the inspirational category is Ellen Sewell of Ashland. Ellen lost four of her fingers on her left hand when she was just a toddler, but she didn’t let that stop her from doing whatever she wanted. She credits her father for her strong work ethic because she said he never treated her like she had any kind of handicap and always encouraged her in every aspect of her life. Ellen has spent the majority of her life doing manual labor through carpenter work, and could work circles around many men. She is also a talented seamstress to boot.  At 58 years old, Ellen is the owner of the Brown Gables House in Ashland, AL, a beautiful, historical home she almost singlehandedly reconstructed after it was destroyed by fire.
Ellen Sewell
Ellen Sewell
I had a politician tell me one time that the reason deserving people can’t seem to get any financial aid is because they are honest. It was the saddest statement I had ever heard, but probably the most truthful. There are many on disability and every type of government aid they can get their hands on who have learned how to work the system, so that is why the cycle continues with each generation. This is just one of the many things that is steadily crippling our country.
A beautifully decorated interior room of the Brown Gables house
A beautifully decorated interior room of the Brown Gables house
 When President Barack Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, there were 142,187,000 people employed and 7,442,377 workers taking federal disability payments. That equaled about 1 person taking disability payments for each 19.1 people actually working. In May of this year, there were 142,287,000 people employed, and 8,707,185 workers taking federal disability payments. That equaled 1 worker taking disability payments for each 16.3 people working.
Guess that’s another “record” for Obama, huh? Boy, he’s really racking them up, isn’t he?

Go buy your ammo now…

November 15, 3013
While American citizens rally to do to support their second amendment, the Obama administration is steady trying to abolish it, in a more secretive kind of way, of course. But we Americans are not stupid, and we are learning more and more about the underhanded ways of our supposed leader’s tactics.
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In December 2013, the last Lead smelting industry left in the United States will close its doors due to the strict regulations placed on them by the EPA. The Doe Run Company had been in operation since 1892 and was the largest integrated lead producer in North America. But with the EPA’s growing restrictions at an alarmingly increasing rate under the actions of the Obama Administration, the Doe Run Company “made a business decision” to shut down the smelter instead of installing pollution control technologies needed to reduce sulfur dioxide and lead emissions as required by the Clean Air Act.
That all sounds so very sterile, but the truth of the matter is that in shuttering this plant, the Obama administration has taken yet another unconstitutional step, one that will severely impinge on the nation’s ammunition manufacturing capability. Or if you wanted to use another nice word for it, you could call it simply extortion.
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Because the government has been unsuccessful in their attempts to disarm the public, they had to alter their plans. Despite the government using every incident involving firearms to convince our citizens to relinquish their right to bear arms willingly, Americans saw through their plan of action which actually increased gun sales. So, if you can’t go after the source, go for the next best thing: the ammunition. Or in this case, the producers.
With the EPA violations named against this company, Doe Run would have had to pay 65 million dollars to correct these violations in order to continue their operations which they were unable or willing to do , but will still have to pay a 7 million penalty through the settlement. This is not the first time the government has hidden behind the EPA to shut down numerous industries in our nation, further severing our nation’s economy by cutting jobs and sending them overseas.
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 Meanwhile, Congress continues to permit the EPA to wreak havoc on the American economy, with draconian regulations that have no basis in science and are causing incalculable harm. EPA regulations, for example, are closing hundreds of coal-fired electrical plants and are now targeting natural gas, which has been one of the few bright spots in our national economy, producing an abundant 1.7 million jobs.
So, how will you acquire ammunition in the future and what will be the price tag? Well, let me just say there was a reason the government bought billions of rounds with taxpayer’s money. They knew the supply would eventually dry up. Folks, this is backdoor gun control at its best. With ammunition already difficult to obtain and prices of ammo already skyrocketing, the Doe Run closure can only make matters worse. Even if you don’t have a need for ammo, you will also see the price of storage batteries rise, automobiles, etc.
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It should come as no surprise that China will be the one to benefit from the demise of our last smelting facility. China and the United States strongly intend to engage each other in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a “high-standard” trade agreement involving the US and other countries including Japan and Australia, according to insiders close to both governments. In November 2011, President Obama tipped his hand in this high-stakes game of trade talks when he told Chinese media, “Now, if China says, we want to consult with you about being part of this [the TPP] as well, we welcome that.” Connect those dots and the picture gets clearer: The Obama administration will stop at nothing to absolutely abolish the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Not only that, but our nation is becoming very close to being dependent of foreign communist countries for almost every one of our needs. The tag “ Made in the U.S.” is becoming extinct.
So, while this is an ecological victory, the financial impact on our economy will far outweigh the clean air. And if you think that I am cruel in saying this, take off your rose-colored glasses and look around. This country is in the final stages of no longer being “The Land of the Free”, and these people that are so concerned about environmental issues need to wake up and smell the coffee. Your clean air is not going to help you when it all comes to a head and you need something to protect your family with because you have a stockpile of canned goods that they want.
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 What are you going to do when your own neighbor turns on you due to starvation? Does this sound a little extreme to you? Well, it’s going to happen. You reserve your spot in front the television every Sunday night to watch the latest episode of “ The Walking Dead” because it is entertaining to you and not for one second do you think it could ever be real. Well, it’s coming and if you can’t see that, then you are the one that needs prayer.  
 

Heritage Day is a success…Thanks to you!

Vendors line the streets on Heritage Day 2013
Vendors line the streets on Heritage Day 2013

November 6, 2013

What a gorgeous weekend in Clay County Alabama! It was as if God smiled down upon us and said “Enjoy life, my children” and enjoy we did. The picture perfect weather created the ideal backdrop for the weekend activities in which citizens assembled in large numbers for the biggest weekend of the year in Lineville, Alabama.
It has always been a local tradition of the first weekend of November is designated for Lineville Heritage Day and the Clay County Shriners Car Show. And this year people did not disappoint…
Tractor Rides are always a hit on this day!
Tractor Rides are always a hit on this day!
As a Lineville Merchants Association Officer, it warmed my heart to see such a large crowd at Saturday’s Heritage Day activities. It was like the ultimate reward for spending an entire year at countless meetings pouring over every last detail, making numerous phone calls and endless paperwork. We active LMA members take great pride in putting together this signature event in hopes of seeing what we did on this beautiful Saturday, a large crowd of smiling faces of families and great friends who have gathered to celebrate life in our small town. It was a glorious experience for me.
This was the heart of the activities, too food court and stage, where there were several outstanding performances of local talent
This was the heart of the activities, too food court and stage, where there were several outstanding performances of local talent
Lots of people are not aware what goes on behind the scenes of Heritage Day. It would probably appear it was the work of many people, but in truth, it is really the extreme efforts of very few putting their heart and soul into making a successful event for you to enjoy. And seeing our streets lined with people throughout the town brings hope to us that maybe one day we have that again, not just one this day, but every day. We are all deeply saddened to see more and more vacant buildings in our town, and we strive to breathe life back into our city, so that one day our children, relatives and friends can return to their roots and be able to raise their families here to enjoy small town life as only we know it.
Memory Lane Quartet drew a huge crowd. This was their first year to perform at Heritage Day, but I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot more of them!
Memory Lane Quartet drew a huge crowd. This was their first year to perform at Heritage Day, but I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot more of them!
We all know that Clay County people are some of the best you will meet anywhere and we take great pride in that. But it is becoming more and more impossible through the economy and lack of industry here to be able to make ends meet. Lots of residents are forced to seek employment out of the county, but still make the choice to live here because they know they won’t find a better place to exist anywhere; A place where their children can play freely, an abundance of natural resources at their disposal with beautiful countryside, not to mention a very low crime rate thanks to our law enforcement.
A colorful display of beautiful quilts at the Quilt Show.
A colorful display of beautiful quilts at the Quilt Show.
Some of our citizens swear they hate it here, and at one point in my life, I thought I did too. It was the only place I had ever lived and I was dying to get away. So, I moved to Dothan for three years and hated it every day. I couldn’t wait to get back and swore when I did that I would never leave again. It’s a place you have to leave to truly appreciate, trust me. There is a reason many people return here, regardless of the local economy. It doesn’t matter how far you go, if you have lived in Clay County at some point, it will always be home to you.
Mr. & Mrs. Heritage Day, Lloyd & Micah jean Sparks
Mr. & Mrs. Heritage Day, Lloyd & Micah jean Sparks
 I love this sleepy little town. I love the fact that the streets are dead by 9:00 pm. I even love the fact that everything around revolves around football. And I especially love that in times of crisis, our citizens join together to help others in need.  That is why I have made it my passion to do anything I can to help promote our city in whatever form possible for a more prosperous future. And I would encourage you to do the same.
Paying tribute to our Veterans!
Paying tribute to our Veterans!
 Make this city not only your home, but the home of generations to come.  Do your part and place your mark on history of Lineville, Alabama by any means necessary. Shop local, buy local, become a LMA member or even volunteer. Have some input on ways to improve our city so that we may attract tourists and even more residents. We need more warm bodies to help us bring our many ideas to life. The work of so few can only take us so far and we want the sky to be the limit. You can’t tell me that one person can’t make a difference, because I know better. So, be that one person…after all, what do you have to lose?
The Grand Finale of the day!
The Grand Finale of the day!
On behalf of the LMA Officers, Darlene Alldredge, Barbara Pollard, Rodney Denson, and Patricia Dennison, I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for partaking in our Heritage Day activities. We hope that you enjoyed it as much as we did.