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Squinting through some political fogs
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As most of you know, I seldom dabble in politics in this column. For one thing, my own political views often differ from those of many of my friends and relatives, and, since I am not likely to change anyone’s mind, why provoke? But this week, I felt an urge to drop a few comments.


After the recent Georgia legislative session ended and the governor either signed or vetoed the bills, although I certainly do not know all that transpired, I was pleased with some of the actions.


Thanks to Rep. Amos Amerson’s “wrap-up,” I know that some bills will be on our local ballot as referendums: a couple concern certain homestead exemptions for senior citizens and are apparently mostly clarifications. To understand the referendum vote concerning a tax allocation district will require additional explanation, and I am sure that will be forthcoming as the November vote looms near.


Cost-saving changes were obviously necessary and some sound reasonable, although I shudder at the thoughts of budget cuts in much-needed technical and vocational education. The new “no texting while driving” law is very praise-worthy.


Also praise-worthy, I believe, was Gov. Perdue’s veto of a capital-gains bill which sounded good on the surface but would actually have cost the state millions in revenue in order to grant a significant tax break only to the top 5 percent of income earners.  (This bill was clearly explained in a recent column by Tom Crawford.)


I was really hoping the governor would veto that whole “gun-toting allowed” bill; now I just pray that folks in churches, bus stops, ball parks, etc., will be very careful with their trigger fingers.


If the number of highway signs is an indication, politics on the local level is undoubtedly booming. 


Certainly, there is no shortage of candidates, so I suppose we’ll expect some run-offs after the primaries. Although many of us will take advantage of early voting, we still have to wait until July 20 to know results.


As for the national political scene, the comment I most urgently want to make is the same as I have made previously, and about which I do feel strongly: It is important to listen to real facts, not just opinions, especially not just opinions that all come from the same source. Listening exclusively to the same commentators and reading only certain editorial views may make life easier — you don’t need to think, just absorb. But who wants to go through life with blinders on?


I had once thought that, after all the shouting and hyperbole was over, I’d like to comment on the new health care law, and I do have a file of information (information, not propaganda). But many of the provisions are being phased in gradually and very little of it actually affects me, so I’ve lost my enthusiasm to review it. I only hope that my “retiree insurance plan” continues to cover the Silver Sneakers exercise program and that the Bodyplex Fitness Center when it reopens will be approved for it. I have so greatly missed those water exercises.


Politics is really personal, after all, isn’t it?


Helen Taylor’s column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.