Houston resident

protests gas price

Due to the fleecing of America ballooning so fast, I feel compelled to protest.

In Houston, Chickasaw County, gasoline is always higher, sometimes as much as 15 cents. Taxes are eating us up. Our furniture industries are in trouble.

Now, the natural gas industry has hit us the hardest. Our heating bills more than tripled in one month. Many people will not be able to pay. Especially the elderly who are on fixed incomes.

Our state and national legislators need to demand regulation. Something has to be done immediately.

Herman K. Smith

Houston

Pontotoc man: What

must we change next?'

I had never given much thought to our state flag until all the publicity about changing the design of it. I have read how embarrassing it has been for some people. I read where it has been and will be detrimental to our state's economy and even to the existence of some people. One person stated that he could only think of one word when he saw the state flag, and that word was Kentucky. He stated the flag reminded him of a time he lived in Kentucky and people there asked him what was wrong with the state of Mississippi. Why was Mississippi so backward and out of step with the rest of the world. To me, all those things are personal opinions. Now, I have some personal opinions I would like to share.

I have lived in six states Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, Georgia and Arizona. I am 68, white and can't help it. I was born, bred and raised a Mississippian, not a Rebel. I have lived through World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Integration War, and the Persian Gulf wars. I served in the military for 10 years. I served during and in three of the: the Korean, Vietnam and the Integration wars. If you think the latter wasn't war, you should have been in some of the places I was during this time.

I worked for and in the state of Mississippi for 32 years. In the states I have lived and in the countries I served, not once have I ever been asked to explain the meaning of, or the reason for, the design of our state flag. Yes, I do have a decal of our state flag in the rear window of my Suburban along with a decal of the United States flag.

Through the years I was told legalized liquor would solve the state's financial problems. In the 1960s liquor was legalized. Some 30 years later the financial problems continued. We were then told legalized gambling was the solution to the state's financial problems. In the early 1990s gambling was legalized. The 2001 Legislature is now in session, and there is no money to fund the operations of the state's agencies. Where has all the liquor and gambling money gone that was to solve these financial problems?

Now, I read in order for Nissan, a Japanese automobile manufacturer, to locate in our state, we should solve the flag issue. We are told how bad the flag is hurting our economy. If this is true, why did the flag have no effect on the liquor or gambling industries locating in our state? As far as Nissan, I fear we have created a financial burden on the state of Mississippi for which my young grandchildren's children will still be paying.

In my opinion, changing our state flag or any flag will not change the hearts and minds of people. Changing the flag will not make the history of slavery go away. It will not make the Civil War history go away anymore than changing the United States flag would make the history of the world wars and other wars go away. Changing the flag will not make white people black nor will it make black people white. It will not change our natural culture. It will not change the fact that we are created equal, but different. As for me, if the flag of the state where I was living was an embarrassment to me and I was ashamed of it, I would select a state flag I liked and move to that dear state. I would not move because I liked the state or because I had a good job there. I would move because I liked the design of the state flag. If I could not find a state flag I liked, maybe I should look at the design of some national flags, find one I liked and head for another country because I liked its flag.

I guess after considering things of the past, places I have lived, things I have done and opinions I have, I will continue to raise the state flag I was born, raised, lived and worked under for these 68 years, or until I'm made to put it away by the people who find so much fault with it.

Perhaps when the old flag is buried and the new flag manufacturers begin to produce the new design, it will boost the economy to which the old flag has been so detrimental. I really don't think so.

My question is, what must we change next? Do we as a people created by God really believe changing the design of a flag will change something that only God can change, the hearts and minds of these people whom God created equal but different? Personally, I don't think so.

Edwin B. Baker

Pontotoc

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