Editorial Roundup: Georgia

Dalton Daily News. September 13, 2023.

Editorial: Get your flu shot

It’s that time of year again for flu shots.

Health care experts say it is not too early to get your flu shot.

Here are the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control for flu shots:

•CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.

•While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the viruses that research suggests will be most common.

•Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

•Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year before flu activity begins in their community. Health experts also recommend getting vaccinated early this year.

•Vaccination of high-risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.

•People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children; pregnant women; people with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease; and people 65 years and older.

•Vaccination also is important for health care workers and other people who live with or care for high-risk people to keep from spreading flu to them.

•Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for infants should be vaccinated instead.

Both for those who have and those who have not gotten the flu vaccine this season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these recommendations to reduce your chances of getting sick and to manage your sickness if you do:

•Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

•While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

•If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)

•Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

•Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

•Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

•Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs such as the flu.

It should also be remembered that the hospital emergency room is not the first line of defense for battling the flu.

A visit to a primary health care physician or after-hours clinic may be necessary if symptoms warrant but the emergency room should be reserved for emergencies.

Although vaccine effectiveness varies from year to year, recent studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Flu vaccines have a good safety record. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years. Extensive research supports the safety of seasonal flu vaccines.


Valdosta Daily Times. September 7, 2023.

Editorial: No reason to deny Trump’s place on ballot

On Dec. 20, 1860, South Carolina seceded from the United States. Over the next several months, 10 more states separated from the union and the federal government had begun the effort to reunite the country by force. Five bloody years later, it was successful.

On June 13, 1866, Congress passed the 14th Amendment, which bestowed citizenship on anyone born in the United States — most notably the recently freed slaves. The amendment had other sections, though, and the amendment’s third section is making the news now.

Section 3 declared that anyone who took an oath to support the Constitution then engaged in insurrection or rebellion against it cannot hold public office. Prior to the secession, many of the Confederacy’s leaders had served as congressmen, as military officers or in other positions where they swore allegiance to the Constitution. This section was intended to prevent them from coming back into power in the nation they’d rebelled against.

The section included a “loophole” whereby a vote of two-thirds of each house of Congress could remove such disability. The 14th Amendment was ratified by the states in 1868, but by 1872 Congress had voted to allow the former Confederates to return to public office.

Between then and 2022 the section was used only once, when Congress refused to seat a socialist accused of giving support to the nation’s enemies in World War I.

On Jan. 6, 2021, a crowd of protesters gathered outside the U.S. Capitol, encouraged by President Donald Trump. The protest turned into a riot and some members of the crowd made their way into the Capitol building. Among them was a county commissioner from New Mexico

In 2022, a state judge in New Mexico removed that county commissioner from office because of his role in the protest.

There is no doubt that the events of Jan. 6, 2021, disrupted the confirmation of states’ votes, and little doubt that doing so was the protesters’ intent. But does that rise to the level of insurrection?

The New Mexico judge said it did, and so does a lawsuit from the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which has filed suit to remove Trump’s name from the ballot for president based on the same logic.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — the same official who stood up to Trump’s demand that he “find 11,780 votes” so Trump would win Georgia in 2020 — pushed back in an essay published in the Wall Street Journal.

“Invoking the 14th Amendment is merely the newest way of attempting to short-circuit the ballot box,” Raffensperger said. “Since 2018, Georgia has seen losing candidates and their lawyers try to sue their way to victory. It doesn’t work. Stacey Abrams’s claims of election mismanagement following the 2018 election were rejected in court, as were Mr. Trump’s after the 2020 election.

“Mr. Trump might win the nomination and general election. Or he could lose. The outcomes should be determined by the people who show up to make their preference known in primaries (including Georgia’s on March 12) and the general election on Nov. 5. A process that denies voters their chance to be the deciding factor in the nomination and election process would erode the belief in our uniquely American representative democracy.”

Raffensperger is exactly right.

Trump has been indicted in four cases, totaling 91 felony charges — but none of those charges are insurrection or rebellion. An indictment is more than a mere accusation, but it is less than a conviction. As with any other defendant, the law must consider him innocent until he’s proven guilty.

Short of a conviction, the voters must be able to decide who will lead them or our system is not a democracy.