The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

APRIL  2005

                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.







Despite Grim News: 
There is Hope

by JC Bowman

In recent days we have been bombarded with so much negative news, if you were not on Prozac before these events chances are you may need it before too long.  In Tallahassee we have once again garnered national attention. It is great when a giant news truck takes up three parking spaces and you have to walk the extra four blocks, it gives you time to ponder life, people and news. No matter how depressing the situation I keep repeating "every human has a divine purpose, according to God's master plan." 

Here is just a snapshot of the grim news: 

The Robert Blake trial is over.  He may have done the crime, but he will not be doing the time.  Scott Peterson is muttering they are going to give me "the juice."  Meanwhile the juice is on the loose.  O. J. is playing the expensive golf courses in South Florida.  Not only was Peterson given the death penalty, he was also fined ten thousand dollars.  Maybe O. J. could at least offer to help his prodigy out on the fine.  Of course pretty boy Scott Peterson probably wishes he had Martha Stewart as a cell mate rather than the 6 foot 5 San Quentin veteran, known only as Bubba.  In the spirit of College Basketball's March Madness maybe Robert Blake can now advance to face the Scott Peterson jury? 

It would be justice if Peterson could have as his death row cellmate Brian Nichols.    You remember Brian Nichols, the Atlanta rape defendant accused of fatally shooting Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes, court stenographer Julie Brandau, Fulton County Sheriff's Sgt. Hoyt Teasley and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent David Wilhelm.  Because of our fear that Nichols may be perceived as guilty, we insist that he be given dress clothes and be unshackled in court appearances.  Then we ask a 5 foot tall grandmother to escort the 6 foot, 2 inch former college football player to the courtroom.  And we wonder what went wrong?   

Speaking of someone I would personally like to see strung up by his testicles: John Evander Couey.  This waste of DNA and convicted sex offender with a long criminal history has breathed our air for too long.  I grieve for the family of Jessica Marie Lunsford and the citizens of Homosassa, Florida.  Regardless of your position, surely there is no debate that Couey should not be given more rights than Terri Schiavo.  The saddest

J C Bowman

-J. C. Bowman, a native of Cleveland, is a well informed and outspoken conservative educator.  He is Director for the Center for Education Innovation at Florida State University. Prior to this, he served as the Director for the Florida Department of Education Choice Office and as the Chief Policy Analyst of the Education Policy Unit for Florida Governor Jeb Bush.


part of these two unrelated Florida stories is that Ms.  Schiavo will die long before Couey. 

I have absolutely no use for pedophiles, child molesters and predators or those who abuse children.  I am not talking about proper discipline.  I am talking about abuse.  If you are a long time Bradley County resident, you only need to recall the case of Melisha Gibson. The impact of this tragic and horrific 1976 murder of four year-old Melisha made many in the community keenly aware of child abuse. It is a stigma still attached to the community because of a sadistic monster named Ronald Maddux, who was the step-father. His parole date is scheduled in 2022, we should start those letters now to deny parole.  (For more information on this case visit:

It can be argued that the death penalty does nothing but accomplish our need for revenge.  Then so be it.  The same must be thought of in regards to pedophilia.  We must do more as a society than merely allowing local law enforcement agencies to notify the public about convicted sex offenders living, working or visiting their communities.  Sure, this has helped expose the pedophile and allowed parents to better protect their children. What impact has it had in the low income part of our communities?  Just ask the Lunsford's.

I have never seen any research that articulates that there is a cure for pedophilia.  Research supports that there is medicine available that curbs the sex-drive of the perpetrator if administrated accurately and regularly. If someone is a pedophile they are a time bomb that always ticks.  What they want is sex with children. This potentially places every child at risk. When the child is abused, the innocence is destroyed and the child is no longer allowed to be a child.  There is little doubt that problems will arise later in life.  If the harm is not in the present time, then it will come in the future: fears, negative self-concept, disharmony and the feeling to be an outsider.  Dr Frans Gieles reports that the recidivism rate for pedophiles is very high: about 90%.  Policymakers need to make tougher laws to protect children from these predators.     

Then of course there is the currently unconvicted Michael Jackson.  Here is one of the weirdest people to have ever lived in our lifetime.  There is certainly no more commercial value that Michael Jackson can add to the business, education or entertainment community.  Even if Jackson is completely a victim and found not guilty, do you trust him with your children?  If he is guilty there is also no cure, and his celebrity status does not exempt him from the fate of Blake, Peterson, Simpson, Nichols, Couey, and Maddux implied or deserved. 

Someone who may have felt at home with the "prince of pop" is the equally bizarre Jeff Weise.  Jeff Weise, used to paint his face white in gothic style and dress all in black, according to fellow students.  I am not a big dress code advocate, as it forces some children to internalize issues rather than act out, which may lead to other problems.  But rational adults need to use their heads for more than a hat rest.  How could people miss this strange behavior for such a long period of time? 

Obsessed with violence, Weise not only destroyed innocent lives at Red Lake High School, he changed the remote town of Red Lake forever.  Red Lake is located on a Native American reservation close to the Canadian border. About half of the 10,000 members of the Red Lake Chippewa Tribe live on the reservation. What made Weise, a Native American even more bizarre was his obsession with Nazi symbols, and involvement with the Libertarian National Socialist Green Party.  I am for freedom of speech and expression, but there are limits and websites that allow children to participate unchecked bear some of the responsibility for the subsequent actions of its members.  Oh, sure the left will quickly look to blame access to guns as the culprit, socialists will blame society and after the finger pointing is over what will be accomplished?  Ten people dead and a comeback tour by Neil Young. That is the most heartbreaking commentary of our society.   

This has been a tough year so far.  But there is a better day coming. There have been times personally and as a nation we feel life and country are spinning out of control.  The naysayers call these symptoms a crisis of spirit.  Then great leaders step forward.  In 1981, Ronald Reagan took office. "The crisis we are facing today," he said in his first inaugural address, requires "our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds. . . . And after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans."

After that speech the American people responded with renewed patriotism and self-confidence. Capturing the mood of the people Reagan used the slogan "Morning Again in America" in 1984.  He won 49 out of 50 states.  Those with faith let me offer even more hope with a little twist on John F. Kennedy's famous inaugural address and use of Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life: "So my fellow Christians, ask not what God can do for your life plan, ask what your life can do for God's plan."       

  --J. C. Bowman is a public policy analyst who resides in Tallahassee, Florida. He can be reached by email at: