Some random thoughts…
It’s a small wonder that things are the way they are in Georgia. The state brings in oodles and oodles of money through the oodles and oodles of Georgia Lottery games and tickets, cash that is earmarked for the educational coffers. Yet, the state continues to flounder in the bottom rankings nationwide when it comes to education, and teachers’ salaries. Low paying jobs and poor academics are a result. Where exactly is the money going? Some accountability might be nice, people!
Then comes this week’s election. As the late folk singer Phil Ochs once sang, back in 1969, “It was a used car dealer’s election and the choice was rather small.” Man alive! What the heck was that all about? I swear I almost heard campaign ads saying, “Candidate A is less corrupt than Candidate B, and thus deserves your vote!” It is indeed a sorry state of affairs and the future looks to be just more of the same. While I recognize that there seems to be a determined effort by the southern states to maintain a separate sense of identity, all of this rebellion against “Obamacare,” a “coulda been better but at least it’s a step in the right direction” law that was passed to at least ensure that some form of health insurance is available to all Americans, is counter-productive. Unless someone has a better idea of something that works and is practicable, (Actually Medicaid for all fits that bill, but it takes the blessed insurance companies out of the blessed equation, so it’s a no-go there) then all this swimming against the tide is going to do is make everybody tired.
Locally, nothing much has changed. We can now begin to put the final nail in the coffin of the Wal-Mart or no Wal-Mart discussion, since one is opening soon in Locust Grove, barely five miles from the Butts County line. It actually seems to be the smartest move for that company, since they’ll get spillover customers from Tanger Outlets and the other stores in that area, including a lot of traffic that stops by from Interstate 75. It doesn’t help Butts County much, but will offer some employment opportunities for those ambitious enough to drive the whole fifteen minute drive from Jackson.
Finally, I have to question some strange police behavior that I witnessed last week in the Third Street area near Bank of America, and near my own place of business. It was late afternoon, and a Georgia State Trooper, in one of those blue and orange sporty little numbers, was zooming out of the BOA lot with lights a’blazing. Five times I counted him blasting through the late day traffic and pulling vehicles over. After the fourth time in a half hour I hopped in my car and took Second Street down to Covington Street, where he had pulled over his latest victim in the United Bank parking lot. I pulled into the sandwich shop lot across the street and watched. He was talking to the driver and then left without ticketing him. Afterwards that driver pulled into the sandwich shop lot next to me so I inquired as to why he was pulled over. He told me that it was because his windows were, according to the officer, tinted too darkly, a charge he disputed.
The reason I question this police behavior is because with all of the crime that goes on in other areas and on the interstate, and because we have two very visible and constantly present police departments here in Jackson, it seems to be a big waste of taxpayer money for a state trooper to be killing time worrying about tinted windows, especially when he wasn’t issuing tickets. Better use of taxpayers’ money, especially in this day and age, is encouraged.