Banks County Opinions...

August 2, 2000

By Drew Brantley
The Banks County News
August 2, 2000

Names In Games Aren't To Blame
When I was in high school, I lived in a town with a dentist named Dr. Payne. It was a big joke. How could it not be? Pain is one thing most people hope to avoid at the dentist. Going to Dr. Payne seems like a bad idea. He did OK though. Better than the local Optimist Club, which folded in 1986.
There was another man in town who did construction named Mr. House. While that is not as funny, it does fit very well.
Lance, Boyle & Frye would be a great law firm to have on your side. Settles & Settles might not be the best for you in every situation.
Some people's jobs and last names seem to go together really well or not at all. Anybody can pick up a nickname that fits their occupation. But living up to or overcoming a last name given at birth is something special.
In sports, several players have had success in spite of the names they were given.
Commerce football coach Steve Savage does not live up to his name most of the time, but neither does Jefferson coach Bob Gurley.
Mike and Joey Love have had success on local race tracks. There's nothing really good or bad about having Love for a name. But it is fun to write headlines for.
Madison County's Neal Power has used his name to good results at Atlanta Dragway.
NHRA star John Force has a good name for any kind of competition. Drag racing just seems a perfect fit for his name.
Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus had a great name for the tough, mean and relentless style he played with.
Bob Walk was a Major League Baseball pitcher who had one good year with the Atlanta Braves before having several with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Walk would seem to be a great name for a leadoff batter. For a pitcher it does not work as well.
Early Wynn was a legendary pitcher with a great name. Knowing that your pitcher is a Wynn should instill confidence every time he takes the mound. Proving he deserved his name, Wynn finished his career with 300 wins.
NBA player Frank Brickowski has a bad name for a basketball player. Nobody who has to shoot the ball wants anything to do with a brick. Throwing up bricks is not something to be remembered for.
One school I covered had three brothers, who kicked for the local football team. Their name was Schenck, pronounced like shank. Golfers and kickers wouldn't want to be reminded with that too much.
Tiger Woods is ambiguously interesting as a golfer's name. Woods is a place a golfer does not want to hit the ball. Also the name Woods implies that he would be good off the tee, which Tiger is. But he is also pretty handy with the irons, wedges and putter.
Drew Brantley is the sports editor for The Commerce News and The Banks County News

The Banks County News
August 2, 2000

Remember to go to the poll Tuesday
Banks County voters should be sure to return to the polls on Tuesday.
With only one race on the ballot, turnout could very likely be low in this run-off election. But this shouldn't be the case, because it is a very important race that will be decided on Tuesday.
Banks County voters will be electing a probate judge to lead this county over the next four years. Banks County has been very fortunate to have Milton Dalton's leadership and expertise serving in this position, but he has decided to step down. Let's all remember to go to the polls and select the right person to take over this post.
All registered Banks County voters, regardless of party, will be allowed to vote in the Aug. 8 run-off for probate judge between Ben Whisnant and Betty Jean Evans Thomas.
An earlier article in The Banks County News mistakenly reported that only those voters who cast a Republican ballot in the primaries would be allowed to vote in the run-off. The News regrets the error.

By Adam Fouche
The Banks County News
August 2, 2000

Our laws have a mouthful of false teeth
This country's criminal justice system is in a serious need for some dental work.
Our prisons are overcrowded. The crime rate continues to rise. And the war on drugs and violence has done nothing more than a bellyflop in a pool of failure.
"Let's make more laws aimed at curbing criminal violence," scream the softies making our laws today. Well, Mr. Lawmaker, you've been doing that for 100 years now and the only thing it's accomplished is getting you re-elected, which is all you care about anyway.
We already have thousands of laws addressing every conceivable crime. But those laws have nothing more than a mouthful of false teeth that don't hurt the criminals they are intended to punish.
The whole problem boils down to deterrence. The current prison system isn't a deterrent. Sitting in jail lifting weights, talking to teenage girls on the Internet and getting three warm meals a day isn't a deterrent.
Most hardened criminals living on the streets, stealing cars and beating up pedestrians for drug money aren't scared to go to jail. They don't care if they're arrested, because jail isn't a punishment, it's a school for criminals.
I say we make jails a living hell. Cut out recreation time. Take away the TVs and computers. Make them wear hot pink uniforms and purple flip-flops. Make them feel embarrassed to be a criminal.
Our government could save money by bringing back chain gangs. Don't contract out landscapers and private laborers. Lock prisoners together with a 50-pound chain and stick them outside in the scorching heat and freezing cold to do all the hard work. They earned it. They created their own misery. Make them pay.
Do you want to deter crime? Get tougher. Start having public beatings for vandalism and theft. Whip people in the streets when they break the law.
If you want to solve the problem, you're going to have to get radical. Tie people to street lights in the middle of town and make them wear signs professing their criminal actions. Shame and humiliate them. They probably won't want to go through it again.
Forget lethal injection. Forget the electric chair. Start hanging criminals when they murder innocent people. And do it quickly like they do in Texas. If Johnny is scared he's going to die or get beat when he robs the liquor store on the corner, he's not going to rob the liquor store on the corner.
It's time to yank out the old and rotting teeth of our justice system and put in a mouthful of venomous fangs. Fangs that sting and pierce. Fangs that painfully punish those who disregard the rights of their fellow humans. Fangs that scare criminals and deter crime.
That's what our country needs. Not more laws, but harsher deterrent.
Adam Fouche is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.







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