The Madison County Journal
June 26, 2002
Do as I say, not as I do, is an old saying that marks the attitude of the hypocrite. This description clearly applies to the state of Georgia.
Georgia operates one of the larges gambling enterprises in America today. The call it a lottery. But it is just another game of chance where far more people lose money than win.
You see the announcements on the nightly TV news. They tell you that some thousands of Georgians won a given number of millions of dollars that day. What they never tell you is how much the rest of the players lost. That is because the list of losers outdistances the list of winners by a massive majority.
To make matters worse, the vast majority of people who gamble on the state lottery and lose are the ones who can least afford it. The state lottery ads paint beautiful pictures of people suddenly becoming rich as a lure to those who have little to pay up on a distant chance that they may gain wealth without working for it.
While the state runs its gambling enterprise, it prohibits any private companies from doing the same thing. Video poker machines are a gambling enterprise, virtually identical in form and content to the state lottery. If anything, you have a better chance of winning with the machines than you have with the states lottery tickets.
Now gambling is gambling. You lay down your dollar and you take your chances. If video poker is damaging to Georgias poor, so is the state lottery. If video poker takes unfair advantage of people by offering instant riches, so does the lottery. The only difference is who keeps the money you lose. Is it the store manager who owns the machines, or the states bureaucrats?
It appears to me that the only reason for the state to prohibit video poker is a desire to eliminate the competition. They want all the action for themselves.
I am a strong believer in individual liberty as long as those individuals are willing to accept the consequences of their choices. If you choose to gamble away your hard-earned money, you have that right. It doesnt matter to me if you throw away your money on the state lottery or feed it into the video machines.
Now, I do not approve of gambling in any form. I never play the machines, and I never buy lottery tickets. If I wish to help some person go to school, I will hand him or her what cash I have on hand. That way, they get my entire gift, not a small percentage.
And another thing: I dont think you have a right to gamble away my money. For that reason, I would prohibit anyone receiving government benefits, whether in the form of food stamps, rent subsidies or welfare checks, from playing either video machines of the states lottery. Other than that, private gambling or state sponsored gambling should be treated the same.
I have never liked hypocrites. The fact that my state government is now the leading hypocrite in my life is especially disturbing. If gambling is wrong, end all forms of gambling including the lottery. If gambling is to be made legal, make it legal for all of us.
Dont go around saying Do as I say, not as I do.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His web page can be accessed at www.mcga.net. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Adam Fouche
The Madison County Journal
June 26, 2002
In the Meantime
Munson gives account of Fouches Nerf football injury
SCOTT HOWARD: Well, good afternoon everyone. Were out here at Hurricane Shoals for the MainStreet Newspapers Employee Picnic Bowl. Weve seen these three faces around MainStreet Newspapers for a while. Zach Mitcham comes in by way of Oconee and Athens. Hes been 18 for 20 with no interceptions and three touchdowns during his career in the office hallway. Ben Munro and Adam Fouche are both seniors, working on their fifth year here. I believe they both were redshirted back in 1998. Theyve also both spent their entire career here. And now, here to tell you all about it is the legendary voice of MainStreet Newspapers, Larry Munson.
LARRY MUNSON: Thanks Scott. Get the picture as they line up for the kickoff. Mitchams donning his khaki britches and solid blue collared shirt. Fouche will come to the line in khaki and blue as well. Munros colors look a lot like a frat guy on Saturday morning. He dons the khaki britches and white bulldog shirt with red letters and black trim. The sun is just peeking over the pine trees as fans continue to file in. Theres a lot of swimsuits and bare skin just past the West endzone near the water section. The fans are on their feet now. Lets pause 10 seconds for column identification on the MainStreet Employee Picnic column network.
YOURE READING THE ACCOUNT OF THE PICNIC GAME IN ADAM FOUCHES COLUMN IN THE MADISON COUNTY JOURNAL. ANY REPRINTING WITHOUT FOUCHES EXPRESS WRITTEN CONSENT IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.
MUNSON: Loren, whatta ya got?
LOREN SMITH: Well, Larry. I talked to these three guys just a moment ago and each of them is pretty full from the pregame meal. I also found out that Munro was out pretty late last night, which might make a difference in the fourth quarter. Well have to watch and see. Back to you Larry.
MUNSON: OK. Mitcham and Fouche are going to come up on offense first. Theyll be running from left to right across your newspaper page. Mitcham will step up behind center. Fouche lines up as the single back.
HOWARD: You know they said before the game Larry that we would see a lot of this single back formation. And theyre coming right out with it in the beginning.
MUNSON: Mitcham will snap the ball and take the snap. He fakes the ball to Fouche, but Munro doesnt bite. And he wouldnt. Mitcham drops back. Hes got a thousand seconds back there. Fouche wheels around and cuts across the field. He stops, fakes right. Fouche goes down! My goodness. Adam Fouche hits the ground clutching his right knee! He doesnt seem to be getting up from this one.
HOWARD:: Larry, looking at the replay, it looks like Fouche may have dislocated his knee.
MUNSON: He was open by a million miles and old lady luck just flew right out of here. My God! He was moving fast and he just got a hobnailed boot shoved right in his knee. And hes still lying on the ground. My God! He had Munro beat and old lady luck just grabbed his heart, threw it on the ground and stomped on it. And I dont think hes going to be able to put it back in. Loren, whatta ya got?
SMITH: Well, Larry, looks like Fouche did dislocate his knee. I havent been able to talk to anyone yet. I did see him grab his knee cap and put it back in place. By the way Larry, I ran into the company owner from 1952 last night at dinner and we had a good time telling old stories. Back to you Larry.
MUNSON: Scott Howard did you see him put that thing back in? I think I saw him put that knee right back in there.
HOWARD: It looked like he did from here Larry. You can see theyve got a crowd around him now. I dont suspect hell be back out in this game. No. Looks like the trainers are going to carry him off the field. Im going to head down and get a few words from the other players.
MUNSON: It looks like theyre going to stop this one for now. I know we havent been playing long but those seconds just ticked off the clock like molasses. I thought that play was going to last until Sunday.
HOWARD: This is Scott Howard down on the sidelines with Ben Munro. Ben, you were the only defensive back on that play. Did you see what happened?
MUNRO: Well I read the play pretty good off the line. I didnt bite the fake and stuck right with Fouche. He faked one way and got me. Next thing I know, he was on the ground. I looked down and he grabbed his kneecap and put it back on top of his knee. Personally, I think we ought to just drag him off the field and let us play. We had the momentum going our way.
HOWARD: Thanks Ben. Ive also got Zach Mitcham here with me. Zach, we all knew this was going to be a pretty big game. Is that how you expected to see it end?
MITCHAM: Not really. I knew that play could get Adam past Munro and I was just about to let go of the ball when I heard the crack.
HOWARD: What was the sound like?
MITCHAM: It was like the sound you make when you snap a chicken leg off the thigh, all those tendons and ligaments popping lose.
HOWARD: Thanks Zach. Theyre pulling Zach off to the car to drive Fouche in to the hospital. Let me see if I can grab a quick word with him first. Adam, how do you feel right now?
FOUCHE: (expletive) I (expletive) hurt real (expletive) bad (expletive).
HOWARD: Well Larry, there you have it. Looks like the game is over and Fouche is on his way to the hospital.
MUNSON: Thatll be a big loss. He was Mitchams only guy in the backfield. We end the game in a 0-0 tie. Stay tuned for the fifth quarter show coming up on the MainStreet Employee Picnic column network.
Adam Fouche is an injured reporter for MainStreet Newspapers. His email is email@example.com