Brainstorms 3/16/2017

Ferrin Cox

Thursday, Mar 16,2017

Friday, about noontime, a driver almost caused the two of us to collide. Thank goodness we were paying attention to road conditions and not texting or playing on Facebook! It turned out to have an amusing moment (after the fact). As she coolly darted out in front of us, it was noticed that her car had the sticker “In God We Trust”. Our first thought was this woman was thumbing her nose at all those of us she was repeatedly abusing. Maybe that was not the case. However our advice to her would be to also consider that us drivers she is darting out in front of may not be listening to God as much as we should and the results would be not the near miss we had with her but an actual wreck. She continued on darting in and out of traffic to get where she was going a second faster before finally turning in at a shopping center. We wanted a better look at her but didn’t dare try to match that gal’s driving antics.

Sunshine Week celebration is designed to put the spotlight on openness – particularly in government. It is something the established news outlets have championed for ages. A borrowed quote kinda sums it up. “Now, more than ever, Americans are urged to recognize the importance of open government to a robust democracy. Access to meetings, minutes and records of our elected and appointed representatives is a key element of the constitutional right to petition the government for redress of grievances. It is not strictly for the benefit of the news media.” So said ASNE President Mizell Stewart III, of the Gannett/USA TODAY Network. In spite of the long standing Sunshine Week events, it gets harder and harder to get full access to the people’s business. We often get into trouble for “letting the sun shine in” and reporting things that happen (or should happen) and thus can identify with a quote from the late President Harry Truman, “I am not giving them hell, I am just telling the truth and they think it is hell.”

In 1986 computer giant Microsoft started selling stock in the company to the public. The original price was $21 per share. Some person with nothing to do has figured out that if a person had invested $1,000 in the computer company at that time, it would be valued at $740,000 today. Now we don’t know if that included any dividends or not, but it does not matter, three quarters of a million dollars is nothing to ignore . . . at least not by any of us working stiffs in the day-to-day battle of just trying to keep the wolf away from the door.

It was a tragic ending to the search for a missing Samson citizen last week when diligent police work and an amazing group of volunteers and highly trained tracking dogs found the body of 38-year-old Ben Nelson in Pea River just south of Elba. We salute our local officials for their tireless work, the individuals from the volunteer Search & Rescue unit and especially the ability of both groups to work together for a successful result without worrying about who was getting credit for the end results. This again reminds us of what can be accomplished by individuals who are not after personal glory.

We just got a bulletin that Alabama voters will be voting on a bond issue for building the massive new prisons proposed by our governor. This will cost many, many borrowed dollars that our grandchildren will be repaying.