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Life is hopeless - so smile
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    I struggled a bit this week with the topic I wanted to cover. I’ve been so caught up in the middle of this city election fiasco, my mind is a bit muddled. Both sides of this thing are slinging so much mud, we could have a monster truck rally in the middle of town.
    To sum up the elections so far: as reported, two "bitter old women" have filed 909 voter registration challenges with the county – setting a state record for challenges that promises to put Statesboro on the map (and not in a good way) – and which threatens to disenfranchise the entire student population (except for the 86 percent that didn’t register to vote). The students are so upset about it, they have responded by taking limousines to the polls, because they want to have a say in this town so they can keep the bars open, bring back happy hour, walk home drunk without getting ticketed and pass out in their front yard – right next to the cars that they’ll soon be able to park there.
    I thought the Hollywood writers were on strike.
    Whether either side admits it or not, it’s about those who want alcohol and those who don’t. It might as well be the roaring 20’s again.
    Does anyone have an aspirin?
    Needless to say, I can’t wait for Wednesday, because I'm a bit depressed. So - as a cathartic measure - I'll discuss all the facets that comprise my general sense of hopelessness with this country.
    Part of it is the growing sense of entitlement, which started with a few folks on social security but has spread to the entire population.
    Part of it is the government nickel and diming us at every turn. Here is the current list of taxes: income, unemployment, social security, Medicare, sales, property, cigarette, liquor, inventory, gasoline, inheritance, capital gains, luxury, telephone, homeland security, registration, school and even a stamp tax (real estate). Unfortunately, I know I missed some.
    Part of it is the permission required by the government for everything we do. We need licenses for driving, marriage, business, fishing, hunting, professions, occupations, selling alcohol and owning dogs. We need a permit to build a house, remodel a house or demolish a house..
    Part of it is the vision of some poor people, who are so overweight from the subsidized government food programs, we created additional programs to make them thin again.
    Part of it is the seemingly never-ending obsession of the government to continue the war on drugs. Wouldn’t making it legal take away the thrill, bring it out of the shadows and keep our kids from sniffing 3M Dust Remover? (see police report)
    Part of it is the never-ending obsession of over-protective parents to remove all forms of responsibility from their children.
    Part of it is that guidance counselor used to mean “Career Guidance” and instead has been transformed into “Psychological Guidance” counselors, who have the authority to push Ritalin because one of the 6-year old boys won’t sit still in his seat during his “Self-Esteem” lesson.
    Part of it is right-wing pundits, who claim to be believers in God and then spew hateful and derogatory speech, not on the issues, but ad hominem.  How is claiming you have “talent on loan from God” not taking the Lord’s name in vain – or for vanity’s sake – or for marketing’s sake for that matter?
    Part of it is the environmental extremist, who thinks that a worm is more important than a person or who thinks that Al Gore – a career politician and son of a politician, with a degree in government – is some kind of meteorologist.
    Part of it…part of it…part of it…. there are so many indescribable parts. The utter lack of humanity on the roadways. Part of it…part of it. The constant worry that my son will be prepared for the future.
    But just when my depression level gets so low, I feel like I just watched “Valley of the Dolls,” I think of the guys that built SpaceShipOne.
    For those of you who don’t know, SpaceShipOne is the first non-governmental rocket to fly into outer space. Yep, a private flight into outer space. And the total cost of building the craft and getting it into orbit was just over $30 million bucks. Compare that to the $1.7 billion it cost to build Space Shuttle Endeavour, which replaced the Challenger.
    I know that seems a bit of a stretch, but any time the private sector can be 56 times more efficient than the government, it makes me smile. Really smile.
    As Nat King Cole once sang, "Smile though your heart is aching/You'll find that life is still worthwhile." I'll be smiling Wednesday, for sure.
    Phil Boyum can be seen hanging out at the polls.
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