Can’t predict what lies ahead
Now that the controversy over Brett Kavanaugh and his appointment to the Supreme Court is settled, I would like to remind fellow readers of an important fact that was overlooked. Whether you agree or not with his elevation to our highest court, no one can predict (except the judge himself) how any justice will rule on any case that comes before the court.
Chief Justice Roberts was appointed by a Republican president but he upheld and was the deciding vote to save the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). President Eisenhower regretted appointing Chief Justice Earl Warren as he made many rulings that went against the philosophy of the Republican Party.
There are many more examples of this during the history of the court. I am not a Democrat but it was wrong of the Republicans not to consider Judge Merritt Garland to the court. President Obama was in office at the time of the nomination and he should have gotten a fair hearing. A final comment, the Senate advises and consents on nominees, not advise and destroy.
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A new smoking danger
Currently throughout the United States we are witnessing the beginnings of a new generation of addicts. The widespread rise to popularity of alternative smoking devices, called vaporizers, has undone multiple decades of tobacco and smoking reform, leading to a substantial increase in the number of nicotine consuming individuals.
Vaporizers deliver nicotine to the user without the tar and carcinogens associated with smoking a cigarette, however there is still little evidence to assume they are without risk. Recently, many young people, ranging from middle schoolers to college students, who would never smoke tobacco are starting to vape. As a current college student, through my own experience I have watched the exponential growth of vaping and one brand, Juul Labs, has skyrocketed vaping to another level of popularity.
The Juul is a tiny device, however the nicotine content found in the Juul is far higher than other devices on the market. One puff from a Juul delivers more nicotine than an actual cigarette and one serving sized “pod” contains the same amount of nicotine a whole pack of cigarettes does.
Designed to help individuals stop smoking, the Juul has become incredibly popular amongst young individuals. Without realizing it, young people are becoming addicted to the fiendish substance and the addiction is often downplayed without care. I believe we are reaching a point where it is imperative to inform people about nicotine and the possible effects, so that the continued growth of nicotine addicts can be stunted.
The Georgia National Rip Off Fair
How dare they advertise the Georgia National Fair as family fun? I’d like to meet the families who can actually afford to go to the fair. The average family of four will spend approximately $250-$300 at the fair; that’s electricity or groceries or insurance for one month for many families.
So many Middle Georgia families living on tight budgets will forgo the basic necessities of life just so their kids won’t be the only kids in their class to say, “No we didn’t go to the fair, my mom bought groceries instead.” I’m OK with the wristband and a nominal admission fee for adults but when vendors (hired by fair officials) charge $1 for a cheap plastic grocery bag (that we all have at home) just so I can carry all the overpriced fair junk my kids wasted their money on, I am done! It’s cheaper for me to take them to Six Flags.
Shame on you fair gougers and those who hired you. Never going back; my kid will be the one to say we bought groceries instead and the bag was free!
Safe way to vote
I’m concerned that our existing electronic voting machines and system are vulnerable to cyber-attacks and hacking such that election results could be changed. What can be done? Use a paper ballot. Is this even possible? Yes, vote absentee.
Some background: Georgia is one of five states that still use paperless electronic voting machines. Georgia was first in the nation to adopt this type of electronic paperless voting machines in 2002. There were problems with vote counts in 2002 and continue today. Latest example: Habersham County’s Mud Creek precinct had 276 voters registered and for their 2018 primary election. On election day 670 ballots were counted. Wow!
A related problem with our paperless system is that there is no way to audit what’s reported compared to actual votes cast. This is like trusting your checking account to the bank with no way to verify what they say is your balance. For these reasons, my wife and I will vote using paper ballots.
How? Vote with an absentee ballot. Get an application from the Bibb County Board of Elections (2325 Pio Nono Ave., 478-621-6622) or online www.maconbibb.us/project/board-of-elections. Mail in your application. You’ll receive a ballot back in the mail. Follow directions. Complete you ballot. Mail it back (extra postage required) or hand-carry it to the Board of Elections.
Remember that the absentee ballot application deadline is Nov. 2.
Protect public transit
Recently, the city of Macon cut funding to prominent agencies in the Macon community in order to decrease their spending for the fiscal 2019 year. While it is understandable that they had to decrease spending, the impact that this decision will have on the Macon community is enormous.
One of the many agencies that lost funding from the city of Macon was the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority. The agency exists to provide public transportation for the people of Macon, especially for those living in poverty with no other way to get around. Public transit requires a large amount of funding from the city, but for many people living in Macon, it is their only mode of transport, and for some of them it is a matter of life and death.
It was published in The Telegraph that there are 3,000 citizens daily who use the public transit that Macon provided, many of whom need the bus line in order to get to the medical treatment they need to survive. For others, it is the only way to get to work and provide for their family. Without access to work and medical attention, it will be a catastrophe for many of those living in poverty.
With this in mind, we should keep the public transport and find a way to reduce the spending so that our city can have the best of both worlds.