McKenzie 03-06-01

We can almost hear the legislative gears grinding up here

You gotta love our legislators, bless their hearts.

Some of them have their own special ways of dealing with the state’s problems.

For instance, here Mississippi resides at its usual place near or on the bottom of practically every education rating known to humankind and with so many teachers leaving the state our highways are clogged, and our legislators respond with measures:

(*) allowing students to drop out of school at age 15,

(*) requiring public schools to display the slogan, “In God We Trust” in every classroom.

For instance, Mississippi’s economy is going through its roughest time in a decade, causing budgets to be slashed pretty much beyond recognition, and our legislators respond by:

(*) considering support for building you ready for this? a second coliseum in Jackson, one that might help the local minor league ice hockey team stay put.

Now, I ask you: Have we got some deep thinkers in charge of this state, or what?

Sen. Tommy Robertson, a Republican from Moss Point, has said the “majority of problems” in classrooms are caused by students 16 and 17 years old and that, “If they’re not interested in going to school, they ought to be out there with their parents or out working. They don’t need to be in school with good, law-abiding students causing problems.”

Twenty-five other state senators including our very own Jack Gordon from Okolona, Bill Minor of Holly Springs and John White of Booneville evidently agree with Robertson’s wisdom, because they helped pass this bill.

So if this thing were to ever actually become law, though it’s doubtful it’ll ever see the light of day in the House of Representatives, what we’ll have is young people who wouldn’t act right in a supervised environment out on their own doing whatever feels right, which, of course, means they’ll all rush right down to their local churches and community service centers to volunteer their time for charitable causes. Right?

Of course, it could mean that a good many of them will become criminals and after they’re through destroying lives and property we’ll get to pay for their room and board on the Big Farm over in the Delta, but I don’t think so.

Surely, our enlightened leaders in the Senate would’ve considered that. Wouldn’t they?

And this deal about posting “In God We Trust” in every classroom really isn’t that big a deal at all. It won’t become law because we’ve been told frequently efforts to pass stringent hate crimes legislation come to mind that, by golly, we just can’t legislate morality.

Surely, our enlightened leaders in the legislature will stay true to their word. Won’t they?

Oh, that deal about building another coliseum in Jackson? Why that’s just good business.

Never mind that we’ve got this 60,000-seat football stadium down there that is used about a dozen times a year.

If we build another coliseum next to it, we’ll be able to attract all sorts of events and don’t worry about the details all sorts of people will come.

And besides, our man Minor from Holly Springs, tells us the minor league hockey team only wants the state to back $12 million of the $24 million investment, so if it fails, Mississippi will only be stuck with half the debt.

(And, presumably, half a coliseum to go along with the other perfectly good coliseum we already own.)

Really, now. What’s another $12 million in flush times like these? Right?

Now, you tell me we don’t have some of the great minds of the 21st century watching out for us.

Bless our hearts.

Danny McKenzie is associate editor of the Daily Journal.