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Radically Inept
Saturday, March 27, 2004
  In Birmingham Gone to Birminghan for an overnight with my brother and an old friend, which actually consists of playing a lot of video games (mostly them, since I don't play much except Solitaire; the learning curve hardly seems worth it). So expect few posts until tomorrow morning.

Go Yellow Jackets! But a little disappointed that UAB lost, and Alabama is not looking pretty with no time,so... I really like rooting for old favorites when they are the under dogs, but it's better if they go on to win..

It was by my brother and I, with him driving, and we stopped at the last exit on I 20, just before the Alabama line. The gas station billed itself as the number one Georgia lotto seller. One of those truckstop/convenience store combination, one side is all diesels and pull thru's, the other is the regular fuel. Anyway, went inside and it was fairly crowded. I thought that was odd at first, and then noticed in addition to the usual truck stop/convience store fare, people seated on two long lunchroom tables and another grouping in a seperate glassed in area on fast food furniture. When I looked closer, they were all playing scratch offs or watching the video numbers game. From the piles of used scracth-offs and numbers slips, they were spending money.

Alabama voters decided against a state lotto system as a source of revenue, and these people in someway argued the voters case. These people bet what looked like hard earned money. The 30ish looking woman at the counter said the biggest pay outs to date were one for $1k and another for $7k. Georgia sees big revenue from these places along the Alablama and I think the Tennesee border, which argues the counter-point: state revenue. Alabama's inability to control on-line gaming funds and item purchases from streaming out of state, a difficulty shared among the states, may not be politically resolvable in the near term. This is a related issue, but it generates a whole a whole different set problems, now that I think of it, not germane to my goal here.

I'd say as long as people gamble on Bingo, office pools, Thursday night poker and church raffles Alablma might as well get some of the action. Of course, Alabama can boast about the poor amount and quality of the services, including health services, the state provides citizens and the poor school system provide to the children as proof that it really doesn't require the revenue. However, I think this might be a little short sighted. If the legislature crafts the enabling legislation properly, well then surely the resulting graft flows to the good ol' boy network regardless. A change in the collection system means nothing if they allocate the funds into the same coffers, and an advantage lies in the cost savings realized from paying labor with state tax dollars.

Looks like we're going somewhere...
[I'll cite this later] "When the going gets weird, the wierd get going" still holds true.

Wow, absolutely required a re-edit, and might need more (re-edited 3/29) 
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