A news release this week announced that Ed Bridges is retiring as head of the Alabama Department of Archives and History. None of us is completely indispensable, but Ed Bridges is about as close as one can get to being just that. He has led the department for the past 30 years, and it has gone from a musky building with dull displays to an interesting and active history of Alabama! Bridges is smart, friendly and dedicated to an ever expanding accurate and visual historical record of Alabama. Needless to say, we like him and the job he has done with the Archives and History Department.
A friend sent an e-mail this week all about this relatively new word “Ineptocracy” (in-ep-toc'-ra-cy). Don’t pick up your trusty dictionary, the word will not be there. Try an on-line search. Google describes it as “a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.” Google goes on to use Greece as one example of Ineptocracy. We are embarrassed to admit it, but our initial picture of Ineptocracy was the good ‘ole USA! True, Greece is further down the road that the USA, but our country is picking up speed as we go further down the hill.
The part of the special day in Elba last Saturday that was a big hit with participants was the pontoon boat trips down Pea River. Many of those making the trip had never been on Pea River and came back amazed at the beauty. The timing was perfect, there was plenty of water to keep the boats afloat, the wild flowers and trees were in bloom, the weather was agreeable, etc. This might not be such a hit if done every year, but hopefully the next Pea River trips will not be as long in occurring as it has been since the last such event.
The Alabama legislature got some good things done and left some good things undone. However, that is par for the course. We always pray that there are more goods than bads as they wind down to adjournment each year. Their General Fund budget passed in the waning hours, but leaves us upset. To balance the budget, voters MUST approve again taking millions from the oil revenue reserve fund. It is worded in such a way that this money is not for the pork barrel projects, but for the “must fund” parts of the budget. Voters are over the barrel on this one. The lawmakers are probably smiling at voters and thinking “Got You This Time!” Our legislature will continue finding excuses to take money from this fund until it too is empty.
Our grandchildren have not made this column lately and that has caused a couple of other proud grandparents to question “what is going on?” Well, they are still grand and continue to make a couple of grandparents proud! The tendency to detail everything, down to how well they tie their shoes, is a mistake many of us proud grandparents are prone to make. Right now our plan is to let you find that out on your own - like by watching them tie those shoes :-)