News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


Duct tape, dueling, ball caps and smokes

Here are a few warped observations from the news desk:

First up? Big Tobacco.

The country's largest cigarette maker asked Hollywood to stop actors from smoking on the movie screen.

The reason?

Studies show that cinematic portrayals of tobacco use can entice children to smoke.

It's good to know that tobacco companies have our best interest in mind. They run educational campaigns that tell young people not to smoke. And of course, we're all familiar with their warnings on packs of cigarettes.

Here's a crazy idea.

If tobacco companies want to prevent people from smoking, why don't they QUIT MAKING CIGARETTES?

Next up? The Decatur hat ban.

You can no longer wear a baseball cap to an Austin or Decatur high basketball game.

Although it's hard to imagine that someone in Alabama would wear a ball cap to a sporting event, it has been happening right here in Decatur. Worse yet, some fans have been tilting the bill of their caps in inappropriate directions. Apparently, it's some kind of gang thing that you and I wouldn't understand.

Instead of punishing everyone, however, school officials should consider an educational campaign to help young people distinguish the north end of a ball cap from the south end.

One other note. This hat ban might work in Decatur, but don't try it at Hartselle, Hatton or Tanner.

Next up? Duct tape, naked women and government workers with too much time on their hands.

Hidden deep within a story about the ongoing e-mail calendar-girl scandal at the Morgan County Courthouse were Commissioner Stacy George's plans for safeguarding a computer disc containing evidence.

George said he left the disc in a fireproof cabinet in the data processing office. The story said he "sealed it with duct tape, signed and dated it."

They should adopt that as some kind of international computer industry standard.

One more thought on this one. With everyone at the beleaguered courthouse turning on each other, maybe we should resurrect the lost art of dueling. It would be quicker, more dignified and eliminate the need for term limits.

Last up. Freeloading legislators who get themselves high-paying jobs at junior colleges.

One quarter of the 140 members of the last Legislature had financial ties to the college system.

We paid one lawmaker almost $100,000 for jobs at two community colleges.

One of his duties was conducting ethics seminars for government leaders.

Hey! He might have a future in the tobacco industry.

Scott Morris Scott Morris
DAILY City Editor

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