Saturday, September 3, 2016

42% of All Statistics?/Holman Prison Cell Phones

It’s been said that 42% of the population make up statistics off the top of their heads. Uh, right, then.

No matter what one thinks of the lottery, you have to be amused at a recent letter writer to the TD who claimed as much as 30% of all revenue taken in by Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida lotteries came from Alabamians. Whether the man actually read that statistic somewhere or not, he certainly didn’t stop to think about such a number logically.

Remember, Mississippi also has no lottery. Surely some of its citizens cross into Tennessee to purchase tickets. Even if we said only 10% of Tennessee’s lottery sales came from our neighboring state, that would leave only 60% of tickets purchased by Tennessee residents themselves. A logical person might just want to question that statistic.

Of course, the statistic could be legitimate and prove that Tennesseans are more intelligent than Alabamians…


Why do some consider the lottery a moral issue? Obviously the lottery is a form of gambling, and gambling ultimately encourages one to seek money he or she hasn’t worked for. Whether you consider it a moral issue or not, we’ll leave that up to you, gentle reader.

A detailed study by Cornell University shows that state lotteries get a disproportional amount of sales from the poor and disadvantaged and examines the reasons behind why those who have the least spend the most on the lottery. While it is for many a source of entertainment to play, the study finds that the real reason for this trend is that those stricken with poverty look to the lottery as a way to improve their lives and help them escape their poverty. However, the lottery will often hurt, not help, their financial predicament, further pushing these Americans deeper and deeper into a downward spiral of crippling poverty.

Cornell Univ study -Entertainment Poverty and the Demand for State Lotteries


The lottery isn’t the only pie in the sky thinking we’re currently seeing in this state. Regular readers know we’ve been contacted by a number of individuals concerned about locals currently serving time in the state prison system having access to cell phones to ask for money and carry on other conversations (read: escape plans?).

A recent news story out of Birmingham confirmed how Holman Prison is a hotbed of cell phone use and that some inmates use live chat to communicate with a veritable audience. When confronted with these facts, the warden at Holman stated there was too little manpower to enforce cell phone bans, but things would change when the new prisons were built to include signal jamming equipment. And just how long before construction starts?


Is all crime really criminal? We can definitely say some “crime” is more comical than criminal. Be sure to catch the latest installment of Shoals Crime.

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