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I was in traffic court for a camera speeding ticket. The judge told me the traffic cameras are always right and receive regular maintenance checks. I asked the judge if they work right and are never wrong, why do they need regular maintenance? Have you ever turned your computer off to reset it, fixed the problem and not known why?

That night, my grandson was at my house and said he needed a word problem for math class. I was watching the news about the inflation rate. I told him, ďAsk them, if the inflation rate was 3.5 percent for 2011, for you and me, calculate the rate for the unemployed.Ē

He told me that a police officer was at his school talking about gangs and bullying. He asked me what I thought that meant. I told him that gangs are a group of people who usually try to intimidate others by fear and aggression, trying to gain power by the sheer size of their gang, telling you what to do, even though you might not want to do it that way. Sometimes they take your possessions without your consent. I then made him watch the State of the Union address and the Republican response.

He also asked me how police decide who gets a warning and who gets a ticket. I think it depends on who you tell them you are.

He was off the next day, so he rode with me over the Nice Bridge to help me buy food for the local churches and cigarettes for the veterans who canít afford it. He asked me why we had to go to Virginia. I told him that the tax on cigarettes is lower. While we were there, I put gas in my car. He asked me why we had to pay to go over the bridge. I told him the government needed the money. He asked if that was why we have to pay to get into Gilbert Run Park. I told him of the time parks used to be free and the Constitution guaranteed we could travel free from state to state. I guess they charge money, hoping we wonít go to Virginia to shop and spend.

We still had time that day, so I went to have my vehicle inspected. He saw me give them $14. He guessed that they need that money, too.

While we were near the post office, I stopped for some stamps so I could mail the vehicle registration renewal. He asked me why we sold our extra car. I told him the registration fees doubled and are supposed to go up again. I was going to give it to him when he was ready for a car.

When we got home, I got my property tax bill in the mail. The bill went up even though the assessed value went down. I thought about refinancing to lower the payment because of the tax increase, but the closing costs were too high and I didnít want to start over. I guess if I didnít make my payments the government would help me.

At the last minute, he showed me a list of things he had to buy for school. Toilet paper, towels and the like. We went shopping at Walmart. He asked me if we had to buy these things for school when I was growing up.

I dropped him off at home and picked him up again for church on Sunday. Our priest began telling us about President Barack Obama and the conflict with our religious beliefs.

On my way to visit the elderly and homebound, I wondered what was next. We canít have religious symbols in public places, but when I had jury duty the other day, I saw a wooden horse in the lobby of the courthouse. I suppose President Obama feels Christians and other religious persons will just roll over. Can anyone calculate the cost to the government if charity stopped?

Of course, the politicians know we wonít stop giving because good, caring people will continue. Thatís part of our Christian teaching. I often wonder how those who love to support abortion would feel if their parent had done that to them. We wouldnít know because they would not be here and we donít know what that child feels during a partial-birth abortion. Who would argue their point if they were not here?

Every Christian should put a religious symbol in their front yard and leave it there in protest showing support for their faith.

My grandson told me he had to go to a different school because his was overcrowded. He asked why more schools canít be built. I explained to him the problem with funding the new high school, but how they probably could fund it if they did not keep adding to the schoolsí burden, like all-day kindergarten additions, pre-K, additional busing, and teachers and admininstration for those programs.

He said the schools sure did look nice. I told him they cost more than the painted block wall ones I went to. I guess thereís a competition between the counties. They sure seem to waste a lot of money on architectural design.

When I was growing up, the lottery was supposed to take care of school construction. They also had builder impact fees. Now the state has slot machines.

I asked my grandson what he wanted to be when he grew up. He said a baseball player.

I told him it was nice to dream, but very few become professional. He should concentrate on his education and if the other happened it would be a bonus.

People try to be something they are not, living up to a perceived image, getting themselves in financial debt.

Be honest. Not only with others, but yourself.

Ronnie Bennett, Charlotte Hall