The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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Archive for July, 2007

Judge Sets Date for Decision on Argo, Dismisses Injunction

Posted by ALmod on July 27, 2007

During yesterday’s court hearing, Judge Charles Robinson dismissed Springville’s injunction asking that the Town of Argo cease all spending on their proposed new municipal building until after a vote.  I have to disagree with the judge that Springville did not have legal standing to file suit, as such an expense could be passed on to Springville under certain circumstances, and I’m surprised that Springville lawyers didn’t ask the judge to also clear Springville from any future debt associated with the more than $800K project.  (It’s like your next door neighbor running up a credit card and you having to pay it off.)  If Springville lawyers are worth their salt, I expect them to beat Argo at their own game and appeal the case.  Argo argues that they don’t have to hold an election until the appeals process has been exhausted.  Springville should argue that Argo can’t spend the money for the new municipal building until the appeals process has been exhausted.

The good news is that Judge Robinson did set a date for ruling on the issue of an election.  The date has been set for August 8, and the judge has already been quoted by the Birmingham News as saying that he wants an up or down vote.  It looks like it could be the beginning of the end for Argo citizens and their wait.  We could very well be voting on this issue next month.

Argo lawyers brought up that another recent decision to annex was recently thrown out by the Supreme Court, but they also forgot to note that it was because the notification requirements of the election weren’t met.  Some also questioned if the petition should again be brought before Judge Alan King to certify based on whether or not it meets the statutory requirements and not whether or not it has any JeffCo signatures.  I would answer that they should do so without waiting.  Waiting on it is only going to give the Argo leaders what they want:  more time.


Posted in Alabama Government, Argo, Elections | 2 Comments »

Hasbro Gets Big New Defense Contract

Posted by ALmod on July 24, 2007

Before anyone gets on my case about this, I should probably explain that it is satire.

Bush Proposes Sending Transformers™ to Iraq
Awards $85B Defense Contract to Hasbro.

Posted in Laugh It Off | Comments Off on Hasbro Gets Big New Defense Contract

Wierder and Wierder

Posted by ALmod on July 24, 2007

The situation with the abortion protests in front of four Birmingham area churches just keeps getting more and more interesting.  Now it’s being reported that the group did not have permission from two of the four churches.  The group also held a protest close to Birmingham City Hall to protest that counter protesters had been given permits to… er… protest.  I am pretty close myself to getting a permit to protest the protesters protest of the counter protesters just to see how far I can take it.

Posted in Religion | Comments Off on Wierder and Wierder

Preaching to the Choir

Posted by ALmod on July 16, 2007

Did anyone else see this article in the Birmingham News this morning?

I had to read it twice to make sure I wasn’t making a mistake. A group of abortion activists staged a protest/rally/whatever-they’re-calling-it in front of some churches yesterday. Now call me crazy, but I don’t believe that’s the demographic that needs convincing. I also doubt that anyone would be getting an abortion while hearing the Sunday sermon. What really got my attention was this next quote from the article:

Flip Benham, director of Operation Save America, said the group was “bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ at the gates” of his church.

Across from where Benham stood at the entrance to Briarwood’s parking lot, another activist blew repeatedly into a musical instrument Benham said was a ram’s horn. “That’s our call to battle,” Benham said.

Okie dokie. A “call to battle” it is. Hey genius! You’re firing on your own troops!

I probably would have just laughed if it hadn’t been for the mention that they were passing out pictures of aborted babies to churchgoers. Personally, I don’t know if I’d want my young child to view something so potentially gruesome, and church is a family place.

I’ve always said that I was not an abortion supporter, and I’ve given my own reasons why, but these folks are just plain nuts!

Posted in Laugh It Off, Religion | 2 Comments »

Why is it a bad idea for Argo council members to show up to a meeting for petitioners?

Posted by ALmod on July 13, 2007

Imagine you are involved in a court case. You are meeting with your lawyer to discuss your plan and strategy, and then you notice that the opposition is sitting in the room with you. Not only are they there to spy on what is supposed to be a confidential meeting between you and your representation, but they also keep butting in with their own statements, making it impossible to get things done.

That’s pretty much what happened last night. Citizens for Progress held a meeting between those who signed Argo’s petition and Albert Jordan, the attorney for Betty Bradley, who leads the charge for deannexers. Flyers were sent via US Mail to those who signed the petition to invite them to a meeting with Mr. Jordan, where they could learn more about where to go from this point and ask questions. In attendance were some opposing business owners and council members.

Thankfully, nothing confidential was given out at the meeting, but if there are future meetings, I have a suggestion. The event should be invitation-only, and names and identification should be checked at the door. Though Mrs. Bradley pays the attorney fees, and we are thankful to her for that, this is very much like a meeting between a lawyer and his clients (since the case brought by Mrs. Bradley is in the interest of those wishing to deannex), and it should likely be treated with as much respect. It is not an opportunity for the opposition to inject their own agendas. As far as I know, no petitioners have attended meetings between city officials and their lawyers.

This, by the way, is the difference between this particular meeting and a recent meeting of the town zoning board that was closed to the public.

UPDATE:  I should post a clarification.  Mr. Jordan does not represent Citizens for Progress.  It was pointed out to me that the post could be read in such a way, so I want to make that perfectly clear.  I’ve reworded the posting to reflect that.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why is it a bad idea for Argo council members to show up to a meeting for petitioners?

Old Scams Still Work

Posted by ALmod on July 10, 2007

Yesterday, my husband and I went out to eat with his family for his sister’s birthday.  Afterward, we pulled into the parking lot of the shopping center across the street so that we could get out and walk off our dinner.  Since my toddler had a death grip on my bracelet, I stayed in the car to entertain her while my husband retrieved the umbrella stroller from the trunk.  That’s when I saw them.

A woman and what appeared to be her teenage son approached my husband.  Call me cynical, but I knew what was about to happen even though I couldn’t hear the conversation.  I shook my head at my husband, hoping he’d see me.  He didn’t, and I watched in horror as he pulled out his wallet and handed a $10 bill to the lady.

I asked him what her story was.  “She didn’t have any cash to buy gas.”

“Was her wallet stolen?”

“She didn’t say.”

“Why did she want cash?  The gas stations take credit/debit.  There’s an ATM at the bottom of the hill…”

I made the observation that the shopping center parking lot was located on top of a hill that was an odd location for anyone needing gas.  Rather, it would be more logical for someone to address people in the parking lot at the bottom of the hill, which happened to be very close to several gas stations.  That is, if they didn’t approach people in the parking lot of the gas stations themselves.  Why would they make the extra effort to hike or drive up the hill to the (higher end) shopping center parking lot?  He’d been the victim of a very old scam.

The person approaches in an area (usually a restaurant or shopping center or church parking lot) where consumers typically carries cash.  They have some story about why they need some random item, usually gas or food or a hotel room, and ask for cash.

I can’t say this enough.  Do not give them cash.  Instead, if you’d like to help, offer non-monetary assistance.  In many cases, these people will carry weapons, so don’t offer them a ride.  You can offer to purchase a meal for them or purchase some gas for them.  You can pay for a hotel room, but have the person register with their own personal information.  (Never give out your personal information to a complete stranger.)  Local police departments will offer assistance to stranded motorists.  If you are turned down, it is a scam.  It’s an easy way to be a good Samaritan without being a sucker and an easy mark.

The good news is that most of these scammers are not too bright.  Their stories often do not add up, and this particular person actually solicited our car, which clearly displayed a Fraternal Order of Police tag.  Most cars displaying the tag are owned by police officers.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Old Scams Still Work