The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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Archive for September, 2007

Flu Funny

Posted by ALmod on September 26, 2007

I’m battling the flu, and the last thing in the world that I feel like doing now is yelling at my evening news, so no real substantial posts today.  Instead, please enjoy the humor of Rob Riggle and the Daily Show.  For the record, Riggle is more than qualified for his “assignment” as he is an Afghan War veteran.  Granted, I could have personally done without the… ah…  Forrest Gump reference.  You’ll see what I mean.  Just close your eyes and mute the pc if it’s too much for you.  It’ll be over soon, and the rest of it is pretty darn funny.  Before anyone asks, I couldn’t find the fourth and final installment.  If anyone wants to send it my way, I’ll put it up here by Friday.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

No More Free Doughnuts

Posted by ALmod on September 24, 2007

I woke up to find this story and thought it was rather interesting.

Local officials decided that accepting donations of doughnuts and pastries to senior citizens in the area was sending a bad nutritional message, and now seniors are outside protesting.  But the ban doesn’t affect what seniors feed themselves, only what they receive from the center.

“Senior citizens can walk down to the store and buy doughnuts. Nobody’s stopping them,” said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington.

Posted in Laugh It Off | Comments Off on No More Free Doughnuts

Friday Funny — Doctor Who

Posted by ALmod on September 21, 2007

I’ve been addicted to World of Warcraft lately, and I’ve been known to crack a joke and make a reference from time to time. For example, one person asked if he could repeat a particular quest, and I remarked that he could, but he would first have to retrieve the [TARDIS] (putting something in brackets indicates an in-game item link) from the Cavern of Time (a WoW dungeon).

You could hear crickets. I tried my best to explain the Doctor Who reference but sadly, many of my fellow “guildies” don’t get it, so I’m posting this clip from the “Christmas Invasion” for them.  Maybe they’ll get my jokes, now.

Posted in Entertainment, Laugh It Off | 1 Comment »

Does Kincaid Deserve Another Term?

Posted by ALmod on September 17, 2007

I’ve been checking out Kincaid’s website this morning.  I’m hoping to get a chance to do a commentary on all the candidates eventually, but I’ll start with the current mayor for now.  If you’d like to check out Kincaid’s website, you can click here.

So let’s take at some of the things addressed by his website and go from there.  The site isn’t particularly detailed, and I really don’t blame them.  This is, of course, from a man who micromanages to the point of getting very little (if anything) done.  One of his greatest accomplishments as mayor could probably be his standardizing the font in which all city communications were written in.  That pretty much says it all.  A few things in particular caught my eye.

From this page:

“Mayor Bernard Kincaid established Commission to develop long-term plan to end chronic homelessness, defined as about 30% of homelessness population who are homeless more frequently and longer periods of time and who consumes over 50% of resources.”

Um… Call me picky, but while this states the commission’s purpose, it doesn’t state how much of its goal it has actually achieved.  As a matter of fact, one only has to visit the downtown area (particularly the park) to see just how much of a problem homelessness is.  I haven’t seen any figures on how this has been reduced, and nothing in the above states how this commission plans to do that, but I have continued to see a ton of people camped out in our public areas.

On two other pages, the mayor lists his projects for economic and residential growth, but again, there are no figures to show what those projects actually accomplished.  What we have seen is the population of Birmingham growing ever smaller.

Still another page lists his projects for local police, and again, we don’t see any listing of accomplishments for these groups.  What we have seen is an increase in violent crime and a city that remains on the FBI’s list of most dangerous cities, while the mayor fights with the city council over whether or not his police deserve a pay raise and gives them the bare minimum when it comes to defending themselves from Birmingham’s most wanted.

And let’s talk about his most recent accomplishment.  As the city becomes more and more violent, the mayor recently signed off on a council decision to revoke the license of a local business owner who had not even been convicted of a crime.  The council and mayor acted as judge and jury on a case based on hearsay and submitted to mob mentality.  What’s more, some eyewitnesses say that the business owner was acting in self defense.

Does Kincaid deserves another try?  I personally believe he’s done enough.

Posted in Jefferson County, Local Government | Comments Off on Does Kincaid Deserve Another Term?

5-2

Posted by ALmod on September 13, 2007

Good luck, Springville. You’re going to need it. Argo is one example of what happens when thugs who believe that they are above the law realize that they can take over. Now that they have succeeded in swaying the decisions made by neighboring towns, there’s a very good chance that they’ll move back into town and take over there as well. If you want to know what your future looks like, look no farther than the town next door.

And for what? To appease a few angry outspoken people? Those same people already said that they wouldn’t vote for you again even if you did change your decision, so what have you accomplished? The people you listened to are the very people who approached Mayor Buckner’s son, and you have just told them that it’s an effective method for them to use to get their way. So what have you accomplished? When they want Springville to do something to benefit themselves, what do you think they will do? What have you accomplished? You’re a store that has just paid protection money!

To the so-called leaders and business owners in Argo… I wish you luck as well. The politicians now have a REALLY BIG debt to explain to the citizenry (and to the lenders, for that matter) as to how exactly they will pay it off. IF (and it’s a really big “if”) you survive politically through the next election, I want to know how you plan to pay for such expenses when there are substantially fewer taxpaying residents. Business owners, I want to know who will shop in Argo when everyone is gone. (There is plenty of competition elsewhere, after all.) When people get sick of investing in a home that could have a noisy factory built behind it and ruin their standard of living. When they decide that they’d rather have properly built homes with a local government that has safety standards to ensure that their $100K or more home doesn’t crumble… Who will pay the bills?

Your newfound debt and projects was based on the hope that Springville would pay the bill. You wanted to spend the town into oblivion so as to hurt Springville. Tell me. Who does it hurt, now?

Businesses will lose customers. Politicians will lose elections. An entire town lost a voice. Argo will lose money. Springville lost control, and its citizenry will lose control as a result. Everyone lost tonight. Even those who might consider themselves winners.

UPDATE: Here is the Birmingham News article that wasn’t available to me last night. Even after sleeping on it last night, I find it extremely disturbing that there is a group of people out there who are celebrating that two townships of people will not be able to vote on an issue. (A proposal to allow the people of Springville to vote on the willingness ordinance was shot down. Had the ordinance actually been voted down by this type of vote, I would have felt much better about it.) In this country, something about that doesn’t seem right. Among those I hold responsible would be St. Clair Circuit Judge Charles Robinson, an elected official who will be remembered around election time. While he did order a vote, Judge Robinson’s failure to stop Argo’s expenditures on a municipal building until after a vote all but killed the town’s chances at a vote. He had to have known that at the time. So… He either killed the plan on purpose, or he’s not very smart. Either way, it doesn’t make for a person I would like to see re-elected.

There’s a quote from Attorney Albert Jordan in the article that I found interesting, as well as another quote from the attorney “representing” Argo. (I have the quotes because he’s actually representing the interests of Argo’s mostly unelected leaders and not that of the majority of residents, since they were not allowed a vote on the matter.) Albert Jordan makes the point that we still have “a circuit court judgment out there,” and City Attorney Bill Weathington makes a statement that there has been “a discussion with him over pending litigation or an issue that was likely to be litigated.”

I’m not sure what Argo’s captors are planning, but it will be interesting to watch, considering their previous, ethically questionable actions.  Since Day 1, I’ve received veiled threats that I would be sued and that my home would be taken from me for merely writing about the issue, and my critical stance of the way Argo has been run hasn’t gone unnoticed.  One poster on al.com’s message boards even alluded to “legal ramifications” and that some in Argo may get a “taste” of revenge.

As for the comments regarding the circuit court judgment… I’m wondering if there are any plans to turn it into a vote to dissolve the township or to be annexed by another town. Considering that the representative government in Argo is very obviously and very badly broken, it wouldn’t be a surprise.

Posted in Argo, Local Government | Comments Off on 5-2

“She turned me into a newt.” Part II

Posted by ALmod on September 13, 2007

After watching NBC13’s 10pm newscast, it seems some eyewitnesses have stepped forward to say that the customer was the one to throw the first punch and that the owner was merely defending himself.  Color me shocked.

Posted in Jefferson County, Local Government | Comments Off on “She turned me into a newt.” Part II

“She turned me into a newt.”

Posted by ALmod on September 12, 2007

Yesterday’s Birmingham City Council meeting was a cross between comedy and tragedy, and the council decided unanimously to revoke the business license and liquor license of a local convenience store based on the unproven, undocumented claims of a dozen people and without any conviction from a trial that is about two weeks away.  Some rather amusing and ironic statements were made by both accusers and council.

Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Carol Smitherman made what I consider to be the most amusing statement of the day.  She stated that the council’s failure to revoke the business’s license might result in anarchy and that they have revoked licenses for much less.  Considering the grounds for revocation in this situation, I’m assuming that she is saying that the Birmingham City Council revokes business licenses on a mere whim.  (No wonder Birmingham can’t hold on to their businesses.)  And considering that she is part of a council that is bending to the will of a lynch mob rather than looking at facts and respecting the legal process, I doubt she’s ever even looked at the definition of the word “anarchy.”

I wonder how her mayoral campaign will go if the store owner is found not guilty.

Joel “Drunken Pavement Dive” Montgomery also provided some amusing commentary.  Addressing the accused store owner, he said, “Do you expect us to believe that all these people are lying?”  Well, considering that there is no documentation and no proof to back up their claims and that mob mentality can come into play…  yes.  I can easily get a dozen of my friends and neighbors to state that Joel Montgomery turned me into a newt.  (I got better.)  We can then protest outside City Hall for two weeks and demand that he be removed from office.  I mean, we have no real proof to back up our claims, but you know, the council doesn’t necessarily require that sort of thing these days.  I wonder how many Birmingham elected officials we could have removed that way.

Posted in Jefferson County, Local Government | 1 Comment »

A Good Old Fashioned Lynching

Posted by ALmod on September 11, 2007

That’s what we need. No trial. No investigation as to what happened. We should take the word of the accuser from here on out, string up the suspect, and be done with it.

Okay, I’m being cynical. But when you listen to some people, you’d think that was what they were suggesting.

Leave it alone, I said. Just a couple more weeks, and you’ll have time to keep up this blog properly, I said. Don’t write about it, I said. But when I hear the following quote spoken barely 44 years after Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, I can’t leave it alone anymore. Consider what blacks were facing when that speech was given and then consider the following excerpt from the Birmingham News:

” Webb acknowledged a socio-cultural clash between blacks and outsiders – whether whites, Asians or others – who establish businesses in black communities and who blacks feel mistreat them or take advantage of them.

“…’Not if he leaves but when he’s gone, I’m sure that a very reputable black business can come in here and accommodate this neighborhood properly,’ she said.”

44 years since Dr. King dreamed of all races joining together in harmony, and we’ve not moved an inch. What’s more, the very people that fought so hard for inclusion is now fighting hard for exclusion– in the Birmingham area, no less. 44 years, and instead of equality and harmony, we’re fighting for exclusiveness. Has our black community learned nothing?

The comments from Ms. Webb come on the heals of an alleged attack by a convenience store owner on a customer. The (black) community leaders say he has a history of abusing his customers, but the police records associated with the store tell a very different story. There are police records, oh yes, but the records show that the owner has been the victim of repeated violence and crime associated with his store. In a community that I’ve often criticized for lack of police protection, it’s not a surprise if the owner felt he had to defend his store. When one woman was suspected of stealing a bag of ice, it’s not a surprise that punches were thrown.

Both admit that each hit the other. The question is… Who threw the first punch? It’s her word against his. According to the customer, the owner asked her to come back inside and then hit her. According to the owner, the woman attacked him first, and then he struck back to protect himself. Which is the more plausible scenario? If a store owner already has the customer agreeing to come inside and pay, why would he suddenly attack her? However, is it plausible that the woman got defensive regarding the situation, started an argument, and clocked the store owner in anger?

That is the question that jurors and judges should be asking, but the (black) protesters outside the store aren’t interested in an investigation. They want the city to revoke the owner’s license and send him on his way before an investigation and possible conviction ever comes to pass. What if the store owner is found innocent of all charges? What if? What then? Uh-oh? Whoopsie? Give me a break, folks! By accusing him before the facts are discussed and investigated, you’re doing the same thing he did when he mistakenly suspected that woman of stealing the ice.

All things aside, this particular except got me tickled:

“Protesters said they will likely end their boycott if the Birmingham City Council revokes the owner’s business license at a public hearing scheduled for today.”

Ya think?

Posted in Jefferson County, Local Government | 1 Comment »