Saturday, February 6, 2016

Be a Sucker. Vote Republican.

H/T jobsanger, who reminds us there are two kinds of republicans, millionaires and Suckers. If millionaires convince you to vote against your self interest you are a Sucker. The millioniares are betting against America .  Suckers always fall for the Okey Doke .  Suckers can be counted on to hate President Obama more than they love themselves.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Paging President Obama, Vice President Biden, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Somebody please help us #BlackHistoryMonth2016

Dear All,
EYE know you like to come to Alabama to take pictures raise money, and give speeches , but we are in desperate need of some some substantive help down here in Sweet Home Alabama.
The White House announced President Obama plans to visit #Selma on March 7, 2015 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the signing of the Voting Rights Act, which was gutted under his administration, but I digress.
EYE hate to say it, but your election seems to have bought out the worst in white Alabamians.  Because we dared get out and vote for you twice, EYE fear they have lost their collective minds.
If the cries of Montgomery politicians under indictment don’t generate sympathy, certainly the lamentation of unemployed workers in the Black Belt does. One effect of the bribe-induced Riley-Canary war on bingo in Alabama is the closure of bingo operations in Greene, Macon and Houston Counties, that employed literally thousands of workers, and brought millions of dollars annually to local government treasuries. We all wish that overwhelmingly black Greene and Macon Counties had bulldozers clearing land for new automotive and electronics plants, or for high-powered biology labs or computer engineering firms, but that’s the progress of the next generation. Right now, those counties are absolutely dependent on the entertainment and gaming business for their economic survival, and Obama’s what-me-worry attitude about Canary has placed that survival in jeopardy. Even in the white-majority Wiregrass, it’s probably safe to assume that Country Crossing employed a fair number of African-Americans in its service sector jobs. Had Bob Riley needed to worry about a U.S. Attorney with integrity in Montgomery, he would likely not have earned his Mississippi Choctaw bribes by shutting down the bingo halls, and the Legislature would probably have put a bingo referendum on this November’s ballot. As it is, there is no way to know when, or if, these businesses will reopen. At some point, even the President’s biggest supporters have to ask if he’s paying attention.
EYE know you are busy with ISIS and all but could you spare us some of your time and attention too? There is a mean spirit on the loose with our Governor leading the pack.   EYE need you to come to Alabama and do for the people who did vote for you, what you did for the people who didn't vote for you.  And could you please hurry?
Because Bentley has refused to accept assistance from the federal government, almost entirely out of political posturing, many working Alabamians — people with jobs, trying to do their part — who are caught in the so-called health care gap have to go without coverage of any kind.

How the children of Birmingham changed the Civil Rights Movement

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Stupid is as Stupid does in #SweetHomeAlabama #BlackHistoryMonth2016

EYE am still fuming at Governor Bentley's "bold ideas" for Alabama outlined in his annual State of the State Address.  If you don't read another thing EYE post, please read:  Governor Bentley thinks the Grinch is Santa Clause by Stranger in a Strange Land. The analysis is on point.

I think the Governor, like little Cindy Lou Who (who was no more than two), is fooled by the Grinch legislature’s Santa Claus costume.
The governor’s speech was ideologically all over the place. I’m beginning to question whether Bentley is the same rock-ribbed Republican who opted not to bring expanded Medicare and Medicaid money into the state under the Affordable Care Act because, well, Obama (who is black).

On this date, in 1956, Autherine Lucy became the first African American student to attend the University of Alabama. #History #BlackHistoryMonth
University of Alabama students burn desegregation literature to demonstrate against enrollment of first African American Student, Autherine Lucy in Tuscaloosa on Feb. 6, 1956 Courtesy of Library of Congress.
 The more things change, the more they don't .

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

EYE guess it depends on what the definition of "bold ideas" ...IS

“In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunities of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right that must be made available on equal terms.”
Chief Justice Earl Warren, Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

Governor Robert Bentley (r. hypocrite Tuscaloosa) delivered his annual State of the State Address last night, where he unveiled a list of bold ideas ranging from prisons to education to health care.  They were some bold ideas all right (pun intended), and it explains why  Sweet Home Alabama is the winner of 16 National Football Championships, and a looser for quality of life.  I'll let you read the bold ideas for yourself, but the one that EYE want to talk about is his plan to borrow and spend to tear down old prisons to build new prisons.  EYE kid you not.
"For decades Alabama prisons have become increasingly overcrowded, dangerous to both inmates and our corrections officers and incredibly costly to taxpayers. But that is going to change beginning now," said Bentley.
"These aging prisons will be consolidated and replaced by four, newly constructed state of the art facilities. And by constructing a brand new female prison facility the state of Alabama will permanently slam the door shut on Tutwilere Prison for Women."
Tutwiler for years has come under scrutiny for charges by women of physical abuse, including rape and other sexual violence.
Bentley said his plan to consolidate prisons would be paid for by a bond issue, or borrowing money. He estimated the cost of the massive undertaking at somewhere between $700 million to $800 million dollars. The governor said the state's historic issues with prisons – overcrowding, crumbling buildings, safety issues for workers, inmates and the general public – can no longer be dealt with by trying to maintain the system as is.
Let's recap 
The Montgomery Advertiser has been running a very good three part series on the Alabama Prison system .
The basic problem is that Alabama prisons are at appx 180% capacity and the State, especially the Legislature, is afraid that a lawsuit may result either (1) a Federal Court ordering mass releases (see California) or (2) a Federal takeover with huge financial mandates.
Many suggest that the problem is that Alabama is imprisoning huge numbers of non violent criminals, Yet the numbers show 75% of all inmates are there for violent crimes.
Others blame large numbers of people in prison for marijuana possession. Yet the numbers show only 300 (out of close to 30,000 inmates) are in prison for marijuana possession and the vast majority of those have lengthy criminal histories.
In comparison 27% of all inmates are in for either murder or robbery 1st degree.
Now, let's correct some factually incorrect information.  Alabama prisons are a maximum capacity but according to these figures most are incarcerated for non violent offenses.
After years of representing victims of racial profiling and police brutality, and investigating patterns of drug law enforcement, and trying to help people who were released from prison face one barrier, one legal roadblock after another to get a job, getting access to housing, getting even food stamps–you know, I had an awakening that our criminal justice system now functions more like a system of racial and social control, than a system of crime prevention or control,” Alexander said on Politics Nation Monday.
“Our nation’s prison population has more than quintupled,” she said. “And this is due largely to the war on drugs and the ‘get tough’ movement. The drug war has been waged almost exclusively in poor communities of color even though studies have consistently shown now for decades that contrary to popular belief, people of color are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites, but by waging this drug war almost exclusively in poor communities of color, we’ve now created a vast new racial under-caste.”
Since 1971, when President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs, there has been a 700% increase in the U.S. prison population. Today, African-Americans are also more likely to spend time in prison for drug related offenses than their white counterparts. According to the Sentencing Project, African-Americans make up 12% of the nation’s drug users, but represent 34% of those arrested for drug offenses, and 45% of those in state prison for such offense as of 2005.
And we aren't talking about the number of innocent people in jail
A record-breaking number of people were exonerated in 2015 — freed after serving time in American prisons for crimes they did not commit.
In all, 149 people spent an average of 15 years in prison before being cleared last year, according to a new report (.pdf) out Wednesday from the National Registry of Exoneration's, a project at the University of Michigan Law School.The convictions ranged from lower level offenses, such as 47 drug crimes, to major felonies, including 54 murder convictions that were overturned. Five of the convicts were awaiting execution, and were saved last year when courts ruled they didn’t belong in the prison in the first place.
Of the people wrongly convicted for homicides, the report notes, “more than two-thirds were minorities, including half who were African American.”
Twenty-seven of the innocent convicts falsely confessed to their crimes, a group comprised manly of children or the mentally handicapped, according to the report.
So, instead of addressing the poverty, the lack of equal access to educational opportunities which are a root cause of crime, or addressing the horrible conditions  and abuses occurring inside the prisons, Governor Bentley's bold idea is to tear down old prisons and build new ones.  

Clinton/Sanders or Sanders/Clinton, it's a win win for the American people #BlackHistoryMonth2016

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In 1931, two white women stepped off from a box car in Paint Rock, Alabama to make a shocking accusation: they had been raped by nine black teenagers on the train. So began one of the most significant legal fights of the twentieth century.The trial of the nine falsely accused teens would draw North and South into their sharpest conflict since the Civil War, yield two momentous Supreme Court decisions and give birth to the Civil Rights Movement. In addition to its historical significance, the Scottsboro story is a riveting drama about the struggles of nine innocent young men for their lives and a cautionary tale about using human beings as fodder for political causes.