Wednesday, March 30, 2011

RedEye on Congress Critter Terri Sewell

How much does first term Congress Critter Terri Sewell not give a damn?
Tomorrow 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm: How much does Rep. Terri Sewell just not give a damn? Her fundraiser tomorrow is in the office of the insurance lobby. Not at a restaurant. Not at the Democratic Club. Not at Tortilla Coast. Not even at the Tune Inn. Come by for a "meet and greet" at AHIP's offices and bring a big check. [AHIP's office, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 500].

Although it's Ick to hold a fundraiser in the office of an insurance lobby it's OK because;
she also has similar events scheduled at other health-related events - AMA, bone marrow, etc.... well... I remember candidate Obama talking about health care reform during the campaign and promising to listen to all sides.....

It's also not worthy of front page discussion at the Cat Den because although it is tone deaf to hold anything at the AHIP office there is no there there.

The announcement for the event in DC calls it a "Meet and Greet." Lest the cynical among you say, "Oh, that's just a euphemism" for fundraiser, there was a fundraiser for Congresswoman Sewell in Birmingham last week. The invitation for that one said "For a Fundraising Reception" and included "Please make checks payable to ..." at the bottom. Nothing of that sort is on the invitation for this event.

It seems a bit tone deaf to hold anything at the AHIP office, but a member of Rep. Sewell's staff said it's in no way an endorsement of that group's political position, simply outreach. They expect to meet people from the AMA, the National Marrow Donor Program, AARP, etc. -- groups that are important to people from the 7th.

I may be cynical but I'm not stoopid. Everyone knows what a meet and greet IS. Especially one held in the offices of the Insurance Lobby. I don't care what President Obama say's about "listening to all sides." What is Terri Sewell doing for the people she was elected to represent? Remember them?
Today, Alabama's Black Belt includes some of the poorest counties in the United States. Along with high rates of poverty, the area is typified by declining populations, a primarily agricultural landscape with low-density settlement, high unemployment, poor access to education and medical care, substandard housing and high rates of crime.

And you say what gradyw said is misleading?;
you can call it a meet and greet, pow wow, chat hour, etc but the intent is to pick up checks from fat cat lobbyists

According to Sewell's website a Chinese owned Copper Tube Manufacturing Plant will create about 200 jobs in Thomasville,AL.
“I appreciate Congresswoman Sewell’s support and I am very happy to be here in Alabama,” said Li Changjie, Chairman of Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group, Inc.

“Congresswoman Sewell has been really great,” said Raymond Cheng, CEO of SoZo Group, Ltd, an investment advisory company which matches investors with businesses and causes. “Everyone I have worked with on this project is really committed to helping this community.”

The plant is expected to be built on a 40-acre site in a city industrial park south of Thomasville High School.

Golden Dragon is based in Xinxiang, a city of 5.5 million people in China's second-most populous province, Founded in 1987, the company indicates that it generates more than $2 billion a year in sales and makes more than 15 percent of all copper tube used in air conditioning and refrigeration worldwide.

Sewell held a meeting with Seniors to discuss Social Security, Medicare and ironically the Affordable Health Care Act.
A major subject of discussion was the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, commonly known as health insurance reform, which was signed into law last year. Several provisions of the law that directly benefit seniors are already are in effect, with full implementation to come in stages over the next three years.

Under a provision of the law that went into effect Jan. 1, the more than 40 million seniors enrolled in Medicare receive free preventive care, such as mammograms and colonoscopies, as well as an annual wellness visit without copayments, coinsurance or deductibles.

Also beginning Jan. 1, seniors who fall into the Medicare prescription “donut hole” began receiving a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs. There are growing discounts in future years until the donut hole is completely eliminated in 2020.

And health insurance companies now are required to spend at least 80 percent to 85 percent of consumers’ premium dollars on medical care and quality improvement, instead of on profits and overhead.

More photo ops in designer suits and designer pumps,announcements of grants and the release of a Guide to Grants. If you want to know how she votes she walks you through the process instead of telling you what bills she's sponsored or co-sponsored or how she voted on bills in Congress.

The far left column labeled "Roll" will give you the number of the roll call vote. Moving to the column on the right, you see the date the vote was cast. The "Question" tells you if the vote was on final passage, on an amendment, or as otherwise noted. The "Result" is the outcome: P=passed, F=failed, and A=the amendment was agreed to. The next column tells you the title/description of the measure. All votes are posted in reverse chronological order (most recent at the top).

See what I mean?

What happened to; "It's an historic election because it's about you, not about me" Congresswoman Sewell?

Terri Sewell is working hard to make history as the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Alabama, but her constant theme in a packed town hall meeting at Birmingham's West End Library Thursday evening was that this election is about representing the people of Alabama's 7th district above all else.

She stressed the need for job creation and economic development in the district, touted her experience, leadership and good character and pledged to be an honest, effective voice on behalf of the 7th congressional district.

200 manufacturing jobs is a start but the residents of the 7th district need more than that. That's why the location of your *ahem* meet and greet is on the outrage meter of progressive/liberal democrats.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fool Me Once....

I swear I had to get up and go look at my calendar to make sure it was 2011 and not 2003 during President Obama's justification for bombing Lybia speech last night.
President Obama's Monday night speech on Libya was probably as striking for what he didn't say as much as what he did say.

For instance, he didn't offer details for how much longer the U.S. military will be actively involved in the effort.

It's not hard to see why he'd avoid that one. No one knows at this point how long it will take for Moammar Gadhafi to fall, if he indeed does.Weeks, months, more, who knows?

And with the military option being handed off to NATO that means the U.S. essentially handed the operation back to itself since it is the first among equals in the U.S.-European military alliance.

He didn't promise to keep Congress or the American people informed with future updates.

It was like Deja Voodoo all over again.

The Bush Doctrine;
Different pundits would attribute different meanings to "the Bush Doctrine", as it came to describe other elements, including the controversial policy of preventive war, which held that the United States should depose foreign regimes that represented a potential or perceived threat to the security of the United States, even if that threat was not immediate; a policy of spreading democracy around the world, especially in the Middle East, as a strategy for combating terrorism; and a willingness to unilaterally pursue U.S. military interests.[3][4][5] Some of these policies were codified in a National Security Council text entitled the National Security Strategy of the United States published on September 20, 2002.[6]

The Obama Doctrine;

We will not stand by and watch innocent people slaughtered. We acted because it was the right thing to do. But we will not go as far as to take out Gadaffi and try to institute regime change. We will not repeat in Libya what we did in Iraq. "As Commander in chief I have no greater responsibility than keeping this country safe...." There will be times, though, when our national security interest is not directly threatened, but we have to act in a way to make sure that the principals of justice and human dignity are upheld by all...

Operation Iraqi Liberation
According to U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the reasons for the invasion were "to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's alleged support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people."[20] According to Blair, the trigger was Iraq's failure to take a "final opportunity" to disarm itself of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that U.S. and British officials called an immediate and intolerable threat to world peace.[21

Operation Intervention Lybia
President Obama delivered a broad defense Monday of his decision to intervene in Libya and of his leadership style, arguing that the United States has a strategic interest in preventing the killing of civilians around the world and that it must do so in partnership with other nations.

Saddam is an evil dictator/mass graves WMMD, must be stopped.
U.S. officials believe at least 300,000 bodies were buried in mass graves, victims of the former regime’s persecution of political enemies, Kurds and Shiite Muslims, and other groups. Some human rights activists believe the number closer to 1 million.

Muammar Al-Qaddafi, one of the world's top ten worst dictators.
In the 1980s, Qaddafi supported a series of terrorist acts on Western targets that led to UN economic sanctions against Libya. In recent years, he’s attempted a “comeback,” offering compensation to families of victims in two aircraft bombings, including Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988, and turning over some of the alleged perpetrators to Western authorities. At home, it’s another story: The state owns all media, criticism of government policy is forbidden, political trials are secret, and torture is common.

Why did we intervene in Lybia?

For a number of reasons, many of which aren't usually found in sweeping foreign-policy visions. Yes, NATO gets to assist a beleaguered popular uprising and prevent a massacre of people quite publicly clamoring for international assistance. That kind of thing makes liberal hawks get all starry eyed. But what makes Libya different than most of the other places where tyrannical governments do nasty things to their citizens isn't terribly Wilsonsian:

Qaddafi's rule over Libya is, on balance, a net negative for US interests;
The US doesn't care much for most of his friends either;
He's sitting on not insignificant fossil fuel deposits;
He has no real support among the great powers; and
The UK, US, and France really, really, really don't like the guy.

Regime Change then, Regime Change now?

President Obama demanded regime change in Libya more than three weeks ago, but now acts as if that’s not his policy. He will use the assault on Muamar Khadafi’s forces to introduce so-called “humanitarian intervention” as an anchor of the Obama Doctrine. Regime change will remain a basic tool, while the “humanitarian” ruse expands imperial options. Obama may well opt to turn Libya into a kind of protectorate, as Haiti has become. Meanwhile, France interprets the UN mandate in Libya as allowing the Euro-Americans to act as air support for the rebel armed forces, as the French did at Benghazi.

Attack on Lybia is a War of Plunder and Agression
Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, at Champaign, says the U.S. is involved in an “all-out war” of “plunder and aggression” in Libya. “This is the first major outright power grab by the United States and the major colonial, imperial powers against Africa in the 21st century," says Boyle.

What Dan Nexon said;
I might be wrong, but I don't consider the "Humanitarian-intervention-against-militarily-weak-fossil-fuel-producing-countries-in-strategically-important-regions-that-are-also-located-near-many-large-NATO-military-bases-and-are-run-by-dictators-who-kind-of-piss-us-off-and-have-no-powerful-allies Doctrine" the stuff of Grand Strategy. But if you read between the lines, that's pretty much the gist of what Obama had to say tonight.

What George W. Bush said;

“Fool me once shame on.. shame on you… eh.. um.. fool me once can’t get fooled again.”

Monday, March 28, 2011

Redeye's Reading List

POTUS has some splainning to do tonight. Not just to the TeaPublican Haters, but to those who thought he was the anti war President.

In the case of Libya, Farrakhan openly asks President Barack Obama why he and his administration are suddenly concerned with alleged atrocities in this country while the U.S. government looked the other way a few years ago, when the Israelis were engaged in relentless bombing of Palestinians, many of them women and children.

Farrakhan also noted that the U.S. government showed no interest in becoming involved when numerous human rights violations were occurring in Rwanda and the Congo. He argued that the U.S. government's goal has been to spend funds arming dissidents in Libya who do not want to see Gadhafi in power.

In an even more telling fashion, Farrakhan noted similarities between Gadhafi and President Obama: He mentioned that similar to Gadhafi, there are millions of Americans who don't want to see Obama in power, and that intervening with internal dissent in Libya would be no different from someone doing the same here in the United States.

Farrakhan asks the president, "Who in the hell do you think you are that you can talk to a man that built a country over 42 years and ask him to step down and get out? Can anybody ask you ... to step out of the White House 'cause they don't want no black face in the White House?"

I'm just saying....

Meet the TeaPublicans' version of Barack Obama. Try not to laugh out loud if you are at work or church.

I wonder how close to zero percent of the Muslim vote the eventual TeaPublican nominee will get in 2012 too. Snicker

TeaPublican motto: If you can't beat em at the ballot box, supress em at the ballot box. And we know who "em" IS. Nod, nod, wink, wink.

It's not wise for University Professors to tell the truth about the gop gooberners. Ask Legal Schnauzer.

Read On. Read Often.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Edit: Correcting some factually incorrect information regarding Dr. John Cashin and Dr. Joe Reed

My Daddy says if you can't say anything good about the dead just say they are dead, good. My late Mother used to say if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all. It's too bad a commenter at Left in Alabama didn't hear those parental words of wisdom, choosing instead to say relay some factually incorrect information about the late Dr. John L. Cashin who was eulogized on page 4 of the New York Times today, and use his death as another opportunity to bash fellow Alabama Civil Rights Activist, Dr. Joe L. Reed, Sr.
In 2009, The Huntsville Times in Alabama called Dr. Cashin “one of the most ferocious civil rights lions in Alabama back in the day.”

Dr. Cashin founded the National Democratic Party of Alabama in 1968 and was its chairman until it disbanded in 1976. A predominantly black splinter party, it was conceived in opposition to the fervently anti-integrationist Democratic Party embodied in the region by Wallace, who had been governor from 1963 to 1967 and by 1970 was seeking a second term.
Since I was banished from Left in Alabama for posting alleged factually incorrect information on its front pages, then barred from posting after I whined about it (like that's a bad thing), I would like to use this blog to set the record straight.

First the factually incorrect information;
I got to know John Cashin about 15 years ago when he called me to discuss and debate a political letter to the ed of the huntsville times i wrote. had some long and some short conversations with him over the years after that. mostly he tried to proselyte me and i jousted thoughts and ideas with him. We used to run into each other at the Salvation Army store used book shop. he'd usually find a couple of books worth reading. he was frustrated, angry about politics, and the way public life had treated him. his huge mistake was keeping on collecting his mother's teacher pension after she died. he got caught. if it had been anyone else he'd have been made to pay it back with a fine and or interest but since he was Doctor Cashin -- rabble rouser -- it got broke off in him and he was tried, convicted, sent to jail. pure political revenge.
The facts;
Partly because of his civil rights activities, Dr. Cashin’s life had no small share of turmoil. As his daughter’s memoir recounts, he was long monitored by the F.B.I. The Internal Revenue Service pursued a case against him for years, saying he owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes. (The amount was later greatly reduced.)

Although Dr. Cashin had been “moderately wealthy,” as The New York Times wrote in 1970, he poured nearly all of his personal resources into the party he founded, leaving his family in vastly reduced circumstances, Ms. Cashin wrote. In April 1982, Dr. Cashin was convicted of perjury in federal court in New York. He had been charged with giving false statements to a judge while trying to arrange bail for a narcotics dealer. He was sentenced to four months in prison.

Later that April, Dr. Cashin pleaded guilty in an Alabama court to two counts of second-degree theft for having cashed his mother’s Social Security and pension checks for at least several years after her death. As The Huntsville Times reported, he served 17 months in a minimum-security prison.
The commenter and I agree on one thing, Dr. Cashin was prosecuted and prosecuted because he was a "rabble-rouser" because that's what they do to rabble-rousers in Sweet Home Alabama.

Joe Reed, John Cashin, George Wallace and the formation of the NDPA
Rev Jack Zylman, retired Bham Unitarian minister, was very involved in the leadership of the black movement to run candidates in the Democratic primary and in the formation of the party John Cashin ran for gov under. Joe Reed, now the head of ADC, was then Wallace's "emissary" to black democratic activists, and preached the wallace message of not now -- it's too soon. Jack helped put together the rival black democratic unit that got many blacks elected around alabama for the first time. John was in the front ranks in that fight.
The facts about Joe Reed, John Cashin, George Wallace and the formation of the NDPA
Back in 1966, after an election in which, having won voting rights after the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March, in which I lost two dear friend, Rev Jim Reeb and Viola Liuzzo, blacks rushed to register to vote and to run for office, most considered themselves to be Democrats . Gov Wallace (a democrat) refused to allow them to run for office as Democrats. To combat the continuing absolute racism of the Alabama Democratic Party, some of us created another Democratic Party, the National Democratic Party of Alabama (NDPA), went through a difficult struggle, and elected the first blacks to office in Alabama as Democrats! But the ADP fought as a fully segregated party for almost 10 years as the NDPA came to hold over 100 elected offices,more than any other state!!! Then and only then did the ADP want us, and we forgivingly moved into the ADP. But of course its leadership remained fully racist and we have been struggling to change that ever since. But racists continued to run for and hold office as Democrats. It never fully changed. That makes it clear why people are still very suspicious of attitudes in the ADP.
Contrary to being the black version of George Wallace, Dr. Joe Reed is the alter ego of Dr. John Cashin.
Joe Reed is known as a “fighter for fairness” for black representation. In 1975, Joe Reed led the efforts to get equitable representation for blacks on the Montgomery City Council. His efforts resulted in four (4) blacks of nine (9) being elected. He served on the Montgomery City Council for 24 years. In the Democratic Party today, Alabama’s black representation exceeds all other states in the nation. For over 40 years he has led the effort to get more blacks elected and appointed to public office, including federal marshals, federal and state judges, members of the boards of registrars, legislators, county commissioners, city councils, and school boards. Due largely to his leadership, today Alabama has more black elected officials than any state in the nation. He drafted two (2) plans that increased black representation in the Alabama House of Representatives from 13 to 27; and in the Senate from 3 to 8 in 1982, and 1992, respectively. He also drew a reapportionment plan that provided for 25% (two of eight) majority black districts on the State Board of Education. Alabama is the only state in the nation where the Legislature reflects the state’s population of blacks and whites. Dr. Reed’s congressional plan also led to Alabama’s gaining a black congressional seat
Dr. John Cashin and Dr. Joe Reed are admired and respected in the African American Community for their commitment and the personal sacrifices made in the name of equal rights, civil rights, and human rights. They aren't worshipped or idolized as Gods. But respected and admired for the sum total of their r contributions to humanity. As human beings we all make mistakes. God forgives the sins) and the sinner(s).

What Jim Bains said;
The State of Alabama and the nation owe Dr Cashin a debt that can only be repaid by those of us left carrying on his work. The Struggle continues...
Amen and Amen.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bush's War vs Obama's War

Obama's War;

To enforce the mandate of the United Nations Security Council.
To protect the Libyan people from Qaddafi’s forces.
To put in place a no fly zone and other measures to prevent further atrocities.
The role America plays in this effort is limited. NO ground forces will be used in this operation.
Leadership will be handed over to NATO.

“As I pledged at the outset, the role of American forces has been limited. We’re not putting any ground forces into Libya. Our military has provided unique capabilities at the beginning, but this is now a broad international effort.

Our allies and partners are enforcing the no fly zone over Libya and the arms embargo at sea. Key Arab partners like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have committed aircraft. And as agreed this week, responsibility for this operation is being transferred from the United States to our NATO allies and partners.”

Bush's War;

Send our sons and daughters to Iraq based on DEAD WRONG INTELLIGENCE to look for Weapons of Mass Destruction that without body armor that were NOT there and without an exit plan.

American Military Casualties in Iraq

Date Total In Combat

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4441 3504
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03) (the list) 4302 3396
Since Handover (6/29/04): 352 2871
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 213 99
Since Operation New Dawn: 23 10

Government Shut Down? Bring it On!

With the president trying to deal with three wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, bitching and moaning among our allies in NATO, a nuclear crisis in Japan, unrest in Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Jordan, and Syria, an escalation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas, and a delicate situation in Egypt, now is probably not the right time for the Republicans to add a government shutdown to his list of worries. But that's exactly what it looks like the Republicans are going to do. With budget negotiations at an impasse, it's time for finger-pointing and name-calling.

Psst President Obama, instead of fighting for freedom in Libya, how about fighting the gop over here so we won't have to fight them over there? You want to fire up the base? How about some investigations? How about restoring integrity and justice in the United States? How about fighting for health care reform and labor? How about fighting for the voting rights act? The American people are under attack by the gop.

Country first. Remember?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Redeye's Weekend Round Up

Won't be watching THIS.

The House Negro Cometh. O-tay?

Where are the J-O-B-S the TeaPublicans said they were going to create?

All war all the time, UNfair and UNbalanced.

There's a whole lot of U-G-L-Y going on.

About that ongoing oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico....

I swear that you just don't know who to trust these days.

Word. You just don't know who to trust these days. *Sigh*

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pandering to Coyote Ugly for Political Gain

And no, not the pretty girls from the famous bar of the same name in cities from coast to cost,but the Coyotes Now In DC And Every County Around It from Rockville to Reston to Rock Creek Park, a new predator has rolled into town. Some people are fascinated... and others terrified. Be terrified. Be very terrified.

The Christian Progressive Liberal asks if it's a coincidence that this creature showed up in DC ‘Burbs, just as the ReThugs Took Over the House of Representatives? Let me think about that for a minute.

I think NOT. For the simple reason Coyote's( politicians of both parties), enabled by the media, pander to the Coyote Ugly the expense of minorities, women, LABOR, teachers,our LBGT sisters and brothers, the unemployed, the uninsured and immigrants.

But there are worse coyotes, and they sit in Congress, collecting a paycheck; getting government-paid healthcare, making sure their wealthy benefactors continue to get tax cuts they don’t need, while I’m being told I have to tighten my belt in order to ride out the recession that REALLY.IS.OVER (/snark), while eyeballing Social Security as if it’s a juicy t-bone steak ready for grilling.


Those of you who decided that having a Black Man as POTUS was too much for your flea brains to handle, and so, handed the keys back to the party that drove us into the ditch – SCREW YOU. Yeah, yeah – some of you are now experiencing “buyer’s remorse” BIG TIME. Wisconsin. Ohio. Indiana. New Jersey. Hell, we tried to tell you – but you listened to the liars at Fake Noise and now, you’re feeling the hurt, just like thirty million of us are feeling it – and some of you; all you heard was “The Black Man” while the pundits pushed a Tea Bag candidate at you who looked all shiny, and took your attention off the fact that you were casting votes for those who continue to SCREW YOU OVER, and depend on your being too dumb and low-informed to pay attention.

This diary is dedicated to The Christian Progressive Liberal for CONTINUOUSLY exposing America’s Ugly Secret – The Long-Term Unemployed.
You know, until our governments, both Federal and local, start treating the unemployed with dignity and respect, I find I have to keep calling them out.

I’ve shared my personal story of being unemployed. At the time I began writing about my experience, I thought, surely, with my knowledge, skills and abilities, I would be gainfully employed within a matter of months. I don’t think anyone expects to be out of work very long, so I’m surprised that two years later, I’m still UNEMPLOYED.

As long as we allow the coyotes to pander to Coyote Ugly we are going to have chronic unemployment, all war all the time and debt as far as the eye can see. I know young people who did the right thing, finished high school, completed college, now they have massive student loans and can't find a J-O-B where they can earn enough to pay back the loans. What's wrong with this picture?

The ugly secret of the unemployed is one that is well-known to the unemployed.

It is not because we’re lazy.

It is NOT because we want a free ride.

It is NOT because we feel we’re entitled. Hell, when we lose our jobs, real entitlement would be paying us unemployment at the rate of our former salaries so we can maintain our living standards until we get another job.

But we gratefully accept the 25-40% of our former income we can collect from the State. Some money is better than NO MONEY.

The ugly secret of the unemployed is the fact that we continue to be victimized for being UNEMPLOYED. When you are laid off your job; when your job is sent out of the country, courtesy of trade agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA: when you get fired because you will not compromise your ethics for the sake of an unscrupulous boss - you wind up collecting unemployment benefits, usually 25-40% of what you USED to earn.
I voted for HOPE and CHANGE I could believe in, I didn't vote with HOPE for CHANGE I might believe in.

I am going to close with this quote from Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier who the Coyote Ugly refer to as some “anti-war” nut who used to protest President Bush a lot. ;
When I began protesting, Bush was president and my protest and the energy that grew around it was used by you Democrats to regain political power in the federal government. Four years later and a change of Executive, this nation is still mired in Arab countries waging a war against Arabs of all, or no, faith. Now brought to us by the Blue Team.

The coyote is a brilliant analogy for the heartless mofos who are preying on the vulnerable. ~Ametia

Coyote Ugly is a brilliant analogy for the dumb, bigots the Coyote's pander to. You know, the ones that can be counted on to hate President Obama/democrats/liberals/women/minorities/LBGT's/labor more than love themselves or their country.

Psst President Obama! Stop pandering to Coyote Ugly. They do not like you. They will never like you. So F- em and do the J-O-B we elected you to do.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dr. John L. Cashin, An American Hero~Correction

John L. Cashin Jr. during his bid for elective office in 1970. Credit Wesley Swift

Noted Civil Rights Activist and founder of the National Democratic Party of Alabama, Dr. John Cashin died on Monday in Washington D.C. A memorial service will be held at First Missionary Baptist Church in Huntsville, AL. Date and Time to be announced.
Huntsville dentist John Cashin contemplated a third-party that would allow blacks to align with the Democratic Party in presidential elections while providing an alternative at the state and local levels.
Cashin, whose grandfather was one of the first black lawyers in the state, was born and raised in Huntsville. He was educated at Fisk University, a historically black institution in Nashville, Tennessee, and after returning from military service in Europe in 1954, he joined his father's dental practice, which he eventually took over himself. He also became active in politics, particularly with the Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC), a black political league formed by the national party in an effort to bring newly registered blacks into the Democratic ranks.
Excerpt from The agitator's daughter: a memoir of four generations of one extraordinary African American family by his daughter, Georgetown University Law Professor Sheryll Cashin
During Reconstruction, Herschel V. Cashin was a radical republican legislator who championed black political enfranchisement throughout the South. His grandson, Dr. John L. Cashin, Jr., inherited that passion for social justice and formed an independent Democratic party to counter George Wallace's Dixiecrats, electing more blacks to office than in any Southern state. His "uppity" ways attracted many enemies. Twice the private plane Cashin owned and piloted was sabotaged. His dental office and boyhood home were taken by eminent domain. The IRS pursued him, as did the FBI. Ultimately his passions would lead to ruin and leave his daughter, Sheryll, wondering why he would risk so much.

Thank goodness. Because of Dr. Cashin the NDPA was able to get hundreds of African American local and state of officials elected.
The author grew up across the street from my parents' home in Huntsville, Alabama. This is a tremendously insightful book about her parents and her extended family, as well as the social revolution of which her parents were leaders. This book makes me think -- and cry.

RIP Dr Cashin, may you find the peace in Heaven that eluded you on Earth. You made this world a better place for present and future generations.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Redeye's Reading List

Cripple AEA or else!
Good for the Federal Judge who issued a Temporary Injunction against the *cough cough* Ethics bill passed by the media enabled, TeaPublican, Alabama Legislature. You see, after they took control of the State House in November they got out their baseball bat and whacked AEA in knee and passed a bill which barred the Alabama Education Association, aka, the evil Teachers Union, from collecting dues via payroll deduction. Everyone knows this is a move to not only cripple AEA, it's to cut off both their legs at the knee.

The dawn of a post-racial society. Not.

If our nation ever is to approach that illusive goal of post-racial America, it must find a credible solution to the lingering disparities that burden the poor and other traditionally disadvantaged groups. The ideas can’t be imposed by those who see only political solutions to a dire situation without getting up close and personal with the people in need.

Voting is powerful.

Voting is powerful. It’s the difference in being spoken for by others and speaking for ourselves. It’s the difference between being half a citizen and being a whole citizen. It’s the difference between being recognized as fully human as opposed to being a little less than human. Voting is that powerful.

Which is probably why the TeaPublicans passed a bill requiring photo ID to vote. I wonder how much this is going to cost and who is going to pay for it? Snark
Alabamians would have to show photo identification at the polls before voting, with some exceptions, under a bill approved Tuesday by the state House of Representatives.
On firing teachers and Tomahawk Missiles. That's right (pun intended) we're too broke to buy books but we can spend millions for bombs. Go figure.

Welcome to my world, same song different verse.

ON JUNE 12, 2010, while dropping a friend off at his house in Logan, I was pulled over by two uniformed Philadelphia police officers.

Although the stop made no sense to me - I had literally done nothing but let a friend out of the car and proceeded to the next stop sign - I used survival tactics that many black people are trained to use when pulled over by a police officer.

As the patrolmen approached me with their hands gripping their guns, their anxiety was contagious. Still, I remembered to keep both hands on the steering wheel, answer all questions and make no sudden movements.

Most important, I silently prayed that I would make it home that night alive. After all, for blacks, our behavior does not merely determine whether we get a ticket or a verbal warning. It determines whether we live or die.

Read on. Read often.

Presidential Tug of War... Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't

Guest editorial by MES

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 3:42am

We knew this would happen with the Libyan conflict. The neo cons are belly aching about President Obama's "dithering" instead of invading Libya guns blazing Rambo style, killing everyone not wearing an American flag lapel pin or swearing allegiance to American Jesus Ronald Reagan.

Joining the chorus of neo-cons are those who are upset the United States is even supporting joining the "no fly zone" with France and Great Britain and the Arab League, claiming the US "bowing down" to them and the United Nations.

Of course, there are natural born cynics who believe that we shouldn't be there under any circumstances. How many tin pot dictators do we need to take out? There are just too many, and trying to pay my car note is a higher priority than Libyan rebels.

Lastly, we have this new breed of constitutional law scholars who sprung up over night who KNOW the President has violated his enumerated powers granted by the constitution. Republicans and Democrats are now using the "i" word, impeachment because Obama went to the UN, talked to senate reps, and bombed Qaddafi. It's not like he lied to the UN and the entire world to link a terrorist attack to a country that had NOTHING to do with that attack. That's ok. The very people that were so gung ho for war is now so concerned about "collateral damage" and the civilians that could possibly be killed. People being blown up, guns, missiles needing to be replaced (defense contracts), regime change for brown people, what's not for a conservative to like?

I'm confused...When Bush's hillbilly holy war to spread "freedom and democracy" began in Iraq began in 2003, terrorist organizations were kidnapping contractors and posting the be headings online. Bush leaning on his podium with that cocky crooked smile defiantly said, "We don't negotiate with terrorists", "Bring 'em on" and I'm the Decider." No one said a word, no screeching histrionics about wanting their country back.

When Sadaam's sons were killed, their dead mutilated bodies were posted on every television and web page, but that was ok, because they were Saddam's sons and they allegedly killed his own people. How did Saddaam use chemical weapons against his own people? Where did he get it from? The United States. That's what happens when we intervene. I digress...

With all that has happened in Iraq, one of Bush's Middle Eastern policy makers stated, "The President traded the effectiveness of early action for political cover, the administration is itching to get out in days, not weeks and turn the operation over to France, Britain and other allies. It get's better:
" How does that look? , calling the U.S. role “intervention on the cheap” and accusing Obama of “rejecting leadership on principle” instead of continuing the traditional U.S. role as first among nations. While allowing European and Arab nations to take the lead may be fine militarily and from a cost standpoint, politically it projects “a sense of diminishing U.S. influence more broadly.”

Have I been dreaming for the last decade? Didn't Gates, McCrystal and Powell, all of the people that have stripes and have served in the military, say that the military was stretched to thin? Didn't grampa Munster McCain even say that? It's kind of hard to be the first and the best when you are owned by the Chinese and are engaged in two wars and have an electorate that think FEMA concentration camps are real. and Glenn Beck is a prophetic voice from God. What God, I'm not sure...

Dennis Kucinich has joined in "impeachment" cacophony, talk about party solidarity. That's always the democrats problem isn't it? They have superior intellect but for some reason they decide to wander off the reservation and detach their balls, drench them in kerosene, set them on fire, jump in the Prius for sushi and wonder why they lost the election.

It appears all of the "anti-American" if you criticize the president talk has been erased in two years maybe because we had our first functionally retarded president, and now we have our first communist, Marxist, Nazi black president. The logic is there, but only in the southern states.

Anything Obama does will be criticized. He acted to soon, to late, it's to expensive, it's a war on the cheap, it's political posturing, it's Bush's fault, it's Obama's fault, does bail outs, he added to the deficit, he's a ditherer, he lacks leadership, he rises above, no drama Obama, he's detached...The irony of him being criticized by likes of Lynn Cheney, Sister Sarah, and Bush's Middle Eastern Advisor and all of the new constitutional law experts that exist under the flag of tea party should make Obama and his staff very fearful about re-election. Whatever mileage he had after the Gabby Giffords shooting is slipping.

As usual, Obama has not articulated and effectively communicated what our long term goals are, what is the mission. Will this be another situation where we run in, play security, train the military and the police occupy the entire country and have no exit strategy? Will we have more Abu-Graib's? Why is this loophole to bomb Libya that Obama pulled suddenly "impeachable?" Bush should've been impeached first. I know, Obama said he would never use his Presidential authority in this way, but no President gives up Presidential authority, that's like eating one potato chip.

Again, no one said a word about the Patriot Act, Rendition, Spying on Americans for the sake of feeling safe, and Guantanamo. The lie that kept being parroted was, "Bush kept us safe", Not so, it takes time to effectively plan, fund and execute a major terrorist attack. 9/11 took years to pull off, it wasn't just a bunch of random dudes that woke up one morning and decided to hijack some planes.

This is the sort of psychological projection that conservatives have mastered in the media. Notice how now, the conservatives are spinning the Obama Administration lacks a "clear strategy" in Libya meme? Here's the thing - if the Obama Administration were to explicitly lay out a "clear strategy" to the liking of conservatives, they would howl and scream about how this president is "giving away military strategy".

Recall their complaints when Pres. Obama announced goals to end military operations in Iraq by a set date - they were livid, claiming that the enemy would just wait us out. Now they complain when the President doesn't tell all. As others have noted, all you have to do is listen to the statements from the Administration to ascertain their goals - establish a no fly zone and deter the Libyan Army from attacking civilians, all these per the UN resolution. It's THAT simple.

What's chaffing conservatives is Pres. Obama simply isn't in this to build chest-thumping kudos for America like his predecessor. That's why they were angry with his relatively subdued approach when the events unfolded in Egypt, allowing the people to take credit for what happened, not the USA. He's not going into Libya with the bravado that armchair generals desire or cowboy diplomacy that got shoes thrown at his predecessor. Are some actions politically motivated? Absolutely. He's a politician. However, I don't think he thinks or runs the WH like he is in campaign mode funneling misinformation through fox news or has a bunch of flunkies like Karl Rove slithering in his own ooze infiltrating civilized society telling lies with a pale forked tongue.

What the American people need to understand are the political realities the President faces which are a direct fallout of Bush's policies. It's because of those policies the US CANNOT take a lead role and MUST NOT appear to act unilaterally. America is paralyzed, having squandered the goodwill and trust of the world, especially the Arab world at least 40 years ago, through our mismanagement of Afghanistan, Iraq, interventionism in the West Bank, Israel and so on...

Thanks to our desire to spread the joy of McDonald's, "Jesus"/ Ronald Reagan and pop music to the Middle East, we can't be the GI Joe, we have to be the little green stationary men, with no names.

Hypocrisy never get's old.

Monday, March 21, 2011


The Bush Doctrine reared it's ugly head again last week. You know, the doctirne that says we (The United States of America) must kill innocent men, women children in Libya to protect them from an evil dictator. The United States of America must spend millions of tax dollars for bombs but not a penny for books, health care, or heating for the elderly. It's all war all the time, Unfair and Unbalanced.

The UN Security Council voted on Thursday to authorize a “no-fly zone” over Libya – a surprise to the author, who had predicted in the this column on Tuesday that China and/or Russia would veto the move. The measure gives the OK to “all necessary measures" to protect civilians from attacks by Moammar Gadhafi's forces – wording the U.S. and its allies will undoubtedly treat as a mandate to apply as much force as they wish.
The righty's are already calling the US led enforcement of the UN sanctioned No Fly Zone Obama's War in a lame attempt to equate Bush using our grief over 911 to send our sons and daughters to Iraq and Afghanistan, and firing cruise missiles.
"I feel like in two days max we will destroy Gadhafi," said Ezzeldin Helwani, 35, a rebel standing next to the smoldering wreckage of an armored personnel carrier, the air thick with smoke and the pungent smell of burning rubber. In a grisly sort of battle trophy, celebrating fighters hung a severed goat's head with a cigarette in its mouth from the turret of one of the gutted tanks.

I don't like it. I don't support it. I don't care who the evil Dictator or the President IS.
It's a simple point, but an important one, and one that gets overlooked. Whether or not you think a particular war is moral and good, the fact remains that war is illegal. Actual defense by a country when attacked is legal, but that only occurs once another country has actually attacked, and it must not be used as a loophole to excuse wider war that is not employed in actual defense.
There is Oil in Lybia. Black gold. Texas Tea.
Oil reserves in Libya are the largest in Africa and the ninth largest in the world with 41.5 billion barrels (6.60×10^9 m3) as of 2007. Oil production was 1.8 million barrels per day (290×10^3 m3/d) as of 2006, giving Libya 63 years of reserves at current production rates if no new reserves were to be found. Libya is considered a highly attractive oil area due to its low cost of oil production (as low as $1 per barrel at some fields), and proximity to European markets. Libya would like to increase production from 1.8 Mbbl/d (290×10^3 m3/d) in 2006 to 3 Mbbl/d (480×10^3 m3/d) by 2010–13 but with existing oil fields undergoing a 7–8% decline rate, Libya's challenge is maintaining production at mature fields, while finding and developing new oil fields. Most of Libya remains unexplored as a result of past sanctions and disagreements with foreign oil companies.[1]

Cumulative production through 2009 was 27 Gbbl.[2] Given the stated number, this would be 65% of reserves.

The drilling of oil wells in Libya was first authorised by the Petroleum Law of 1955.[3] The National Oil Corporation is the largest oil company of Libya

Speaking of O.I.L, a LARGE new OIL SLICK is under investigation in The Gulf of Mexico.

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating reports of a large oil sheen 20 miles north of the site where BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded last April. Multiple reports indicate a sheen nearly 100 miles long and 12 miles wide originating near the site of the Matterhorn SeaStar oil rig, owned by W&T Offshore, Inc.

Country first?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

An open letter to Western Leaders regarding Libya

Well here we we go again, bombing a country that did not invade, threaten to invade, attack or threaten to attack us. And for what? We couldn't help the people of New Orleans after Katrina. We couldn't help the people in Rwanda and the Congo, but the rightys love all war all the time, and if the righty's want all war all the time they get all war all the time.

H/T MES, my favorite young blogger who breaks it down in language we can all understand.~Redeye

Dear Colonial Invaders,

Let me begin by saying that Gaddafi is a heinous dictator and the world would be better off without him. With that said, Libya is a sovereign country and whatever struggle they are having, should be handled internally. The US especially should NOT be involved. We have 2 disastrous middle eastern holy wars to finish up before we go down the rabbit hole of a 3rd war. This type of interventionism is why they keep trying to bomb us. This is why they have been hell bent since the inception of Israel to destroy the US and Great Britain.

See, the allies felt guilty about the holocaust, understandably. Mostly the US, because as usual we will not get involved until our national interests are affected, i.e. Pearl Harbor. If we had intervened sooner, the war probably would have ended sooner and far fewer Jews would've died. Seeking absolution, the State of Israel was created. This had nothing to do with Biblical prophecy or anything else. Unfortunately, there was a group of people inhabiting the land where the State of Israel would be created, the Palestinians. They were forcibly removed from their homes, a place where they have lived for generations and reduced to living in tents. So, that's kind of why Palestinians want to destroy Israel. They want to reclaim their homes. The US propped up Israel with money to fund a military, tanks, planes and the Palestinians have rocks and religious zealotry. When you have nothing to lose, then anything is possible, suicide bombings, flying planes into buildings, etc...

Why do we really care about Gaddafi killing his own people? Answer: We don't. We didn't when Saddam did it, we didn't when Idi Amin did it, Kim Jung Il in North Korea, or our lien holder China and their numerous human rights violations or all the dictators of the world. Do we care about the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia? No, of course not. When you deal with the devil, better the devil you know. Just like we don't care anymore about Haiti, Chile, New Orleans and in about a month we won't care about Japan. It will be back to normal, more Lindsay, more Kim Kardashian, and more greed. Maybe that's my cynicism talking... So using the wording "no fly zone" is to trick people that this isn't a war. You can fool some people, but you can't fool me. A better investment might be Japan, they have a more stable economy, technologically more advanced, and they make the best video games. Plus, there aren't many terrorist cells launched from Japan. The worst they have is a half blind cult leader named Aum Shunrikyo. Aren't the global markets in a fragile state with the price of oil rising? Why would we want to add more debt to our already hefty deficits to continue and play world police? In history, every country that had a revolution and overthrew tyrannical rule were outgunned but with organization. and uniting under the banner of a just cause they were able to prevail. Except for the French who helped America during our Revolution, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette got beheaded for their trouble and Napoleon came to power. We tried the brainless knee jerk reaction to this type of action and look what it got us, 10 yrs in Afghanistan, 8 years in Iraq, Bin Laden is still free, and America in economic, cultural, scientific, and intellectual decline.

My predictions: Gaddafi will violate the cease fire, which will cause ground troops to move in, this will probably get ugly and Gaddafi won't relinquish power unless he is killed. His flunkies will more than likely turn on him when the planes are overhead, but the loss of life will be great. Obama pledged no ground troops, but we shouldn't be there period under any circumstances. The involvement level is based on oil distribution. 32% goes to Italy, 14% to Germany, 10% to France and China and 5% to the US. That's probably why we are only playing a "supporting" role in this conflict, but of course we will bear most of the blame. These people will seethe with anger and a spectacular terrorist attack will follow that will make 9/11 seem like a tea party. We should all be sick of war, sick to death of playing nation building, spreading our corrupt brand of bastardized freedom throughout the middle east. So apparently, the deficit isn't as bad as predicted. The billions needed to send relief to Japan, and fund Holy Wars is readily available, but helping the unemployed or provide health care to AMERICANS, that's an unreasonable burden that will affect millenia of future generations. The hypocrisy is astounding. It appears that Bush actually won our hearts and minds...

Maybe Gaddafi could intervene and stop Wal-Street from the non stop assault on the American people. I mean he's a snappy dresser, his dress and hat combo look like something from my grandmothers couch and he has that caterpillar/ pubic hair sprouting on his upper lip. He could be on a website for botched celebrity plastic surgery right next to Liza Minelli, Heidi Montag, and the Cat Lady. Maybe Disney will create a "Dictators of the World" exhibit at one of the parks and have you and further war mongers sing a jaunty tune about how wonderful you guys are and how we should cower in your presence all set to the tune of "it's a small world". Thankfully this time we don't have the Sheriff from Toy Story leading the country as commander in chief. Can we just call the internal strife, battles, overthrow of dictators, etc,,,WW3 yet? Or is it too soon? There is a child born today who willbe fighting in one of these never ending conflicts when he turns 18. God bless America...I guess.

Do I think the UN or the US gives a flying fig about the civilians being fired upon or do they care more about the oil? Well, let's just say, profit is more valuable than a person, especially people that we feel technologically, racially, educationally, and religiously superior to. Why else are Native Americans living on a reservation? That's not something people will admit to out loud, but that's what the West thinks of the Middle East. These people are our gas station attendants, nothing more, all we care about is the oil, because we consume over half the world's oil. Japan was a painful reminder that nuclear energy is not only dangerous but the power of the sun can't be funneled into a car battery. The Japanese are 1000 times smarter than Americans and they were thrown for a loop, imagine what something like that could do to the US. There is no way the southeast could survive a nuclear disaster because the south is the cradle of idiocy.
I think we should have a new national anthem: From the Halls of Montezuma, To the shores of Tripoli; We fight OTHER country's battles In the air, on land, and sea.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Redeye's outLaw and disOrderly Edition

Remember my post Welcome to my world~A very personal diary about racial profiling?

I had to calm down and do a lot of praying before writing this diary. Yesterday I received the kind of news every black mother, daughter, sister, aunt, grandmother, god mother, cousin dreads. Someone I love was racially profiled by the people who are paid to protect and serve us. Contrary to popular opinion, largely due to media driven stereotypes, all young black men are not thugs, pimps and criminals, nor do they all look alike.

I followed with this update where the victim told his side of the story. Well, there is more disclosed at a community meeting following the incident;
According to Walker, the undercover officers approached him aggressively and told him to get on the ground.
Walker claims the men failed to identify themselves as policemen, and then shoved him into icy snow, causing bruises to his face. The officers let Walker go after they determined he was not the person they were seeking.
However, the incident left Walker — who says he's never been in trouble before with the law — very upset, and he has filed a complaint against the city.
Several residents at the meeting, including Murphy, stood up and expressed concern about "the treatment of our young black men by the police," insisting that too often, they are criminal targets and without real probable cause.
79th Precinct Executive Officer Captain Clint McPhearson said the precinct is looking into the charges. He said, they would like to get to the bottom of it, because it is not a behavior they condone.
Also, he pointed out that Mr. Walker said the incident occurred at around 7:00 pm. However, all four of the plain clothes officers at 79 were still at the precinct until 7:30 pm. So, he said, there's a chance that the incident took place with an outside police unit, such as a detective, narcotics or gang squad.

Now ain't that a dip? We don't know if they were police officers or not. Only in America...

I thought republicans believed in the rule of law? Or maybe they just believe in the rule of law for democrats. Let's see how they get out of this one.
Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne charged state Senate Republicans Wednesday with open meetings law violations in connection with a controversial move they made to pass legislation to curtail public sector union bargaining rights.
"Our investigation has found merit in the verified complaints, which allows us to commence this litigation," says Ozanne in a statement. "This litigation does not address the merits or the wisdom of the legislation."

Senate Republicans had been stymied by 14 Democrats who fled the state last month to deprive the GOP-controlled Senate of the 20-member quorum needed to pass Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill, which included a measure to effectively end collective bargaining for public employees. A week ago, Republicans hastily called a joint conference committee, including members of both legislative houses, to consider a bill that was stripped of fiscal elements, allowing the legislation to be passed by a simple majority.

State law requires 24 hours notice for such meetings unless "good cause" exists. The Republicans' notice was short of two hours.

The U.S.Constitution doesn't apply to republicans.

Last week, the Michigan legislature passed a “financial martial law” bill that allows Snyder to appoint “emergency financial managers” with the power to terminate collective bargaining agreements. The bill would authorize the emergency manager to reject, modify, or terminate one or more terms and conditions of an existing contract.

Republicans want to criminalize them their illegals...unless they are cutting your lawn.

The [Texas House] bill would make hiring an "unauthorized alien" a crime punishable by up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine, unless that is, they are hired to do household chores.
Yes, under the House Bill 2012 introduced by a tea party favorite state Rep. Debbie Riddle -- who's been saying for some time that she'd like to see Texas institute an Arizona-style immigration law -- hiring an undocumented maid, caretaker, lawn worker or any type of house worker would be allowed. Why? As Texas state Rep. Aaron Pena, also a Republican, told CNN, without the exemption, "a large segment of the Texas population" would wind up in prison if the bill became law.

In Sweet Home Alabama legal news the Legal Fallout begins in the wake of the Amy Bishop shootings at UAH

UAH was the site of fatal shootings in February 2010, and no one who has followed the aftermath of that tragic day should be surprised at President David Williams' exit. In fact, we suspect other administrators will follow Williams out the door.
Amy Bishop, a former assistant professor of biology, faces criminal charges in the shootings, which killed three of her colleagues (injuring three others) and reportedly were sparked when UAH denied Bishop tenure. As we reported last month, at least five lawsuits have been filed in connection to the UAH shootings, and we suspect Williams' exit is a sign that the legal process is grinding forward.

We suspect it also is a sign that the University of Alabama administration will be held legally accountable--and that, in our view, is the way it should be.

The wheels of justice turn ever so slowly in Sweet Home Alabama.

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) -- The FBI's Cold Case Initiative is investigating the 46-year-old case of a Massachusetts minister who was beaten to death in Alabama while doing civil rights work, a spokesman said Friday.

The Rev. James Reeb, a Unitarian Universalist minister from Boston, was among a group of ministers who traveled to Alabama in response to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s invitation to join the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march for voting rights.

The FBI launched an initiative in 2007 to investigate unsolved murders from the civil rights era. A spokesman with the agency, Chris Allen, said Reeb's case is one that is currently open.

The lead state prosecutor for Selma, District Attorney Michael Jackson, said he has met with FBI agents at least twice about the case. He said the agency is actively investigating.

Justice delayed is justice denied.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- An Alabama legislator wants the state to apologize for the treatment of a black woman who was raped by a group of white men in southeast Alabama in 1944.

Democratic state Rep. Dexter Grimsley of Newville says he is preparing a resolution that would apologize to 91-year-old Recy Taylor.

Taylor was 24 years old and living in her native Henry County when she was gang-raped by a group of white men in Abbeville. Two all-white, all-male grand juries declined to bring charges.

Taylor told The Associated Press in an interview last year that she believes the men are dead, but she would still like an apology from the state. The AP is using her name because she has publicly identified herself.

Per grace designs via Pams' listserve

State Senator Jimmy Holley ( r. Elba) has introduced a bill that would prohibit jailers from being individually sued for job-related issues. The bill has already cleared the committee. Seems to me that this bill would open a door where all kinds of abuses to
prisoners would go unchecked, not just on the State level but the
County and City level as well. I sure hope I"m wrong.

I hope you're wrong too...but I doubt it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Huntsville City Schools ignores the United States Supreme Court

Remember over 50 years ago when the Supreme Court ruled separate but equal public schools were illegal in the Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka decision? Evidently, Huntsville City Schools didn't get the memo because it's deja vu all over again.
The District’s 2007-2008 overall student enrollment was 43.1% black and 48.7% white. However, the majority of the District’s 47 schools were racially identifiable black or white due to the composition of their respective student bodies.
I've been involved in a *cough cough* discussion with my favorite righty's over at flashpoint who claim the DoJ is ignoring the Supreme Court by forcing the city of Dayton to lower its qualification standards for police and firemen in order to be able to hire more minorities. For some strange reason, white candidates are passing the exam but black candidates are failing the exam. Now the righty's want to say because both groups are given the exact same test, black candidates are failing the exam because they are dumb and inferior. Then I had one of those lightbulb moments and it hit me. The educational opportunities for both groups are not equal and therein lies the problem. Actually, it's that achievement gap thingy.

White candidates taking the exam had access to the best public school education their parent's tax dollars could buy. Whereas black candidates taking the exam were forced to attend low-achieving public schools because you get what you can pay for.

This is why it is of the utmost importance all children have access to a quality public education regardless of race, gender, or zip code.

This is why separately is unequal. It robs children of their ability to reach their full potential.
In the early 1950's, racial segregation in public schools was the norm across America. Although all the schools in a given district were supposed to be equal, most black schools were far inferior to their white counterparts.

In Topeka, Kansas, a black third-grader named Linda Brown had to walk one mile through a railroad switchyard to get to her black elementary school, even though a white elementary school was only seven blocks away. Linda's father, Oliver Brown, tried to enroll her in the white elementary school, but the principal of the school refused. Brown went to McKinley Burnett, the head of Topeka's branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and asked for help. The NAACP was eager to assist the Browns, as it had long wanted to challenge segregation in public schools. With Brown's complaint, it had "the right plaintiff at the right time." [4] Other black parents joined Brown, and, in 1951, the NAACP requested an injunction that would forbid the segregation of Topeka's public schools. [5]

The U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas heard Brown's case from June 25-26, 1951. At the trial, the NAACP argued that segregated schools sent the message to black children that they were inferior to whites; therefore, the schools were inherently unequal. One of the expert witnesses, Dr. Hugh W. Speer, testified that:

"...if the colored children are denied the experience in school of associating with white children, who represent 90 percent of our national society in which these colored children must live, then the colored child's curriculum is being greatly curtailed. The Topeka curriculum or any school curriculum cannot be equal under segregation." [6]
Children are our future police officers, firemen, doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers etc. How can they be our future if they don't have equal opportunity to succeed and equal opportunity to a quality public education?

Huntsville City Schools is not the only school district ignoring the Supreme Court. I'm convinced the status quo want education for the rich but not the least of these.

Don't blame me for the messy bed. I voted a straight democratic ticket.
Uh NO Massa DeWitt, sir, we state democrats did our part. We held our nose and did what the republicans did and voted a straight ticket. If the conservadems had done joined with us, instead of being against us, democrats wouldn't have taken a bloodbath. But noooo, conservadems just had to whup State Senator Hank Sanders for his mad as hell robo call to DEMOCRATIC voters and put his "abrasive wife" in her place. That will learn them about dealing the race card in every hand. Yessum. *Snark*

Monday, March 14, 2011

Trying to Sleep in the Bed You Made

The state made its own educational bed
Originally published Saturday, March 5, 2011, in the Demopolis Times by community editor Jeremy D. Smith

Whitney Houston believed the children were our future. She urged that we teach them well and let them lead the way.

A sappy, overly-dramatic song whose message was as true then as it is now. Unfortunately, teaching the children well and encouraging them to lead the way has become increasingly difficult over the last three years as Alabama public schools have seen a total of more than 30 percent proration since Fiscal Year 2009.

Governor Robert Bentley declared three percent proration for FY-2011 earlier this week.

To Demopolis City Schools, that means $360,000 will have to be sliced out of the budget. Likely in some areas not related to cutting classroom hours or teaching units.

Exactly how that is going to pan out, no one yet knows.

But it is becoming increasingly difficult for schools to keep up with continuously stringent educational standards.

It seems every year there is some new requirement placed on teachers and schools.

In and of themselves, the improving standards are fine. After all, don’t we all want the best for our young people?

But as standards grow and technology develops, costs become more prohibitive.

And while there is always somebody calling for something better, there is scarcely anyone around to figure out how to bankroll these advances.

In Alabama, specifically, it is time to stop blaming elected officials for deficiencies. Granted, state spending has never been particularly frugal or practical. But much of the current economic climate as it pertains to education is solely the fault of Alabama voters.

Think about it. Don Siegelman proposed a lottery that would have gone to help fund education. Citing moral outrage, we as a state voted the idea down. That’s fine. Moral and ethical decisions are what they are. But no one offered an alternative to funding education.

Then Bob Riley came along and proposed a tax plan that would have seen an adjustment to a number of areas, most notably education funding.

We, as a state, voted that one down too. That’s fine. It is our right to exercise our voting privileges in whatever way we see fit.

But again, no one offered an alternative for education funding.

Now, here we are in March 2011, about to endure three percent proration to our education budget. Worse yet? FY-2012 looms with no stimulus money there to provide any sort of cushion or bailout.

Blame the economy. Blame Montgomery. Blame Washington. Blame bad luck. Blame anyone you want. But the unpleasant fact of the matter is that it is time for Alabamians to start blaming themselves. Every opportunity we have ever had to bolster education funding we have voted a decisive “No.” As such, we’ve continuously voted an adamant “No” to teachers, principals, counselors, support workers, bigger classrooms, better materials, and improved technology. And with every passing year, our chance to improve our situations in the future becomes a little less likely. After all, how can they lead if there is no one to teach them?

How indeed? Huntsville School Board may face 151 teacher cuts

The school system faces an $8 million shortfall this school year and up to $22 million the next. To shore up the cuts, school leaders may cut 11 counselors and 17 assistant principals in addition to the teachers.

Let the cuts begin. Huntsville Principals dealing with shock uncertainty of losing jobs as the unemployment rates climb higher and higher.

Madison County's jobless rate in January was 8.1 percent, up by one percent over December's rate.

This is the highest unemployment rate for the county since early last year. The rate was 8.2 percent last February, according to figures from the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.

Madison County typically has the lowest or next to the lowest unemployment rate in the state, but in January the county was tied for third place among counties with the lowest rates: Shelby County at 7.1 percent, Coffee County at 7.6 percent and Pike County, also at 8.1.

Children are our future? Not in sweet home Alabama. It's more like our children have no future.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Sermon

H/T Mark Sumner for Daily Kos~No matter what you think of St. Paul, his letter to the church at Corinth has some beautiful language.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
Nice, isn't it?
There's a political equivalent of this statement.

If you have a majority in the House and the Senate, but if you lack the courage of your convictions, you're just a mob. If you know exactly what should be done, have every fact on your side, and have the votes lined up to pass legislation by the gross ton, but you don't have the courage of your convictions, you're not only going to accomplish nothing, you are nothing.

Because it wasn't a bunch of TeaBaggers calling President Obama a Kenyon born Interloper you didn't see it on TeeVee but Amazing -- 100,000 Rally in Madison, Wisconsin against the assault on working people.

For those who have been out there protesting all over the country against the GOP’s attempt to completely destroy the working man....Keep your Eyes on the Prize H/T rikyrah jackandjillpolitics

For your Sunday morning viewing pleasure watch Rev. Jesse Jackson rip Faux News Megyn Kelly and new one then watch as WriteChic rips Rev. Jesse Jackson anew one for hurting her feelings by ignoring her question about the unjust treatment of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.

Redeye tiptoeing away from the computer to go pray.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

"You can lead a horse to water"

There are some who want to blame the sad,sorry, segregated, state of Huntsville City Schools on black parents and life's unfairness. Instead of acknowledging, as the DOJ has done, that there is a real and significant achievement gap in Huntsville, they dream up excuses for why educational achievement can't improve, can't be achieved.

Attending or not attending parent teacher conferences does not address the disparities or the segregation.

Helping or not helping your child with their homework does not address the disparities of the segregation.

Reading or not reading to your child does not address the disparities or the segregation.

Parental involvement or the lack there of does not address the disparities or the segregation?

North Huntsville parents don't have to "accept responsibility" for the disparities or the segregation because they didn't create or cause them. Through the Department of Justice they are holding those who are responsible accountable.

Playing blame the victim is a convenient game of scapegoat that is leaving poor/black/brown children behind.

While some continue to play the blame the victim, scapegoat game, others are going to look for solutions and accept the things that can't be changed (parental involvement), change the things that can be changed (disparities/segregation) and the wisdom to know the difference (parental involvement can't be dictated or legislated).

Every child in this city has the right to a quality public education regardless of race, gender, zip code or degree of parental involvement because Education is the Hope of the Republic.