Thursday, July 28, 2011

RedEye's Must Read List

If you care about education and want to know what is really going on in the Huntpatch Sitty snark School System, Havalittletalk is the go to blog. Thank you for your honesty! Thank you for getting it! Thank you for caring!

When WAAY published the list of schools affected by the new double-up bus scheme that will have some kids on the corner at 6 am, I was curious to see which kids were going to be bearing the brunt of sacrifice for the School Board’s colossal fiscal mismanagement.

Surprise! Surprise! Guess which School Board member's district is least affected?

So Dr. Jennie Robinson, District 3, you’ve kept your constituents from taking any of the hardships wrought by your fiscal irresponsibility.

After all, in your campaign last year, you said:

Putting a child on a bus for over an hour a day, disconnecting the child from the support of family and neighbors, and creating barriers of time and distance for parents also doesn’t make sense.

So much hypocrisy. So little time.
But at the Saturday July 16, 2011, meeting you were quivering so with excitement for Dr. Wardynski’s plan for putting the Providence sixth graders on two buses to Williams that you were motioning to approve (or maybe you could only get in with the second) before he had a chance to present it.

But here is the kicker. Deja Voodoo all over again.
Parents are just now, after these are done deals, finding out about them.

Blogger Mack Lyons pens a a powerful post exposing Birmingham, Alabama's "civic anemia" with hope for the future.
It originated as a company town, methodically planned out by men of industry and vast wealth, situated on a number of coal seams that made coal mining and steel production a no-brainer. Located smack dab in the middle of a county staring down the biggest bankruptcy this side of Orange County, CA, the population is currently at 212,000 and falling. It was hit hard by the loss of the steel industry, with a high number of the plants and foundries closing shop around the 1970s, only to reinvent itself as a medical research mecca of sorts, with the University of Alabama at Birmingham at the forefront. With high crime rates, deteriorating city sectors, a laughably corrupt government and a people still divided by racial and urban/suburban strife, this city is hurting. Big time. But there is hope.

Mack Lyons defines the problem with clarity.
Alabamians in general hold a deep distrust of politicians, save for their local favorites. The general assumption seems to be that these fellows in office are all corrupt and that any attempt by any of these "scoundrels" to ask for more money to do anything with should be met with absolute suspicion. Unless, of course, it happens to benefit them in a rather direct manner which they can see for themselves. Reason being these "scoundrels" are quick to siphon funds into their own personal accounts and those of their friends in high places.

So how does that relate to Birmingham, per se? Just hold on.

Another big problem is the antagonistic racial/ethnic relations between blacks and whites that has made Birmingham famous, and in a bad way. In fact, I don't think I even have to tell anyone reading this why, since it's so well known internationally. A rather fucked-up byproduct of all this is the belief among some whites that the blacks "won" or "conquered" Birmingham, causing a lot of whites to not only flee towards the relative "safety" of the suburbs beyond Red Mountain, but also to not have anything to do with the city. In fact, a lot of people have made their stock in watching the city collapse, presumably so they can show proof positive of the city's ineptitude under Negro management. You can see this backwater collapse fetishism combined with racial animosity on display at whenever black criminals, the city of Birmingham or black criminals in the city of Birmingham comes up as subject matter.
ML not only defines the problem, but offers solutions. Read on.

Field Negro say's it's time to head on down to Home Depot and buy a pitchfork.
"I need your help. I can't tell you what it is, you can never ask me about it later, and we're gonna hurt some people.
...Whose car we takin'?"

That was Ben Aflleck's character, Dougie MacRay, trying to get his boy to accompany him on a beat down in the movie, "The Town".

It's also the line from the movie that republicans met and chose to watch in order to rally around each other for this debt ceiling debate. Nice. It's apropos, seeing that it is a movie about a bank robbery, and these clowns are holding up A-merry-ca.
Anyway, like a good Negro, my man Allen West volunteered to drive the car. (Because that's what good Negroes do.)

This is your republican majority. You get what you vote for.
It turns out that Joe Walsh, the tea party hero congressman, has a little problem paying his own personal debts:
Tea Party hero Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) wants to wipe out the nation’s debt, but he’s got some major personal debt that his ex-wife is demanding he take care of - $117,437 in child support, according to a lawsuit revealed by the Chicago Sun-Times.
The suit charges that Walsh enjoyed foreign vacations with his new girlfriend while claiming he couldn’t pay support for his three kids because he was out of work.

Bruce Dixon says President Obama is smarter than the average bear. My words not his.
So if you're an Obama supporter, and you're disappointed that your president won't fight for you --- if you're an Obama supporter and you wonder why the president won't stand up for Medicaid, Medicare and social security --- here's the answer. The president really, really is smarter than you. He knows what side he's on and you don't. He knows that the two-party system is a veal pen, where as long as “he can play good cop to the Republicans' ever worsening bad cop, the game is fixed, and not in your favor.

Mark Karlin says OBAMA'S OBSESSION WITH COMPROMISE HAS COMPROMISED HIS PRESIDENCY, and I agree. Maybe that's why us "professional lefty retards" were sent to upstairs to the attic.
Regardless of the current political theater taking place over the debt ceiling, what drives much of the right wing - in terms of symbols - is the iconic image of the lone male (usually with a gun) who doesn't flinch from a fight, when his integrity and justice are at stake.

Let's call this "The John Wayne Syndrome."

Ronald Reagan, a Hollywood colleague and buddy of Wayne, was the epitome of this - in large part because he could act the role so well.

This brings us to the issue of form vs. content in the Obama presidency. Obama has positioned himself as a mediator between the Democrats and the Republicans, not as an unwavering leader for a specific agenda or vision. Since his presidency began, he has been primarily on the defensive, caught on the Republican side of the football field with has back to the goal line.

This is where his emphasis on "compromise" may have compromised his presidency. The Republicans, in general, value strength in politics over concession. They tend to look at a man who is frequently backing away from his positions, whatever his lofty rhetoric, as weak and as someone who can be pushed around.

Read on. Read often.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What black folks still live with continued

It is a brazen, right wing, media enabled, LIE most black students don't want to learn. It is a historical FACT blacks were prohibited from learning.
The most oppressive limits on slave education were a reaction to Nat Turner's Revolt in Southampton County, Virginia during the summer of 1831. This event not only caused shock waves across the slaveholding South, but it had a particularly far-reaching impact on education over the next three decades. The fears of slave insurrections and the spread of abolitionist materials and ideology led to radical restrictions on gatherings, travel, and—of course—literacy. The ignorance of the slaves was considered necessary to the security of the slaveholders (Albanese 1976). Not only did owners fear the spread of specifically abolitionist materials, they did not want slaves to question their lot; thus, reading and reflection were to be prevented at any cost.

African Americans recognize the power and the importance of education hence the formation of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which to this day are full of black student who not only want to learn, but are learning.
HBCUs actually were "invented" in 1837, 26 years before the end of slavery. Richard Humphreys, a Quaker philanthropist, founded the Institute for Colored Youth to train free blacks to become teachers.

The school had moved from Philadelphia to Cheyney, where it eventually became Cheyney University, and by 1902 at least 85 schools were set up by white philanthropists, free blacks, states or churches to educate sons and daughters of former slaves.

Until 1954 and the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education, which ended "separate but equal" school systems, HBCUs were the number 1 option for most blacks interested in attending college.

The Brown v Topeka Board of Education decision gave us Ruby Bridges and the Little Rock Nine. Brave, black students who volunteered to integrate the public school system.

Let us not forget what Vivian Malone Jones lived through when she integrated The University of Alabama despite then Governor George C. Wallaces' infamous stand in the school house door.

Fast forward to 2011 when an Arkansas school district won't allow a black valedictorian
After four years of nearly straight-As, Honors and Advanced Placement classes, 18-year-old Kymberly Wimberly achieved the highest GPA at McGehee Secondary School southeast of Little Rock, Ark., according to a court complaint.

However, instead of awarding the student for her hard work and dedication, the school denied her the valedictorian status because she was black, claims the document filed by Wimberly's lawyer, John W. Walker.

According to the court document, this is not the first time this has happened in the school's history:

"[The] defendant's actions were part of a pattern and practice of school administrators and personnel treating the African-American students less favorably than the Caucasian ones...Until Wimberly, the last African-American valedictorian in the McGeeHee school district was in 1989."

This is proof they are still standing in the school house door.

This is a what some "Professional Lefty Retards " tried to tell some of y'all post

Hello this is Hank Sanders, Alabama state Senator, and I’m still mad as hell. I say hell no! I ain’t going back to the cotton fields of Jim Crow days. I’m going forward with Ron Sparks, Jim Folsom and others who would do right by all of us. I hope you are mad as hell and will not go back, and you have the power to choose. I will stand until hell freezes over for Ron Sparks for Governor and Jim Folsom for Lt. Governor on November the 2nd.

Paid for by Alabama New South.

“I heard if the Republicans win the election, their first act of business was going to be sending this monkey back to his cage …” These words were posted on a web site ( in response to a robo ad I sent. There is a mean spirit on the loose.

Rangel: It's disgraceful that he has to make any explanation for anything. The intrusion of the media and Republicans into the sacred relationship that worshipers have with their spiritual leaders I think is going to come back to haunt us. To think that we have to go into the lives and the beliefs of Rabbis and Priests and ministers and Imams is absolutely ridiculous. We've got a war on. We've got an economy that's splintered. I think the media should be more responsible and start dealing with those issues. I don't think many people care what reverend Wright thinks and I don't see why any candidate should have to explain what ..

Rep Waters: "One of the things we can't do is, we can't let them distract from what we're all about, and what we're trying to accomplish. We're trying to keep the focus on comprehensive, universal health care reform, and they're going all over the place. They are desperate, uh, they don't have leadership, uh, they really don't know what to do, and so, I think we're going to continue to see a lot of crazy things happening, like all of the, uh, outrage that has been demonstrated at these town hall meetings, like the kind of statement that Congresswoman Jenkins made, and let them define themselves, let them reveal who they are. The American public needs to see that."

Howard Dean said a public health insurance option is more important than bipartisanship, and that Democrats should pass health-care legislation that includes the option with 51 votes if necessary.

Dean added that Democrats should have "no intention" of working with Republicans if it's not the strongest possible legislation that could be passed with a simple majority.

Bernie Sanders went to the floor of the Senate last December to deliver the most important congressional address of 2010, a nine-hour long, filibuster-style condemnation of economic policies that favored the rich while burdening working Americans. The independent senator from Vermont electrified the nation with a call for economic justice that challenged Obama administration compromises with Republicans on issues of tax policy and declared: "There is a war going on in this country, and I am not referring to the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. I am talking about a war being waged by some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in this country against the working families of the United States of America, against the disappearing and shrinking middle class of our country."

Sorry but I'm going to have to throw a wet blanket on this "bipartisan" love fest.
Has anyone noticed but me that republicans are bipartisan when it's benefits them? Bipartisanship to republicans means you join us, we don't join you.

Mo, Dale, Teabaggers, how about joining with Democrats/liberals fighting for health care reform, or the Jobs bill, or bringing our troops home from Iraq? Bipartisanship is two way, not one way.

Words of caution and advice to my progressive/democratic friends. Make sure you identify yourselves as such so that you won't be lumped in with the Teabaggers. They are NOT your friend(s). Don't let yourself be used to enable the right wing/conservative agenda.

The president said the Republican Party was focused on things like tax cuts for the rich and cuts to education funding rather than helping middle class Americans and young people.

"If we don't have strong leaders in Congress who are supportive of this agenda, who are supportive of moving the country forward," the president said. "If instead we've got folks who want to move backwards to the same failed policies that got us into this mess in the first place, then it's going to be very difficult for me to keep making progress and do what folks want to see me do over the next two years."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

RedEye'sTuesday Talking Points and Rant

For the record I am NOT one of those Americans who want a compromise on the debt ceiling. For one thing, compromising with the republicans is like a rape victim compromising with their attacker. For another thing, how come President Obama is the only President who has to jump through hoops to get the debt ceiling extended? Never mind. We know why. The republicans want to keep President Obama from doing anything. Strike that. republicans want to keep President Obama from doing anything for black/brown/poor people so we can be accused of standing around wanting a hand out. Snark

That's right (pun intended). Whites are getting richer while black and brown folks are getting the shaft, but it's not racism. Snark Before you start whinning about this being RedEye hollering racism again, you might want to check out the findings of a recent Pew Research study

From “Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics”, a study released on July 26 by the Pew Research Center

The median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly available government data from 2009.

These lopsided wealth ratios are the largest since the government began publishing such data a quarter century ago and roughly twice the size of the ratios that had prevailed between these three groups for the two decades prior to the Great Recession that ended in 2009.

The Pew Research analysis finds that, in percentage terms, the bursting of the housing market bubble in 2006 and the recession that followed from late 2007 to mid-2009 took a far greater toll on the wealth of minorities than whites. From 2005 to 2009, inflation-adjusted median wealth fell by 66% among Hispanic households and 53% among black households, compared with just 16% among white households.

As a result of these declines, the typical black household had just $5,677 in wealth (assets minus debts) in 2009; the typical Hispanic household had $6,325 in wealth; and the typical white household had $113,149.

And NO. An African American, democratic President cutting social programs does not make it more palatable for blacks because when white America get a cold, non white America gets pneumonia....and die because you know, we are the ones without access to quality affordable health care. I guess the plan is for us to die quickly.

The black middle class is on the verge of extinction. So don't think it's not your problem. If you are black in America it is your problem too.
As has been the case for more than half a century, the black unemployment rate, which is understated, has been running at twice the rate of white Americans. Black teenage unemployment rates are particularly dismal. They have been hovering around 40 percent, and the rate for both teenage males and females is currently more than 35 percent. High teenage unemployment, as well as a dismal job market for new college graduates, suggest that attaining or maintaining middle-class status is increasingly difficult for black youth, and the three paths that earlier generations of African-Americans took — work in the unionized manufacturing sector, public sector employment and more recently college and graduate education — either no longer functionally exist, or are much less reliable conduits to social mobility than they were even a decade ago.

We can't depend on the media we have to tell us what we need to know, because they are too busy telling us what they want us to know. That's why we don't know what we don't know. I sure do miss the good old days when the media kept our government from misleading us to enabling our government to mislead us.
It's been said many times. But it's never enough: the conventions of journalistic 'objectivity', as currently defined, frequently make journalists violate their biggest duty, which is honesty with readers. The top headline running now on CNN reads: "They're all talking, but no one is compromising, at least publicly. Democratic and GOP leaders appear unwilling to bend on proposals to raise the debt ceiling."

By any reasonable measure, this is simply false, even painfully so. It might be right to say they are not agreeing, that's demonstrable. But I don't think any observer -- one who has actually watched the specifics of the debate -- honestly believes that neither side is compromising. Indeed, even the firebreathers on the Republican side aren't suggesting this. Their argument is that the nature of the 'crisis' is so great that there can be no compromise on their basic demands. That is what it means when they say they will not support any new taxes as part of a global deal.
Compromising with the TeaPublicans is like a chicken compromising with Colonel Sanders.

House Speaker John Boehner often attacks the spendthrift ways of Washington.

“In Washington, more spending and more debt is business as usual,” the Republican leader from Ohio said in a televised address yesterday amid debate over the U.S. debt. “I’ve got news for Washington - those days are over.”

Yet the speaker, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell all voted for major drivers of the nation’s debt during the past decade: Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts and Medicare prescription drug benefits. They also voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, that rescued financial institutions and the auto industry.


You didn’t create Social Security and Medicare, the American People did – working their will through the efforts of Democratic Party leadership over the course of a 40 year struggle. You were not there. The blood and tears and courage it took to create these programs were not yours.

Americans who have paid their dues and paid their taxes for a lifetime expect it to be there when they need it. That was the promise. That is the cornerstone of our social contract as a nation.

Stop what you’re doing, now. You have no right. You have no mandate. Social Security and Medicare do not belong to you.

RedEye Rant over and out.

Monday, July 25, 2011

"What Color is She?" A defining moment on the front porch at Cracker Barrel

It is an unofficial southern tradition to attend Sunday school/church then race like a bat out of hell to the nearest Cracker Barrel restaurant for brunch. There you will find a diverse group of people rocking and waiting on the worlds longest front porch to get their grub on. 

Thanks to my granddaughter and a little 4 year old white boy named Will I experienced a defining moment on the front porch at Cracker Barrel on a hot, Sunday afternoon.

It all begin when my just learning to walk grand daughter led me over to where Will and his family were sitting. His family gushed over my grand daughter making me very proud. Will very politely introduced himself and told me how old he was. Then he  asked "What's her name?" I told him. "She's pretty" he replied.   I said thank you. Then he looked me dead in the face with his big, brown, innocent eyes and asked "What color is she?" At first I pretended I didn't hear him and tried to change the subject but he wasn't having it. He looked me in the eye and asked again "What color is she?" I didn't know what to say. I looked at his mother for a clue but she was looking the other way acting like she hadn't heard him. I looked at my grand daughter and thought to myself what color is she, and what am I going to say to this child? So I said, she's brown.

Will thought about it for a minute then he looked at me and asked "Why is she brown?" Oh heck, I thought, what do I say now? So I looked over at my daughter, who also hasn't heard a thing,  and said because her Mommy and I are brown. There, that's the end of that, I thought.

Wrong. Still looking me in the eye Will asked "Why are you and her Mommy brown?" So I did what any self respecting adult would do, I told Will we were brown because God made us brown. Without hesitation Will said "Oh, OK". Whew, I thought we were going to play the why to infinity game.

I was about to break out and start singing Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow black and white we are precious in his sight, etc but they called Will's family's name over the loudspeaker. I thought they were going to run over each other trying to get away, to be honest, I breathed a sigh of relief too.

I pray I handled this situation the right (no pun) way. I knew how I answered the question could shape young Will's perception of race for years to come. I still remember how I discovered I was colored. He seemed satisfied that it was God's will. At four years old young Will may not know about race, but he knew about God, and that's a good thing.

I learned something about my self sitting on the front porch at Cracker Barrel on a hot Sunday Afternoon. I don't know why God made me brown, but I'm glad he did. I'm also thankful he put Will in my life to remind me God made and loves us all equally.

Racism is a thing not a person.

It's about what you do, not about what you say.

God doesn't love whites more than blacks and vice verse.

All of God's people are created equally.

The things that divide us are rooted in sin (Greed, Pride).

We need to be wall breakers instead of wall builders.

In order to overcome racial prejudice we need understand and respect each others differences and experiences.

When love and understanding move into our hearts it has the power to remove all forms of hatred.

It's time for us to be the solution and not the problem.

In order to end racism we must confront it head on.

Consider this a belated RedEye Sunday sermon.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

RedEye's Week In Review and a Mea culpa

TeaPublicans want to Free America. No Socialism. No Communism. Just McCarthyism.

Probably the most disturbing aspect of the multifarious effects of Fox News' right-wing propaganda machine and its Tea Party offspring is the way it has utterly taken over the lives of so many senior citizens, who lap up every word as the gospel truth and have become increasingly radicalized by talking heads like Glenn Beck.

Even as they project their own intentions onto the likes of the unions, the Fox acolytes and the Tea Partiers have effectively become a brownshirt corps of mean-spirited, vicious thugs. It's deeply disturbing to watch people in our parents' generation viciously attacking liberals with increasing venom and violence.

President Obama, be glad the TeaPublicans left you at the alter again.

O, with all due respect; it's time to double down. Show George Will and others that if this is to be the end of big government we will not go down without a fight. Show them that what the progressive proposes is not "incompatible with economic growth", but by putting people first, it is essential for it to take place.

And Mr. President, don't worry about the media trying to paint you as an angry black man because that is what they do when black folks are informed, passionate and dare speak truth to power to put us in our places. Stop worrying about what the Talking TeeVee Pundit heads say too. They have jobs and access to healthcare and they are RICH. Oh, and please stop pandering to the so called independents and moderate because they are really republicans and the only way they will vote for you is if you DICK Cheney your base.

None dare call it Bush*t! None in the media that is.
And therein lies the problem. You see, this is what happens when a country spends over three decades pretending that idiotic right wing ideologies are as valuable as facts. This is the result of the collective decision of the Very Serious People to take seriously right-wing rhetoric about taxes and economics and to treat it as if it were a valid, rational basis for policy. The late Daniel Patrick Moynihan apparently had it all wrong -- you can indeed have your own facts. Or perhaps more precisely, in Washington's bizarro world, an opinion is as good as a fact. Indeed, many of the Very Serious People no longer seem to know the difference between the two. Or if they do, they don't appear to think the distinction between fact and opinion makes any difference at all. In Washington, pointing out that something is simply false is viewed as very bad form.

I take that back about black folks not having the power to exercise racism. Black republicans have the power to exercise racism/sexism. Mea culpa complete. And they say I won't correct "factual errors". Snark

Friday, July 22, 2011

The problem black folks still live with

The problem we all live with — by Norman Rockwell (1894–1978), depicting an incident in the American Civil Rights struggle of the early 1960s, when Ruby Bridges entered first grade on the first day of court-ordered desegregation of New Orleans, Louisiana, public schools (November 14, 1960). Originally published in Look magazine.
The painting is currently displayed in the West Wing of the White House, just outside President Obama's Oval Office.

Unfortunately for black students living in Huntsville, AL, aka The Rocket City, the public school system has been hijacked by a group of people who believe black students don't deserve to have equal access to a quality education because they are... well black. According to them black students either can't learn or don't want to learn and it's all their parents fault for not teaching them how to act like white students, or, because of unfairness in life.

The school system has been co-opted by a group of people who care more about their property values than about all children having equal access to a quality education. The status quo created the best public school system their tax dollars would buy themselves, and the worse public school system their tax dollars couldn't buy for everybody else.

Huntsville integrated it's public school system without armed guards in 1963. From that time until the late 80's Huntsville City Schools were fully integrated. All the schools were considered "good schools" and all the children were learning. First came white flight. Then came black flight. To the detriment of black, brown and poor children.

How did this group of people take over the school system? By electing people who shared their point of view to serve on the School Board, the city council, the county commission, the Mayor, State Senators, State Legislators and United States Congressmen/women by being politically involved.

Parental Involvement is the key. I don't just mean attending PTSA meetings or attending Parent Teacher Conferences, do that too, but become POLITICALLY INVOLVED. The POLITICALLY INVOLVED Parents gets the worm.
Gone are the days when all parents and guardians had to do to ensure their student had access to a quality education was work and pay taxes. Gone are the days when all parents had to do was go to PTSA meetings and Parent Teacher Conferences. Gone are the days when all parents had to was provide students with food, clothing, shelter and school supplies send them off to school and they would learn something.

It is imperative parents be politically involved because if they are not, school administrators and teachers think they don't care about their student. And if they think you don't care, they darn sure won't and don't care.

I am really concerned about the future of public education in Huntsville for black/brown and poor students. I fear they are going to end up being uneducated and miss educated. I fear they will end up being the new slave labor because those in power believe that is what they deserve. I fear, ssegregation today,segregation tomorrow, segregation forever,is here to stay.

Stay tuned for some solutions to the problem black folks still live with.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Alabama's "Good old Boys" all over the noose, I mean news


H/T jack and jill politics

Alabama's a$$e$ of evil were all over the news yesterday, from Governor Robert Bentley, State Senator Scott Beason and of course Congressman Mo Brooks.

You can read the sad, sorry tale for yourself, but I want to concentrate on Governor Robert Bentley unholy actions. I was willing to give the good Governor a chance because I had it on good authority he was a nice guy just a member of the wrong party. He may be a good guy but his actions are WRONG.

Governor Bentley, cut education, laid off teachers and support personell, cut funding to states parks and other services but still collects taxes to pay to keep the grass cut at the CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL!

Despite fire-and-brimstone opposition to taxes among many in a state that still has "Heart of Dixie" on its license plates, officials never stopped collecting a property tax that once funded the Alabama Confederate Soldiers' Home, which closed 72 years ago. The tax now pays for Confederate Memorial Park, which sits on the same 102-acre tract where elderly veterans used to stroll.
The tax once brought in millions for Confederate pensions, but lawmakers sliced up the levy and sent money elsewhere as the men and their wives died. No one has seriously challenged the continued use of the money for a memorial to the "Lost Cause," in part because few realize it exists; one long-serving black legislator who thought the tax had been done away with said he wants to eliminate state funding for the park.

We can thank our great snark Alabama Constitution for taxing treason.

Alabama's tax structure was enshrined in its 1901 Constitution, passed after Reconstruction at a time when historians say state legislators' main goal was to keep power in the hands of wealthy white landowners by disenfranchising blacks and poor whites.
The Constitution allowed a state property tax of up to 6.5 mills, which now amounts to $39 annually on a home worth $100,000. Of that tax, 3 mills went to schools; 2.5 mills went to the operating budget; and 1 mill went to pensions for Confederate veterans and widows.
The state used the pension tax to fund the veterans home once it assumed control of the operation in 1903. The last Confederate veteran living at the home died in 1934, and its hospital was converted into apartments for widows. It closed in 1939, and the five women who lived there were moved to Montgomery.

It's bad enough I am forced to buy a license plate that says Heart of Dixie, but I'm also paying for a Confederate Memorial Park? I don't want my #$%^ tax dollars paying for the license plate or the Confederate Memorial Park any more than republicans want their tax dollars to pay for abortions.

Legislators whittled away at the Confederate tax through the decades, and millions of dollars that once went to the home and pensions now go to fund veteran services, the state welfare agency and other needs. But the park still gets 1 percent of one mill, and its budget for this year came to $542,469, which includes money carried over from previous years plus certificates of deposit.
All that money has created a manicured, modern park that's the envy of other Alabama historic sites, which are funded primarily by grants, donations and friends groups. Legislators created the park in 1964 during a period that marked both the 100th anniversary of the Civil War and the height of the civil rights movement in the Deep South.
Nothing is left of the veterans' home but a few foundations and two cemeteries with 313 graves, but a museum with Civil War artifacts and modern displays opened at the park in 2007. Rebel flags fly all around the historic site, which Rambo said draws more than 10,000 visitors annually despite being hidden in the country nine miles and three turns off Interstate 65 in the central part of the state.
While the park flourishes quietly, other historic attractions around the state are fighting for survival.

No, while education and other public services suffer the Confederate part flourishes. How is that for getting your priorities right (pun intended).
Workers at Helen Keller's privately run home in northwest Alabama fear losing letters written by the famed activist because of a lack of state funding for preservation of artifacts. On the Gulf Coast at Dauphin Island, preservationists say the state-owned Fort Gaines is in danger of being undermined by waves after nearly 160 years standing guard at the entry to Mobile Bay.

Isn't it ironic they are always telling black folks to get over slavery and stop reliving the past then tax us so they can relive the past? Hell, we might as well elected Artur Davis as Governor.
Big Snark

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What if Wednesday

Oh Slap! What if Michelle Obama had a left hook like Wendi Murdoch?

Yesterday, viewers were shocked to not only see an attempt to pie Rupert Murdoch in the face -- but also his wife, Wendi Murdoch, valiantly and violently defend him.

What if Robert Johnson and BET were the ones accused of hacking instead of Rupert Murdoch and Fox News?

Nearly every potential Republican presidential candidate either has or had a contract as a Fox News Contributor: Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee. Ailes' conservative loyalty is evident and so is his tolerance for suspect news practices, with African-Americans often the intended victims.

What if the TeaPublicans loved their country more than they hated President Obama? What if the real republicans took their party back?

I mean for the love of God...these Republicans are that afraid of the Tea Party? Is Boehner that much of an impotent prick? Get control of your idiots! A bunch of people dressed in costumes who don't understand how to govern, that's who you are going to let dictate how to run the government. It's amazing, truly amazing.

What if the media informed instead of misinformed?

What if we had shared sacrifice instead of sacrificing the poor, disabled and the elderly?

Our savage economic inequality in this country is coming to a head. We talk about "spending cuts," as if what we're not really talking about is "making the poor pay more for stuff." We talk as if the services that are cut will be picked up by the aching states and cities. And we talk about nonsense like "shared sacrifice," as if that's the rational position in any of this. When the wealthy actually sacrifice something, we can talk about sharing.

What if this were America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, where all people were created equal and had equal rights?

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

RedEye's Alabama Congress Critter Alert!

What's that you say? Alabama Congress Critter Jo Bonner (r. bigot) has a tendency to exploit the ethics committee for partisan gain? I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you. NOT.

Ethics watchdogs are calling on Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL) to step down as chairman of the House Ethics Committee -- at least temporarily -- for his role in the ongoing turmoil over Rep. Maxine Waters' (D-CA) case.

What was Bonner's role in the ongoing turmoil over Rep. Maxine Waters you ask?

Neither the House Ethics Committee nor Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) office returned a request for comment about allegations that Bonner engaged in improper communication with attorneys on the panel last year while he was still its ranking member.

An unprecedented leak of internal ethics documents from last fall provide new details about Bonner's role in the alleged bungling of the ethics committee's case against Waters. The scores of Ethics Committee e-mails and memos, reported by Politico Monday with links to the documents, paint a picture of a committee consumed by partisan dysfunction and accusations of professional misconduct surrounding Waters' case

Let's get ready to rumble!

Unlike in a normal court of law, Waters may have no formal way to file a complaint against the Ethics Committee. But at the very least, Waters could take her fight to the floor of the House, calling on Bonner to step down from the position and repeatedly raise the allegations of mistreatment and unprofessional conduct. The spectacle undoubtedly would attract the attention of the media and many of her peers already wary of the ethics committee's policing power.

Bonner's role in the Rangel lynching

The attorneys also improperly communicated with Texas Rep. Mike McCaul, the top Republican on the special panel overseeing the trial of Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), who later the House censured for a separate string of charges, according to Chisam's memo. There are strict Ethics Committee rules preventing contact between the staff attorneys assigned to prosecute a case and the lawmakers who serve as the jury weighing the evidence.

Let this be a lesson for republicans and conservadems, ethics are for everybody.

Thanks to the republicans and their "progressive" enablers, there is a narrative that that all Democrats, especially black elected democrats, are corrupt and unethical. The jails are full and getting fuller of Democratic elected officials convicted after widely publicized media investigations. It has the "appearance" of political prosecutions.
For the record I'm not defending people who misuse public funds or who are trying to enrich themselves or their families. I'm defending our justice system and the rule of law.

The justice system that says defendants are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, not the court of public opinion. The justice system that says justice is blind not partisan and political. The justice system that says we have the right to fair trial. The justice system that says the jury pool should not be tainted by pre trial publicity. The justice system on which this country was founded.

So much hypocrisy. So little time. But none dare call it racism.

RedEye Alabama Congress Critter Alert over and out. For now.

Tuesday "Mean as a Snake" Talking Points

Former President Bill Clinton, aka the Big Dog, said he would use the 14th amendment and tell the republicans to go Dick Cheney themselves (my words not his). Psst President Obama! This is the kind of President I thought we we had.

Former President Bill Clinton would invoke the 14th Amendment - “without hesitation, and force the courts to stop me,” he says - to raise the debt ceiling if he were in President Barack Obama’s shoes, with the deadline to raise the limit just two weeks away.

Democrats with gonads and who are fighting back. How refreshing. Psst ADP Chair Mark Kennedy! This is the kind of fight we need. Strike that. This is the kind of fight we want.

There is a class war being fought in Washington, DC right now, but it's extremely one-sided and so the outcome is obvious. By contrast, in Wisconsin the class war is being fully engaged from both sides, and the outcome there is balanced on the edge of a knife. That shouldn't come as a surprise, since there is no way to win a class war unless you fight one.

This is how real progressives fight back!

There is no doubt about our country being in trouble, and blame must be shared by both Democrats and Republicans. But we are not going to solve our problems with more tax breaks for the wealthy or the corporations. Nor are we going to solve the problems when your soul mission is to make the President look bad. Frankly, you and your Republican cohorts have done more damage to America than Osama bin Laden could have ever imagined or hoped for.

The only way out of this mess, which you helped create, is to stimulate the economy and get people back to work, and that won’t happen with further tax cuts. You can start by:

• raising the debt ceiling,
• ending all of the tax-based subsidies to the oil/gas, Ethanol, and tobacco cartels,
• repealing the Bush tax cuts, and
• then bring the troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq.

On another note, what is it with Florida people when it comes to the rule of law? I mean, really?

Incoming-How did the South Huntsville Civic Association take over the Huntsville City School system?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Update-The South Huntsville Civic (sic) Association has taken over the Huntsville City School System

Let's recap for those who haven't been following the continuing saga of the sad, sorry state of the Huntsville City School system. Public Education is under attack in Huntsville, Alabama led by well funded group known as the South Huntsville Civic Association.

The South Huntsville Civic Association hosted a town hall meeting for the recently appointed Huntsville City Schools Superintendent. I am sharing an email I received from someone who attended the meeting with their permission and updated links inserted for clarity.

I attended this Republican cheer leading event at Grissom last evening. It was sickening. I’ve never seen so many Republicans in my life. There were 7 elected Repugs on the stage. Could well have been the Republican convention. They used these “civic” meetings to win the election for Mo Brooks, and it is absolutely the bailiwick of school board member, president, head honcho, Jennie Robinson. I have asked the school attorney how they could use a public building for political meetings, and he said "anybody could use it if they paid for it".

There’s a subtle movement to privatize/corporatize school systems across the country. That’s why this incompetent board - not including Morrison & McCauley - even though they’ve gotten us into a 20 million hole of which they’re getting off scott free, insisted on a nation-wide search for a new superintendent (never mind Huntsville’s history of engineers & rocket scientists). They came up with a man from Colorado, Casey Wardynski who has never even been near school children. He was the chief financial officer in Aurora, Colorado for 10 months – which he left IN a $25M DEBT.

Wardynski is a retired army colonel said he got a Masters at Harvard, then got a “PhD” at Rand Institute (a PhD mill) where he was accepted into the Broad Superintendents’ Academy. Here’s where it gets interesting: Broad doesn’t want people with experience, loves army types , but wants to train them fresh to take over school systems and start from scratch, get rid of the old, bring in new. They trained not to like teachers, won’t accept tenure. He’s already bringing in from Colorado a finance chief, and looking at a friend of his from Mississippi as assistant superintendent. ( Robinson is from Pennsylvania and is of the same philosophy, bad mouthed AEA throughout her campaign, said AEA wanted to raid school finances to give themselves a raise. Big business, including Committee of 100, Home builders Association, Chamber of Commerce gave her over $60,000 for her campaign; her Democratic opponent had only $12,000 but because of my help and that of others, she won by only 101 votes out of 5600 cast. Democracy almost worked.)

He believes in constant testing, which means that little to no subjective teaching/thinking can occur. If a goof-off kid refuses to behave and learn, then the teacher is out the door. On 6-10-11, HTimes said that “Leadership Huntsville/Madison County, an executive training program released Sarah Savage to support Wardynesky during his first 90 days. They’re doing it for free.

Look for strange goings on in the Huntsville School System.

Stay tuned for some of those "strange goings on".

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Shorts

Congress Critter Mo Brooks making Sweet Home Alabama's 5th district proud! Not.

Yes, I'll dare call it Treason enabled by the mainstream media.

What is a Patriot? You won't find any on TeeVee.

Is the gop infused, media enabled, Tea Party a promoter of economic anarchy? Let me think about that for a minute....


Peace be with you and yours~RedEye

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday Quick Rant

Between my real life and working on the Huntsville City Schools update I don't have time to write an in-depth diary but there are some things I just have to get off my chest.

If you don't read anything else I ever post, please read 8 Political Myths about Blacks you shouldn't believe.
By Anthony Jerrod
English novelist and essayist George Orwell once stated, “Political language…is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” Indeed, throughout history, the political landscape has been littered with mental trash that subsequently has been accepted, processed and etched into the minds of certain individuals as truth.
To date, members of various ethnicities continue to witness the deep democratic struggles and the courage of people of African descent, who continually clothe themselves with love and justice in the face of monolithic adversity, resistance, malevolent acts, and attempts to diminish and eradicate black beauty, intelligence and potentiality.
As we embark on communicating the whole truth, it is essential that we persist in debunking lies intended to hold blacks captive. To be sure, the following is but a snapshot of popular myths and does not represent the full breadth of lies leveled by politicos on both sides of the aisle.
We Professional Lefty's tried to tell y'all The Tax Cut Deal was a hidden threat to Social Security. But did you listen? Nooooo. Can you hear us now?
WASHINGTON - The tax cut deal that President Obama struck with congressional Republicans contains a provision that could ultimately be the undoing of Social Security, say Senate Democrats and backers of the old-age and disability program.

Obama, as part of the Democratic package, secured a roughly 30 percent cut in the payroll tax, from 6.2 to 4.2 percent. Allowing it to expire in a year will mean that workers will see a nearly 50 percent jump in payroll taxes as the rate reverts back -- an event that will surely be described as a tax hike. The cut is estimated to cost $120 billion per year.
You are wrong ADP chair, Mark Kennedy. There is no civil rights struggle going on in Alabama about over immigration and I resent the comparison. This is not a civil rights struggle over immigration, it's an economic struggle. Did you forget the origins of the so-called immigration movement? President Reagan granted immunity to millions of Mexicans so they could come over here and do the jobs not that black didn't want to do, but jobs employers didn't want to pay blacks to do. They didn't start having a problem with them there illegals until they started wanting to be paid and have some rights. African Americans were brought to this country in chains. Hispanics came voluntarily.

Just call us the N-word Already and get it over with

My father used to say, in dealing with racists, you had rattlesnakes and you had water moccasins (his analogy). The rattlers were the ones who hollered “Nigger!” every time they saw your ass, so you weren’t surprised or upset by his bigoted ass. In time, you learned how to tune him out, and avoid him in the road, because he rattles, which lets you know he’s planning to strike.

OTOH, the water moccasin, like the black mamba, is a sneaky SOB that gives no warning when it’s going to strike. They lull you to a sense of safety…and, WHAM!, you’re snakebit and it just might kill you if you don’t get to a doc in time. IOW, you think someone’s not a bigot and then they drop that hammer on you – and you never knew what hit you.
Just another day in America
"A Negro's body was found on the outskirts of a small Mississippi town. The victim had been bound hand and foot, stabbed seventeen times, and had six bullet wounds in his body. "What's your verdict, sheriff?" asked a reporter. "Worst case of suicide I ever saw!" replied the lawman."

The following story from Connecticut reminds me of the joke you just read.

"Stamford Connecticut police have identified the body of a young woman found naked and dead under a tree this past Saturday.
Jasmine Brown, 21, [IN PIC] moved to New York from New Orleans a year ago to attend the Art Institute of New York City. Police believe the aspiring designer either fell or jumped to her death from the tree."
It's the job of Faux News to sell wars and misinform people. Which is why Fox News is blasted in every Airport, Hospital, Mall, The Utility Company, and Restaurants.
The FOX agenda is not to report the news to us in a straightforward fashion,it is to give the news they report a conservative slant and to influence and brainwash the A-merry-can people into their way of thinking. Goebbels would be proud.
7 winning issues for democrats if only they had the guts to fight. I have to give it to the right wing. Right or wrong they stand united and fight. Psst ADP chair Mark Kennedy! Read this and you won't have to beg democrats to "fight with you".
It's not enough for progressives to count on Republicans to lose in 2012. Democrats need to find some issues to fight for.
Congratulations to my friend Legal Schnauzer for reaching a milestone. He is bravest, most talented Blogger I know.
What did I set out to do? More than anything else, I wanted to accomplish these two things: (1) To call attention to the problem of corruption in our justice system, an issue that is mostly ignored in the mainstream press; (2) To write about legal corruption in a way that I didn't think was being presented anywhere else on the Web.

Thank you for personal sacrifice, hopefully, it will not be in vain.

My background is in journalism, and I knew that credibility would be crucial if this blog was going to have an impact. That's why I've posted under my real name, from day one. And it's why I frequently link to real case law and use Scribd (a wonderful tool) to publish documents from real court cases. I did not want this blog to be a theoretical exercise; I wanted it to cut close to the bone--to show what can happen to people in court and give a sense for how it feels to be victimized.

That approach has come with a price. If I had chosen to write under a fake name, Mrs. Schnauzer and I still would have our jobs. If I had used my real name, but focused only on my opinion about various subjects, we probably would still have our jobs. If I had used my real name, but been way off base on my factual assertions, we might still have our jobs. After all, I've come to realize that folks in power don't worry much about opinions or reporting that isn't solidly based in facts. But if you focus on genuine reporting that is on target--and you do it under your own name--that makes powerful folks uncomfortable. And that can make you a target.

Do I have second thoughts about starting the blog, or the approach we have taken? No, I don't. I knew I could not live with myself if I just "let it go" on the cheat job Mrs. Schnauzer and I experienced in the courts of Shelby County, Alabama, where we live. And when I researched the Don Siegelman and Paul Minor cases, and came to understand what had been done to them, I knew I could not stay silent about that, either.

Thank you for not staying silent. Silence helps the oppressor not the oppressed.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Right to Vote Today. The Right to Vote Tomorrow. The Right to Vote Forever.

In light of the discussion regarding voter suppression and the republican Voter ID laws, I am posting this blast from the past from my days when I was welcome at Left in Alabama.

First published at Left in Alabama on August 4, 2009. Cross posted at War is a crime with updated links because the original links have been disabled.

On this day in 1965, President Lyndon Baines Johnson (D. Texas) signed the National Voting Rights Act. For my fellow Americans who've always had the right and the privilege to vote today may not be a big deal to you, but to me and mine, it's a very big deal.

The right to vote is sacred to African Americans. I know it sounds cliche, but it's steeped in blood, sweat, tears, courage and sacrifice. That's why we don't think Voter Suppression with the State Seal of Approval is funny. It's why we shake our heads at The Tough Voter ID Laws. It's why we get weep silently when the real voter suppression gets a slap on the wrist, and the imagined voter fraud is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

It's like pre 1965 all over again.

My paternal grandparents were allowed to vote in the 1940's because they were educated and educators. They were teachers at what was known then as the Veterans Continuation School (pre GI Bill), a federal program designed for veterans returning home from the war to continue their education. They attended classes at night and received a stipend. One of the classes was how to pass the Literacy test. My grandparents were exempt from paying the $2.00 poll tax because they taught at the school. So you see, even though they were veterans returning home from war, they didn't have the full rights and privileges they fought for overseas.

My maternal grandfather could vote because as my mother says "he worked in the mines", he was grandfathered in because his father "worked in the mines". My maternal grandmother cast her first vote after the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. She was a Republican because "Lincoln freed the slaves". As much as we tried to tell her that was the Republican party of yesterday, she was loyal to the Republican party and grateful to President Abraham Lincoln until the day she died.

My parents cast their first votes right here in Madison County in the 1950's. Although it was pre Voting Rights Act, they didn't have to pay a poll tax or take a literacy test. I remember my Daddy taking me to the Madison County Courthouse to register to vote on my 18th birthday, and my younger siblings on their 18th birthday. It's a rite of passage I continued with my own offspring.

Today is in honor of President Lyndon Baines Johnson (D. Texas) for having the courage to do the right thing. It's in honor of Viola Luzzio, who was murdered after the Selma to Montgomery March. Today we honor the memories of Jimmie Lee Jackson, James Reeb, Denise McNair, Carol Robinson, Addie Mae Collins and Carol Wesley.

Some GOP members of congress believed the National Voting Rights Act is "over reaching" and objected to renewing it in 2006. Fortunately they were over ruled and the Voting Rights Act was extended for another 25 years.

In July 2006, 41 years after the Voting Rights Act passed, renewal of the temporary provisions enjoyed bi-partisan support. However, a number of Republican lawmakers acted to amend, delay or defeat renewal of the Act for various reasons. One group of lawmakers led by Georgia congressman Lynn Westmoreland came from some preclearance states, and claimed that it was no longer fair to target their states, given the passage of time since 1965 and the changes their states had made to provide fair elections and voting. Another group of 80 legislators supported an amendment offered by Steve King of Iowa, seeking to strip provisions from the Act that required that translators or multilingual ballots be provided for U.S. citizens who do not speak English.[5] The "King letter" said that providing ballots or interpreters in multiple languages is a costly, unfunded mandate.

Will the National Voting Rights Act need to be extended another 25 years? I don't know, but based on current GOP/conservative sentiment it sure looks like it.

Click here to read the comments.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Texas Election Judges opinion of the Voter ID laws

I am sharing an email I received from a Texas Election Judge in response to my post, I sure do miss the good old days when we had fair and free elections in America too. I would like to thank the Judge for reading and their informative response.~Redeye

Let me preface this by saying that here in Texas, there has recently been passed a new "Voter ID" law ( :-( ) and I don't know yet how the courts will handle that, or how the details will work. So I'm basing what I'm saying below on the prior law and interpretation.

First of all, at least here in Texas, you DO have to provide SOME kind of identification in order to vote (at least to vote normally).

That said, there is a WIDE variety of identification you can provide. What we are trying to determine is that you are who you say you are, and that you are a registered voter in Dallas County (during early voting) and/or the precinct corresponding to the polling place to you are at (on election day proper). You can use a voter registration card (the preferred ID), Texas Drivers License, active duty military ID, pilots license, passport, concealed carry permit, or more. It's not limited to government issued identification: if it shows your photo and your name (and preferably also your signature) that's cool. I have accepted a Sam's Club card, or even a Six Flags season pass.

The one that bothers ME is that we can (must!) also accept a utility bill... and that has neither a photo NOR a signature. That has the further problem that if the utility bill is in the husband's name, the wife can't vote with it, even though she is also covered by that bill. (Theoretically, someone could go down the street and pull utility bills out of the mailboxes on the day they're being delivered, and then use that as ID to vote for all their neighbors!)

Personally, I'm (not surprisingly) an election integrity advocate (and that's a big part of why I work as an election judge).

I want to make sure that the voter presenting themselves at the poll to vote IS the person who they claim to be. Obviously, we check on the computer (during early voting) or in the poll book (on election day) to verify that the person is registered and their voter egistration is active. If the voter has not yet signed their voter registration card, I ask them to sign it in front of me, and I verify that signature against the signature on their driver's license (which
of course is always signed). After the voter signs the application for voting (during early voting) or the combination form (on election day) I check to make sure that the signature appears to be signed by the same hand as that which signed their reference ID.

Personally, I think a photo ID is much less good than a signature
verification... if I were to cut off my beard and long hair, I wouldn't look anything like my previous picture, but my signature would still match... or if someone had an identical twin, they might look EXACTLY the same, but their signature won't match. So I qualify the voters by always confirming their signature, if possible (again, under current law, I have to accept a utility bill, which doesn't have a signature on it). The important thing is that I as election judge am convinced that the person IS who they claim to be.

I will point out that I've been working as an election judge for more than ten years, and the supposed problem of people trying to vote as someone else simply DOES NOT OCCUR (or at least not in the numbers that would ever change an election's results). This whole Voter ID law initiative, I think, is an attempt to divert attention away from where the real problems are (or MIGHT be), to where they are not.

As I understand things, the new Texas Voter ID law requires that the name on the Drivers License or other official voting ID presented matches the name on the voter registration. Very often (and more often for women than men) the names on the two databases (drivers license database vs. voter registration database) are not styled the same way. It remains to be seen what allowances we will make for that.

Here in Texas, at least, if you do not adequately identify yourself (whatever that involves) you can still vote (if you insist) but that will be a "provisional" ballot, and if you did not present a satisfactory ID, it is safe to predict that your vote WILL NOT BE COUNTED. (The actual determination is officially made by the Ballot Board, but the rule is that voters not presenting proper ID is one sufficient cause for not counting their ballot).

There is some feeling that the newly passed Texas Voter ID law will be thrown out by the courts. That remains to be seen, too.

There are other things that we need to change to make the voting more reliable, auditable, and trustworthy. I've discussed those here before, but that would be off topic for THIS reply, at least.

What I'm reading and working on today

My previous post regarding the Hopeless Huntsville City School system generated lots of interest and a mountain of new information from readers who are concerned about the future of the public school system. I am wading through the information working on a follow up. Stay tuned. In the meantime here are some must read links I like.

No progressive/liberal Alabama African American blogs allowed on Left in Alabama . And NO, Thoughts and Rants of an Independent doesn't count.  I would like to respectfully and formally request to be added to list of Alabama blogs at Left in Alabama. BTW, remember when I tried to tell y'all you were enabling Mo? And you might want to check the link to freethinkbham .

3500 reporters, 200 on Capital Hill, How many covered the Voter Suppression Press Conference? Hint it starts with the letter F and ends with the letter r and rhymes with door.

Out of sight. Out of mind. We can't be talking publicly about the worst Voter Suppression since 1965. What gets me is this is happening under a Democratic Administration.

It's not about Voter ID, it's about Voter Suppression!
78% of African American males in Wisconsin have no photo ID required to vote. Congresswoman Gwen Moore of Wisconsin runs through a list of statistics regarding who has photo IDs and who doesn’t as she speaks on the new voter ID law in Wisconsin. Members of the CBC are calling on the Department of Justice to get involved in the new voter ID law requirements to vote.
Revising history republican style
This should not really surprise anyone given the cries of many conservatives and Tea Party members to take back their country, as if it has been taken hostage by some group of people it ought not to belong. But what we must do, all people, not just blacks, is to not let this happen on our watch. The truth can be a painful thing but revising history is even more dangerous. We all know that if we don’t know our history we are doomed to repeat it. And burying or erasing parts of history we’d rather forget won’t erase them from our nation’s past. We must simply tell the truth and keep the truth alive not only for the many who sacrificed to get us to this point but for the generations to come.

Let us march on until victory is won.

We shall day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Hopeless Huntsville City School System redux

The South Huntsville Civic Association hosted a town hall meeting, for new Huntsville City School Superintendent Colonel Casey Wardynski   where he fielded questions from state legislators.  Note these legislators have the power to *cough* improve education *cough*.

Based on the questions and answers posed to and by the state legislators and  gop honchos, there is no HOPE for the Huntsville City Schools, and here's why.

Sen. Clay Scofield fielded questions about Alabama's strict new immigration law, which has been touted as the toughest in the nation. Scofield, R-Arab, said he is proud of the new law.

"The key word in this, ladies and gentlemen, is illegal," Scofield said. "We're not taking away anyone's right to be here."

Scofield said there are still many ways in which immigrants can come to Alabama.

"We want them to do so, and we welcome them to come here," he said. "But we expect it to be done legally."

*Uh, when did Arab, AL become part of the Huntsville City School system?

Not to be left out of the act Representative Mike Ball doesn't believe public school teachers should have job security.
Rep. Mike Ball, R-Madison, was questioned about tenure reform. The Legislature earlier this year passed the Students First Act, which made several changes to how local school districts can fire employees.

"The fact is, for the sake of the teaching profession, it really needed to be addressed," Ball said.

He pointed to "horror stories" across the state in which teachers who were accused of crimes were put on administrative leave with pay until their cases went through the courts. The new tenure law puts time limits on the pay a fired teacher can receive while appealing the termination.

"Contrary to what you may have heard, it was not a horrible, punitive bill that was passed," Ball said. "Due process is still included. It just streamlined the process."

*Note Representative Ball is a republican from Madison, AL.

Representative Howard Sanderford (R) was on hand to attack the Alabama Education Association bragging about their subpoena power and funding for the *ahem* ethics commission. They are going to destroy the AEA by stopping payroll deduction and banning PAC to PAC transfers.

Senator Paul Sanford (R barbecue boy) was questioned about the Constitutionality of recent immigration laws and like a true business owner he voted against the immigration bill even though he agreed with 95% of the bill. Huh?

No South Huntsville Civic Association Meeting would be complete without gop head honcho Hugh Mcginnis spewing his “There is no correlation between money and achievement” spill. If there is no correlation between money and achievement we would still have the segregated schools. Oh wait...

This is exactly why Brown v. Board was enacted, and why when someone yacks about "states rights", it becomes clear some states won't act right. Alabama is one of those states, full of closeted bigots who thinks a "Kardashian" is a country in Africa.

So, is HCS Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski going to be the Superintendent for South Huntsville, or is he going to be the Superintendent for ALL of Huntsville?

Time will tell the truth?

I sure do miss the good old days when we had fair and free elections in America too

Prior to the 2000 election, I wondered how in the world George W. Bush and Dick Cheney planned to *ahem* win the 2000 election without the African American vote? Little did I know they planned not to count the African American vote.

The Florida election has been closely scrutinized since the election, and several irregularities are thought to have favored Bush. These included the Palm Beach "butterfly ballot," which produced an unexpectedly large number of votes for third-party candidate Patrick Buchanan. Also noted was a purge of over 54,000 citizens from the Florida voting rolls identified as felons, of whom 54% were African-Americans. The majority of these were not felons and should have been eligible to vote under Florida law.[8] Additionally, there were many more 'overvotes' than usual, especially in predominantly African-American precincts in Duval county (Jacksonville), where some 27,000 ballots showed two or more choices for President[citation needed]. Unlike the much-discussed Palm Beach County 'butterfly ballot,' the Duval County ballot spread choices for President over two pages with instructions to 'vote on every page' on the bottom of each page.

The plan worked so well in 2000 they decided to have a repeat in 2004
Vote suppression/voter intimidation and deception. Shortages of voting locations and ballot forms. Foreign monitors barred from polls. Unmatched exit polls/actual results - actual results always skewed to Republicans. Masses of e-Voting "glitches". Computers lost votes. Presidential votes miscast on e-Voting machines throughout the US. More recorded votes than voters. Republicans gained 128.45% in Florida counties using optical scan voting machines while Democrats lost 21% - some districts showed gains of over 400% while one, Liberty County, gained over 700% for Republicans.Warren County officials locked down the county administration building on election night and blocked anyone from observing the vote count as the nation awaited Ohio's returns. Bush had 'incredible' vote tallies. 7% turnout reported in Cleveland precinct. In Cuyahoga County different towns had the exact same number of "extra" votes. And on, and on...

It's not as if African Americans didn't sound the alarm and try to rectify the situation in both cases, but of course they were routinely ignored and marginalized.

In a coda to a contentious, confusing and drawn-out presidential election, members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Saturday tried to stop the formal recording of the Electoral College tally during a joint session of Congress.

As Vice President Al Gore presided over the session, black members who supported him for president objected vociferously to the proceedings. One after another, the representatives rose to prevent the electoral votes from Florida from being counted.

Each time, Gore was forced to deny their motion, filed under an 1887 law, because their written objection did not include a signature from both a House member and a senator.

One after another, the caucus members arose and asked that the House withdraw from the joint session. Again, Gore denied the motions because no senator had agreed. One after another, the members also objected to the proceedings because a quorum was not present in the chamber. The vice president shut down the complaints.

If you are wondering how republicans plan to *ahem* win in 2012 without not only the African American vote, but the Hispanic, and LBGT vote as well, look no farther than the gop infused, media enabled Voter ID laws.
It is ridiculous on its face to believe that simply requiring someone to prove their identity before voting is an onerous requirement.

I wonder what part of we the people don't have to prove who we are before voting don't they understand?

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. §§ 1973–1973aa-6)[1] is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S.[2]

Echoing the language of the 15th Amendment, the Act prohibits states from imposing any "voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure ... to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color."[3] Specifically, Congress intended the Act to outlaw the practice of requiring otherwise qualified voters to pass literacy tests in order to register to vote, a principal means by which Southern states had prevented African-Americans from exercising the franchise.[2] The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat, who had earlier signed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.[2][4]

The Act established extensive federal oversight of elections administration, providing that states with a history of discriminatory voting practices (so-called "covered jurisdictions") could not implement any change affecting voting without first obtaining the approval of the Department of Justice, a process known as preclearance.[5] These enforcement provisions applied to states and political subdivisions (mostly in the South) that had used a "device" to limit voting and in which less than 50 percent of the population was registered to vote in 1964.[5] The Act has been renewed and amended by Congress four times, the most recent being a 25-year extension signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2006.[6]

I can tell you right now RedEye will not be going out of the way to obtain a Voter ID card.

So here is senario

RedEye shows up at the polls on election day and is told they can't vote because they don't have a Voter ID card.

What does RedEye do? Say OK and turn around and go home without voting?

I don't think so. It's not RedEye's responsibility to prove they are RedEye, it's the governments job to prove RedEye is not RedEye.

A voter ID card will not prove RedEye is RedEye. Voter ID cards can be forged just like any other instrument. That's how we know it's not about proving identity, it's about keeping RedEye from voting.

What if hundreds of RedEye's show up on election day without a Voter ID card?

What if thousands of RedEye's show up on election day without a Voter ID card?

What if millions of RedEye's show up on election day without a Voter ID card?

Can you say Chaos?