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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What if Wednesday

What if whites were being sentenced to death because of their race?

What if white public workers were the first laid off by job cuts?

What if we the people received a $13 billion gift from our government?

What if everyone refused to just shut up and smile?

What if Occupy's next frontier are foreclosed homes?

What if we had the kind of mainstream media that told us what we needed to know instead of what they want us to know?

What if we actually had freedom of speech and the right to criticize public officials in America?

What if Paige Parnell hadn't run a clean, honest campaign in HD45?

What's on your What if List?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Got Prozac?

Graphic H/T Chipsticks The Obama Diary

Herman Cain punk'd republicant's big time! The republican'ts thought they were punking the American people but the punk is on them. Herman Cain is not only a disgrace to his race, he's an embarrassment to all the republicant's who thought our (republicans) blacks was better than their (democrats) blacks. Snicker The funny thing is, their new front runner is morally bankrupt, too.

"Oh? The NYPD are treating you badly? Violent for no reason? Weird." -- Black People I say, welcome to our world. I also say this is why the little people are afraid to rise up.

Psst! Mr. President the republicans mean (pun intended) business. You need to get busy. No more Mister Nice Guy.
It is like Obama has become a different person. I no longer understand him.

Question: What would McCain – or Bush and Cheney – have done differently?

Answer: Precious little.

Maybe the Republicans are blackmailing him. Maybe power corrupts way more than I thought. Maybe he has become part of the Borg Collective that is American power. Maybe I am just being too hard on him.

But the pit of my stomach tells me it is far worse than any of that: Maybe power has become so institutionalized in America that it no longer matters who holds what office. The machine itself is too powerful for any single man, even the president – supposedly the most powerful man in the world – to change.


Are we in trouble yet?

Monday, November 28, 2011

"What happened to Democrats?"

This is the question posed in the headline by reporter Keith Clines on the front page, below the fold, in Sunday's Huntsville Behind The Times.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - Roger Jones, Tommy Ragland and Mark Craig, Billy Bell and Jim Smith are all white male Democrats holding local elected offices - a categorization that now puts them on the endangered species list.
Men like them once ruled the Earth - or at least politics in Alabama and Madison County - but the atmosphere and the electorate have changed.
A local Democratic Party leader and three elected Democrats have their own ideas about why their numbers are dwindling. Tagging local Democrats with labels associated with the national Democratic Party's position on issues is chief among the reasons cited.


Translation? White, male democrats would rather switch parties or retire than stand up for the rights of women, labor, our LBGT sisters and brothers, minorities, immigrants, public education, public school teachers, access to health care for all Americans, jobs, civil rights and human rights.

This is what the national democratic party stands for.
For over 200 years, Democrats have stood for the idea that wealth and status should not be an entitlement to rule. Democrats recognize that our country and our economy are strongest when they provide opportunity for all Americans—when we grow our country from the bottom up.

Democrats stand for an abiding faith in the judgment of hardworking American families, and a commitment to helping the excluded, the disenfranchised and the poor strengthen our nation by earning themselves a piece of the American Dream. We remember that our country was sculpted by immigrants and slaves, their children and grandchildren. Even today, it is our diversity above all else that provides us with our enduring strength.

Democrats believe that each of us has an obligation to each other, to our neighbors and our communities. Each of us has a role to play in creating our future—and while we have made great progress as a nation, we know that our work is never done.


I say good riddance to the white, male *ahem* democrat who can't and won't stand up for democratic party principles, because IMHO they were never real, democrats in the first place, they were infilTraitors. Just like the kid who jumps in the neighborhood pool and pi$$ in it.

So now that we know how white dems really feel what are we going to do about it? Are we going to roll over and play dead or are we going to rise up and fight?

I am begging to be a part of a group that stands up for what is right. I thought that becoming a democrat would start me on that path, but all I got was volunteer to help a candidate. A candidate for governor that I only supported because I was trying to do what the party wanted. I saw Republicans standing on street corners, on the radio, really doing something, and all I saw democrats do was have "get to know you" parties. Maybe I haven't met the right people, maybe because I am a student my time is limited; all I know is that I wanted to do something that made a difference, like the group of people from the civil rights movement, and I thought democrats were the group that did things like that, I was sorely mistaken. I will NEVER vote Republican again, but right now I am disillusioned with our President for caving to the Republicans. I cannot believe that our country is headed down a path of such narrow-minded ideals that are driven by complete lies.


To be clear, republicans don't win because they are right (pun intended), they win because they are willing to fight by any means necessary. republican voters are motivated by a steady stream of misinformation, bigotry and mean spirited rhetoric. If this is what white, male, dems want to associate with I say have at it.

republicans got us into this mess. Remember?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Come, Ye Thankful People, Come"

The original illegal immigrants. Pilgrim William Brewster holds a Bible as the Pilgrims pray for a safe journey as they leave for America from Delft Haven, Holland, on July 22, 1620.

Hello Everyone!

I will be on a semi vacation from the BlogOsphere this week, thankfully spending time with friends and family, enjoying good food and lots of football. Posting will be light, but feel free to browse around, comment, and post links.

This is also the third anniversary of my boot from the front pages of Left in Alabama, so I will conduct my annual blog stroll down memory lane.

My, how time flies when you are having fun. Three years and 508 post later, I am thankful the Cats invited and encouraged me to to begin blogging at Left in Alabama.   I'm really thankful they encouraged me to start my own blog so I could continue to be a voice for the voiceless. Im especially thankful they banned me from the front pages, thereby forcing me to start RedEye's Front Page.

Last year I wrote about The Civil War Within the Alabama Democratic Party. A war that rages on as self described conservative democrat Rep. Craig Ford mulls Alabama governor's race in '14. Everybody knows conservative democrat is nod, nod, wink , wink for I am running on the democratic ticket to take advantage of the democratic black voting block but I will govern like a republican.

Mull on this Rep. Ford....I don't care how many African Americans you have standing behind you in your photo op, RedEYE will NOT be voting for a conservative democrat for governor or anything else. If RedEYE wanted a republican governor RedEYE would vote for a republican governor. The lessor of two evils is still evil.

I was also writing about Charter Schools last year, and it looks like DeJa Voodoo all over again. I invite you to read Merts Center Monitor and Geek Pavaler for in depth analysis and informed commentary about the sorry state of the Huntsville City School System.

I'm thankful for the gop clown show , but will it force conservatives to look at themselves in the mirror? Is anyone surprised the so called Super Committee failed? After all they don't work for us, we work for them. Snark

Here is a little something to chew on besides turkey:
Segregation has come to the South once again, if it ever left, that is. A new report from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Washington, DC-based think tank, warns that the blacks are out of luck in Dixie, and out of the game.
Sigh


Happy and safe Thanksgiving to all of y'all!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Second Mile Development Inc. is not connected to The Second Mile Charity, but

According to WHNT News reporter David Kumbroch Huntsville, Alabama's Second Mile Development, Inc. is being confused (his word) with The Second Mile Charity connected to Jerry Sandusky in Pennsylvania.
Executive Director of Huntsville's Second Mile Development Bill McDowell says, "We've been getting several calls a day and comments asking if we're affiliated with them, and we have no affiliation with them. They started in 1977, and they're in three cities in the state of Pennsylvania, where our whole service area is here in Huntsville."
They are not affiliated with each other, however they are both non profit, tax exempt, faith based, organizations, run by a board of directors with similar mission statements.
Second Mile desires to empower the community where the hopeless can find hope; where children can find love and laughter, where young men and women can look to the future with pride and eager anticipation rather than with fear and dread; where men and women of all ages can discover the depth and the breadth of Christ's love.

The ultimate dream of Second Mile is to bring about, through Christ, reconciliation between all people: the rich and poor, the educated and uneducated, the fortunate and less fortunate
.
I wonder why WHNT TV felt compelled to clear up the confusion regarding the two charities but not one word about the Second Mile Development Inc./Terry Heights Elementary School offer?

Bill McDowell, executive director of Second Mile Development, confirmed Tuesday that the Christian nonprofit has made an offer for the 48,000-square-foot building.
"We're excited about our offer," McDowell said. "We'll be scared and excited if they accept it."
The district seemed to have accepted the offer last week, when approval of the $575,000 contract was placed on the school board's meeting agenda. But the contract was pulled before the meeting.
Again
I am not saying the Second Mile Development Inc.>in Huntsville, AL is associated or affiliated with the Second Mile Charity (sic) in Pennsylvania. I don't have anything personal against the Board of Directors/employees/clients of Second Mile Development, Inc. and I'm not saying Second Mile Development, Inc has done or will do anything wrong.

I'm just saying if Terry Heights Elementary School is turned into an after school center it should be a public endeavor, under public control and accountable to the people, not a board of directors.

I'm also saying something is out of line with the deal
Second Mile Development, Inc. is actually paying $200,000 for the 48,000 square foot building and the land it's sitting on. Not a bad deal for Second Mile Development, Inc. but it's stinking deal for we the taxpayers.

Has the property been appraised?If so what is the appraised value? Surely it's more than $575,000 in light of the fact the Downtown Rescue Mission appraised for 3.9 million and nearby West Huntsville, Elementary appraised for $900,000.
Gene Garrett, a private real estate appraiser, valued the newly abandoned West Huntsville Elementary at just $900,000. Four short blocks up Ninth Avenue from the former mission, West Huntsville has less interior space but more land.
"It's a good building," said school board President Doug Martinson Jr., referring to West Huntsville. "Certainly if the rescue mission is worth $3.9 million, then ours should be worth more or closer to it."
"It continues to cause me concern," Russell said this week. "It looks bad that we paid so much."
But Kling, who had long complained of crime near the mission, said that the neighborhood is much improved and that Russell is out of line.

That's the confusion WHNT TV should be trying to clear up IMHO.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Free Your Mind Friday


This is what democracy looks like? “Bloomberg pays his hypocritical respects to democracy and reason, when in fact his authority is nothing but an extension of the rule of capital.”H/T Black Agenda Report

The Rude Pundit says (edited)This is not your Effing Movement; This Is Our Effing Movement: Long Live the Occupation (With or Without Occupying) Updated:
The b#@%ards may have taken down Oakland, Portland, New York City, and other occupations in what is increasingly clear was a coordinated attack on the movement by city halls and, perhaps, really, the Department of Homeland Security. But f#@k them. There's still many, many OWS protests around the nation, sea to shining motherf#@kin' sea.


Showdown in Philly, PA Trade Unions give Occupy Philly An Offer It Can't Refuse
With a $55 million construction contract “imminent” for Dilworth Plaza -- home since early October for Occupy Philadelphia – the city trade unions and those in Occupy Philly determined to hold-out in the Plaza have arrived at a showdown.


White, Mormon, male, gop, Presidential candidates~Good. African American, Muslim, I mean Christian, democratic candidate~Bad.

Unintended Consequences My Donkey! This is what happens when the High (sic) Court Strikes down the gun ban in the District of Colombia.
Even firing into an president-less White House is intended to send a message. It doesn't matter whether the president was around to bear witness to it or not. I'll count this as an attempted assassination.


I'm telling y'all....protest is the NEW BLACK! 13 in Alabama Jail Over Immigration Law Battle.
In Alabama, people are speaking out against the state’s controversial immigration law, H.B. 56. The legislation is considered the toughest in the nation in targeting illegal immigrants. It requires that law enforcement check the immigration status of persons thought to be in the country illegally. Basically, it’s your standard racially profiling law targeting brown people, migrants, and those that are probably a little too fluent in the Spanish language. ::sigh::


Get your Satire On!
How's that Grope and Change working out for you? In three short years this country has gone from Hope and Change to Grope and Change. Ain't life odd?

Will the real republican candidate please stand up? The search for a legitimate Republican presidential candidate has turned into a mockery; instead of talking about working together to fix legitimate issues, the election process is being used as a marketing technique for those to get their name out there to sell books and increase their speaking fees.

Meanwhile Politico investigates why Obama Hates America.
We must laugh to keep from crying.

Ask the Republicans in Congress, "Where are the jobs?" Ask the ADP, "Where are the candidates?" h/t piggieheart for the best comment of the day, week, month, year, decade, and the century.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

PA 'Alabama'?



The keystone state has been in the news lately due to revlations of thePenn State child sex abuse scandal, which took me back to the 2008 Presidential primary and campaign when some parts of Pennsylvania were compared to Alabama.

President Obama lost the democratic primary to Hillary Clinton, but carried the state by a 10.31% margin over John McCain in the general election.
McCain did win more counties than Obama, but the counties carried by Obama were by far the most populated of the state, including Philadelphia and Allegheny, home of the cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh respectively.[20]


Looks like Pennsylvania wanted to return to the days of slavery and Jim Crow too.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - April 30, 2008 (WPVI) -- A state senator told a black pastor testifying at a committee hearing that, given the chance to cast secret ballots, his fellow legislators would vote to legalize slavery.


Like Alabama,then PA Attorney General, now Governor Tom Corbett filed a lawsuit against the Affordable Health Care Act.

Also like Alabama and Mississippi, Pennsylvania had it's share of prosecution of democrats. There are some who say this is the reason then AG Corbett couldn't find the time to investigate Penn State.
A few days ago Governor Corbett went on the Sunday talk shows, gave some press on Monday and Tuesday regarding Mike McQueary (still) coach at Penn St. Corbett kept repeating that McQueary didn’t meet the “moral obligations” of the shower rape and aftermath.

Before becoming (grown) Governor, Corbett was Attorney General and was on the case since 2009. He knows what was going on since then or should have known what was going on. As he talked to all the hosts he gave what now appears to be 1 version of what happened and it’s not the eye witnesses’ McQueary’s story.

McQueary is seen as a villain for not stopping what happened in the showers, but according to him, he did stop it. Will Corbett face any backlash? He should as he all but convicted McQueary on (possibly) false charges. We have to wait and see who is telling the truth. The eye-witness or the man in charge of the investigation.


Corbett also approved a a 3million dollar grant to Second Mile Charity despite the allegations and the ongoing investigation. That's 3 million of tax payer money going to a private source. Sound familiar?
Gov. Tom Corbett this summer approved a $3 million state grant to The Second Mile, the charity founded by suspected child molester Jerry Sandusky, despite knowing about the sex abuse investigation that later resulted in charges against Mr. Sandusky.

The grant is now on hold, said Mr. Corbett's spokesman, Eric Shirk.

The grant would have helped pay for the first phase of the "Center for Excellence" at The Second Mile, which Mr. Sandusky, a former Penn State University assistant football coach, founded in 1977 to work with troubled children.

The center was a grand dream of Mr. Sandusky's that he said would offer "a sense of [permanence] and a place for our kids to call 'home.' " It would have classrooms, a gym, athletic fields and dormitory space.



The sex abuse football-related scandal isn't the only Penn State cover up.
As news unravels around the grand jury report revealing charges against former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky for raping and sexually molesting underage boys, some former black Penn State students are now painfully reliving a scandal that occurred at their university ten years ago. In 2000, the year a janitor witnessed a boy younger than 13 (“Victim 8” in a grand jury report) “pinned against a wall” while Sandusky performed oral sex on him, black students and football players on Penn State’s campus began receiving hate mail.
The hate mail sent to black students had nothing to do with Sandusky’s proclivities, but the two incidences shared something in common: both were ultimately covered up by the university, even as both chain of events grew worse. Sandusky went on to molest and possibly rape more boys, according to a grand jury report (Sandusky denies foul play), and hate mail against black students became death threats.


Race at Alabama
In less than a week, two racially charged incidents that were witnessed by few but now have been discussed by thousands have prompted the president, faculty members and students at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa to publicly decry racism on campus.
On Friday, a member of a white fraternity shouted racial epithets from inside the group’s house at passing student Justin Zimmerman, who is black. The fraternity member, whose name has not been released, reportedly called Zimmerman a “nigger,” then called out, “come here, boy.”
Zimmerman alerted a faculty member, and the next day President Robert E. Witt sent a brief – and vague – e-mail to faculty, staff and students. In its entirety, the message reads, “On Friday evening, a member of the UA student body used a racial slur to refer to another UA student. The words that were used are offensive to our community, and are especially upsetting to African Americans. I want to emphasize in the strongest possible terms that The University of Alabama finds this behavior totally unacceptable, and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.”


I report.
You decide.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How the Birmingham News editorial board chooses to remember the life of Dr.Ethel Hall




Dr. Ethel Hall was a respected figure on the Alabama Board of Education.

I was saddened to hear of the death of Dr. Ethel Hall. She was was role model and someone who I admired for her accomplishments. I am appalled The Birmingham News Editorial Board used the death of Dr.Ethel Hall to score cheap political points and advance the right wing agenda. It starts with the first line and goes down hill from there;
It's fine to remember Ethel Hall for her firsts.
She was the first black woman elected to the state Board of Education, the first person to serve a decade as that body's vice president.
But to think of Mrs. Hall only as a pioneer would be to miss the message of her life.
She did not spend 24 years on the state school board because she was the first black woman elected to that position. She continued to be elected to the school board because she spent 24 years putting students first.


Oh really? I wonder why The Birmingham News gets to decide what the message of her life was? Why are they trying to minimize and marginalize her accomplishment at being the longest serving and first African American elected to the State School Board?

It gets worse, they couldn't refrain from bringing politics into their view of her life. Why mention her party affiliation?
Mrs. Hall died last week after a dignified, respected 83 years of life. In politics, she was a Democrat from Fairfield. But she is remembered fondly by Republicans and Democrats across the state. Her good humor, old-school grace and analytical mind crossed aisles and eras.


Here's the Grand Slam, emphasis mine
Of course, Mrs. Hall was human, and we would be remiss not to point out that her tenure on the school board was not without failure. She served on the board, like many others, as corrupt two-year college officials robbed the state blind. That she did not recognize it and trusted the wrong people would become one of her biggest regrets.


Here they go, advancing the republican corrupt two year college officials robbed the state blind tired,talking points, but attributing them to Ethel Hall. Have they no shame?

NO
But Mrs. Hall is remembered for other things.
Former School Superintendent Ed Richardson used to say Mrs. Hall "never let issues of politics or race or personal agendas of others get in the way."
That alone would be a wonderful epitaph for any school leader.


Notice how the only quote about her life and tenure on the Alabama State School Board are from The Birmingham News Editorial Board and Dr. Ed Richardson? What about fellow Board members, church members, friends, relatives, civic and social organizations? What about Ethel Hall's view of her life in her own words?

I carefully and consciously prepared for a challenging, demanding career in education because I believe learning is a lifelong process that impacts every individual. Each of my employment and volunteer experiences has been important in performing my tasks on the State Board of Education. My formal training helped me to understand that all children can learn if they are given the resources and opportunity, and my volunteer experiences have affirmed my belief in a greater need for advocacy for those who are least able to make the changes needed in our social system.
Dr. Ethel Hall, from My Journey


My Journey: A Memoir of the First African American to Preside Over the Alabama State Board of Education
In this wise, introspective, and touching memoir, Dr. Ethel Hall recounts the little “journeys” throughout her life which prepared her to become the first African American woman elected to the Alabama State Board of Education. Her experiences with racial tension, discrimination, and poverty are interspersed with portraits of the family and love which transformed her from a farmer’s daughter—determined to achieve the higher education others thought to be impossible—to a dedicated mother and educator, and even further to a statewide political leader. Dr. Hall also provides a detailed account of the problems faced—both solved and unsolved—during her more than two decades of service to the Alabama State Board of Education. Despite the difficulties she faced, Dr. Hall’s stories are filled with faith and hope, leaving the reader with memorable anecdotes for their own hardships.

Also known as a dedicated community servant, Hall is a member of the board of directors of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the National Conference of Community and Justice, the Women’s Exchange, Birmingham Museum of Art, and the Alabama Archives and History Foundation. She has also held positions with the Education Commission of the States, the Governor’s Commission on Instructional Improvement and Academic Excellence, and the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. Hall is the recipient of more than 200 honors and awards including being named by the “Birmingham Business Journal” as one of the Top Ten Women Making a Difference and in 1999 was awarded the NASBE Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of State Boards of Education.

Hall was married to the late Alfred Hall for 55 years.



That alone would be a wonderful epitaph for any school leader.

'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I shall set you over much; enter the joy of your Lord.' Matthew 25;21

What I'm reading today with commentary

A Black Man's View is back!. I have not updated my blog in a minute now. I really have no excuse as to why I have not been sharing my thoughts with you, my faithful readers, other than the fact that I have had writers block. I have had several ideas for posts, I just have not been able to form those ideas into writable sentences.


Was there a co ordinated effort to evict Occupy Wall Street Movements from sea to shining sea? Is an elephant heavy?
The occupation is dead. Long live the occupation.
Amidst the massive media coverage of the military-style eviction Tuesday morning of the original Occupy Wall Street encampment at New York's Zuccotti Park, an interesting factoid surfaced thousands of miles away.

In an interview with the BBC, Oakland mayor Jean Quan, whose police force forcibly evicted that city's embattled Occupy encampment early Monday, casually mentioned that she "was recently on a conference call with 18 cities across the country who had the same situation. . . .”

Sure enough, since the weekend there have been a string of such evictions - not just the highest-profile encampments in New York and Oakland, but also Detroit, Portland OR, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, and several other major US cities.


All I'm going to say is there was never a co ordinated effort to shut down Tea Party Rally's. There is more than a whiff of hypocrisy.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says Alabama's immigration law is not racist and it looks like the red, republican, controlled Alabama State Legislature quietly replaced Scott Beason with Scott Beason as chair of the rules committee. Read it and weep.

The lasting effects of slavery and Kin Solidarity
For the most part, we often stay separate from our extended family unless family reunions, funerals and other such events bring the family back together. It's a very individualistic streak that black Americans have taken to heart, as though that's how things are supposed to be.

I hate to pin the blame on slavery, but it's where blame is going. The lack of family cohesion thanks to the omnipresent threat of being separated and sold to persons unknown and shipped to parts unknown promoted a subconscious streak of kin independence out of sheer necessity, because you never knew when those family bonds would be severed for good. Other cultures never had to deal with that particular generational trauma, and it's something that has to be slowly but surely deprogrammed from our subconscious being if we want to practice any form of kin solidarity. It's a big step along the road of consolidating our own economic independence from the rest of America.


Who are the Super Debt Committee members who will decide our fate? 10 white men, 1 white woman and 1 black man. Will The SuperCommittee Offer Barack Obama His Neville Chamberlain Moment?
There are conservatives on both sides of the aisle still eager for a "grand bargain" that will trade away the hard-fought, meager lifeline for millions of Americans in return for some table scraps-- temporary table scraps at that-- from the 1%. The SuperCommittee, could well turn out to be Obama's Neville Chamberlain moment and could cement his place in history as firmly as the Munich Agreements cemented Chamberlain's.


Privilege of the powerful
Those in power, those at the top due to their privilege use discourse such as "poverty is not destiny" and "reclaim America" to keep all eyes on those trapped in poverty, thus away from the exact people with the power, money, and opportunity to create a path toward equity within our society and our schools.


Power of the Privileged

At the last board meeting on Thursday, November 3rd, Dr. Robinson defended her support of the superintendent’s recommendation to sign what was at the time a $1.7 million dollar contract with Teach for America by claiming that she had spent the week reviewing studies on TFA and the effectiveness of the teachers placed in a system by TFA.
She claimed that there were both “good” and “poor” studies concerning the effectiveness of the teachers that TFA hires. In short, she was convinced that TFA’ers were more effective than traditionally certified teachers. In an email from Dr. Wardynski that Dr. Robinson shared with me, he claimed, “We are making this investment because evidence has shown that the achievement gains provided by TFA exceed the gains afforded by a similar investment in alternative strategies” (November 9, 2011).


Translation-Huntsville City School board of education’s reduction in force plan laid off 154 certified teachers to pay TFA'er to learn to teach on other people's kids. What is wrong with that picture?

What's on your reading list today?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Glory Glory Hallelujah!


Alabama State Senator Scott Beason (r. racist Gardendale) has been stripped of his power to exercise racism in the Alabama Legislature!
H/T The Locust Fork News-Journal
One of the main sponsors of Alabama’s strict new immigration law, Republican Senator Scott Beason of Gardendale, was quietly ushered out as chairman of the Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday in advance of the next session of the Alabama Legislature.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said Senate Majority Leader Jabo Waggoner of Vestavia Hills will lead the Rules Committee for 2012, according to the AP.

Marsh claimed the Republican leadership made the change for “the most efficient operation of the Senate,” although there is little doubt the move came in the wake of all the ongoing controversy since Beason wore an FBI wire in the gambling corruption case and referred to customers of a casino in a predominantly black county as “aborigines.”


Now if only the voters in Gardendale would quietly usher Scott Beason out when they go to polls on election day we will be well on our way to having a more perfect state legislature.

RedEye's Snark Attack

Graphic via LA Progressive

Big shout out to Mack Lyons for breaking down the Birmingham Sewage/Jefferson County Bankruptcy issue. I have not written on the subject because I didn't really understand the dynamics. But I do now. It all boils down to BIOTBG (Blame It On The Black Guy).
In late September, the SEC ended its case for disgorgement against former Birmingham mayor, former Jefferson County commission president and former Fairfield mayor Larry Langford, after the SEC discovered the only asset they could get as part of restitution was a 1/2-interest in his home. It's the only thing he has left, aside from a mess of debts stemming from criminal and civil penalties.

Langford is currently serving a 15-year sentence in federal prison, after being convicted of over 60 counts of bribery and corruption. Given his age (65) and how he won't be eligible to walk out of prison until at least 2023, it's a possibility that this man will die in prison. On the other hand, the two men convicted alongside him, investment banker Bill Blount and former lobbyist Al LaPierre, earned much lighter sentences. True, they plead guilty and Langford didn't, but the disparity in sentencing only raises the usual conclusions about racially-motivated "justice" in this country.

Most AL.com commentators have been chomping at the bit for Langford's demise and rolling around in his family's misery like happy pigs in slop. Blount and LaPierre never got this much bile thrown at them.


The Birmingham Skews on The Almost Certain Uncertainty the residents of Jefferson County face due to the debt sewer debacle .
Maybe only good will come of it—and maybe only bad. In any case it does seem reasonable to expect to see higher rates and to assume that Jefferson County, never exactly the belle of the ball, will now be infinitely less attractive to economic developers of every stripe. (I don’t know about you, but I tend to avoid the aging person with a rotten tooth, bad odor, and a black eye who is in the middle of doing an apparently irresponsible thing. You can never be sure where they’ll take you or what you’ll get.) In any case, today is the first day of our increasingly uncertain future.


ADP Calls for Bachus to Resign Over Lucky, Lucrative Stock Deals. Oh, OK. (RedEye roll). I wonder what part of IOKIYAR (It's OK If You Are A Republican) for elected officials to get rich off insider information don't they understand?

What's that you say? GOP hopefuls would limit federal role in education? I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you. NOT. The gop wants to go back to the days of separate and unequal education, recreating a lot of under educated black youth, so they can form non-profit (sic), faith based, compassionate, Christan, charitable organizations to provide sports and after school programs to help them. Big Snark. It would be too much like right (pun intended) to invest in making sure every child had access to a quality public education. Can't have them there disadvantaged youth rising up out of the New Jim Crow.

The Republican Slogan for 2012: Suppress the Vote! Or, If you can't beat em, suppress em.
Aside from making it harder or impossible for certain voters to participate in elections, conservatives are working to assure that the “right” voters are not left out of the system.


You know your campaign is in trouble when you have to resort to making your wife Stand By Her Man and defend you against sexual harassment on TeeVee like a good little wife.
But this time, Gloria Cain has come out fighting.
"You hear the graphic allegations and we know that would have been something that's totally disrespectful of her as a woman," she says in her first televised interview. "And I know the type of person he is. He totally respects women."


I hate to tell you this Gloria, but THIS is Herman Cain's totally respectful sexy job creation plan for women.
“He suddenly reached over and he put his hand on my leg, under my skirt, and reached for my genitals. He also grabbed my head and brought it towards his crotch.” And then he asked if she wanted that job or not. So technically Herman Cain might be right when he keeps saying those “harassment” charges are false, in the sense that they are actually more like assault.


RedEye's Snark Attack over and out.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Update~"Did Race Explain Penn State’s Blind Eye to Sex Scandal?"

H/T VINCENT ALABAMA CONFIDENTIAL In the wake of the shocking pedophile sex scandal unfolding at Penn State University, some sources are suggesting that it might be as big as the "Franklin Scandal."

Update
20 people in Sandusky Indictment but only one told the police.
Over 23 pages 20 people are mentioned: 19 men and 1 woman.

Take a guess who called the police?


Read the list of those mentioned in the indictment at Crewof42.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson
Enough of the ghoulish, sordid facts are known about the Penn State University child sex scandal to say this. The alleged child rapes were known by some athletic department members, up to and including the football program boss, JoePa, Joe Paterno. The rumors, or worse, knowledge of the rapes may have been known by or at least heard of by others still unnamed that could eventually be a winding tangle through university staff, faculty, administrators, trustees, and corporate donors, and politicians.
The two prime offenders charged with the crimes were not some causal locker room jocks and hangers on, but long term, respected, and highly positioned athletic department mainstays. The Second Mile Foundation that served as a cover for the alleged rapes by its founder, the disgraced and accused child rapist Jerry Sandusky was not some fly-by-night, drive by, fast buck operation, but a well-established foundation that had been in business for more than three decades. Sandusky was with the Foundation from the start in 1977 until just last year. Even as the scandal unfolds, it is still in business. It has a big, impressive, full bodied website that boasts of its accomplishments, has three offices, and is actively soliciting donations. The reporters that have tried to get a comment from foundation officials have been summarily hung up on.


You won't see it on TeeVee, or read about it in the newspapers but Most Of The Boys MOLESTED By The Penn State Coach . . . WERE BLACK!!! (He Had A FETISH For Black Boys)

Are poor black boys easy targest for sexual predators? You betcha they are.

Let's flip the script.
It was about 9:30 p.m. on March 1, 2002 - the Friday before the beginning of spring break - in the Lasch Football Building on the main campus.

And here is the line:

"He saw a naked white boy, Victim 2, whose age he estimated to be 10 years old, with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked [Black] Man."

Now you tell me race didn't play a role in Penn States ahem blind eye and mainstream media coverage.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

About that Second Mile Development Inc./Terry Heights Elementary School deal

West Huntsville Elementary: Appraised for $900,000. Buildings: 45,460 sq. ft. ($19.80 per square foot). Land: 5.42 acres ($166,052 per acre).

For the record, I am not saying the Second Mile Development Inc. in Huntsville, AL is associated or affiliated with the Second Mile Charity (sic) in Pennsylvania. Nor do I have anything personal against the Board of Directors/employees/clients of Second Mile Development, Inc. Again;
I'm just saying if Terry Heights is turned into an after school center it should be a public endeavor, under public control and accountable to the people, not a board of directors. After all, it's our money.
Speaking of our money, let's go inside the offer Second Mile Development, Inc made to the Huntsville City School Board to purchase Terry Heights Elementary School.
Bill McDowell, executive director of Second Mile Development, confirmed Tuesday that the Christian nonprofit has made an offer for the 48,000-square-foot building.
"We're excited about our offer," McDowell said. "We'll be scared and excited if they accept it."
The district seemed to have accepted the offer last week, when approval of the $575,000 contract was placed on the school board's meeting agenda. But the contract was pulled before the meeting.

I wonder if the reason it was pulled before the meeting is because they are not actually offering $575,000 for the 48,000 square foot building and the land it's sitting on.

The contract, as written last week, included a payment of $200,000 upon closing and five years of in-kind services that Second Mile would provide to five of the district's schools.
The services, valued in the contract at $75,000 a year, would be provided at Ridgecrest, McDonnell, Morris and University Place elementaries and Westlawn Middle.
So, Second Mile Development, Inc. is actually paying $200,000 for the 48,000 square foot building and the land it's sitting on. Not a bad deal for Second Mile Development, Inc. but it's stinking deal for we the taxpayers.

Has the property been appraised?If so what is the appraised value? Surely it's more than $575,000 in light of the fact the Downtown Rescue Mission appraised for 3.9 million and nearby West Huntsville, Elementary appraised for $900,000.
Gene Garrett, a private real estate appraiser, valued the newly abandoned West Huntsville Elementary at just $900,000. Four short blocks up Ninth Avenue from the former mission, West Huntsville has less interior space but more land.
"It's a good building," said school board President Doug Martinson Jr., referring to West Huntsville. "Certainly if the rescue mission is worth $3.9 million, then ours should be worth more or closer to it."
"It continues to cause me concern," Russell said this week. "It looks bad that we paid so much."
But Kling, who had long complained of crime near the mission, said that the neighborhood is much improved and that Russell is out of line.
Something is "out of line" all right.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Speaking Out Against The Second Mile offer on Terry Heights Elementary School

Terry Heights Elementary School is pictured in a January file photo. Second Mile Development, a Christian nonprofit, has made the Huntsville school district an offer on the vacant building. (The Huntsville Times)

I have been in a state of shock, shame and disgust since the story broke of Penn State's complicity in covering for a pedophile. It's like rubber necking at the scene of a car accident, I can't stand to watch the news coverage, but I can't not watch the news coverage. Everyday there is some new, disgusting, detail of the cover up of Jerry Sandusky's alleged raping of young boys under the umbrella of Penn State University and The Second Mile Charity.

It was the mention of The Second Mile Charity on MSNBC which got me thinking.....where have I heard that name before....then it hit me...we have a Second Mile non profit right here in Huntsville,AL.

Although the two non-profits are not affiliated in any way they happen to have similar names, organizational structure, and Mission Statements.
Huntsville, AL
Second Mile desires to empower the community where the hopeless can find hope; where children can find love and laughter, where young men and women can look to the future with pride and eager anticipation rather than with fear and dread; where men and women of all ages can discover the depth and the breadth of Christ's love.

The ultimate dream of Second Mile is to bring about, through Christ, reconciliation between all people: the rich and poor, the educated and uneducated, the fortunate and less fortunate.


Pennsylvania
The Second Mile challenges young people to achieve their potential as individuals and community members by providing opportunities for them to develop positive life skills and self-esteem as well as by providing education and support for parents and professionals addressing the needs of youth.


The Huntsville Second Mile is about to enter into an agreement with The Huntsville City School Board, in another step towards privatization of the school system. Once again funneling public money to private entities. Emphasis mine.
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- More than two years after shuttering Terry Heights Elementary School, the Huntsville school board appears to have a buyer for the empty building.
Bill McDowell, executive director of Second Mile Development, confirmed Tuesday that the Christian nonprofit has made an offer for the 48,000-square-foot building.
"We're excited about our offer," McDowell said. "We'll be scared and excited if they accept it."
The district seemed to have accepted the offer last week, when approval of the $575,000 contract was placed on the school board's meeting agenda. But the contract was pulled before the meeting.
The reason for the retraction wasn't clear, but Aaron King, transition director for Superintendent Casey Wardynski, said the details were still being negotiated as late as last week.
"It could be that the terms are still not yet finalized," King said Tuesday.
Laurie McCaulley, president of the board, said negotiations ae still ongoing but that the contract should come back to the board for approval soon.
The contract, as written last week, included a payment of $200,000 upon closing and five years of in-kind services that Second Mile would provide to five of the district's schools
.

5 years of in-kind services?
The services, valued in the contract at $75,000 a year, would be provided at Ridgecrest, McDonnell, Morris and University Place elementaries and Westlawn Middle.


Uh, why can't the school system and the city of Huntsville provide these services?
McDowell said the nonprofit aims to form a partnership with about a dozen churches and charitable organizations. The partners would, in turn, team with the surrounding neighborhood to determine how the school would be used.
"Everything's on the table that could be done," McDowell said. "The property lends itself to a lot of opportunities."
The possibilities already discussed include an afternoon art program for teens, various sports programs, an urban gardening center, gardening and nutrition classes, a health clinic and more, McDowell said.


I am vehemently opposed to this proposal in light of the crimes surrounding non profits, churches and disadvantaged youth.

Like Bishop Long with his Youth Academy, Sandusky allegedly used his own children's charity program, The Second Mile, which focused on assisting poor, underprivileged kids, many of whom came from single-parent homes and were struggling in school -- to find his prey. Using his money, fame and the lure of access to prized football facilities and games that any young boy could only dream of, Sandusky likely perverted the mission of the charity by making it a breeding ground for his targets.
The motto of the program, originally founded by Sandusky in 1977, is "Providing Children with Help and Hope"; but the gruesome details of the grand jury report released this week reveal something so damning it rivals the actions of notorious Catholic priests engaged in the highest betrayal. As Stuart Scott, anchor of ESPN's SportsCenter, opined last night, "Short of murder, these allegations are as serious as it gets."


To be clear, I'm not saying Second Mile Huntsville has done anythig wrong, or will do anything wrong, I'm just saying if Terry Heights is turned into an after school center it should be a public endeavor, under public control and accountable to the people, not a board of directors. After all, it's our money.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Support our Troops this Veterans Day and Everyday

War Dead Remembered At Arlington West Memorial


While TeaPublicans waive their flags, slap yellow ribbon magnets made in China on their SUV's maybe they need reminding 2,2266 uninsured vets died in 2008 alone.

Maybe TeaPublians need a reminder Veterans need jobs and better health care as they filibuster the Jobs Bill just to spite Their Commander in Chief.

One behalf of women Veterans I have a suggestion for all the Congress Critters who voted in favor of the Let Women Die Act and Life at fertilization ballot props. Since you are anti choice stop having sex with women and getting them pregnant since you don't want them, or their children, to have access to affordable health care or a job. Then you can vote against ObamaCare and the Jobs Bill with a straight face.

Remember the Faces of the Fallen on Veterans Day and everyday. Our troops are somebody's babies.6,274 U.S. service members have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom

Seriously. This is not fair.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

These are the republican Presidential candidates

If the gop presidential debates are painful to for me to watch, it has to be painful for real republicans to watch . By real republicans I mean the men and women who care more about their country than they do their party. It's time for the real republicans to take their party back from the TeaPublicans.

The Republican presidential candidates are farcically unelectable

They are scoundrels.

If the majority of the American voters (not to be confused with the majority of the American people) elect any one of the gop Presidential candidates we (collective) will get what we deserve. And then some. And show the world who we (collective) really are.

Think about it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Post election must reads

Dem victory in NC county election ends high-profile battle over control of Wake school board
"Incumbent Wake County school board member Kevin Hill defeated challenger Heather Losurdo in a runoff tonight to complete a Democratic election sweep that knocks Republicans out of power after a turbulent two-year reign."


Speaking of Education Rocket City Bloggers on Education is a must, must, read.
Education is an amazing, miraculous process of communicating, uncovering and connecting with our brothers and sisters who are passing through this world with us. It is, to steal a line, our last, best hope of co-creating a world in which we would all want to live.


Union-busting, homophobic Michigan state Rep. Paul Scott narrowly recalled If only Alabama had Recall. Sigh
Scott was dragged kicking and screaming onto Tuesday's ballot, filing multiple challenges in court, but not only did his opponents collect enough signatures to trigger a recall despite having just two weeks to collect them, he lost repeatedly in court


Virginia is the new Alabama. You get the BatS#it Crazy you vote for.
86 votes in a low turnout (!!!!) election. And yes, there have been voting anomalies.

The state Board of Elections said there had been “isolated issues” at some polls but characterized them as “normal Election Day issues.”

In the Washington region, some counties reported only a handful of problems on Election Day, but others experienced dozens of baffled voters at individual polling places. That was most often the case in Fairfax County, due to redistricting.

But local elections officials characterized the problems on Tuesday as minor.


Russell Pearce Wanted Illegals Out, Now He’s The Out Snicker You hear that Mo and Scott?

2011 Ohio Election Results, some wrong, some right pun intended.
Well, Ohio still can't seem to get it right on federal health care, but never the less Ohioans did get it right more often than not, in this off year election last night. Issue 3, was largely a symbolic vote against what the GOP calls Obamacare. It was really on the ballot so that the GOP/teabags can mount a court challenge to health care. Issue 3 spoke to the mandate requiring that all Americans have health care.
If the federal health care mandate is wrong...then so is the requirement for having insurance, in general, Right? Think the business driven GOP is going to kill one its staunchest allies, the insurance industry? I think not, in the long run. So we will have these skirmishes until SCOTUS rules.


Election Lesson: Republicans Learn That Americans Aren't Quite as Crazy as They Are: Warning this is from the rude pundit so it raw but real.

Unjustifiable
How can such religious wealth and opulence possibly be justified when there are so many starving children in the world? And I'm not just picking on the Catholics. The $1000 suits, Cadillacs, and mansions of many evangelical and mainline protestant ministers are just as bad. Can this possibly be justified by the gospel of Jesus they claim to believe in?

A tale of two Charter school town hall meetings

David Dieter/Huntsville Times
State Rep. Laura Hall listens to residents during tonight's town hall meeting
.

Compare WHNT News 19 coverage of Madison County Community Discusses Charter Schools With Legislators to al.com's coverage of Alabama State Representative Laura Hall's town meeting

Lead paragraph at WHNT TV
HUNTSVILLE, AL— State lawmakers plan to talk about charter schools during the next legislative session. Madison County parents learned Monday night what that could mean for their children. They were part of a town hall meeting to talk about the specialty schools.

Organizers wanted those at the meeting to know charter schools provide flexibility and accountability. They believe both are needed to help get Alabama's education system out of 49th place nationwide.


Lead paragraph at al.com
HUNTSVILLE, Al. - Some people at state Rep. Laura Hall's town hall meeting tonight implied that charter schools harken back to the day of segregated schools, while some others said people should keep an open mind to anything that could help children get a better education.
The issue of charter schools was the main topic for more than 40 people who attended the 90-minute meeting hosted by Hall, a Huntsville Democrat, at the Richard Showers Recreation Center.


Quote at WHNT TV
Rep. Williams is sponsoring a bill to bring the independently-operated public schools into the state of Alabama. He believes parents and students will benefit.

"It gives them options they do not currently have. Charter schools can come into a neighborhood and focus on specialty education. You still have your core, but you might do science and engineering, art and dance, or debate and political science," said Williams.


Quote at al.com
Hall covered several topics in front of the Legislature during her opening remarks. She said a bill to allow charter schools in the state never got out of committee, but similar bills have been introduced again.
She said her constituents have sent the message that they don't want charter schools but do want excellence in public schools.
Huntsville Councilman Richard Showers, a retired city school teacher, said during the question and answer period that he supports public schools. He said charter schools take precious education tax dollars from public schools and create segregated schools.
"We don't need any schools just for black children and we don't need any schools just for white children," Showers said.


al.com got a quote from the HCS board President
Laurie McCaulley, a city school board member, said the school board is OK with charter schools if they are under the local school board's control and if public schools had the same "wide parameters" as charter schools in establishing rules and standards.


Huh? The school board is OK with charter schools if they are under the local school board's control? What "wide parameter" is she talking about?
This?
Politicians who would just love to have their family and friends hired in those Charter Schools, regardless of their qualifications, and if their family and friends aren;t hired by those Charter Schools, those Politicians can cut their Funding from the Alabama Treasury?
This?
Republican Candidate for Governor, Bradley Byrne, claims he sent some people to prison for their CORRUPTION in the Educational System of Alabama. How much worse would it be with the Politicians given a vehicle to have those Charter Schools Employ their family and friends?
This?
The larger question is who is willing to pay the Big Bucks to get Charter Schools in Alabama, but those Corporations who would benefit from being able to have their Corporate Agenda taught in those Charter Schools?
Or this?
definition of the term " charter school":
privately run, publicly financed school: a publicly financed school run by parents, educators, and companies
.

Remember this mantra, "Charter Schools are backdoor privatization of education".
9.13, 4.82, Just left of Gandhi.
by: archangelsk

THE WHNT TV report was slanted in support of Charter Schools IMHO.

I report.
You decide.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Remember this mantra, "Charter Schools are backdoor privatization of education".

 



NAACP: The United States Values Prisons More Than Schools  Excessive spending on incarceration undermines educational opportunities and destabilizes Black communities nationwide, according to NAACP President and CEO Benjamin T. Jealous.
State spending on prisons grew at six times the rate of state spending on higher education over the last two decades.


Representatives Laura Hall (D) and Phil Williams ( r.) sponsored a community discussion on charter schools because state lawmakers plan to talk about charter schools during the next legislative session.

Organizers
wanted those at the meeting to know charter schools provide flexibility and accountability. They believe both are needed to help get Alabama's education system out of 49th place nationwide.a community discussion

Charter Schools won't get Alabama's education system out of 49th place, nor are they flexible and accountable.

Charter schools have been in the news a lot lately due to a lawsuit filed by the United Federation of Teacher’s Union and the NAACP against the New York City Department of Education. The lawsuit was filed to help prevent the city from closing public schools and replacing them with charter schools.

While these charter schools have great potential, they can also be harmful. Most charter schools use a lottery system; so thinking that charter schools can stop the education crisis is like solving the economic crisis with scratch tickets. While a few lucky students may benefit from the lottery system, most children will not benefit at all.

One of the reasons the right wing is so supportive of charter schools is that they do not require teachers to be in their powerful union. The UFT is a big supporter of the Democratic party and opposes Republicans who are always trying to cut education budgets, especially in urban areas.


LiA blogger bluebearcat says Let's call charter schools in Alabama by their true name
Scab schools. What is their real purpose? To create an environment where "problem children" and teachers' unions are out of the picture. It is pits family against family inside communities and is de facto education privatization.

We do need substantial education reforms in some parts of the state, but charter schools are not the answer. When you have some exceptional models for innovative public education already in place in Alabama, why not try to adopt those models in different places?


No wonder Rep. Phil Williams (r) wants Alabama to become the 41's state to allow charter schools. Are Rep. Laura Hall and the Local chapter of the NAACP helping him? Nope.
"I think Alabama has an opportunity to do it right because we can look at what other states have done. If they've not done well we can know we need to correct that," said Rep. Hall.


Alabama has an opportunity to do it right (pun intended) all right.
When we are in an education funding crisis - and make no mistake, once the stimulus stabilization funds run out, we will be in a true crisis - I cannot see how you can justify diverting public education money to an educational program that is totally unproven in Alabama. As you said, the most important factor in whether or not a charter school program is successful is the way its specific contract is written and the way that specific program is administered. What in the history of Alabama suggests to you that local and/or state governments would do a good job administering a charter school program that does not have any of the protections or regulations of traditional public schools?

As I've said before, charter schools (like Teach for America) sounds great in theory but in practice, the effectiveness of both programs vary much, much more than traditional unionized classroom instruction. There are school systems where the problems are so profound and so endemic that charter school programs on a limited basis make sense. When education systems are flush with cash, it makes perfect sense to experiment on programs like that but this year, we not only have finite resources, we have extremely limited resources. Taking on the burden of charter schools that the Education Trust Fund and/or local school boards will be responsible for funding in a few years is not a smart move right now, especially when there are already models for innovation with the traditional Alabama public school system.


My Daddy says always know who is driving the wagon before you hitch a ride. Looks like the Black Alliance for Educational Options and The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice (vouchers) is driving this one. Be sure and check out the members of the BAEO advisory board.

Remember this mantra, "Charter Schools are backdoor privatization of education".
9.13, 4.82, Just left of Gandhi.
by: archangelsk

I thought Herman Cain said he didn't know Sharon Bialek?

Herman Cain backstage at the recent TeaCon with Amy Jacobson shortly after Cain’s alleged encounter with accuser Sharon Bialek.

H/T Curious Texan via GrannyStandingforTruth
Why did she give Mr. Cain a hug at a Tea Party event just a month ago (as witnessed by WIND radio's Amy Jacobson)?


Herman Cain is beginning to remind me more and more of his ahem mentor.