Archive for May, 2007

>An Embarrassment for Bessemer

May 31, 2007

>The Birmingham News reported yesterday that Bessemer will settle a federal ADA (American with Disabilities Act) lawsuit, in which the city conceded it was out of compliance and will correct the matter. This is no small matter. “The whole city is not in compliance,” Assistant City Attorney Aaron Killings said.

A 19 block area downtown and the Civic Center are out of compliance, and will be reconfigured, including curbs, sidewalks, parking, water fountains and more. The city has three years to correct the curbs and sidewalks and seven years to correct stage access at the civic center. why seven years?

This act was signed into law in 1990 by Daddy Bush and it is unbelievable that the city of Bessemer ignored the standards outlined in the act for 17 years. What were you thinking, Quitman, and for the last 5 years, Ed?

This city has such potential, and there is so much good going on, then something like this is revealed that shows that those in power do not really care about the disadvantaged. Why should we believe that they are concerned about any of us?

Bham News

I learned this from Dear Abby. “The Ladies Home Journal i 1918 said: ‘There has been a great diversity of opinion on the subject, but the general accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. Pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.‘ ” Hmmmm. So all those pink Polo and Izod shirts really are for manly men!

More daylilies

And Sweet peas. They will take over if you aren’t careful.

An Embarrassment for Bessemer

May 31, 2007

The Birmingham News reported yesterday that Bessemer will settle a federal ADA (American with Disabilities Act) lawsuit, in which the city conceded it was out of compliance and will correct the matter. This is no small matter. “The whole city is not in compliance,” Assistant City Attorney Aaron Killings said.

A 19 block area downtown and the Civic Center are out of compliance, and will be reconfigured, including curbs, sidewalks, parking, water fountains and more. The city has three years to correct the curbs and sidewalks and seven years to correct stage access at the civic center. why seven years?

This act was signed into law in 1990 by Daddy Bush and it is unbelievable that the city of Bessemer ignored the standards outlined in the act for 17 years. What were you thinking, Quitman, and for the last 5 years, Ed?

This city has such potential, and there is so much good going on, then something like this is revealed that shows that those in power do not really care about the disadvantaged. Why should we believe that they are concerned about any of us?

Bham News

I learned this from Dear Abby. “The Ladies Home Journal i 1918 said: ‘There has been a great diversity of opinion on the subject, but the general accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. Pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.‘ ” Hmmmm. So all those pink Polo and Izod shirts really are for manly men!

More daylilies

And Sweet peas. They will take over if you aren’t careful.

>Barack in the Tribune

May 30, 2007

>

My column in The Western Tribune is about Barack Obama and race, and is not an endorsement of Obama. I am undecided as to who I will vote for, and will comment on several candidates as the primary approaches. Also, I have not seen the paper yet so I do not know what the headline above the column is and when I learn what it is I will edit it in to this post.

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It’s not often, I hope, that words on a bathroom stall inspire a writer to press on with something he is considering. But a Shell station rest room in southwest Alabama provided me with just that inspiration: “Obama claims he is African American but that can’t be. He has a white mom.” Never mind that “African American” could mean one is of African heritage and American heritage, regardless of race, but my query is whether the black community in Bessemer would support him.

See, politics in Bessemer are heavily influenced by groups that form and operate along racial lines. One such group of black voters, a few years ago, refused to endorse a white candidate who they actually favored to win, and they ended up endorsing no one rather than endorse a white person. When I learned this, I wondered how much “white” can a person have before they lose the chance to be endorsed by such a group. And how, exactly do they decide who is too white and who is black enough. Making such a decision goes against everything that Martin Luther King, Jr., meant when he said he hoped his children would “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Scientists who study genetics and DNA have said that there are more differences within members of a particular race than there are between the races. And if you take it down to the elemental composition, we are all 65% oxygen, 18.5 % carbon, 9.5 % hydrogen, 3.3 % nitrogen, 1.5% calcium, and the rest tiny amounts of many other elements, regardless of our race or heritage.

In addition some are saying that Obama is not “black enough” because he has not had the experiences related to civil rights and growing up that many African Americans share. This is akin to saying that a physician who does not have diabetes can not understand and treat a patient who suffers from that disease, or that none of the presidents our country has had could address the concerns of women because they have not lived as one. Barack Obama, if elected, could surely represent the interests of us all.

Text messaging voters selected Jordin Sparks (who has an African American father and a “white mom”) as the new American Idol last week. Surely presidential primary voters can consider a candidate with the same heritage, and decide whether to vote for or against him based on his priorities and policies and not his color or lack thereof.

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Another of the Hollyhocks

This Easter lily is confused

This is yarrow, and it is somewhat drought tolerant and hopefully will bloom all summer.

Barack in the Tribune

May 30, 2007

My column in The Western Tribune is about Barack Obama and race, and is not an endorsement of Obama. I am undecided as to who I will vote for, and will comment on several candidates as the primary approaches. Also, I have not seen the paper yet so I do not know what the headline above the column is and when I learn what it is I will edit it in to this post.

**************************************************************************
It’s not often, I hope, that words on a bathroom stall inspire a writer to press on with something he is considering. But a Shell station rest room in southwest Alabama provided me with just that inspiration: “Obama claims he is African American but that can’t be. He has a white mom.” Never mind that “African American” could mean one is of African heritage and American heritage, regardless of race, but my query is whether the black community in Bessemer would support him.

See, politics in Bessemer are heavily influenced by groups that form and operate along racial lines. One such group of black voters, a few years ago, refused to endorse a white candidate who they actually favored to win, and they ended up endorsing no one rather than endorse a white person. When I learned this, I wondered how much “white” can a person have before they lose the chance to be endorsed by such a group. And how, exactly do they decide who is too white and who is black enough. Making such a decision goes against everything that Martin Luther King, Jr., meant when he said he hoped his children would “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Scientists who study genetics and DNA have said that there are more differences within members of a particular race than there are between the races. And if you take it down to the elemental composition, we are all 65% oxygen, 18.5 % carbon, 9.5 % hydrogen, 3.3 % nitrogen, 1.5% calcium, and the rest tiny amounts of many other elements, regardless of our race or heritage.

In addition some are saying that Obama is not “black enough” because he has not had the experiences related to civil rights and growing up that many African Americans share. This is akin to saying that a physician who does not have diabetes can not understand and treat a patient who suffers from that disease, or that none of the presidents our country has had could address the concerns of women because they have not lived as one. Barack Obama, if elected, could surely represent the interests of us all.

Text messaging voters selected Jordin Sparks (who has an African American father and a “white mom”) as the new American Idol last week. Surely presidential primary voters can consider a candidate with the same heritage, and decide whether to vote for or against him based on his priorities and policies and not his color or lack thereof.

*************************************************************************

Another of the Hollyhocks

This Easter lily is confused

This is yarrow, and it is somewhat drought tolerant and hopefully will bloom all summer.

>Tinky Resurfaces and Cindy Quits

May 29, 2007

>And we thought when Jerry Falwell passed away this type of craziness had ended. Tinky

More flag history. the Star Spangled Banner Flag with fifteen stars also has fifteen stripes. On June 14, 1777, Congress declared the flag to be 13 alternating red and white stripes with a union of 13 white stars in a blue field. In 1794, after Kentucky and Vermont joined the Union, Congress added two stars and two stripes. In 1818, when five more states had joined, Congress again changed the design to 13 stripes, representing the original 13 states, and 20 stars, with a provision that an additional star be added on the admission of each new state.

Can you imagine the flag if they had not reverted to the thirteen stipes? Today there would be 50 stars and 50 stripes.

Cindy Sheehan has quit the anit-war movement, saying that her son (Casey) “did indeed die for nothing.” She cites exhaustion and lack of faith in the democrats to bring an end to the war. I hope she will be OK. Cindy . I know a lot of people didn’t like her, or her methods, but she was an important voice in trying to bring reason to a misguided administration.

Tinky Resurfaces and Cindy Quits

May 29, 2007

And we thought when Jerry Falwell passed away this type of craziness had ended. Tinky

More flag history. the Star Spangled Banner Flag with fifteen stars also has fifteen stripes. On June 14, 1777, Congress declared the flag to be 13 alternating red and white stripes with a union of 13 white stars in a blue field. In 1794, after Kentucky and Vermont joined the Union, Congress added two stars and two stripes. In 1818, when five more states had joined, Congress again changed the design to 13 stripes, representing the original 13 states, and 20 stars, with a provision that an additional star be added on the admission of each new state.

Can you imagine the flag if they had not reverted to the thirteen stipes? Today there would be 50 stars and 50 stripes.

Cindy Sheehan has quit the anit-war movement, saying that her son (Casey) “did indeed die for nothing.” She cites exhaustion and lack of faith in the democrats to bring an end to the war. I hope she will be OK. Cindy . I know a lot of people didn’t like her, or her methods, but she was an important voice in trying to bring reason to a misguided administration.

>Happy Memorial Day

May 28, 2007

>Today is a good day to show our Historic Flag collection. Actually all the flags are new, replicas of historic U. S. Flags. Right now we have 4, but I plan to add 2 more before July 4.

The first flag (with the 76 on it)is the Bennington flag that tradition says was flown at the Battle of Bennington (actually fought at Wallomsack, New York, not Bennington, Vermont)in 1777. This is the only U. S. historical flag with white stripes rather than red, as the outer stripes.

The next flag is the Betsy Ross flag, the first offical flag of our country, with the circular ring of stars, and flown from June 14, 1777 to May 1, 1795.

Our next flag is the “Star Spangled Banner” that has 15 stars, that inspired our national anthem. Francis Scott Key saw this flag thorugh the smoke at Ft. McHenry. This flag has its own web site at the Smithsonian. The Star Spangled Banner

The fourth flag is the current U. S. flag with 50 stars.

We will add the U. S. flag used during the civil war, and the flag used during World War 2, when my dad fought, during the summer.

This collection will fly on patriotic holidays.

Remember those who fought and died for our country today, while you are downing ribs and beer and beginning the summer season. And be careful, there has already been at least two drownings at Gulf Shores (drownings)and a murder in Bessemer on my street (teenager at a birthday party) this weekend. Teen killed

Here’s what the AP reported about the gay weekend in Pensacola, as reported in The Decatur Daily. Funny, no reporting in the Birmingham News. And it’s not on the Decatur Paper’s web site. Not to fear, the Opelike Auburn News has it. 50,000 people and lots of green, along with rainbows. Gay Redneck Riviera

Happy Memorial Day

May 28, 2007

Today is a good day to show our Historic Flag collection. Actually all the flags are new, replicas of historic U. S. Flags. Right now we have 4, but I plan to add 2 more before July 4.

The first flag (with the 76 on it)is the Bennington flag that tradition says was flown at the Battle of Bennington (actually fought at Wallomsack, New York, not Bennington, Vermont)in 1777. This is the only U. S. historical flag with white stripes rather than red, as the outer stripes.

The next flag is the Betsy Ross flag, the first offical flag of our country, with the circular ring of stars, and flown from June 14, 1777 to May 1, 1795.

Our next flag is the “Star Spangled Banner” that has 15 stars, that inspired our national anthem. Francis Scott Key saw this flag thorugh the smoke at Ft. McHenry. This flag has its own web site at the Smithsonian. The Star Spangled Banner

The fourth flag is the current U. S. flag with 50 stars.

We will add the U. S. flag used during the civil war, and the flag used during World War 2, when my dad fought, during the summer.

This collection will fly on patriotic holidays.

Remember those who fought and died for our country today, while you are downing ribs and beer and beginning the summer season. And be careful, there has already been at least two drownings at Gulf Shores (drownings)and a murder in Bessemer on my street (teenager at a birthday party) this weekend. Teen killed

Here’s what the AP reported about the gay weekend in Pensacola, as reported in The Decatur Daily. Funny, no reporting in the Birmingham News. And it’s not on the Decatur Paper’s web site. Not to fear, the Opelike Auburn News has it. 50,000 people and lots of green, along with rainbows. Gay Redneck Riviera

>Bessemer News, including the Western Star goof

May 25, 2007

>Memorial Day is coming up, and the Western Star goofed on their front page with their headline (above the fold) “Honoring our Veterans on Memorial Day.”

Veterans Day is in November. Memorial Day is to honor those service members who have given their lives in defense of our country. Besides, isn’t it odd for a conservative Bush supporting newsletter to be headlining “honoring veterans” when we see troops returning from Iraq who can not get adequate medical care, certainly do not get mental health services when needed, and I won’t even get started on Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Yeah, that’s honoring our veterans. We actually should honor our veterans every day (a democratic value) but let’s use Memorial Day to remember those who sacrificed all.

In big Bessemer news a Jefferson County Personnel Board hearing officer ruled that Herman Lehman, former city clerk, was fired without just cause and is entitled to a hearing before the whole board if the city no longer wants his services. At issue was whether Lehman was still in his probationary first year of employment, and the ruling says he was no longer on probation, and in his second year of employment when the firing took place. Lehman said he wants any back pay that is due to him from Bessemer, and is currently employed as city clerk in Montevallo. Read it

Great news, Herman!

Bessemer News, including the Western Star goof

May 25, 2007

Memorial Day is coming up, and the Western Star goofed on their front page with their headline (above the fold) “Honoring our Veterans on Memorial Day.”

Veterans Day is in November. Memorial Day is to honor those service members who have given their lives in defense of our country. Besides, isn’t it odd for a conservative Bush supporting newsletter to be headlining “honoring veterans” when we see troops returning from Iraq who can not get adequate medical care, certainly do not get mental health services when needed, and I won’t even get started on Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Yeah, that’s honoring our veterans. We actually should honor our veterans every day (a democratic value) but let’s use Memorial Day to remember those who sacrificed all.

In big Bessemer news a Jefferson County Personnel Board hearing officer ruled that Herman Lehman, former city clerk, was fired without just cause and is entitled to a hearing before the whole board if the city no longer wants his services. At issue was whether Lehman was still in his probationary first year of employment, and the ruling says he was no longer on probation, and in his second year of employment when the firing took place. Lehman said he wants any back pay that is due to him from Bessemer, and is currently employed as city clerk in Montevallo. Read it

Great news, Herman!