Archive for September, 2007

>Three Different Things

September 28, 2007

>Three things that make me smile.

1. I don’t think I have ever written about college football here, but I am glad to see that Barrett Trotter of Briarwood Christian has made a commitment to Auburn. Kodi Burns, who has been compared to Tim Tebow, might turn out to be very effective, but it will be good to have a guy who was 20 of 26 with 267 yards and 4 touchdowns last week (Trotter against Anniston) on the roster. Trotter has been a lifelong Alabama fan, saying “I grew up an Alabama fan. But when all this recruiting stuff started coming up in the 10th grade, I liked the Auburn camp better. When recruiting comes up, you have to put all those previous feelings behind you. I’m an Auburn fan from here on out.” Me too, Barrett. War Eagle

2. The U. S. Senate passed the Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes Bill adding sexual orientation to the list of crimes covered. This legislation helps local law enforcement prosecute attacks on gays. The legislation was attached to the 2008 Defense Spending bill. Will Bush veto the spending bill to keep from passing the “social legislation,” as Lindsey Graham called it?

The House has already passed the bill, as a stand alone bill, so it should not be stripped out of the final bill as happened in the past before it goes to the president.

The bill was co-sponsored by Republican Oregon senator Gordon Smith, who said ”We cannot fight terror abroad and accept terror at home. Story

No word from W. We will just have to wait and see.

3. This doesn’t really make me smile. Well, yes it does. To some, “White Party” may bring up images of shirtless circuit boys dancing in Miami, as the popular party week approaches in Florida but the real White Party met last night at Morgan State University in Baltimore at a PBS sponsored Republican debate. The front runners were absent due to schedule conflicts…yeah right…Fred Thompson was raising money in Tennessee, Mitt Romney was raising money in California, and Rudy Giuliani was raising money also in California.

Decisions, decisions. Money?…Appearing before journalists and an audience of color?…hmmm.

Money!

What more can the White Party do to embarrass themselves? We hardly have time to digest one foolish move before another comes out. Oh well, the Republican Party: the gift that keeps on giving.

Three Different Things

September 28, 2007

Three things that make me smile.

1. I don’t think I have ever written about college football here, but I am glad to see that Barrett Trotter of Briarwood Christian has made a commitment to Auburn. Kodi Burns, who has been compared to Tim Tebow, might turn out to be very effective, but it will be good to have a guy who was 20 of 26 with 267 yards and 4 touchdowns last week (Trotter against Anniston) on the roster. Trotter has been a lifelong Alabama fan, saying “I grew up an Alabama fan. But when all this recruiting stuff started coming up in the 10th grade, I liked the Auburn camp better. When recruiting comes up, you have to put all those previous feelings behind you. I’m an Auburn fan from here on out.” Me too, Barrett. War Eagle

2. The U. S. Senate passed the Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes Bill adding sexual orientation to the list of crimes covered. This legislation helps local law enforcement prosecute attacks on gays. The legislation was attached to the 2008 Defense Spending bill. Will Bush veto the spending bill to keep from passing the “social legislation,” as Lindsey Graham called it?

The House has already passed the bill, as a stand alone bill, so it should not be stripped out of the final bill as happened in the past before it goes to the president.

The bill was co-sponsored by Republican Oregon senator Gordon Smith, who said ”We cannot fight terror abroad and accept terror at home. Story

No word from W. We will just have to wait and see.

3. This doesn’t really make me smile. Well, yes it does. To some, “White Party” may bring up images of shirtless circuit boys dancing in Miami, as the popular party week approaches in Florida but the real White Party met last night at Morgan State University in Baltimore at a PBS sponsored Republican debate. The front runners were absent due to schedule conflicts…yeah right…Fred Thompson was raising money in Tennessee, Mitt Romney was raising money in California, and Rudy Giuliani was raising money also in California.

Decisions, decisions. Money?…Appearing before journalists and an audience of color?…hmmm.

Money!

What more can the White Party do to embarrass themselves? We hardly have time to digest one foolish move before another comes out. Oh well, the Republican Party: the gift that keeps on giving.

>Three Things

September 27, 2007

>Three things that don’t surprise me.

1. That Iran’s unpopular (here and there) president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would deny that there are homosexuals in his country. First, as has been pointed out, he hangs them when they are identified. So, maybe he should say there are not “out” homosexuals in his country.
Secondly, why should we be surprised at anything the dictator says. After denying the holocaust, I would think he would have no cred left. He doesn’t need to be listened to he just needs to be monitored.

There are gay Iranians. Here are some news reports and stories of how they are treated.
Gay news from Iran Scary. Scroll down to read reports

Besides, his views are not that different from some American politicians. Remember Roy Moore. This is from a opinion he wrote ending a lesbian custody case here in Alabama in 2002:

The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle…

Wikipedia is not my favorite source, but it’s easy. You can read more about Roy and this case at Roy Moore in Wiki. Scroll down to DH v. HH

2. Bill O’Reilly has old timey views on race. Don’t most conservatives/republicans? Trent Lott comes to mind.

Zennie Abraham has a message for O’Reilly. Bill, you aren’t the first white person to ever visit Sylvia’s. Message from a Black American, Bill I love how O’Reilly says when Al Sharpton and he walked in there was a big commotion. It wasn’t about you Bill, I am quite sure.

3. The leading democratic presidential candidates hold back on pulling troops outof Iraq. While some think appeasing the so-called base is what Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards should be doing, the realities are we don’t even know what will be going on in some 400 or so days when one of them takes office, so I think not committing to troop withdrawal is smart. We know how they stand on the war, and on ending it. They are not going to get trapped into being called to task if advisors or special forces or even air strikes are needed in the future. And contrary to what most pundits are saying this morning, I think Hillary did just fine last night in the debate, and I think polls during the next week or so will reflect that.

Three Things

September 27, 2007

Three things that don’t surprise me.

1. That Iran’s unpopular (here and there) president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would deny that there are homosexuals in his country. First, as has been pointed out, he hangs them when they are identified. So, maybe he should say there are not “out” homosexuals in his country.
Secondly, why should we be surprised at anything the dictator says. After denying the holocaust, I would think he would have no cred left. He doesn’t need to be listened to he just needs to be monitored.

There are gay Iranians. Here are some news reports and stories of how they are treated.
Gay news from Iran Scary. Scroll down to read reports

Besides, his views are not that different from some American politicians. Remember Roy Moore. This is from a opinion he wrote ending a lesbian custody case here in Alabama in 2002:

The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle…

Wikipedia is not my favorite source, but it’s easy. You can read more about Roy and this case at Roy Moore in Wiki. Scroll down to DH v. HH

2. Bill O’Reilly has old timey views on race. Don’t most conservatives/republicans? Trent Lott comes to mind.

Zennie Abraham has a message for O’Reilly. Bill, you aren’t the first white person to ever visit Sylvia’s. Message from a Black American, Bill I love how O’Reilly says when Al Sharpton and he walked in there was a big commotion. It wasn’t about you Bill, I am quite sure.

3. The leading democratic presidential candidates hold back on pulling troops outof Iraq. While some think appeasing the so-called base is what Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards should be doing, the realities are we don’t even know what will be going on in some 400 or so days when one of them takes office, so I think not committing to troop withdrawal is smart. We know how they stand on the war, and on ending it. They are not going to get trapped into being called to task if advisors or special forces or even air strikes are needed in the future. And contrary to what most pundits are saying this morning, I think Hillary did just fine last night in the debate, and I think polls during the next week or so will reflect that.

>Western Tribune Column from September 26

September 27, 2007

>So Bessemer is finally going to get a movie theater! This past Thursday the City Council voted unanimously to give Colonial Properties one million dollars to help close the deal that will bring a first class theater complex to the new development going up near Eastern Valley Road and I-459.

Bessemer has been fighting to get a theater as long as I have lived here, and deal after deal has fallen through. This one looks like it will stick.

Time after time I heard the phrase “quality of life issue” during the debate over the past several weeks. Quality of life is something that catches my attention, as the mission statement of the Bessemer Neighborhood Association states to “improve the quality of life throughout Bessemer and its surrounding communities.” The association realizes that many things affect our quality of life, from the threat of violence to water rates to government corruption and more. As we learned from the council meetings this week and last, the way our tax money is spent (or wasted) certainly affects our quality of life.

A movie theater gives kids, teenagers, and adults a place to go for local entertainment. It will produce tax revenue both directly and indirectly as movie goers also stop to eat out or shop at Target or other stores at Colonial Promenade Tannehill.

The council was hesitant until they realized that the money was to come from an account that could only be used for commercial or industrial development.

Since our quality of life will be better, let’s just hope that Hollywood takes notice and we also see “quality of film” improve. The last two year’s Oscar winners for best picture were about urban racial conflict (“Crash”) and organized crime and police corruption (“The Departed”). Although good movies, we don’t want to give our citizens and officials any ideas.

The runners-up from the last couple of years may be better for us. Off the wall comedies like “Little Miss Sunshine” and timeless romance stories like “Brokeback Mountain” might be more suitable. After all, more laughter and more love would certainly be an indicator of a higher quality of life, and that’s what it’s all about.

Western Tribune Column from September 26

September 27, 2007

So Bessemer is finally going to get a movie theater! This past Thursday the City Council voted unanimously to give Colonial Properties one million dollars to help close the deal that will bring a first class theater complex to the new development going up near Eastern Valley Road and I-459.

Bessemer has been fighting to get a theater as long as I have lived here, and deal after deal has fallen through. This one looks like it will stick.

Time after time I heard the phrase “quality of life issue” during the debate over the past several weeks. Quality of life is something that catches my attention, as the mission statement of the Bessemer Neighborhood Association states to “improve the quality of life throughout Bessemer and its surrounding communities.” The association realizes that many things affect our quality of life, from the threat of violence to water rates to government corruption and more. As we learned from the council meetings this week and last, the way our tax money is spent (or wasted) certainly affects our quality of life.

A movie theater gives kids, teenagers, and adults a place to go for local entertainment. It will produce tax revenue both directly and indirectly as movie goers also stop to eat out or shop at Target or other stores at Colonial Promenade Tannehill.

The council was hesitant until they realized that the money was to come from an account that could only be used for commercial or industrial development.

Since our quality of life will be better, let’s just hope that Hollywood takes notice and we also see “quality of film” improve. The last two year’s Oscar winners for best picture were about urban racial conflict (“Crash”) and organized crime and police corruption (“The Departed”). Although good movies, we don’t want to give our citizens and officials any ideas.

The runners-up from the last couple of years may be better for us. Off the wall comedies like “Little Miss Sunshine” and timeless romance stories like “Brokeback Mountain” might be more suitable. After all, more laughter and more love would certainly be an indicator of a higher quality of life, and that’s what it’s all about.

>Western Tribune Column from Sept. 19

September 27, 2007

>One visit to a Bessemer City Council is all it takes to realize that DNC does not stand for Democratic National Committee; it stands for Do Nothing Council.

On Tuesday, September 11, the Bessemer City Council reconvened to finish up a meeting they started the week before. With one item remaining uncompleted, a public hearing about incentives for a proposed movie theatre, the meeting was over almost before it started, since no one from the public was there to speak on the issue.

But plenty of people were there to speak about the bond issue that needs to be passed so Bessemer can fulfill its obligation to build a $4.5 million water line to Alabaster. Once completed, the substantial amount of water piped to that city will bring welcome revenue to Bessemer.

But they refused to hear us. They adjourned and went in to a planning session. We followed them. While citizen participation is not a regular part of planning sessions, there is plenty that citizens can learn from attending.

Take the proposed noise ordinance, for instance. The council has been considering this for years, and a revised ordinance has been before them for months. Will it ever be enacted?

Or the smoking ordinance. No one denies the ordinance would be good for the health of Bessemer residents, and in many cities restaurant business is unaffected or actually increases after such laws are enacted. A published review of 97 studies on the economic effects of smoking ordinances backs this up. But our council has delayed passage of the ordinance and once something is delayed, who knows what will happen.

Back to the water bond issue. By now, the council has met again and maybe this issue is resolved. But not without a great effort by the Bessemer Neighborhood Association and others concerned about rising utility bills. The only reason the Association took the actions they did; handing out flyers, protesting, sending faxes and making calls, was because of council members who were putting the interest of one person above that of 30,000 residents of Bessemer and other Bessemer Water Service Customers.

Elected officials need to be reminded from time to time why they are in the positions they have been elected to, and who put them there. I hope our efforts were successful. If not, more reminders and more action will be in store.

Western Tribune Column from Sept. 19

September 27, 2007

One visit to a Bessemer City Council is all it takes to realize that DNC does not stand for Democratic National Committee; it stands for Do Nothing Council.

On Tuesday, September 11, the Bessemer City Council reconvened to finish up a meeting they started the week before. With one item remaining uncompleted, a public hearing about incentives for a proposed movie theatre, the meeting was over almost before it started, since no one from the public was there to speak on the issue.

But plenty of people were there to speak about the bond issue that needs to be passed so Bessemer can fulfill its obligation to build a $4.5 million water line to Alabaster. Once completed, the substantial amount of water piped to that city will bring welcome revenue to Bessemer.

But they refused to hear us. They adjourned and went in to a planning session. We followed them. While citizen participation is not a regular part of planning sessions, there is plenty that citizens can learn from attending.

Take the proposed noise ordinance, for instance. The council has been considering this for years, and a revised ordinance has been before them for months. Will it ever be enacted?

Or the smoking ordinance. No one denies the ordinance would be good for the health of Bessemer residents, and in many cities restaurant business is unaffected or actually increases after such laws are enacted. A published review of 97 studies on the economic effects of smoking ordinances backs this up. But our council has delayed passage of the ordinance and once something is delayed, who knows what will happen.

Back to the water bond issue. By now, the council has met again and maybe this issue is resolved. But not without a great effort by the Bessemer Neighborhood Association and others concerned about rising utility bills. The only reason the Association took the actions they did; handing out flyers, protesting, sending faxes and making calls, was because of council members who were putting the interest of one person above that of 30,000 residents of Bessemer and other Bessemer Water Service Customers.

Elected officials need to be reminded from time to time why they are in the positions they have been elected to, and who put them there. I hope our efforts were successful. If not, more reminders and more action will be in store.

>Lipscomb in the News, and a Home for Veterans

September 26, 2007

>Sometime today visitor number 10,000 will land on this site. If I knew who it was, I would offer a prize.

For the city of Lipscomb, your 60 days are up. Now your mayor will be hand picked by Governor Bob Riley. I wonder how many people there are in Lipscomb that Riley knows. Oh, wait, he doesn’t have to. Each council person can submit a name to the governor, and he can do a little research and then make his choice. Lipscomb, I hope that goes well for you.

The citizens of Lipscomb are getting fed up. Just like the citizens of Bessemer have formed the Bessemer Neighborhood Association to address issues that affect the quality of life here, in Lipscomb there is now the Lipscomb City Coalition. There purpose is not to be a political forum, but to “actively bring permanent change to Lipscomb.”

They have a meeting scheduled for October 1. (I am not sure where or at what time…maybe a Lipscomb reader can fill us in).

Some of the issues they have addressed with the Mayor Pro Tempore are: a solution to the issues of dissension and hostile attitudes publicly exhibited between City Councilors and other city personnel, the need for a state audit, lack of emergency service, accounting of all law enforcement officers, and accounting of all paid city and/or contract employees, and accounting of all administrative public service boards.

Many of these issues are similar to issues we have in Bessemer.

Contact information is Brenda Renz, President 424-5325, and Melinda Richburg, Vice President, at 426-3411.

Bob Riley also wants to build a nursing home for veterans in the Birmingham area, noting that metro Birmingham is the only large city in the state that is not served by such a home. The facility would have assisted living quarters as well.

Riley says they are looking in Jefferson and Shelby counties, but he seems to favor locating near the American Village in Montevallo, citing the new national cemetary for veterans being located there.

That’s just a little creepy if you ask me, housing our elder veterans next door to their final resting place? How convenient (church lady again)!

If you want to serve the metro area and be near the population, locate in Birmingham or Bessemer near public transportation. That way more families will be able to visit. And while you are at it, improve public transportation so what I just said does not sound ridiculous.

Lipscomb in the News, and a Home for Veterans

September 26, 2007

Sometime today visitor number 10,000 will land on this site. If I knew who it was, I would offer a prize.

For the city of Lipscomb, your 60 days are up. Now your mayor will be hand picked by Governor Bob Riley. I wonder how many people there are in Lipscomb that Riley knows. Oh, wait, he doesn’t have to. Each council person can submit a name to the governor, and he can do a little research and then make his choice. Lipscomb, I hope that goes well for you.

The citizens of Lipscomb are getting fed up. Just like the citizens of Bessemer have formed the Bessemer Neighborhood Association to address issues that affect the quality of life here, in Lipscomb there is now the Lipscomb City Coalition. There purpose is not to be a political forum, but to “actively bring permanent change to Lipscomb.”

They have a meeting scheduled for October 1. (I am not sure where or at what time…maybe a Lipscomb reader can fill us in).

Some of the issues they have addressed with the Mayor Pro Tempore are: a solution to the issues of dissension and hostile attitudes publicly exhibited between City Councilors and other city personnel, the need for a state audit, lack of emergency service, accounting of all law enforcement officers, and accounting of all paid city and/or contract employees, and accounting of all administrative public service boards.

Many of these issues are similar to issues we have in Bessemer.

Contact information is Brenda Renz, President 424-5325, and Melinda Richburg, Vice President, at 426-3411.

Bob Riley also wants to build a nursing home for veterans in the Birmingham area, noting that metro Birmingham is the only large city in the state that is not served by such a home. The facility would have assisted living quarters as well.

Riley says they are looking in Jefferson and Shelby counties, but he seems to favor locating near the American Village in Montevallo, citing the new national cemetary for veterans being located there.

That’s just a little creepy if you ask me, housing our elder veterans next door to their final resting place? How convenient (church lady again)!

If you want to serve the metro area and be near the population, locate in Birmingham or Bessemer near public transportation. That way more families will be able to visit. And while you are at it, improve public transportation so what I just said does not sound ridiculous.