Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

>Farmers market and politics

June 5, 2010

>We are getting good response to our request for progressives to join our group. Anticipate some changes in Bessemer.

Join us.

I spent the morning at the Bessemer Farmers Market at Watermark Place. The weather was perfect, and I had my camera. But I was carrying others folk’s cameras as well, and taking pictures with all. In all that, I didn’t get a good picture of the produce with my own camera!

But I did take a picture of the goodies I bought when I got home. The blackberries are going in a cobbler, and there will be cornbread to accompany the rest.


Blackberries, rattlesnake beans, fresh pintos, new potatoes and green tomatoes

The day started out cloudy

Virginia Ward, the banana man and Toni Hendrix, market director

The clouds began to part and the people began to pour in.


Buy fresh, buy local

Commissioner of Agriculture and Democratic nominee for Governor Ron Sparks showed up

Councilman Jesse Matthews, Commissioner Sparks, Anthony Underwood and John Willoughby (State of Alabama, Farmers Market Authority)

Cooking demonstration by Ron Cook of Bessemer

Ron serving up some chicken

The event brought out many politicians in addition to the ones above

City council candidate Cleo King with Commissioner Ron Sparks

City council candidate Sherrina Rice, councilor and mayoral candidate Louise Alexander and Council candidate Cleo King

Other elected officials who were seen were councilor and mayoral candidate Dorothy Davidson, and State Representative Lawrence McAdory and mayoral candidate Ken Gulley and councilman Earl Cochran.

Mr. McAdory tried to explain to me his vote to prevent constitutional reform from advancing. Was he successful? I’ll let you know later.

Next Saturday there will be a health fair and senior citizen nutrition coupons will be distributed.

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>Maine bumper sticker: OMG GOP WTF

May 12, 2010

>And the whole country is wondering.

Republicans in Maine, where both the senators (Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe) are pretty moderate on issues and at times act in cooperation with Democrats (in a bipartisan fashion), this week voted overwhelmingly to replace their party platform with the Teabagger platform.

The document calls for the elimination of the Department of Education and the
Federal Reserve, demands an investigation of “collusion between government and
industry in the global warming myth,” suggests the adoption of “Austrian
Economics,” declares that “‘Freedom of Religion’ does not mean ‘freedom from
religion'” (which I guess makes atheism illegal), insists that “healthcare is
not a right,” calls for the abrogation of the “UN Treaty on Rights of the Child”
and the “Law Of The Sea Treaty” and declares that we must resist “efforts to
create a one world government.”

The entire platform can be read here.

Here are some highlights.

“Oppose any and all treaties with the UN “

“No amnesty, no benefits, no citizenship -ever- for anyone in the country illegally. Arrest and detain, for a specified period of time, anyone here illegally, and then deport, period.” (Maine, by the way, is 97 % white, it seems, and the Maine teabaggers are unlikely to understand what diversity is. To them, a black person, or even a southerner, might be deemed an “illegal.”)

“Reassert the principle that “Freedom of Religion” does not mean “freedom from religion”. (To my atheist and agnostic friends – your beliefs or lack of beliefs are threatened)

“Discard political correctness” (So we can all speak in hateful, bigoted language like you do?)

“Pass and implement Fed bill #1207 (Introduced by Ron Paul), to Audit the Federal Reserve, as the first step in Ending the Fed.” (Ending the Fed? Yeah, that would create stability now, wouldn’t it?)

“Investigate collusion between government and industry in the global warming myth.” (Myth? Myth? What rock do you people live under?)

“Prohibit any further stimulus bills.” (Even though the stimulus bill was part of what saved this country from the policies of republican leadership in Washington, and if I searched, I’m sure I could find where Maine specifically benefited.)

“Espouse and follow the principle: It is immoral to steal the property rightfully earned by one person, and give it to another who has no claim or right to its benefits.” (Does this mean they want to do away with Medicare and Medicaid? – yes!)

“Clarify that healthcare is not a right.” (Yes it is. Period.)

“Eliminate Dirigo” (Dirigo is the Maine health initiative to provide all citizens with affordable health care coverage. Dirigo is also the motto of Maine, meaning “I direct” or “I lead.” I’m not sure which one they want to eliminate).
 
 
“Eliminate the Department of Education.” (A favorite target of teabaggers).

This video shows the excitement generated by the passage of the platform.

 

Maine has been referred to as the “South of the North.”

One comment points this out:

It’s a sea of white hair in the video above. Almost all recipients of SS checks
and Medicare coverage. In other words, they are on welfare. “Health care is not
a right!” they bellow as they receive hip transplants, heart valve replacements,
and other life-saving operations on the public dime. “Socialism is evil” they
wail while waiting to cash their Social Security check.
Selfish, small-minded, ignorant hypocrites.

I wonder what Snowe and Collins think of their party’s new platform? I wonder what they think about their chances of surviving when their Senate seats comes up for re-election (Snowe in 2012, Collins in 2014). I wonder what they think about switching parties.

>39 days

February 18, 2010

>Lent has begun, and I have decided to give up…

We’ve already been eating healthier and exercising, giving up the slovenly lifestyle. But that happened a while back. Heck, it wasn’t even a New Year’s resolution, it began around Halloween.
I wanted to give up laundry, but it’s just been one day and there are three loads waiting already.

No, it’s going to be abstinence, of a sort. I am going to abstain from snarky criticism of political figures.

Now that doesn’t mean I will not be reporting on and setting things straight on issues.

But no Sarah Palin, Bob Riley, Jeff Sessions, Michael Steel, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck criticism by me.

My son and my partner say I can’t do it.

39 days. I’m counting.

These first couple of weeks will be easy. I’m avoiding lots of issues while I watch and focus on the Olympics. How ’bout that run by Lindsey Vonn as she won the women’s downhill by .56 seconds.


Here’s a recap video of the day’s medals for the US and others.

Men’s figure skating long program tonight. Maybe Johnny won’t get robbed like the other night.

I’m almost as excited as Buck (What the Buck) reporting on the Olympics, I try to watch every minute. Well, not as much caffiene here, but even curling, love it!

>A short tribute to Senator Kennedy

August 26, 2009

>Be sure to read my Western Tribune column about the Norfolk Southern informational meeting which follows this brief tribute to Senator Edward M. Kennedy. May he rest in peace. I particularly like the way the media has portrayed Barack Obama as the successor to the Kennedy role in politics.

I have read a lot of hateful comments while looking at videos and tributes about Senator Kennedy. Let it rest, hatemongers.

Did you begin voting when you turned 18? Thank Senator Kennedy. Do you participate in or enjoy women’s collegiate athletics? Thank Senator Kennedy. Glad Bork got “borked”? Thank Senator Kennedy. Senator Kennedy was a champion of gay rights, women’s rights and fairness all around. He will be missed, especially as we move toward health care reform.

Comments are welcome, but I will not allow hateful ones.

>Alabama leaning red and Kings of Leon

August 4, 2009

>Gallup has released a poll that shows how blue the country is becoming.

Gallup


Alabama is categorized as “leans Republican.” In 2008 Alabama was “competitive,” which means we are a little more red than we were a year ago.

The state certainly leans Republican, but was it really “competitive” in 2008?

Their numbers are based on responses to which party an individual identifies with. In Alabama 46% identified or leaned Republican and 40% identified or leaned Democrat, giving Republicans a 6 point advantage.

I think democrats will continue to make gains in the state. That is based on demographics…younger people are getting involved every day. They lean blue.

Here’s a bit of a surprise from another poll. Overwhelming support for the Norfolk Southern Intermodal Facility, according to a recent poll by the Western Tribune. The numbers will probably be in this week’s paper.

Kings of Leon. Notion. Love these guys. They were on the Today Show the other day. I didn’t see them, but someone said they attracted the largest crowd of any of the morning concerts they do.

>Let’s Return to Normal

September 5, 2008

>One thing that will help restore order to your mind, after suffering through the House of Lords convention, is re-watching the Barack Obama Speech and the Michelle Obama Speech. I am providing these re-takes on Friday afternoon so you can have the whole weekend to enjoy them.
Unlike John McCain, Barack Obama provides some details of his plan for America, a plan that addresses such issues as the high cost of health care, the housing crisis, high energy costs, getting our troops home, and more.

If you choose not to watch, then scroll on down.

Barack

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/26447607#26447607

Michelle

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/26398912#26398912

Jon Stewart has discovered that there is (gasp) hypocrisy among the Republicans.

“No!” you say.

“They” keep taking this video down, I keep finding it elsewhere. Ok I just did it again.

You can rest assured that Bessemer Opinions will continue to provide you with the truth, the best and the (sometimes not so) obvious until the November election and beyond.

>No Apology

August 31, 2008

>An anonymous comment on yesterday’s post reads: I am sick and tired of this so called “blog”. This is nothing but a Democratic Lovers page. I used to enjoy reading about news from around Bessemer and such, but now I will not be back to this site.

It is no secret, nor is it anything to be ashamed of, that I support the Democratic Party and its candidates, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, to lead our country. So it should come as no surprise that the blog leans heavily to the democratic side. And if you do not like what I wrote on this blog, I am afraid you will really not like my column in the paper this week. But, as they say, the truth hurts.

So called blog.” What defines a blog? A blog is a “log” or record, of the author’s (s) thoughts or writings on the web. So why say this is a “so called” blog?

I do report on news from Bessemer, take for instance the positive posts regarding Colonial Promenade Tannehill. Look at my advocacy and concern for victims of crime in Bessemer. I have posted about Jess Lanier students who deserved recognition. I am for preservation, thus I have posted about Arlington School which the city is doing nothing to save. And more.

Incidentally, Bessemer is mostly Democrat. The mayor is a Democrat. Most if not all of the city council members, and the school board, are Democrats. In the primaries, more people voted in the democratic primary than the Republican primary. In November, Barack Obama will receive more votes than John McCain.

As we approach election day, the choice, if we want to move this country forward, is clear. John McCain and Sarah Palin represent the status quo. Maybe not when you look at her age, gender, “maverick” style and such. But the policies of the McCain/Palin administration have already been outlined and are nothing more than a repeat of the Bush policies. And we are reminded of that this weekend as we see Gustav approaching and remember Katrina 3 years ago.

So I make no apology for supporting the Democrat Platform and dissing the Republicans. And I will continue to do what I can to promote our platform and get Barack elected.

As for the coming week, I was planning to report on the Republican National Convention, and most likely would have been critical of the event. However, Gustav is disrupting the planned events of the convention and my schedule as well. I will know more of my schedule later today, but I am 100% sure that I will be called on to assist with Gustav with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries Emergency Programs Section. Maybe from here, maybe from Clanton or Montgomery, or maybe from further south.

I may be able to post daily, and if so, it will be about Gustav and the response. If not, then I will report when I can.

In the meantime, lets all give support and prayers for the people of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama. And lets prepare to offer help for many weeks ahead.

Lies, Distortions, and Gangsta Rap

May 6, 2008

On Sirius Left yesterday evening, talk show host Mark Thompson was “Making it Plain” (the title of his show) that he doesn’t mind supporting false statements made by callers as long as they support his position that Barack Obama deserves the nomination and Hillary Clinton does not.

A caller yesterday who identified himself as a truck driver said that he spends $10,000 a month on fuel, and that “$30” is not going to help him one bit.

I remember when I was a little kid we used to play connect the dots. After doing so, hopefully with straight lines and in the correct order, I could see the picture that has been drawn. This driver must have had a really hard time with connect the dots because the $30 that some are claiming average drivers would benefit does not connect to the amount that would be saved on $10,000 of diesel fuel.

Let’s see, estimating, at $4 a gallon that would be 2500 gallons and at 24.4 cents a gallon federal tax on diesel it looks like he might save $610. Why, that is more than the stimulus rebate he might be getting in the mail. I wonder if he would notice if he only got $30 back from the IRS?

And Thompson just went right along with him, they were both so hyped up on berating Hillary he didn’t even notice. No, they “made it plain” that facts and accuracy are not important as long as they turn people against Hillary and further divide the democratic party in the process.

OK, enough about that. Now I may slip up on occasion and get a fact wrong, but Mary Kate Rush really goofed in a letter to the Birmingham News this morning. She is complaining about the Jefferson County Commission considering charging non-users of the sewer system a fee, and she wrote the following,

Reading Commissioner Shelia Smoot’s recommendation that the nonuser fee be called a “Clean Water Act fee, ” I recall that Hamlet said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” A nonuser fee by any other name will stink just as bad.

Well, Hamlet was not worried about Romeo’s family name, but two young lovers were.

JULIET:
‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

While her point is well taken, Mary Kate needs to brush up on her Shakespeare before she uses it beside her lessons from history, because as people recognize her lack of knowledge of literature they might discredit her recall of history as well.

And I have to comment on Cynthia Tucker’s column which also appeared in the Opinions section of today’s paper.

She writes about resume inflation, but not the kind that gets football coaches jobs or ladder-climbers executive positions, but the ones that get gangsta rap musicians their cred.

Atlanta star Akon, who claimed to spend three years the fed for running a “notorious” car theft operation, as it turns out, just spent a few months in the DeKalb county jail on charges that were later dropped. Akon, whose real name is Aliaune Thiam, “made up a criminal history claiming he was a carjacker who owned chop shops but was finally brought down because he was ratted out by jealous underlings.”

Tucker points out “You gain respect in thug culture – and millions of dollars in record and ring-tone sales – only if you’re a bona fide thug.”

The impression is that by abandoning one’s middle-class suburban upbringing, which is how Akon was raised, and inventing a thug life history, one can do better than by becoming a “teacher or a chemist or an accountant” or becoming “a responsible father and husband.”

And indeed, Akon did do better, after titling his cd “Konvicted” which apparently he never was.

And in an enlightening moment for those of us in Birmingham (area) where droopy pants and poor taste in underwear has been on the city council agenda comes this, from Tucker’s oped.

Indeed, the baggy britches that are now de rigeur in hip-hop circles grew out of jail rituals. when men are arrested, their belts are confiscated, so their trousers tend to droop. It’s from that unfortunate facet of ghetto life that the ubiquitous sagging pants were launched.

So kids want to be like their prison dwelling role models. We’d better listen to Cynthia Tucker, Bill Cosby and others who have seen the reality of what is and has been happening in our culture over the last several decades. A generation is being destoyed.

>Lies, Distortions, and Gangsta Rap

May 6, 2008

>On Sirius Left yesterday evening, talk show host Mark Thompson was “Making it Plain” (the title of his show) that he doesn’t mind supporting false statements made by callers as long as they support his position that Barack Obama deserves the nomination and Hillary Clinton does not.

A caller yesterday who identified himself as a truck driver said that he spends $10,000 a month on fuel, and that “$30” is not going to help him one bit.

I remember when I was a little kid we used to play connect the dots. After doing so, hopefully with straight lines and in the correct order, I could see the picture that has been drawn. This driver must have had a really hard time with connect the dots because the $30 that some are claiming average drivers would benefit does not connect to the amount that would be saved on $10,000 of diesel fuel.

Let’s see, estimating, at $4 a gallon that would be 2500 gallons and at 24.4 cents a gallon federal tax on diesel it looks like he might save $610. Why, that is more than the stimulus rebate he might be getting in the mail. I wonder if he would notice if he only got $30 back from the IRS?

And Thompson just went right along with him, they were both so hyped up on berating Hillary he didn’t even notice. No, they “made it plain” that facts and accuracy are not important as long as they turn people against Hillary and further divide the democratic party in the process.

OK, enough about that. Now I may slip up on occasion and get a fact wrong, but Mary Kate Rush really goofed in a letter to the Birmingham News this morning. She is complaining about the Jefferson County Commission considering charging non-users of the sewer system a fee, and she wrote the following,

Reading Commissioner Shelia Smoot’s recommendation that the nonuser fee be called a “Clean Water Act fee, ” I recall that Hamlet said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” A nonuser fee by any other name will stink just as bad.

Well, Hamlet was not worried about Romeo’s family name, but two young lovers were.

JULIET:
‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

While her point is well taken, Mary Kate needs to brush up on her Shakespeare before she uses it beside her lessons from history, because as people recognize her lack of knowledge of literature they might discredit her recall of history as well.

And I have to comment on Cynthia Tucker’s column which also appeared in the Opinions section of today’s paper.

She writes about resume inflation, but not the kind that gets football coaches jobs or ladder-climbers executive positions, but the ones that get gangsta rap musicians their cred.

Atlanta star Akon, who claimed to spend three years the fed for running a “notorious” car theft operation, as it turns out, just spent a few months in the DeKalb county jail on charges that were later dropped. Akon, whose real name is Aliaune Thiam, “made up a criminal history claiming he was a carjacker who owned chop shops but was finally brought down because he was ratted out by jealous underlings.”

Tucker points out “You gain respect in thug culture – and millions of dollars in record and ring-tone sales – only if you’re a bona fide thug.”

The impression is that by abandoning one’s middle-class suburban upbringing, which is how Akon was raised, and inventing a thug life history, one can do better than by becoming a “teacher or a chemist or an accountant” or becoming “a responsible father and husband.”

And indeed, Akon did do better, after titling his cd “Konvicted” which apparently he never was.

And in an enlightening moment for those of us in Birmingham (area) where droopy pants and poor taste in underwear has been on the city council agenda comes this, from Tucker’s oped.

Indeed, the baggy britches that are now de rigeur in hip-hop circles grew out of jail rituals. when men are arrested, their belts are confiscated, so their trousers tend to droop. It’s from that unfortunate facet of ghetto life that the ubiquitous sagging pants were launched.

So kids want to be like their prison dwelling role models. We’d better listen to Cynthia Tucker, Bill Cosby and others who have seen the reality of what is and has been happening in our culture over the last several decades. A generation is being destoyed.