Archive for March 30, 2006

George Bush Joins the ACLU

March 30, 2006

In their quest to DESTROY AMERICA. So says Roy Moore.

He is mad that there is some pentagon policy requiring military

chaplains who volunteer to give a prayer at a non-religious service, such as a promotion ceremony, [to] give one that is non-sectarian because of the diversity of religious beliefs in the audience.

Outrageous. Just Outrageous. The nerve of these people. Moore responds:

We’ve got to recognize that the law does not forbid our chaplains in the military, in the Air Force, in the Navy, from praying in the name of Jesus. Indeed it contradicts our entire history and our law and it should be stopped and this president is responsible if it is not.

W are you listening? Act now or join the ACLU as an enemy of Amuhrika.


Dome Sweet Home

March 30, 2006

Today in the B’Ham news, we see these two headlines:

First,”Cost of dome up 10.2% to $68 million.”

Second, “$350,000 Glen Iris project hits delay in commission.”

The first, of course, refers to the never-ending attempts to build a domed stadium in B’ham. Never mind that we already have a fairly new, relatively large arena. Never mind that we have no permanent resident for a domed stadium. WE MUST HAVE ONE. Why? Because Atlanta does. Cost is no deterrent, as the story explains:

The potential cost for a domed addition to the BJJC has climbed nearly $68 million, its supporters will tell a Birmingham City Council committee today. And Mayor Bernard Kincaid will ask the committee to pledge $264 million over 30 years to help jump-start the project this year.

The second story refers to a proposed housing development. It would occur in what is now a littered, overgrown empty lot in the middle of a residencial area. The project will not only provide the new homes, but it will greatly improve the surrounding neighborhood. Trust me, I frequently ride my bike through the area. The reason for the delay is that, according to one of the commissioners, the commission does not have “a policy outlining when it should participate in for-profit residential developments.”

I mention this because it illustrates why this town is such a dump. We will fall all over ourselves for a dome that might attract for a few days some out of town conventioneers who will stay in hotels and eat at restaurants who in turn send their profits back to out of state corporate hq. Meanwhile, we find every reason in the world to avoid a project that would remedy the biggest problem in B’ham – scarcity of decent housing. This project would draw permanent residents. People who will live in and commit to this city, who will have a vested interest in its success.

The pattern in this town for the last half century has been to neglect, or actively destroy, its neighborhoods in favor of ‘economic development.’ The result is a city that is neither a nice place to visit or live.

The Rosa Parks Act

March 30, 2006

This morning, WBHM had a good story on the proposed act. If you are unfamiliar with it, it is HB 592, and it provides a means for folks who were arrested for violating segregation laws to obtain a pardon. This is the essential part:

A person who has been convicted of violating a state law or municipal ordinance whose purpose was to maintain or enforce racial separation or discrimination of individuals, upon application to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles shall be granted a pardon of the conviction.

Sounds good, but as explained in the WBHM story, there are several problems with it.

First, why did this take so long? How many people have missed out on jobs or other benefits because they had a criminal record for breaking segregation laws?

Second, the bill is more than a little presumptuous. If I was someone to whom this bill applies, I would tell the state to kiss my butt. The state of Alabama is the one who needs to ask for a pardon.

Third, one of the principles of the non-violent civil rights activists was to calmly accept the penalty for breaking these unjust laws. In so doing, they were living witnesses to the absurdity of the laws. As the WBHM story explains, that these folks are still on the books as ‘criminals’ is a continual reminder of our sins. It helps to ensure these types of things won’t happen again, and that we will work to correct them.

There is no way to fix the first problem, all we can do is beg forgiveness.

As for the second problem, the bill should change the language. Make the last sentence say “shall be recognized by this state as having been right, and the state shall provide an official personalized apology and provide all the benefits associated with an official pardon.”

For the third problem, maybe set up some type of public record containing the names of all the unjustly arrested people and the punishments they endured. It could explain how wickedly the state acted, and promise to honor these folks by never doing so again.

Alabama To Legalize Public Nudity

March 30, 2006

Get the story here.

So maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but this still sounds like a stupid law. As far as I know, it is already perfectly legal for a mother to breast feed her child “in any location where she is authorized to be.” It is also perfectly legal for a restaurant to enforce rules of common courtesy by telling the inconsiderate parent to go breast feed somewhere in private – a car, or a restroom. It sounds like this bill would prohibit the restaurant from doing so.

No doubt, breast feeding is “a natural act.” So is a bowel movement. Neither should occur in public.