Monthly Archives: August 2006

Bravo, Bernie

Mayor pans police, fire pay raises:

‘I’m just trying to keep balance,’ he said. ‘I am not recommending a 15 percent raise for any sector of our employees.’

I was going to ask if any other sector of your employees regularly gets shot at or runs into burning buildings, but then I realized that in Birmingham, just about everyone can count on being shot at these days and it just happens more often for the cops. So carry on.


Christian Coalition splinters off

The Alabama Christian Coalition feels that the national version has “drifted from its founding conservative principles”. Those referred to seem to be:

1. Blind devotion to a hardline demi-libertarian economic vision which has no Biblical or theological foundation;
2. Carrying water for Jack Abramoff.

I agree that these are certainly core conservative principles and the ACC should hold to them as tightly as their hatred of gays, foreigners, and everyone who isn’t a right-wing conservative Christian.

Good news for Siegelman and Scrushy!

Ruling may allow felons to vote

Three notes on this ruling by Jefferson County Judge Robert Vance Jr.:

1. Nancy Worley, in her usual understated way, says that this will lead to polling places in prisons, which will certainly present a problem in getting volunteers to work the polling places.

2. The ruling is on hold while the Justice Department reviews it for compliance with the Voting Rights Act. Note that the people who are most outraged by this ruling (they rhyme with “Bopublican”) are also the people who want Alabama to not be subject to VRA review. Ooops!

3. The ruling states, basically, that the law banning felons from voting is defective because it bans people who commit crimes of “moral turpitude”, where “moral turpitude” has not been defined. I am eagerly awaiting the legislature’s debate on bills defining “moral turpitude”.

I see the problem

Mountain tomato farms fading

Tomato farming on the mountain is dying, he and others say. The hard work, long hours and irregular income don’t appeal to many of the children who could carry on the tradition.

‘I tell people it’s like preaching; you’ve got to be called,’ said Allman, who is 44.

The thing is, you can get behind preaching as a way of life. It’s a lot harder to see something glorious in growing tomatoes. That may not be fair, but that’s life.

Foolish Galatians


Charles P. Pierce simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Paul of Tarsus did not write any of the “Pastoral Epistles” (1 and 2 Timothy, Titus). They were written many years after his time (probably in the second century) by people who considered him their founder but profoundly distorted his message in order to reinforce the status quo. In point of fact, what happened to Paul after his death is exactly what liberals often accuse Paul of doing to Jesus.

Consider Galatians 3, one of the greatest calls for human equality (within the Church, anyway) ever put on paper, especially verses 28-29:

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

In the Roman Empire, this is pretty radical. Now, Paul never advocated an end to slavery, something that in the Roman Empire was impossible to contemplate. (He clearly agonized over it, though — read the genuine epistle Philemon.) This statement — that slaves were at least morally equal to free men, and that women were morally equal to men — is the most radical statement of equality in the Bible, if not in all of classical literature. Jesus never said anything like that, or if it was it wasn’t recorded.

Get rid of St. Paul? Get rid of Plato, first, and the rest of the slave power that ran Greek and Roman antiquity.

But… they’re… so… big! NewsFlash – Judge says plan to log Sequoias illegal

Think of all the lumber you could get! I mean, it’s home to two-thirds of the world’s largest trees! It’s a bonanza, and it’s just sitting there!


Crime rate troubles new chief

The Montgomery Advertiser headlines this story from AP about Birmingham’s police chief. I was wondering when Annetta Nunn, who had served since 2003, was replaced, but she has not been. After three years, you are not new.

Anyway, she seems just as hapless to stop the city’s murder wave as she seemed last year. Speaking as someone who, when they lived in Bessemer, once saw a map in the News that pointed to the epicenter of Bessemer’s crime problem and it was his house, the situation in Birmingham is clearly unacceptable. Heads probably need to roll. Maybe there should be a new chief after all.

Easterbunk Page 2 : TMQ hoops it up

Notice that I don’t write much in detail about hockey or soccer. This is because I don’t like hockey or soccer. Gregg Easterbrook doesn’t like the NBA but spends his football column talking about the NBA anyway. He doesn’t get it.

In particular, Easterbrook says that the boost in NBA esthetics last season was due to the NBA’s new ban on drafting players straight out of high school. What is wrong with this is that the ban only went into effect beginning with the most recent draft! While the top five picks in last year’s draft all had some college experience, there were two high schoolers taken in the top ten and another eighteenth. The high school ban can not have had any effect.

What in fact happened was that a series of rules changes essentially took away the ability to play physical defense on the ballhandler while (at the same time) officials apparently started allowing moving screens. I don’t really have a problem with these rules, and frankly defenders get away with too much still, but it was by and large the new rules and not new players (other than Chris Paul) who caused the changes.

That does it – Depression in Atlantic may become Tropical Storm Debby – Aug 22, 2006

The National Hurricane Center is definitely giving these storms nonthreatening names to take us off our guard. I don’t think there’s a less threatening name than “Debby”.

Canadians are weird

Curious Canadians seek state on Web

For some reason, people in Vancouver Google for “Alabama” more than people anywhere else.