Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Please update your links to "".

You can go to my new location by clicking here.

I'll leave this up for the next two weeks before I take down this blog completely.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tidbits From Elsewhere - 3/15/07

Seems Rosa Parks is up for sale. Her body isn't up for sale, mind you, but her name and image are.

And Birmingham's "entertainment district" now has a private investor. Great! Let them have it! As long as it's their money they're wasting and not my own, I have no problems with it.

It seems that Jefferson County Commissioners can't get along. So, there's no real news there.

If you needed a reason to believe that the term "for the children" is overused when a politician or business wants something, well here it is.

I can't believe that this is being talked about as if they're raising money for a charity or something. By the way, isn't that (raising money for charity) what they should be doing?

And here's some really big news. If you're a politician and you go on a comedy show, they're going to make fun of you. I'm shocked.

A Hidden Agenda?

Could this be the latest attempt to bring Republicans together with the gay community?

You be the judge.

Well, if everyone else is doing it...

I was going to report on former Secretary of State, Nancy Worley and acceptance of a major commendation, but then she went and got herself indicted (and was never nominated for an a commendation that I'm aware of), so I guess I won't be doing that. So after AM reader Don tipped me off, I decided to report on the indictment, but it seems that every single paper and blogger beat me to it.

Just so that I don't feel left out, I guess I'll report on it, too. To boot, I'll include every single link that I can find. (If I leave you out, let me know.)

The Birmingham News The Huntsville Times The Montgomery Advertiser Between the Links Politics in Alabama Doc's Political Parlor Birmingham Blues Alablawg A Bama Blog

In other news, if you think Worley is embarrassing as a public figure, just think... At least she isn't this guy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Think you know how "the troops" really feel? Think again.

Before I begin this little rant, I have to thank The Gun Toting Liberal for giving me the idea to check up on it. While this particular blog has several contributors, the "Liberal" behind the blog is an Alabama native and a military veteran. What I'm about to tell you has been mentioned on more than one occasion on his blog, yet mainstream media ignores it, and your average civilian is unaware of the truth. So I'm going to let you in on a little secret.

Soldiers do not have complete freedom of speech.


Soldiers do not have complete freedom of speech.

Not sure I got that.

Soldiers do not have complete freedom of speech.

Now that I've said it three times, I hope it has sunk in. Active duty soldiers do not have the freedom to dissent. For those of you short on a dictionary, that means that they can't disagree. Sure, they can say and feel whatever they want-- off-base, off-duty, and out of uniform. The thought never occurred to me to ask my brother (A.K.A. "Corporal Bonehead" of the U.S.M.C., as he is affectionately known) whether or not this was true. I finally did, and he confirmed it. Not that I don't trust Gunny, but Gunny is someone I've never met. I know my brother. After all, I'm the one who whipped him into shape, so to speak, over the course of many years in order to prepare him for basic training. He has even stated that basic training was a breeze after living with me for 18 years. Ladies and gentlemen, I humbly accept your gratitude for offering pre-training to our nation's finest.

There are legitimate reasons for this, such as the fact that you want to discourage insubordination among troops, but most people aren't aware of this little detail when they see smiling men and women in uniform happily parroting to the press whatever the talking point of the day happens to be. (It's like their lips are moving, but Tony Snow's voice is coming out.)

The truth is, the sentiment among troops is about the same as the rest of the population. There's about a 30:70 ratio of supporters to non-supporters. If you want to see what troops in Afghanistan and Iraq really think, try visiting a site like The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). Better yet, ask one yourself-- off-duty, off-base, and out of uniform. By the way, a real letter home usually sounds like, "We're good. Send socks and condoms. Tell Julie I love her." Nineteen-year-olds in the middle of a war zone don't usually write extended political commentary. If you do happen to see political commentary so beautifully written that it looks like it came from a Yale graduate, it just might have come from a Yale graduate.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

R.I.P. Daily Show Discussions

There was a time when I'd see Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert give a stellar political commentary and decide to discuss it on my blog. All I had to do was type my commentary to begin a discussion, search YouTube for a clip, and cut and paste the embed code into my blog so that visitors could see what I was talking about. It was an excellent promotional tool for Comedy Central, too. Visitors who may have never seen the Daily Show might decide to start watching it after seeing that clip.

Alas Viacom, which owns Comedy Central and several other channels, doesn't see it that way. They make YouTube remove clips of its shows, and the clips featured on the official websites have no direct links to specific clips. Instead, you must go to the clips page and fish through several different clips to find the one you want. Not helpful. Not helpful at all.

Maybe someday Viacom, like NBC and several other stations, will wise up and figure out that YouTube is a valuable promotional tool. Should I dare to hope? In the meantime, I guess I can always post clips of Heroes to comment on (and promote).

Dogs and Junkyards and Laws (Oh my!)

I'd like to thank my neighbors for going out of their way to look out for me and my family. Some have even to provide our street with its very own A-1 guard dogs. I appreciate the thought, but "Bruiser" (as I like to call the largest one) growled at me in a most unfriendly way yesterday while I was walking to my mailbox with my infant daughter. "Brownie" (as I like to call the large, brown one) also has a habit of defecating on my front lawn. I did recently discover the home to which "Brownie" belongs, so my husband and I decided to gather up the feces and return it to the owner. I've even considered that it might be good etiquette to attach a short note saying, "Your dog misplaced this in our yard. We thought you might want it back." Bottom line: It might be time for" Brownie" and "Bruiser" to stay at home.

I may not have to wait long for my situation to be remedied. "Bruiser" was recently spotted prancing down my street proudly displaying a freshly killed chicken in his mouth.

For that reason, I can empathise with residents of Mobile County, who are trying to pass a bill to control stray animals (and junkyards) in unincorporated parts of the county. St. Clair County tried to do something similar last year, but was unsuccessful. Many people argued that the law violated "home rule," but when you are unincorporated into city limits, the county is your home rule.

I agree that some breeders feel that a five-dog limit will hurt them, but that can be easily remedied by having a "certified breeder" exception written into the language.

I'm not much a fan of government policing of what you do on your own property, but when your dog roams, it's no longer on your property. It is on someone else's property, and it can cause quite a bit of damage and personal injury. Your right to do whatever you want ends when someone else's right to freely and safely walk around on his own property begins.

Moderate Changes: Domain Mapping

Okie dokie artichokie. At this point, it's a waiting game. Some of you may be seeing a blank page right now (and not this post). After (hopefully) 48 hours, you should see the new domain up at the top no matter what you typed into your browser to get here. If you typed "", you should have been forwarded to this URL. If you typed "", then you really shouldn't have anything to update. Let me take this opportunity to ask anyone who might have a link to me or have me listed on their blogroll to go ahead and change the link. It's mostly because I won't be on Blogger for much longer, and when I switch over, I don't want my readers getting lost in cyberspace.

That being said, there may be another slight hiccup when I switch the mapping to the new servers. Again, it should only take about 48 hours TOPS. Please be patient with me. I'll give you fair warning about a day or so before I do it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Moderate Changes: New URL

I'm happy to announce that The Alabama Moderate now has (da da dah da!) its very own domain name. From here on out, you should be able to type into your browser and find me.

At the moment, I've merely set up the domain so that it forwards to my blogger page. Once I get everything set up at WordPress, it should display at the top. That's the theory behind it, anyway. I've actually only done domain mapping on one other occasion, and it was about five years ago, so I'm a little rusty. If all else fails, I can always host elsewhere and just use the WordPress software, as Dan mentioned he does.

He (and Jeff) also mentioned something called PHP. I'd like to remind my readers that I don't do drugs. Seriously though, I'll start out with what I have, but I'll look into PHP. Once I'm just good enough to be dangerous, I'll probably get going with it and screw a few things up-- but then it'll look pretty awesome.

Moderate Changes Ahead

Over the next three weeks or so, you'll be seeing some small changes slowly taking place. The URL will change, and I'll definitely post a notification. The server will change, as I'm leaving Blogger for greener pastures at WordPress. (I'll post a link for a few weeks just in case readers end up here.) And the overall look will change. This is going to take up my usual blogging time, so expect to see fewer actual posts over the next three weeks. I'll try to include at least one actual political post for every couple of days.

My readership is up, up, up. So I'm going to try to include less emotion and personal life and more logic-based commentary. Hopefully, I'll be taken more seriously. I'm also planning to recruit a couple of new contributors. This is partly so that I can have more material, even though a mobile baby gives me less free time. Hard to believe, but I actually had more free time to blog when I was "working" all day. I also think it would be interesting if I could, like Dan, get a couple of state legislators to contribute on the goings on around Montgomery and provide insight on their legislation. I thought it might also be fair to give the Argo mayor and council an opportunity to speak. (These guys obviously already have a forum, but I'm trying to be fair.)

My increased readership is partly due to the Argo/Springville posts, but these posts have distracted me from the main focus of my blog, which is local and national politics. Lately, my main focus has been Argo, so I'm going to try to limit my posts to once a week. I'm thinking Tuesdays would be best for weekly updates, since Argo town hall meetings are held on Monday nights. Those of you looking toward this blog only for updates on Argo will have a regularly scheduled day to do so, as well. These posts have also lead to an increase in anonymous posting. While I believe that everyone has the God-given right to remain anonymous in posting, I'm going to turn that option off for now, so you will need to sign up for a blogger username to post a comment. It's not so that people have less anonymity. Mostly, it's so that folks can tell one anonymous poster apart from another to see just how many different opinions are flying. When I address an anonymous commenter, it helps for people to know which anonymous commenter I'm addressing.

Regarding my new look... I'm a whiz with HTML and Java, and I'm not too bad at graphics editing, but I'm not very creative. If you have an idea, please let me know by commenting here or by emailing me at almoderateATwindstreamDOTnet. So far, I'm thinking of a magnolia theme of some sort with a green or pink background. No significance-- I just happen to like magnolias. I also have an idea for a header graphic that will look somewhat like a political cartoon loosely based on a joke that one of my old coworkers made several years ago.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Wait for it...

Anyone want to start a pool on who will be the first legislator to claim that this will encourage underage drinking?

Better yet, how long will it take Hank Erwin to claim that a hurricane is headed our way to punish us for it?

The kid next door to me charges $20.

So how exactly does this happen?

Dems Should Lighten Up

"It's true that Barack Obama is on the move. I don't know if it's true President Bush called Musharraf and said, 'Why can't we catch this guy?'" --Roger Ailes, Fox Chairman and CEO

Now, reading that, it's quite obvious that Ailes was making a joke first about our president's legendary dim-wittedness and second about Barack Obama's name and the tendency for Joe Sixpack to get him mixed up with a certain terrorist. Personally, I thought it was a pretty good joke. At least, it was way better than a now infamous attempt at humor made by Sen. John Kerry not too long ago. (Note that watching any clips of John Kerry speaking is not recommended while operating heavy machinery.)

That being said, it seems that the Democrats have pulled out of a debate to be co-hosted by Fox as a response to the joke.

Cancel because you disagree with Fox's fairness or balance (or lack thereof). Cancel because you think Roger Ailes is a big, fat jerk. Cancel because you woke up and your hair was frizzy. But don't cancel because of a joke that was actually funny. Remember, the Republicans are supposed to be the ones too stiff to laugh it off.

2007 Ballot Initiative Bill

Crossposted from Betwen the Links.

2007 Ballot Initiative Bill Rep. Mike Ball

First of all, I’d like to thank Dan for the invitation to publish on this weblog. Once again, I have introduced my modest ballot initiative bill, HB263. It is the same bill that I’ve sponsored for the past 2 years. I am not particularly optimistic about its chances for passage this year because of the lack of demand among the general population. Those who have power have worked hard to attain it and will not give up even a small part of it unless they absolutely must. The amount of public demand necessary to overcome this natural resistance can only be generated if there were some sort of crisis. I’m glad things are going well, though.

It is interesting how support and opposition lines up for this particular issue. It is not liberal vs. conservative as much as it is populist vs. elitist. Most grassroots organizations (comprised of more people than money) and many individuals across the political spectrum tend to support it; however, I can’t think of a major lobbyist (with $$$$) in Montgomery who supports it. If this issue were to ever begin to get legs, you would see some strange bedfellows fighting it.

One of the reasons the heavy-hitters oppose it is because it is very difficult and expensive to block a ballot initiative if there is overwhelming public support. It is not nearly as difficult to block the passage of legislation (regardless of public opinion) in order to protect their interests. I’ll keep it in the hopper and maybe someday it will happen.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bad Editing: Krispy Kreme Edition

Much thanks to Dr. Steven Taylor and others for catching this one.

And thank you to the editing team at Atlanta's WAGT for the chuckle. I needed that.

College and Parking Tickets

I saw this article the other day, and it made me smile. Barack Obama had to pay about $375 for old parking tickets from when he attended Harvard. To be honest, the University of Montevallo would likely hunt me down if they could. College and parking tickets go hand and hand like peanut butter and jelly.

It's mostly because many colleges have massive shortages on parking space. Just ask any student. Then there are restrictions that only apply during the week, like teacher parking spaces. I used to park my Ford Taurus (RIP) in some spaces just outside my dorm during the weekend and then forget to move the car to another lot on Sunday nights. On Monday mornings, there was a fresh new ticket on my windshield. I'm sure that the University made enough money off of me during my freshman year to grant a full scholarship to the soccer player of its choice.

Thankfully, these tickets don't usually go on your driving record. Most of the students would have lost their licenses if they did. I've only had one real traffic ticket, and I've often told the stories of the Coffee County cop who pulled me over in Enterprise back in 1999. I started to pass, and the line was dotted. When I finished the pass, the line had just turned solid. Technically, I was in the clear. But my idiot boyfriend was drunk and had a six-pack on him (the beer, not the belly). Turns out, Coffee County was a dry county and we were technically smuggling beer, regardless as to whether or not I knew that Coffee County was dry. (I thought I was being responsible by being a designated driver.) So I sucked it up and took the traffic ticket instead of getting my butt arrested.

New Bloggers at BTL

Dan has a couple of new contributors to his blog, Between the Links. One of them just happens to be none other than Rep. Mike Ball. I look forward to seeing his contributions on Alabama House events and I&R.