Friday, September 29, 2006

Roll Tide!!!

I've been enjoying the Yellawood commercials for a while, and I just saw this one this morning.

He picked the wrong coach.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

UNholy Crap!

Any right-wingers ready to argue that Christian fundamentalists aren't comparable to Muslim fundamentalists? Get ready...

I know what you're thinking. These things can be edited in such a way to portray something any way they wish. But then I watched it again and saw where Becky Fisher, who runs the camp, says that she doesn't believe that the film has exploited the camp. She's actually helping to promote the film. So in this case, this is exactly what you think it is.

My biggest beef with the film is that it might portray all Evangelical Christians (of which I am one) as the type of people who might endorse this type of thing or even participate. That couldn't be further from the truth, as there are many moderate Evangelicals, and even those on the far right wouldn't endorse this camp.

The part that made me cringe the most? Worshiping to a picture of President Bush. In my book, that's idolatry, and while I'm not surprised, it still has a chilling effect on me. Looking at this from a religious perspective, we are well on our way to the "false religion" that Christians were warned about. I've long suspected that it would come from within Christianity. After all, wouldn't that be the perfect place to fool the most people? That's why Christians are urged by Jesus to learn the scriptures. When Jesus was tempted by Lucifer, the very thing that he used was scripture that was misrepresented.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tidbits From Elsewhere - 9/25/06

Everyone is talking about Fox News and their interview with President Clinton. Here is a link to Left of Centrist, who won out because he posted video footage from It was interesting, but I hate that Clinton didn't get to talk much about his global initiative, which I believe is providing more solutions than the freak show at the UN, these days. I'm guessing that Clinton, like me, is tired of him being the president. At some point, President Bush is going to have to step up and take responsibility for his own presidency, instead of invoking everyone else's. So far, he's blamed everyone from Lincoln to FDR to Kennedy to Washington to Clinton, and while I'm not in approval of their actions either, I'm no longer concerned with them. I'm concerned with Bush because Bush is the guy who is calling the shots, now. In the words of my mom, "If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you?"

Scott Stantis had a particularly good Prickly City cartoon this morning. I enjoyed it, and I've posted a link.

One Upmanship

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tidbits From Elsewhere - 9/21/06

President Bush will be stopping in Hoover to discuss his energy plan. I hope it's better than the last one. Perhaps the twins will join him for another chance to be on MTV. (At least I like the twins. I can't say the same for "Two-a-Days".)

Paul Hubbert says that Alabama can't afford a tax cut or a refund with the surplus that we currently have. He's right, and I agree with him as far as that is concerned. I do not agree with his reasons for not wanting a tax break. He says it will hurt the schools. Every tax we've had so far hasn't helped the schools because politicians want to give it out to other projects. What would help is a state tax overhaul that would keep annual property tax appraisals (and perhaps a higher percentage) while dumping sales tax (some of the highest in the nation) on food and clothing, among other things. We also need to cut spending on various wasteful projects (like paving a road twice in one month). Once we "fair up" our taxes, we might just end up with more. I doubt it will happen before we get I&R passed, though, because people like Hubbert like things just the way they are.

Lee P has what I believe to be the funniest thing I've ever read currently posted on his blog. Maybe it's because we fight fire ants every year at my house, and I'm looking for more interesting ways to get rid of the little buggers.

Thad has posted his final installment of his 9/11 experience. Wow!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

ALDOT Frustration

I'm now a stay-at-home mom. Yesterday, I treated myself to lunch while my daughter was in Children's Day Out. On my way home, I noticed something that I didn't notice on the way to lunch. There were road crews repaving Argo-Margaret Road. That would have been great if they hadn't already done it less than three weeks ago. (I know that it was less than three weeks ago because my daughter started CDO after Labor Day, and it was then that they were doing the work the first time.) Except for the lines being painted wrong (three solid lines instead of two), it seemed perfect to me. Why were they doing it again? This appeared to be a huge waste of taxpayer dollars.

Then, as I sat waiting for my husband to get home at his usual 5:30pm, the phone rang. It was my husband. Traffic was backed up all the way to I-59 and down U.S. Hwy. 11. They were still doing road work during afternoon rush hour traffic, and there are no viable alternate routes for those needing to travel along Argo-Margaret Road. None of the residents had been notified of the roadwork, either, so even if there was an alternate route, we wouldn't have known to take it. What if there had been an emergency?!

I tried calling ALDOT to complain. After reaching at least six different offices, I gave up. Nobody even knew what I was talking about. So I got mad, and then I got even. I've just finished sending out seven paper letters to seven individuals: my state representative, my state senator, the guy who will soon be my state senator, the Birmingham News, and (just for fun) my congressman and both senators. Since all of them are Reeps, I am considering sending additional letters to the Alabama Dems as potential fodder. Maybe I can get someone to talk to me, now.

Tidbits From Elsewhere - 9/20/06

Doc has a link to Jim Wallace's new blog, based on his book God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It . Sounds interesting. I may check it out.

Alabama gubernatorial candidate Loretta Nall is including a story about her battle to get on the ballot. It highlights some of the problems with Alabama's restrictive ballot access law, one of the toughest in the nation.

Thad has posted some more of his experience of 9/11. It's a very moving read.

GTL has a post regarding the moderate Muslim leaders who are speaking out and encouraging peace among Muslims and are asking them to forgive and forget regarding Pope Benedict's recent words. It's about time that someone gave them some airtime.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tidbits From Elsewhere - 9/19/06

J.R.R. Tolkien will be releasing an unfinished book from beyond his grave, giving me something else not to read. I know I'm going to get hammered for this, but I just can't stand Tolkien's writing style. It's much too long-winded, and I just don't have the patience, so if I ever get around to finishing any of his books, it will probably be the only time I do so. Until then, I'll stick with Tolkien's buddy, C. S. Lewis.

The AP has yet another story of a man who was captured by the U.S., sent to a prison outside of the U.S., and then tortured-- only to find out he was completely innocent. When are people going to wake up and realize that our government is turning into the Soviet Union?!

And then there's this story about how the Muslims want another apology from the pope. I understand more than most people that radical Muslims and radical Christians can both be dangerous and that both religions consist mostly of peaceful people. The bad apples are always the ones to get the news coverage. Personally, I think we should take some of our own (Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson, Jerry Fallwell, etc.) and corral them with the Islamic extremists and political extremists and just let them all duke it out and leave the rest of us out of it.

The Birmingham News is reporting a 5.8% increase in violent crime for Birmingham last year, more than twice the national average. No real surprise there. I would just like to know when Mayor Kinkaid and Chief Annetta Nunn are planning to put the denial phase behind them and start competing with other police departments for more (and better) officers. More likely, I'll instead be hearing mountains of excuses from these two, who will claim that Birmingham's crime rate really isn't all that bad. No, really it's not that bad...\

And we might just get a second season of Hoover Bucs on MTV, which means another season of parents in denial who then end up shocked that the show is edited in such a way that it casts someone in a bad light.

There are also some reports of men posing as state troopers who are pulling over women and sexually assaulting them. It sounds suspiciously like an urban legend that has been sent via email on a number of occasions, but it's probably not a bad idea to slow down, turn on your hazard lights, and then pull over in a safe, well-lit area. You can also call 911 to validate the pullover.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tidbits From Elsewhere - 9/18/06

There's a wonderful article in the Birmingham News about rehabilitating criminals in Alabama. With so much negative news these days, it's nice to read something like this. There's also a nice article about providing free breakfast bars to kids who aren't able to catch breakfast before coming to school.

Dan is covering the latest Democrat attack ad. These things make me want to vomit, regardless as to the side they're coming from. Why can't candidates just stick to talking about the issues? The more time they spend attacking each other, the less time they spend talking about their platform.

The Gun Toting Liberal (still sounds dangerous to me) is talking about Barry Goldwater. I miss those "Goldwater Republicans."

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Tidbits From Elsewhere - 9/17-06

The Associated Press has an article that sheds some light on our detanee policy and exactly the kind of people we are holding in secret prisons. You can read it here.

If you want to vote in the November election, the deadline is October 27.

Do you know how your congressman voted? Check here.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


A group of seniors at Springville High School recently got together with the Springville PD. The seniors took (washable) blue paint and painted over all of the parking spaces in the school parking lot. The officers were to then write fake parking tickets for all the cars. Good stuff! It was a great senior prank, as is tradition with some schools. When I was a senior, we arranged "outdoor classrooms" for the school.

Those are examples of pranks.

Burning down a church (or ten) is not a prank. Poisoning your teacher is not a prank. And, to the Bessemer PD, trying to poison your teacher is not a prank. It is also not assault. It is attempted murder.

What you DIDN'T hear about in the news...

Everyone is tossing out their spinach. That's a good thing. I'm just looking forward to when I can once again enjoy Papa John's spinach alfredo pizza, but I can live without it in the meantime.

Problem is, I'm sick of hearing about spinach. Just for fun, I started rewatching some of the president's old anti-terror speeches and inserting the word "spinach" for "terrorists". (Try it! It's hilarious, in a morbid sort of way!)

The spinach wants to kill you all in your beds. The spinach will kill your families. The spinach hates our freedom and wishes to put an end to our way of life. We must put an end to spinach. We must fight it in the fields so that we do not have to fight it in our kitchens.

Okay, so I've had enough of the deadly spinach coverage. What I'm really ticked about is what I didn't see. What I'm ticked about is that I found merely a blurb in our MSM and nothing in the Birmingham News-- at least nothing that would have drawn my attention to it. There was no interrupting of network programming for a presidential speech. Nada. Zip. NBC Nightly News gave it a couple minutes of their time for the last two nights, but if you didn't know too much about it, you'd probably fast forward past it.

Just in case you didn't know, all of our enemies just got together and had a meeting in Havana. Just thought you'd like to know.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Little Richard Interprets For President Bush

This has to be one of the funniest things I've seen in a while. What do you get when Little Richard is hired to interpret a presidential speech to the American public? The Daily Show attempts to explore that possibility.

Tidbits From Elsewhere - 9/15/06

Lucy Baxley is at it again. She's attacking Governor Riley over his tax policy. She has every right to use this as part of her political strategy, since it's a legitimate issue that specifically targets Bob Riley's governing, but she needs to find some other strategy. This one is getting old. Actually, it was old by the time she first used it, but it wasn't as old then as it is now. She really needs to start focusing on her platform.

John Giles has found a new name for the Christian Coalition of Alabama. Personally, I thought that the group, which considers it's national organization to be too liberal, should have gone with my suggestion of NAMBLA.

Slashdot is reporting that the unhackable Diebold Voting-Machine has been hacked. Never challenge a nerd. You'll lose.

Doc offers a bit of insight into the mind of the Alabama GOP's fearless leader. Scary stuff.

And in what could quite possibly be the scarriest story of the day, a murder suspect has been accidentally released from prison, and he could be anywhere by now. Yipee!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

New Blog: Alabama's Eats

"I'll be right back."

Just like in the horror movies, those were the last words we ever heard from her. It was the last we ever saw of her. It was also the first we'd seen and heard from her.

Unfortunately, this was not a horror movie. She was our waitress. While we were waited upon, the person covering our table was not the server assigned to us. It was the bartender.

The waitress wasn't at fault. It was a huge issue that management needed to address. Either you bring in more servers, or you don't sit every table. That's just how it goes. At the same time, it didn't feel right leaving a tip unless we could slip the bartender some cash, because the server we didn't see would get the credit and the tip for our table. As great a job as she probably did, she didn't do it at our table.

My husband's steak was cold, and the marinara sauce was runny. This wasn't the wonderful dining experience that my friends had described to me regarding the same restaurant in another city. I'd looked so forward to this night, and to say I was disappointed was an understatement of epic proportions.

So I though to myself, "Self, you should write a restaurant review." So I decided to start another blog. It would give me an excuse to try out another blogging service, anyway. Although I never wrote the review on the restaurant mentioned here, I did start that blog, and I'm currently writing my first review of one of my favorite restaurants. (I wanted to start out on a positive note.) We'll see how it goes. I've called it "Alabama's Eats" (my nod to Alton Brown), and you can find it here.

What did you expect, Hoover?

A family member was bragging at a recent family event that her daughter, a Hoover High student, was shown on the MTV show "Two-A-Days". I smiled. What I wanted to ask (but didn't) was, "What's the going rate for selling out your kid, these days?" These were high school students, meaning that parents had to sign release forms for MTV to film them. Imagine being a parent and being told that your child might be featured on an MTV show, reading the release, and then signing away your rights. I couldn't do it.

Now some are upset about how Hoover is being portrayed in the show. What on earth did they expect? Did they not read their release forms?

I can tell you exactly what's on a typical release form because I signed one when I tried out for American Idol. (That's another story, entirely.) The form includes a paragraph that states the following:

I understand that I may reveal, and other parties may reveal, information about me that is of a personal, private, embarrassing or unfavorable nature, which information may be factual and/or fictional. I further understand that my appearance, depiction and/or portrayal in the Program may be disparaging, defamatory, embarrassing or of an otherwise unfavorable nature which may expose me to public ridicule, humiliation or condemnation. I acknowledge and agree that Producer shall have the right to (a) include any or all such information and appearances, depictions or portrayals in the Program as edited by Producer in its sole discretion, and (b) to broadcast and otherwise exploit the Program containing any or all such information and appearances, depictions or portrayals in any manner whatsoever in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, or for any other purpose, throughout the universe in perpetuity.
I almost didn't audition as a result of that statement, and I'm willing to bet that such statements are pretty well standard for these reality shows. What it says is this: Things can be made up and edited in such a way that it will cast you in a bad light. It doesn't even have to be true, and if you sign this form, you agree that we have every right to do it to you.

I'm guessing that nobody actually reads their release forms.

The standard response from Hoover parents to the horror that parents from other cities are expressing is that "they're just jealous" or that they are "Hoover haters." Nope. We're just plain horrified that someone would sign away their kid's rights just so that they could be on television. Let me explain, Hoover parents. You've just signed a form that allows a television producer that works for the same network that spawned "Jackass" to show your child on national television in whatever light he wishes, whether it's real or fictional. Great job! Excellent parenting! Did either of you even get paid for their likeness to be used?

The winning quote has to be that of Mayor Tony Petelos:

"The bottom line is, I'm proud of our football team," Petelos said. "Let's not forget they're the No. 1 team in the country."

Great job, Tony. I'm glad to know that your focus is on the important things in life.

MTV is a network that is out to make money. The truth is that the outrageous, the negative, the ugly, and the scandalous make great television. So if it takes a little edited video to make that happen, it should be expected. If you're willing to sell your soul for a little air time, you deserve what you get.

Politicians Crack Me Up

Recently, someone left the following comment on this post.

Vote for and support Judge Al Johnson for Alabama Supreme Court, Place 3. Judge Johnson is a Christian, he owns a gun, and he is a Democrat.

I don't like campaign spam, so I visited the site with the full intent of making fun of Judge Johnson. After all, what's the fun in merely deleting a comment?

There it was for all the world to see. His campaign slogan really is, "I'm a Christian, I own a gun, I'm a Democrat." Seriously. You can't make this stuff up! My first thought was that it sounded like the Gun Toting Liberal was running for office. My second reaction was a mental picture of this guy robbing a bank while using his campaign slogan. Then I imagined it as a missionary's slogan. Then I imagined it as a threat against the U.S. Congress. The more I repeated it, the funnier it got. Considering it was late, and I was sleepy, it was pretty darn funny.

"Mr. Johnson, give us one good reason why we should pass your legislation."

"I'll give you three. I'm a Christian. I own a gun. I'm a Democrat."

Is that like Guns & Moses (a nod to Robin Williams)? Sounds dangerous.

Turns out, Dan at Between the Links took notice, too. Mike even graced us with a particularly humorous comment:

Vote for and support John Q. McWhitey for Inconsequential State Office That Should Be Appointed Anyway, Place 12. McWhitey’s slogan is generic and unoffensive - “I’m a sentient, carbon-based, bipedal humanoid, I stand for values you stand for, and I remind you of your grandfather.”

Ah. Good stuff.

Tidbits From Elsewhere - 9/14/06

A few items from the news caught my attention, today.

The Associated Press has released a chilling look at the gunman from the Montreal school attack yesterday. Turns out that the comparisons to Columbine were more accurate than we'd like them to be. He was a fan, of sorts.

Bush is asking for Congress to give him more power to spy on Americans. It seems surreal to me. Up until now, he's completely ignored U.S. law, so why would he want to bother now?

Modeling agencies are up in arms over the recent ban of overly skinny models in Madrid. They're scared that Milan will be next. This article includes a picture that illustrates why I think the new trend being set by Madrid is a good one.

The Birmingham News is reporting that John McCain plans to visit Alabama now that our primaries have been moved up. It should be interesting. I'm still a fan of McCain, since he and Guilliani seem to be the only real possible candidates that I like who have a shot at winning. Now, if he could just turn off his newfound right-wing crazy...

Doc is reporting on the "Handshake With Alabama". Apparently, he's been getting the same campaign spam that I've been getting.

Loretta Nall has a couple of interesting posts about marijuana. You can read them here and here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Tidbits From Elsewhere - 9/13/06

So it appears now that skinny is out. Frankly, I applaud any opportunity to portray a healthy (but not overweight) body image for women. The more realistic approach to a woman's look will hopefully discourage the sickly look that many models were beginning to display.

The Birmingham News is reporting that President Bush will be speaking at a fundraiser for the Riley campaign. Alabama is one of the few states where the president still has an approval rating above 50%, so it will be interesting to watch. It may actually boost Riley a few more points.

In Birmingham, Councilman Joel Montgomery is proposing a pay raise for emergency workers. More specifically, he believes police officers should be paid a rate that competes with other departments. This comes on the heels of a threat from officers from one of the nation's most dangerous cities to have a "sick out". It also follows a recommendation by Mayor Bernard Kinkaid to give a signing bonus to new recruits instead of a pay raise for all officers. What Mr. Montgomery sees and Mayor Kinkaid does not is that this sets up the City of Birmingham to become a training ground for rookies who move on to greener pastures after their two year bonus is paid out with two years of on-the-job experience under their belt. It also means that Birmingham will be left with bottom-of-the-barrel cops. Better paying cities will only take the best officers, leaving Birmingham with the leftovers, which tells you about the quality of officers that Birmingham will be keeping.

Over at the Gun Toting Liberal, two particular subjects of discussion have caught my eye. First, USAF Secretary Michael Wynne has suggested testing the use of non-lethal military weapons on U.S. citizens in "crowd-control situations" (protesters) before using them against our enemies. Second, Matthew O'Keefe talks about how U.S. officials did not count all casualties (such as those resulting from bombs) in their report of how many people had been killed in Iraq so that they could say that a recent U.S. crackdown had been successful.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Tidbits From Elsewhere - 9/12/06

I think I'm going to make this a regular thing, where I can make short comments on some of the other blogs that I read on a daily basis as well as some interesting news articles.

In celebrity news, celebs are passing up swag (stuff we all get) bags. I always thought it was unreal how, once you get to a certain point where you can afford to pay for these things, they are given to you. A few celebrities have made similar comments, although it seems the main reason why they are passing up the free stuff is because they don't want to have to haul bigger items and because they don't want to have to pay taxes on these gifts.

The BBC is covering Bush's speech from last night. He started out alright, but then he started on Iraq again. While he and Cheney have acknowledged that Iraq had nothing to do with the attacks on 9/11, they keep talking about them at the same time, and polls show that Americans actually do associate the two. Almost half of Americans now believe that Iraq had something to do with the attacks. They didn't, but continuously talking about both during speeches has that affect, and I don't believe that it is a mistake that those in the administration keep doing it. I've developed a new drinking game. Every time Bush or an administration member mentions Iraq and 9/11 together, you have to take a shot. If you don't have to go to the hospital for alcohol poisoning by the end of the speech or press conference or interview, you win!

I still haven't watched all of the 9/11 movie on ABC because my DVR was acting up, but what little bit I saw, I liked. Hopefully, I'll be able to download the online version. I still don't approve of handing it out to schools so that they can teach it as fact. What they should be handing out is copies of is the graphic adaptation of the report, which makes the drier original a little easier to take. By the way, the original version is available for free online at this link. I highly recommend reading either version of the report.

It looks like Birmingham's traffic situation may get worse. That can't be good.

According to CNN, more Americans blame Bush for 9/11. I am by no means a Bush fan, but I think that the blame should lie with Al Qaeda. Now, our government needs to get on with the program and get back to tracking down Osama, as we were promised. Right now, we're distracted by Iraq, and I fully believe that Osama is loving every minute of it. Our attention belongs with Pakistan, who is apparently hiding our enemy, and I remember a certain speech by a certain president in which he talked about those who harbored terrorists. Enough is enough.

Back to the blogs. Dan at Between the Links has given his take on the GOP's intimidation of Todd Greeson and Greeson's reaction. Doc is covering this as well.

Doc has posted a collection of fairly odd stories. A medical clinic in Wal-Mart?!

Thad and Dan have both offered an account of their experiences on 9/11.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tidbits From Elsewhere

Just a sign that I'm behind, most of the other bloggers have already covered stuff that I've bookmarked in my browser to remind myself to cover later. Hopefully, they'll forgive my lack of originality. I'm just going to touch on a few things, here, instead of providing a full post for each.

Artur Davis says that politicians should focus on issues instead of attacks. I happen to agree with him.

Doc and Dan have both covered the Republican loyalty oath that everyone was talking about a few months back. What at first seemed harmless now seems to raise a few concerns. As Dan pointed out, the loyalty oath only covers voting with Republicans on leadership positions and operating rules of the legislative body. But as Doc pointed out, Rep. Todd Greeson has received a warning letter about not voting with Republicans against a BIR. While a BIR can technically be considered a procedural vote, voting against it will kill a bill. (Those of us following the I&R issue are well aware of that.) This brings up concerns over Republicans voting with party interests, rather than constituent interests, to kill legislation. That doesn't look harmless to me.

A big tip o' the hat to Between the Links, which has posted a link to Lucy Baxley's answers to a Project Vote Smart survey. A big kudos to Lucy for answering the questions when Governor Riley has not. Our Libertarian candidate should probably look at answering the questions as well.

Meanwhile, the Gun Toting Liberal has touched on the ABC 9/11 movie, which has turned events leading up to the terrorist attacks into a work of fiction in an attempt to blame everything on the Clinton Administration. I would hope that Republicans will yell just as loudly about this movie as they did about the Reagan movie that would have aired on the CBS network, but I doubt it. One particular scene that never happened shows CIA agents about to take down Osama bin Laden but deciding not to after they can not get authorization to do so. (Seems like I've heard that before somewhere.) You can read about the Democrats' reactions here and here.

Finally, Outraged Moderates have suggested replacing Donald Rumsfeld with Lindsey Graham. Not a bad suggestion.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Jefferson's Loss Is St. Clair's Gain

Saks is gone. Red Diamond is gone, too. Jefferson County can't seem to keep anybody.

I can't say that I blame them, either.

Politicians will spend millions to attract Wal-Mart to an area, but when it comes to keeping a company that has been based in Birmingham for over 100 years... Well, they don't seem to matter as much.

Jefferson County Commissioners Sheila Smoot and Bettye Fine Collins are the culprits with this one. They refused to sell the land that Red Diamond requested for an expansion. The deal wasn't bad, either. Red Diamond had offered more than twice what the land was worth and also offered to clean up the property to meet EPA standards on their own dime. The reason why these two didn't want to sell? They wanted more money. The excuse was that it would cost them more than $3 million to move the county fleet, which was sitting on the property up for sale.

So now, Red Diamond is leaving, and the people of Jefferson County are the losers in this situation. I wonder how much tax revenue they will lose as a result. I'm willing to bet that the $3 million loss doesn't look so big anymore.

Yo, Blair!

Looks like he's stepping down. I can't help but wonder what will happen next.


I'm looking for some help, so if you're interested in being a contributor, please email me or comment here. Of course, this blog is called The Alabama Moderate, so I'd prefer that you be from Alabama and that you be a moderate or centrist.