Monday, 7 September 2009

Another Five-Star Band You'll Never Know Of

Within the confines of the British Isle...is the regional band Paramore...which might be great, if you'd ever hear them in the US. But don't worry....because of the system we have....you will never hear them. So for a brief four minutes, enjoy a great five-star band.

A Speech is a Speech

The President's speech for school kids comes up this week. I spent a couple of days pondering this speech, its impact, and these punk kids. So I came to this conclusion....there are ten questions or comments that the teachers really don't want to hear about at the end of this speech:

1. ¿QuĂ© dijo? (Spanish for what did he say?)

2. My dad watches Glenn Beck, and he says....

3. Maam, is there any comparison with this and Nazi Germany of 1936?

4. I've been in this stinking school for eleven years, and you waited till now to give me the "encouragement" speech?

5. If we have the Bill of Rights, with “Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression”, and we have this right of citizens to question those government representatives in positions of authority....why have some representatives have become defensive when asked about their decision to support legislation they’ve never taken the time to read?

6. My bus driver says things were better in 1984 with Reagan...is he right?

7. Since you carried this speech....could we have ESPN on at noon and watch the update show?

8. Ms. Loretta...I was admiring your silky low-cut blouse all the way through the speech.

9. My grandma has dementia...dad says she voted for the President...do you think she should have the right to vote?

10. You guys operate a third-rate school...with barely any heat...with textbooks that are fifteen years old....with teachers barely accredited and some half drunk when they come in each day....and you think this "encouragement" speech fixes everything? Are you joking?

I've sat and read about a hundred comments this weekend (mostly hostile) over the President's upcoming speech. Frankly, I don't really care. If the guy wants to deliver it....go for it. The results? Lou Gehrig will have probably gotten more results with his farewell speech at Yankee Stadium. That's the sad truth.

So for you hostile folks...get a life...get a beer...get something. Don't worry. These punk kids were warriors in school last week....and they will still be warriors in school after the speech. Little will change.

This Ron Sparks Fellow

I tend to stay away from Bama politics....for obvious reasons. I'm not physically there. Most of what they pass...has no effect on me. And being a Colorado resident and paying taxes there...kinda disqualifes me. But I saw an interesting item from two weeks ago and figured it was worth commenting on.

One of the chief items of discussion in Bama always circles around casinos and the wet/dry issue. Don't ask why...it's just a Bama thing.

So there is this Democratic governor candidate out there....Ron Sparks...who put the topic of casinos on the table. He believes that only the folks in Mobile County....can decide their fate on casinos. He wants the voters there to decide whether they want casino gambling or not.

What he's suggesting is a state constitutional amendment change....letting the local decide their own fate. In his own words: "If you want it, you can vote it in. You don't, vote it out. But I don't want somebody in north Alabama telling Mobile County that you can't have casino gambling in Mobile. I don't want somebody -- because they know how close you are to Biloxi -- trying to stop you."

Ron is currently the state agriculture commissioner...and I've noted two or three smart things over the past four years that he's said. He's not a rocket scientist but he does display a fair amount of wisdom.

Naturally, his democratic opposition has hinted that only the "public" can make such a suggestion and we should go slow. The Republicans? Well...it's hellfire and damnation, don't you know...if you sign up for casinos. They will naturally make their Baptist voters happy and hope that just enough carry the weight in the state election.

Here's the bottom line on casinos and booze in Bama. If you sit there and think that a dry county and a "no" to casinos protect your values and your neighbors....you are wrong.

If you neighbor wants a drink...he will travel across your county and to the county or state line to have a sip. He might even bring back a case of whiskey so he doesn't have to drive next week. The taxes off this....go to that county or that state. So any profit that your county could have enjoyed or used for more parks or school supplies or road repair...went elsewhere.

The topic of casinos works the same. You want to protect your neighbor....well, sit back and watch them pack up for the weekend and travel to Biloxi. If they want to gamble...they will do so. The profits and taxes made off them? Heck...they keep it in Biloxi. They build great roads, toss extra money into schools, and buy more computers for local libraries. You? Well...you keep complaining about higher property taxes and then you want all the features that Biloxi has.

So Ron is kinda correct here. A county should run their own mess. If they've screwed up...they can blame their own local guys for the problem....not some state guy or twenty-two other counties who went against them in a election.

Just my two cents.