Saturday, 21 October 2017


I read a piece off this week over the idea that Birmingham, Alabama might have great chances in attracting this major Google operation (50,000 jobs).  The slant on this story is that Birmingham is gay-friendly, which might give them points with Google.

This story starts in 2016 where they did some municipal equity evaluation.  At that point, Birmingham achieved a score of '12'.  Well, yeah....that was a fairly low score.  So a year passed, and it's odd....they actually got a new score in 2017....'83'.  How do you get 71 points in less than a year?  That ought to be a eight-page story, but they give you a two-liner explanation that the city passed a ordnance which says you should not discriminate on sexual stuff. 

In case you were interested in what Auburn made on this municipal equity evaluation?  Well....'4'.  I kinda have my doubts that they even knew the equity evaluation existed.

So, back to the idea that Birmingham might be selected for the Google site.

Being from the state and having some knowledge of Birmingham....I would offer these observations:

1.  Crime-wise, it's a place that you drive through and don't stop.  If you use the airport (which is a fairly decent airport) just want to pull off the interstate and drive straight in.  The cops?  They have a number of private security folks around the airport and that's what makes it safe.

2.  Home prices?  Around most of Jefferson County, you can still find a fair number of homes in the $60,000 range.  It's hard to find folks who really want to live in the county.

3.  If you did a corruption analysis study of the city?  You'd be mostly laughing and realize that no one in the city trusts the mayor or the city-council.

4.  Potential of talking highly educated folks into moving into the region?  They'd spend a weekend reviewing the regional potential and I suspect that 90-percent of folks would grin and say 'no'. The ones who do accept?  They will draw some boundary and intend to live at least sixty miles from the heart of Birmingham. 

It's an interesting suggestion but I think Google will laugh over the idea.

'Empty Barrel' Talk

I've sat and watched Florida Representative Frederica Wilson over the past week and comical sequences or bickering with the White House. Then this 'empty barrel' verbiage came up.

Military people will use the term once in a while....but it's mostly the guys with history degrees.  I've probably heard this term used at least a dozen times in my life.

It tends to lead back to the 1600s/1700s and be used for a ship which has a high number of barrels onboard which are empty.  So as the ship rocks back and forth....creaking with hundreds of noises....the empty barrels will bump against each other and simply add to the noise.  A full barrel would have stability and not bump against the wall of the ship.  Eventually the ship term made it's way to land-usage and people would identify others who talked a 'empty barrels'. 

Representative Wilson went full turbo after that usage and claimed that this was racist in nature....mostly because she went to the dictionary and read it there.  I think she made up her mind that 'empty barrel' meant something over the slave-trade but it just doesn't fit that way. 

Back in 2009...the 17th district of Florida (Wilson's district) was a 50-50 blend of Republicans and Democrats.  In 2008....Obama ran and only got around 48-percent of the local vote. In 2012, after the Census results and redrawing of the Florida map (for more representation)....Obama got 86-percent of the vote.  Yes, it's a gerrmandered-district....heavily designed for someone like Wilson. 

The problem I see here for the news media is that every time you get Frederica Wilson up for a national interview....some Democrats watch the exchange and just shake their heads.  She's like some character dreamed up on WWE-wrestling.  If the Democrats were all hyped up to show intellectual landscape....with Wilson, you lose confidence.  I think the White House realizes that and will keep heat on her.