Monday, December 17, 2012

John Kerry to Be Secretary of State

Well, what can I say?  Hillary did a great job, but she's moving out, possibly with a view toward 2016.  But with the Susan Rice thing, it looks like we'll have our Waffle Man John Kerry instead.

Well, I'll follow the biblical injunction, and turn the other cheek.

Speaking of asses, these Brazilian misses give a more attractive illustration of asses with style than I ever would expect.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Why You Should Study a Foreign Language

Well, it gives you more flexibility in the job market, it broadens your perspectives, and it improves  your understanding of cognate languages.

Also, here is a bella Italian talk show hostess:

Here is an American talk show hostess:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Being Specific When Asked, "What's the Poop"?

It seems that there is a formal scale for assessing stool quality: the Bristol Stool Chart.  It's very useful, but amazing.

I wonder if this would affect people frm Bristol, TN, or those named Bristol?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanks . . . . And Good Luck, Coach Chizik!

Thank you for that National Championship in 2011!!!

And best wishes to you in the future.

War Eagle!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Definitely Agreeably Teeny Weeny

I think that these ladies' costumes represent a triumph of engineering and conservation of resources.  Such aerodynamic lines!  And they seem to be so happy in their feat.

Can we call these costumes minimalist bikinis?

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Reputation of Universities

Come late November, it's the time when big-time or not-so-big-time universities get second thoughts about their football coaches; and in some cases, go around shopping for another.

Actually, this  usually results in a complete overhaul of the sports program over a short amount of time, and the assistant coaches generally are also replaced.  But, with this, there's the sticky business of paying off those fired coaches' contracts.  Sometimes that can run into millions of dollars!

Yesterday, the University of Tennessee fired Derek Dooley.  Now he had three years, and a less-than-stellar record.  But they didn't even give hime the grace of coaching the season's last game.  This seems clearly to be a spite firing, to calm down the braying of hyperactive alumni and sportswriters.

I'm afraid this will also happen to Gene Chizik.  The mortal sin is to lose to Bama.  But, when that happens, the sun will probably rise the next day, even over Toomer's Corner.

Frankly, the problem is that intercollegiate athletics is a very lucrative business for many D-1 institutions, and their programs cause the institutions to have a lot of cash, name recognition, and so forth.  And the running dog sports media feeds a frenzy that goes with that.

A thought:  How many people have heard of Middle Tennessee State University or the University of the South or the University of North Alabama?  All three have pretty good academic programs, but they are not very high on the visibility chart.   It's only the premier institutions like Cal Tech* or Massachuetts Institution of Technology or Yale that have reputations not as strongly dependent on sports.

I wish that there would be more emphasis on quality of academic programs, and less on athletics.

Still, I'll give a  defiant War Eagle before and after next week's loss.  But especially for the academic program.

*The one in Pasadena, CA, not Decatur, AL!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Put a Contract on This Bimbo!

She has been declared Public Enemy Number One by the Federal Trade Commission.

Wanted Dead or Alive!  (Preferably Dead!)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Paradoxically, a Clean Source of Power

Why not use urine as a source of fuel for generating power, instead of merely pissing it away as we are won't to do?  These girls in Nigeria developed a small generator of this type, and are to be commended.

The practical technology might have some problems, but it's nice to seed young people using their imagination.  I welcome these young ladies into engineering, as I hope will be their future.  Go, girls! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Utility crews from Huntsville and Decatur, Alabama traveled to New Jersey to help out after Hurricane Sandy.  However, on arriving there, their help was turned down because they were not members of unions!  It seems that only union members' help is welcome there.

However, the utility crews were able to help out in New York.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Her Daisy Dukes Are on Fire!

The picture below was ostensibly that of an Alabama sorority girl and a Tea Party member.  However, according to info courteous of

"Her name is Kim Stafford. And far from being from Alabama, she grew up in Boston.  She's not in a sorority. The liberal arts university she attends in western Massachusetts doesn't even have a Greek system. (For this interview she asked not to disclose which college she attends because of the threats she's received since the photograph went viral).

And come November she intends to vote for President Barack Obama."

Which makes me wonder. Is this a pretty pathetic, heavy-handed form of satire that manages also to malign a state or group of people that liberals feel is still okay to ridicule, or is this a form of political disinformation that failed miserably.

Most likely it's merely heavy-handed politically incorrect satire.  And probably her liberal arts college could work on its students' spelling and grammar skills.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Ambiguity of Political Polling

There's a lot of polls regarding the upcomong election lately; it seems that many organization or newspaper has its own poll.   What to make of this?

First off, there's the question of validity.  A poll, by its nature, will be based on a small subset of the possible voters in the election.  How random or representative is the poll?  That makes a big difference.  Some people might be hesitant to disclose their thinking, for valid or less reasons.

Some polls, including online polls, have another purpose, though.  Rather than passively measure opinion or possible voting patterns, these attempt to shape how individuals think or vote by the choice of wording.  After all, both major parties have their own polling.  This is not for idle curiosity!

Telephone pollers are a special pain in the butt.  I refuse to answer any questions, whether from a caller or some online source because I like keeping the bastards in the dark!

Monday, October 22, 2012

More Dumbass Legislation

State Sen. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, will try again in the 2013 legislative session to pass a bill to allow that would permit Alabamians to keep their firearms locked in their vehicles while at work.  At the present time, private businesses can prohibit employees from bringing firearms on company property, even if the guns stay locked in their vehicles.

Our hero Roger declared, “That is wrong, I think it is an infringement on the constitutional right and safety of legal gun owners.”  State Rep. Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, is sponsoring the same bill in the House.

The legislation would also provide limited immunity for employers and property owners for any damages, injuries, or deaths caused by a person who is transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition in accordance with the law.

Basically, they were countering a similar bill that a group of Republican lawmakers sponsored a similar bill during the past legislative session.

Would this also apply to Postal workers?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Election of the Vice-Presidency

Both the result of the Constitution and long-practiced custom the office of the Vice-President has devolved into something of an afterthought.  Because of this, potential Vice-Presidents are too casually selected despite the cliché that the Veep is but a heartbeat awy from the Presidency!  In my opnion, this is playing chicken with the Ship of State!  Think of this:  President Paul Ryan or President Joe Biden.

Or can you imagine Sarah Palin in that office?  Or John Edwards or Dick Cheney?   Scared enough?  Actually, the problem is that in the selection of the Vice-President running mate it's done as sort of an afterthought, and for the wrong reasons.

1)  To begin with, the President and Vice-President run as a ticket:  if you want one candidate as President, you are stuck with the Vice-President running mate.  And, possibly due to brain farts, reasonably good Presidential candidates can come up with lulus as running mates.

2)  In recent times, the Vice-Presidential candidate is deliberately chosen by one person: the Presidential candidate.  Not by a separate process in the primaries, not by vote of a political convention.  That is chutzpah, in my opinion!

3)  The wrong criteria are used: to nag a state's electoral votes, to serve as a sop to one wing of the party that was disappointed with the outcome of the primaries, to semibalance the ticket into being a more national one, and so forth.

4)  The office is regarded as a joke, even as far back as a hundred years ago.

5)  The office is regarded as a waiting room for future Presidential candidates while the current office-holder serves his or her term.

Therefore, it seems to me that there should be separate voting for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency.  Parties should be able to make nominations, but there should be no necessary end product that both are of the same party!  I could live with that.  And by candidates specifically running for that office and being elected to it,

And, who knows, since the Vice-President is also a member of the cabinet, the separate election of this person would be a plus!
And it would not be the end of the world if the President and Vice-President could be of separate political parties.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

We Will Elect One!

After watching the Vice-Presidential candidates debate Thursday nigh, I can't say who won the debate or who will win the election, but I have concluded one thing:

Whoever wins, we will have elected a jackass!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why God Made Stickers

5. Why God Made Stickers

Told by Mrs. Ethel Barnes, Hot Springs, Ark., March, 1938. She had it from relatives who lived near Hot Springs in the early 1890’s

One time there was a drummer wanted some gravels for his goose, but he couldn’t find nothing only a girl named Lizzie that worked in the tavern. The folks told him Lizzie wasn’t much good, because she ain’t got no spring in her tail, and nobody likes a woman that just lays there like a turd in a dead eddy. But poor nooky is better than none, and travelers has to make the best of it. Soon as the supper dishes was done, him and her walked out to the pasture back of the corncrib.

When they laid down on the ground Lizzie acted kind of sleepy, but soon as the drummer climbed aboard she just went plumb crazy. You never seen such wiggling and kicking and flouncing around in your life. She give several loud yells too, but the fellow stayed right in there till his gun went off, and then he let her up. “My God, Lizzie, you’re wonderful!” says he. The girl didn’t pay him no mind, but just stood there with both hands behind her. Come to find out, Lizzie had stuck her ass down in a bunch of cockleburs. That’s what made her so brisk and lively.

Lizzie spent most of the night a-grumbling, and putting witch-hazel on her bottom. But the drummer was feeling fine, and he says, “I never could understand why God made weeds with stickers on ’em, but I see it now.” There was a story went round how he always carried prickles in his buggy after that, and the folks claimed you could trail him clear across the country. Whenever they come to a town where the girls have all got scratches on their ass, the boys knowed that drummer has been there with his goddam cockleburs.

Vance Randolph, Pissing in the Snow and Other Ozark Folktales (1976; reprint, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986), 11–12.

Monday, October 8, 2012

More About the Costs of College

A few weeks ago, I remarked that the yearly cost of attending the University of Alabama rose dramatically.  In looking into this further, the financial burdens assumed by students during their undergraduate years has crept up in all of the other colleges and universities I have been able to find data for.

The result of this is translated into several oh, shit! outcomes:

1.  Some students assume a massive debt as a result of going to college; possibly more than $50,00 +.  This will take a long time to pay off.

2.  Many work part-time or nearly part-time, working at jobs with few prospects and little in the way of benefits or health insurance.

3.  Those doing the part-time route typically take six or seven years to finish, particularly in technical fields.

4.  Their parents assume a massive burden of costs in addition to those of their own lives.

5.  Some may postpone going to college; or go the co-op route.

6.  Some may not go at all.

Who's the culprit? 

To some degree, it's the senior faculty of some institutions, who have been dramatically improving their economic status relative to most Alabamians.

However, higher education institutions also have spliced other means as well: the increased use of grad students in the classroom, adjunct instructors who are paid a pittiance, and other ways as well.  An institution in Northern Alabama convienced several professors nearing retirement to retire but continue teaching as adjuncts; letting the collect the state pensions while continuing to teach beyond when they would have retired.  The result:  a money savings, because it costs less to pay adjuncts than it would to fund a full-time position!  On the other hand, it slightly shifts upward the average ages of the faculty.  Some of which were becoming less effective in the classroom.  These strategies offer a risk of diluting the quality of instruction.

A big source of money woes is the increases in numbers of administrators and those ancillary people, like those in Student Life.  What's more, those various and sundry deans and vice-presidents are paid huge salaries and have several administrative assistant staff members below them.

And there's athletics.  Except for Alabama and Auburn football and basketball, I don't think any athletic program operates in the black.  Now this is not just women's sports, or golf, or baseball, or goat roping -- even football in the state colleges! 

Ultimately, though, the dramatic increases are due to there being noticeably less state funding; so the universities jack up the tuition to keep afloat. 

It's time for the universities to accept the fact that they are pricing themselves out of the ability of the average student to go.  And our legislature, by inaction is a party to this.  It looks like it might be time to consider raising taxes!  And scaling back on administration.

And possibly athletics.

I'll say a "War Eagle" to that. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Facts That Science . . . .

Sometimes, in the unending quest to further human knowledge, scientists and others find out some amazing things.  Will women in bikinis be used for good or for ill?  This answer lies in the very heart of individuals?
There ar some of us that may decide that cognitive processes are overrated.  Politicians have concluded that long ago.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Engineer Joke V

The value of an engineer

There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things mechanical. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he retired.

Several years later the company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem it was having with one of its multimillion-dollar machines. He spent a day studying the huge machine. At the end of the day, he marked a small "x" in chalk on a particular component of the machine and proudly stated, "This is where your problem is."

The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again. The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his service. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges. The engineer responded with the following: "Chalk: $1. Knowing where to put it: $49,999."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Engineer Joke IV

So an architect and an engineer were in a bar, and the architect, holding up his glass, asks:

"Half-full? Or half-empty?  I see it as half-full..."

The engineer ponders a second before replying:

"I see a liquid containment device twice as big as it needs to be."

Monday, September 10, 2012

How to Hunt Elephants


How do you hunt elephants?

MATHEMATICIANS hunt elephants by going to Africa, throwing out everything that is not an elephant, and catching one of whatever is left. Experienced mathematicians will attempt to prove the existence of at least one unique elephant before proceeding to step 1 as a subordinate exercise. Professors of mathematics will prove the existence of at least one unique elephant and then leave the detection and capture of an actual elephant as an exercise for their graduate students.

COMPUTER SCIENTISTS hunt elephants by exercising Algorithm A:
1. Go to Africa
2. Start at the Cape of Good Hope.
3. Work northward in an orderly manner, traversing the continent alternately east and west.
4. During each traverse pass:
a) catch each animal seen
b) Compare each animal caught to a known elephant
c) Stop when a match is detected.
Experienced COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS modify Algorithm A by placing a known elephant in Cairo to ensure that the algorithm will terminate. Assembly language programmers prefer to execute Algorithm on their hands and knees.

ENGINEERS hunt elephants by going to Africa, catching gray animals at random, and stopping when any one of them weighs within plus or minus 15 percent of any previously observed elephant.

ECONOMISTS don't hunt elephants, but they believe that if elephants are paid enough, they will hunt themselves.

STATISTICIANS hunt the 1st animal they see N times, and call it an elephant.

CONSULTANTS don't hunt elephants, and many have never hunted anything at all, but they can be hired by the hour to advise those people who do. Operations Research Consultants can also measure the correlation of hat size and bullet color to the efficiency of elephant-hunting strategies, if someone else will only identify the elephants.

POLITICIANS don't hunt elephants, but they will share the elephants you catch with the people who voted for them.

LAWYERS don't hunt elephants, but they do follow the herds around arguing about who owns the droppings. Software lawyers will claim that they own an entire herd based on the look and feel of one dropping.

VICE PRESIDENTS of engineering, research, and development try hard to hunt elephants, but their staffs are designed to prevent it. When the vice president does get to hunt elephants, the staff will try to ensure that all possible elephants are completely pre-hunted before the vice president gets to see them. If the vice president does see a non-prehunted elephant, the staff will :
1. compliment the vice president's keen eyesight,
2. enlarge itself to prevent any recurrence.

SENIOR MANAGERS set broad elephant-hunting policy based on the assumption that elephants are just like field mice, but with deeper voices.

QUALITY ASSURANCE INSPECTORS ignore the elephants and look for mistakes the other hunters made when they were packing the jeep.

SALESPEOPLE don't hunt elephants but spend their time selling elephants they haven't caught, for delivery two days before the season opens. Software salespeople ship the first thing they catch and write up an invoice for an elephant.

HARDWARE SALESPEOPLE catch rabbits, paint them gray, and sell them as "Desktop Elephants"

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Engineer Joke III

A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts: "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised my friend I would meet him half an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man below says: "Yes. You are in a hot air balloon, hovering approximately 30 feet above this field."

"You must be an engineer," says the balloonist.

"I am," replies the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," says the balloonist, "everything you have told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information.

"The man below says, "You must be a planner."

"I am," replies the balloonist, "but how did you know?"

"Well," says the man, "you don't know where you are, or where you are going, and you have made a promise which you have no idea how to keep. The fact is you are in the exact same position you were in before we met, but now it is somehow my fault."

War Eagle!

Rolled Tide

The Tuscaloosa News recently reported that University of Alabama students would be with another 7% raise in tuition.

Actually, the figures are pretty grim: the costs for attending UA was $5700 a (figured on two semesters' cost) in 2007-2008; for 2012-2013 it's expected to cost $9200.  Geesh!

A huge part of the difference is that University of Alabama students have to pony up a higher percentage of the costs: tuition accounted for 55% of operating costs in 2008, but will got up to 73%.

The term 'state-supported university' is becoming a joke.  And this will screw us in the long run.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

High Beams on Mannequins

I thought I was imagining it,but it does seem that some mannequins in department stores have perky nipples, while others do not.  It seems that, unlike live women's, mannequins' bodies do not respond to chilly temps; anyway, this would not be a factor for either during summer in Huntsville, Alabama!

I'm curious about this.  Do they come that way in the factory, or did employees have to apply stick-on nipples to the department store dummies? 

("How was your work today, Herb?"

"Mom, it was a dull day, other than putting nipples on the department store dummies.")

Actually, in reading further, it seems that stores can purchase mannequins either way: those with nipples cost more than those without.  Even if the mannequins don't have heads and arms, but are only torsos.

(Arrgh!  Does this mean that nipples are more important than brains?)

And for what purpose?  Do mannequins with erect nipples translate into more sales?  Would male shoppers be more likely to frequent stores in which the mannequins are perky?  Or does this give them something to think about while they're in the husband/boyfriend park while their lady is shopping?

Or is it some kind of sexual fetish that windowdressers are vulnerable to?

And here's something else:  We've seen some towns or cities passing ordinances against lowrider pants?  Will some seedy city council in the Bible Belt pass an act forbidding mannequins from having nipples?

And, finally, we go to the one and only movie about mannequins, the one with Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall.  Kim's nipples were not in evidence.

Other observers have also noticed this phenomenon:

Monday, September 3, 2012

Engineer Joke II

There once was a young engineer, who having worked for several years, decided that he and his family should have a weekend getaway place. He searched the surrounding country, and found a lovely spot with frontage on a small river. They built a cabin, and began spending time there every chance they got. The kids loved it, and friends came for the quiet and fishing.
The engineer, however, wanted something unique for his cabin. He had been an award-winning pole vaulter in college. He therefore built a set of poles with a crosspiece, and a mulched run. He bought a new carbon fiber vaulting pole, new shoes, and was set. He would set off down the run, plant his pole, soar over the crosspiece, and land in the river with a satisfying splash. What a great way to spend a hot afternoon. He tried to teach a few friends to vault, with no success. 

He enjoyed his cabin for years, and went out early in the spring one year. It had been a very wet winter, lots of rain afterward. When the family arrived, the river was up and flowing at a good clip, with twice the usual current flowing. The engineer was determined to enjoy a few vaults into the water, but his wife didn't think it was safe. But, he was a good swimmer, and proceeded to have a go at it. His run and jump were flawless, he hit the water in good form, but upon surfacing, he was swept downstream and disappeared. His body was found later that day, tangled in streamside debris. It was a sad end for the engineer, and the family sold the cabin, with no desire to return to the scene of such tragedy.

 Our lamented engineer was a Civil Engineer. Had he consulted one of his Electrical Engineer brethren, he would have been warned that "It's not vaultage that kills you, it's the current!"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Engineer Joke I

An electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and software engineer are on their way to a trade show when their car stalls and they are forced to pull over to the side of the road.

The mechanical engineer says, "It’s probably a mechanical problem. I'll get my tool box out of the trunk and I can fix it."

The electrical engineer says, "No, I'll bet it's an electrical problem. I have my multimeter with me and I'll go check it out."

Finally, the software engineer says, "I have the solution! Let's all get out of the car and then get back in. I'll bet we'll be back on the road in no time."

Monday, August 27, 2012

Daisy Dukes

Daisy Dukes, both the television character and the style of cut-off denim shorts, was an appealing aspect of the South that emerged in the 1980's, when at least some of America was disposed to find something good in it.

Hooray for Daisy Dukes!  Here's actress Audrina Partridge looking mighty comfortable and beautiful in a pair of Daisy Dukes.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Great Butt

I will not equivocate: There is nothing better than a Alabama pulled barbecue pork butt using a spicy barbecue sauce, some hush puppies, barbecue beans, and lots of beer!  And an Auburn football game on television. 

Guy Fieri makes a nice sauce.  And I like the sauce from Dreamland.

Dreamland and Archibald's is wasted on Tuscaloosa, but they have primo b-b-q.  I'm glad Dreamland is located elsewhere, including in Huntsville.

Then there's Sweet Bone Alabama: great barbecue, if you can get past the name.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dry Counties

Let's look at that Southern phenomena, the "dry" county, where alcoholic beverages cannot be sold.

Here's Alabama's "wet" counties (in blue) and "dry" counties in yellow.  And some dry counties, like Lauderdale, have "wet" cities (marked with a single X, like Florence).

Some counties, like Madison, have it so that draft beer is sold.  These are marked with a double X.

Blame the W.C.T.U. (see Heidi's blog) and the mossback Fundamentalists for these weird laws.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Big Bang

Here's the THeme Song from The Big Bang Theory:

Our whole universe was in a hot dense state,

Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started. Wait...

The Earth began to cool,

The autotrophs began to drool,

Neanderthals developed tools,

We built a wall (we built the pyramids),

Math, science, history, unraveling the mystery,

That all started with the big bang!

[The TV theme ends here. The song continues:]

Since the "Dawn of Man" is really not that long,

As every galaxy was formed in less time than it takes to sing this song.

A fraction of a second and the elements were made.

The bipeds stood up straight,

The dinosaurs all met their fate,

They tried to leave but they were late

And they all died (they froze their asses off)

The oceans said, "Pangaea,

See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya!"

Set in motion by the same big bang!

It all started with the big BANG!

It's expanding ever outward but one day

It will pause then start to go the other way,

Collapsing ever inward, we won't be here, it won't be heard.

Our best and brightest figure that it'll make an even bigger bang!


Australopithecus would really have been sick of us,

Debating how we're here; they're catching deer (we're catching viruses)

Religion or astronomy, Descartes or Deuteronomy

It all started with the big bang!

Music and mythology, Einstein and astrology

It all started with the big bang!

It all started with the big ... BANG!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

God Bless the U.S.A.!

Good news.  Despite the International Volleyball Federation's no longer requiring that beach volletball players have to compete while wearing bikinis, the U.S. team will continue to do so.  Slate, that fine internet magazine, gives the reasons why in this article:

According to the article, here are the top four reasons:

1. Tradition/inertia. If the current uniforms work, why switch them up?

2. Physical pride/screw the body police.

3. West Coast pride.   They're not uncomfortable in bikinis.

4. Sand. Apparently, it sneaks into the folds of extra fabric and makes players itchy.

This is a healthy tradition.  Don't mess with it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Michelle Jenneke

Michelle Jenneke has a sexy warmup before a hurdles race.  Isn't she adorable?

Monday, July 23, 2012

A View of the SEC

"The girls are prettier, the air is fresher, and the toilet paper's thicker." -- Missouri wide receiver T.J. Moe, on what he'd heard about the SEC.

His priorities seem to be correct!

Read more here:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Coon Dog Cemetery

The Coon Dog Cemetery is located just south of Cherokee, Alabama in the woods of Colbert County.  Only reputable coon dogs may be buried there.  This is a touching place to visit.

Colbert County was named for an Indian chief, not Stephen Colbert.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Okay, I was a bit partisan and sharp a few days ago when I posted my perscriptions for what Alabama needs to do.  But my remarks were related to the fact that a few years ago, as a result of the economy tanking and NASA-related cutbacks (at about the same time as the government was bailing out GM and the banks), Huntsville very painfully felt the recession. And yours truly had to scramble for a job for a while. 

Nearby Florence is even worse; as a matter of fact, the whole North Alabama corridor has felt the recession. 

Because of this, we should play for keeps.  Now the State Government has had success in getting car manufacturing, and recently theAirbus contract, but we need more.

It sucks that our best and brightest and cutest have to go off to other states, when most of them would rather be in Sweet Home Alabama, however scorned it seems to be by so many people who have never been here.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Another Poll . . . .

What should be the top priority for the University of Alabama’s new president?
400 votes (90%)
25 votes (6%)
20 votes (4%)
Again, from the Times-Daily.

This is a good sign that we're not totally loony about football. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Let's Play Serious Hardball!

Let's not kid ourselves -- we're in competition with other states and cities when it comes to getting corporations to come here.  If we're going to succeed, we have to play up our assets and minimize our limitations. 

So what do we have going for us?

1.  We have a good supply of workers  who have an excellent work ethic that are not constrained by union contracts.

2.  A willingness to make concessions to corporations for locating in Alabama.  Former Governor Bob Riley really showed the way on this.  His farsightedness is paying off with the automobile assembly plants near Vance and Montgomery.

3.  A reasonable transportation grid.  I know there's backwoodsy areas, but they're not going to be where this kind of development will take place.

4.  A good, accessible port city (Mobile).

5.  High tech presence in Huntsville.

6.  The Medical Center in Birmingham.

7.  Good major universities (Alabama and Auburn), and strong secondary ones like Jax State and UNA.

And what are our deficiencies?

1.  Frankly, the overblown history of racism and backwoods politicians.  When George Wallace was in his heyday, the politicians in the North ate that shit up:  he was shooting Alabama in the foot, and making us appear less desirable as a place to move to.

2.  Limited natural resources for extraction.

3.  Birmingham, with its high crime rate and it being bankrupt.

4.  Some of the clowns we send to the legislature in Montgomery.

What do we need to do?

1.  Attempt to develop Birmingham or Montgomery as an airline hub.

2.  Work on the highway corridor between Memphis and Huntsville, ultimately linking with I-59 near Chattanooga.

3.  Get rid of the residue of blue laws.

What is not where to go?

1.  Tourism.  Our one tourist asset is the Gulf Coast.  And we don't have as much of that as Florida.

2.  Play up the Civil War and Confederate flags.  Sorry, but it makes some people uncomfortable and unnecessarily divides us.  If we're going to win this thing, we better get this into our heads that, white or black we're in this together.  I'd rather the good stuff come here than elsewhere.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Legalization of Marijuana Poll from Florence, AL

Yesterday, the Florence Times-Daily asked that, with the following result:

Should marijuana be legalized?
785 votes (71%)
320 votes (29%)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Send Congress to Buck's Pocket

Here in Alabama, there's an in-state legend that losing political candidates go to Buck's Pocket State Park to lick their wounds.  Well, it's more genteel and more political correct than tarring and feathering them, and running them out of town on a rail!

Here's a little about Buck's Pocket:

Unfortunately, there's no resort cabins, so they will have to be content with tent camping.  Buck's Pocket is a by-word in Alabama for utter remoteness; it's near nowhere at all.  Maybe our non-performers might like like in the sticks, and not be heard of.

On the other hand, maybe that explains the Sand Mountain yeti.  This cryptozoological manifestation allegedly hanging out on Sand Mountain might have been an abandoned politician who went into a complete hariy state of nature.

If they could also send those sons of bitches who cut back on aerospace in Huntsville a few years ago, that would be fine with me.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Really Great News for Alabama!

Airbus has announced that it will build an aircraft assembly factory for A320s in Mobile.  It will be located on this site of the old Brookley AFB. This gives Alabama another role in aerospace; and gives another high tech presence in our state's economy.

The plane’s direct competitor is Boeing’s 737, manufactured in Renton, Wash.

The agreement to build an assembly line in Mobile is the result of a seven-year on-again, off-again campaign by Alabama to build an assembly line for its larger A330 as part of a bid for a $35 billion U.S. Air Force contract for aerial fueling tankers.  However, it was awarded to Boeing last year.  Boeing was trying to keep the Airbus competition out of expanding into the U.S. market.  And, of course, Boeing is located in Seattle. 

Airbus officials said the Mobile plant should help them win additional orders from U.S. airlines.

Thank you, Airbus.  Kiss our red asses, Boeing and Seattle!  We can built aircraft too.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It's So Hot and Dry in Alabama

It's so hot and dry in Alabama:

. . . . that the Baptists are sprinkling instead of dunking.
. . . . that the Methodists are using wet wipes.
. . . . that the Presbyterians are giving rain checks.
. . . . that the Catholics are praying for wine to be turned back into water.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Strange Beliefs

It's not widely known, but there are a small number of churches that use handling snakes as part of their religious services.  Several states, including Alabama, have laws against the use of snakes in houses of worship.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Tea Party

The Tea Party advocates an approach to government that is unduly simple-minded; just eliminate government programs and reduce taxes with little heed as to the fallout.  We've seen some of this here in Alabama; fortunately, they are only a part of the mechanism of government.

I'm for a responsible conservatism; one that addresses governmental concerns in a pragmatic manner and adapts itself to real world needs.  I'm not for an idiotic approach that goes willy-nilly into uncharted waters.    For better or worse (very often for better), state and national government has assumed or been handed a set of responsibilities.  These are not easily backed away from.  Sometimes we just need to suck it up and raise or continue taxes.

And the rhetoric: some of the Tea Party spokespersons are shrill and insulting.  We need some national and state comity.  After all, in the final analysis, we got each other.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Having a Zen Moment: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

After experiencing the sublime, here's the ridiculous: 

Here are the most ridiculously paid college presidents:

Now I don't go in much for this class warfare crap; but there has been some emphasis given to CEOs' salaries.  What about university CEOs?

I'm not thrilled that the Auburn guy made the top ten.  But the UCF guy?  Does he produce auriferous feces?