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.