Also, it’d be nice if the other Alabama blogs would help promote by posting a reminder at their place as well.
It would be nice and it just takes a minute (or two)!
Also, it’d be nice if the other Alabama blogs would help promote by posting a reminder at their place as well.
It would be nice and it just takes a minute (or two)!
It all seems kind of hush, hush because very few people I've talked to know about it, but there is an election next Tuesday, June 5th.
TUSCALOOSA | Election officials expect a minuscule turnout for a statewide election Tuesday on two proposed amendments to the Alabama constitution.
“There won’t be a 10 percent turnout -- heck, there probably won’t even be a 5 percent turnout," said Tuscaloosa County Probate Judge Hardy McCollum, the county’s chief election officer.
“But we will still have to have all 54 voting places open and have poll workers there all day."
The Legislature unanimously passed the two proposed amendments in special session earlier this year. The lawmakers set the election for June 5.
Suppose they held an election and nobody came? Is it just me or does anyone else get the feeling the lack of publicity for the election is intentional? If the majority of Alabama voters don't know about it only those with a vested interest will show up and two new amendments will be added to our constitution. I admit to not knowing much at all about the amendments, whether to vote for or against, but here is the Cliff Notes version from the Tuscaloosa News:
Proposed Amendment No. 1 would increase from $350 million to $750 million the maximum amount the state Capital Improvement Trust Fund could issue in bonds. Gov. Bob Riley asked for the increase in bond money to help lure new industry to the state.
At the time, Riley said passage of the amendment would help secure a major industrial prospect and that the state would use money from the sale of the bonds to help the company with infrastructure needs.
The prospect turned out to be German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG, which announced this month that it would build a $3.7 billion manufacturing facility in Mobile County, which will employ about 2,700 people.
The capital improvement fund will also be used to provide incentives for other economic development projects.
Proposed Amendment 2, endorsed by the Retirement Systems of Alabama CEO David Bronner and the Alabama Education Association, would create trust funds for education and state employees for health-care benefits.
According to an editorial in the RSA’s June newsletter, the health-care trust funds would be similar to pension funds created for retired state and public education employees in the 1940s.
It appears some of the money for the Capital Improvement Trust Fund in Amendment One has already been committed to lure ThyssenKrupp AG. Kind of putting the horse before the cart:
Legislative Fiscal Office Director Joyce Bigbee told lawmakers on Feb. 26 that the CITF's available balance has dwindled from $89.9 million at the end of FY 2004 to just $31.5 million at the end of FY 2007. According to numbers released by the governor's office, 568 companies located or expanded in Alabama in 2006 and announced 24,780 new jobs and more than $3.1 billion in capital investment.
The proposed expansion will accommodate the incentive packages offered to German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp, which announced last week it would locate its new, $3.7 billion plant in the Mobile area, and other industries considering Alabama, state officials have said.
In remarks he made at the conclusion of the special session, Gov. Bob Riley said the increased bonding authority is "absolutely essential if Alabama is going to continue competing for new jobs."
Amendment Two will probably be an automatic NO vote from me. Governor Riley has teamed up with Paul Hubbert on this one:
Riley has said that the trust funds are necessary to "help the state maintain a good bond rating, which will keep interest payments down on money the state borrows."
The passage of legislation authorizing the education retirees' trust fund created an unusual alliance between Riley and political powerbroker Dr. Paul Hubbert, executive secretary of the Alabama Education Association.
As a general rule, if Hubbert's for it, I'm against it. That's a rule I rarely (if ever) break.
I'm sure these amendments are real important to a few folks in Montgomery, but to have an election where only 5-10% of the voters show up is probably not the best use of our time or money. According to the Tuscaloosa News story, it will cost Tuscaloosa County about $100,000. to hold the election:
County Accounting Manager Bill Lamb estimated Tuesday that the election will cost the county about $100,000 in supplies and manpower.
“Elections like this are one reason people don’t want to be poll workers," McCollum said. “They will have to sit at the polling place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with next to nothing to do."
I'm sure it will cost the other 66 counties that much or more. Next we'll be voting on an amendment to set up a Trust Fund to pay for elections.
I'm not sure how I'll vote on Amendment One, it seems to be necessary. I'm hoping some of our more knowledgeable Alabama Bloggers who have looked at it closer than I have will say a few words about it. Number Two is a definite NO. I don't have a Trust Fund for my health care.
See this post at Flashpoint re: Amendment One. We need to vote NO. Please encourage everyone you know to go to the polls Tuesday and vote No on both amendments.
Update post here.
The David Project has announced that the Islamic Society of Boston ("ISB") and its officers have withdrawn all of their claims against all of the citizens who raised concerns about the ISB, its funding and its leadership, as well as all of their claims against the Boston Herald, Fox-TV and the various journalists whose investigative pieces about the ISB in 2003 and 2004 disclosed damaging information about the ISB and its controversial land deal with the Boston Redevelopment Authority ("BRA"). The ISB and its officers have abandoned all of their claims against all of the defendants they sued 2 years ago, without payment to the ISB or to them of any money whatsoever.
The ISB's decision to drop all of its claims against all of the 17 defendants it sued back in 2005 alleging "defamation" and accusing them of conspiring to violate its civil rights comes just months after the defendants--who included a Muslim cleric, a Christian political science professor and the Jewish daughter of Holocaust survivors, as well as Boston civic leader William Sapers and national terrorism expert Steven Emerson--had begun through their lawyers to conduct discovery into the ISB's financial records, its receipt of millions of dollars in funding from Saudi Arabian and other Middle Eastern sources, its contributions to certain organizations and the records of certain of its officers and directors. The ISB's abandonment of its lawsuits comes only weeks after two of its original Middle Eastern Trustees, Walid Fitaihi of Saudi Arabia and Ali Tobah of Egypt, suddenly resigned as Trustees just before they were required to submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts court hearing the case.
Hello, Michael Chertoff. If you can spare the time, I know you're real busy figuring out how to let millions of "undocumented" illegal aliens in our country become legal overnight (or at least within 24 hours), maybe you should look into this. It would be great if you could discover what the ISB didn't want discovered. Homeland Security and all. I'll give you a little tip: follow the money.
I was disappointed this morning to see the City of Alabaster taking down the American Flags on Hwy. 31. Traditionally Memorial Day was May 30th, it was changed in 1971 to the last Monday in May so everyone could have a three day week-end. There are differing viewpoints about whether the date should be changed back to May 30th, many Veteran's groups believing changing the date just to accommodate a three day week-end diminishes it's importance:
Memorial Day formerly occurred on May 30, and some, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), advocate returning to this fixed date, although the significance of the date is tenuous. The VFW stated in a 2002 Memorial Day Address, "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day." Hawaii's Senator Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran, has repeatedly introduced measures to return Memorial Day to its traditional day since 1998.
Maybe it's a small thing to most people, but I really think the flags should be left up at least through May 30th.
I am not surprised. NewsBusters has the details.
Well, citizens, America’s leading search engine, and one of the most powerful forces on the Internet, has once again ignored Memorial Day.
Read the whole thing to find out what "important" events Google has chosen to recognize.
We continue to kick butt on missions and take care of each other, even though we know the American public and government DOES NOT stand behind us.
It's no wonder he sees it that way. The daily barrage of all the bad news that's fit to print coming from the mainstream media is all millions of Americans hear from Iraq. CWO Funk knows this as well:
His greatest frustration? The performance of the people who deliver the news to the American people.
From his letter:
"Hello media, do you know you indirectly kill American soldiers every day? You inspire and report the enemy's objective every day. You are the enemy's greatest weapon. The enemy cannot beat us on the battlefield so all he does is try to wreak enough havoc and have you report it every day. With you and the enemy using each other, you continually break the will of the American public and American government.
"We go out daily and bust and kill the enemy, uncover and destroy huge weapons caches and continue to establish infrastructure. So daily we put a whoopin on the enemy, but all the enemy has to do is turn on the TV and get re-inspired. He gets to see his daily roadside bomb, truck bomb, suicide bomber or mortar attack. He doesn't see any accomplishments of the U.S. military (FOX, you're not exempt, you suck also).
"We, the soldiers, keep breaking the back of the enemy. You, the media, keep rejuvenating the enemy.
"How hard would it be to contact the PAO (public affairs officer) of the 1st CAV, 36th CAB, 25th ID or the Marines and ask what did you guys accomplish today - good and bad? How about some insurgent blooper videos? Now that would be something to show on the evening news.
"Media, we know you hate the George Bush administration, but report both sides, not just your one-sided agenda. You have got to realize how you are continually motivating every extremist, jihadist and terrorist to continue their resolve to kill American soldiers."
Aiding and abetting the enemy is what I would call it. Shoddy reporting is not the only way the media support the enemy. Splashing government secrets across the front page has become a badge of honor for the country's largest and (no longer) most respected newspapers. Sickening.
Sniper One has a relevant quote:
William Tecumseh Sherman on Reporters:
I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast.
Well said, General.
Thousands of motorcycle riders, many of them Vietnam veterans, rode into our Nation's Capital as they have every Memorial Day since 1987 to honor our U.S. military members "past and present":
Known as Rolling Thunder, the riders honked, waved and gunned their engines to the delight of onlookers as they circled the Mall and rode up and down Constitution and Independence avenues. Clad in leather vests adorned with pins and buttons, bandannas, black helmets and motorcycle boots, riders cheered speakers who extolled the nation's veterans and urged the U.S. government to bring home its dead and missing, in Vietnam and elsewhere.
Talk about Great Americans. What a fitting tribute to our "honored dead". As I sit here comfortably in my worn out chair I thank the riders of Rolling Thunder for making the trip to Washington to show support for our military. According to organizers it was a record turnout:
As it has been every Memorial Day since 1987, the ride was attended by thousands of Vietnam veterans, many of whom rode with their families. Organizers said it was the largest ride yet.
I find myself so discouraged sometimes about the state of our Nation, but just when I think all is lost (or going down the drain quickly) true American patriots like the riders of Rolling Thunder give me optimism and hope for our future.
The Carnival is up and running at Scott Allan's World. Scott has done a terrific job putting together this week's line-up so head on over and check it out.
In his post he recognizes Alabama bloggers who have served in the military, I add my thanks as well:
I also want to take the time on this Memorial Day to thank our Alabama Bloggers who have served in the military, Carol, Beth, and Bull.
And thanks to Scott for a first-class Carnival. Very well done.
Positive news from Iraq:
Memorial Day weekend is upon us. I am out here in Anbar Province with Task Force 2-7 Infantry. The area around Hit (pronounced “heat”) is so quiet previous units likely would not recognize the still. There was a small IED incident this morning, and the explosion was a direct hit, but the bomb was so small that mechanics had the vehicle back in shape by late afternoon. Calm truly has fallen on this city.
Dishes are appearing on rooftops and people are communicating more freely. During today’s prayers, one mosque announced that divorce is bad and that parents should take care of their children. One mosque cried about Christians and Jews, while yet another announced that Al-Jazeera is lying and people should not watch it.
It would be nice to hear some of the Democrats in Congress acknowledge the successes our troops are having in Iraq but it ain't gonna happen. It might cause them to lose more support from the moonbat contingent. Nevertheless, our troops are making progress and thanks to the Internet the word gets out. (I can't figure out the dishes on the rooftops though.)
As Yon states in his post, he delivers all the news, both good and bad. As with any war there will always be plenty of bad news. But he believes the surge is working:
Although there is sharp fighting in Diyala Province, and Baghdad remains a battleground, and the enemy is trying to undermine security in areas they’d lost interest in, the fact is that the security plan, or so-called “surge,” is showing clear signs of progress. The city of Hit, for instance. Only about a hundred days ago, Hit was a city at war. Today, the buildings are still riddled with bullet holes, but the Iraqi people are opening shops and painting over the scars. They are waving and smiling while hundreds of men are volunteering to join the police. I saw a “policeman” on duty today whose “weapon” was a plastic pistol. I photographed the toy. And so this man was on “duty” with a toy pistol, though he has not yet attended the police academy and is not even being paid. A writer could probably squeeze bad news from that story, but I won’t try. In fact, Hit is a place where writers who wish to escape combat and bad news should visit.
Again, another day passes, and I have no bad news to deliver other than what amounted to a trivial attack with a very small bomb. Now I did get news over the previous two days of two friends being shot in other cites. Each man might have a problem with having the facts of their wounds being used to tell only part of their story. The fact that I have written about both of these soldiers before, and both have written material published on my website, will hopefully help me avoid any wrath when I see them next.
His friends, Victor Quinonez (the Q) and Command Sergeant Major James Pippin will recover from their wounds. The Q is coming home soon from Germany and CSM Pippin is on his way to Germany. In relating the stories of his two friends, Yon makes a nice comment about an organization I'm a very small part of (My link):
Q has already made it to Germany and is about to be flown home. CSM Pippin is on his way to Germany. Along the way, excellent groups like Soldiers’ Angels will welcome them home, I expect. My readers will find out here where to send messages once that news is released.
These two men along with all the men and women serving in Iraq deserve the unqualified support of every single American and every single member of Congress. (I'm guilty of inserting politics in just about everything I write about the War on Terror and that's not always necessary....but it has become clear some Democrats in Washington have a vested interest in failure in Iraq. The War on Terror, especially in Iraq, has been politicized to death and for the life of me I cannot understand it. I can't understand the mindset of any American who would stake his - or her- political career on defeat.)
Both men often lamented to me how frustrating it was to be back home and realize that the average American is not aware of practically any of the progress that’s been made in Iraq. Both men darken with something closer to anger when they consider the sacrifices made by fallen soldiers and the fact that while the media most likely counted the deaths in all instances, they also most likely failed to mention any of the good things their fellow soldiers had accomplished while in Iraq.
Thanks to Michael Yon (and many others like him) for telling the whole story. If you can, send him a donation. He is completely independent and depends on his readers for support.