Spot on Rant

Andy over at The World Wide Rant has two good posts about evolution this morning.

Another Reminder: creationism in the classroom
Texas A&M:scentist misses the point

UPDATE: If you want to learn more about evolution go check out Talk Origins. It's a good site for basic understanding. I especially urge you to check out a few FAQs:
Evolution is a Fact and a Theory
Introduction to Evolutionary Biology
Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution



Today's Required Reading

To steal a theme and subject from VodkaPundit. Ok, I'll admit it. I'm just blatantly ripping them off. Will Collier points out a review of anit-americanism that you need to read.


City Stages Pics

As promised some pictures from City Stages. Forgive the quality, it's the operator not the camera.

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic

Kid Rock

crowd on parking deck for Kid Rock

This one gives you an idea of how crowded it was

It was fun, I guess. But with bad $5.00 beer, bad $10.00 gyros, big crowds, and bad tempers as the highlights, I'm not going next year.

UPDATE: Today's Beltway Traffic Jam


The rain cometh.......back

So, has anyone elses yard turned into a swamp?


Stupidity is a disease

More idiocy from the crispies:

New public health directives in Alabama are forcing pro-lifers to either deny their beliefs or lose their jobs. State officials recently issued a regulation that forcing all clinics in the state to offer the abortifacient morning after pill....Christian Coalition of Alabama (CCA) notes, "We have been contacted by at least a half dozen women who were forced to either distribute the pills or face disciplinary action. Several other employees, still working for the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), contacted us as well about their opposition to distributing the pills."
That's like a skinhead going to synagogue and complaining that it's not anit-semitic enough. Well.....duh.
Wait, it gets better:
Lenita Akles, ADPH Nursing Supervisor for Calhoun County, said the following, "After 13 years of working with the state, which was my dream come true job*, I was forced to make a choice between my Christian faith and my job as a nursing supervisor." Linda Bell, a nurse in Montgomery said, "I was only given one choice: follow the mandated protocol. This was something I could not do because it violated my Christian principles."
Talk about aspiring to be mediocre. Are they wanting me to feel sorry for them? If I refuse to do my job, I'll be fired, too. They're like two year olds, throwing a tantrum if they don't get their way. waaaaahhhh....waaaahhhhh... I'll cry you river, right after I'm through laughing.

*emphasis mine


I've seen the light!

Sun...glorius sun. The sun peaked out for a couple of hours this morning. It's a good thing, I was about to start growing mold. At this rate I may get to mow the grass sometime around christmas.


U.S. soldier killed by homicidal maniacs

From the AP.

Iraqi militants killed an American soldier they have held hostage for nearly three months, saying the killing was because the U.S. government did not change its policy in Iraq, Al-Jazeera television said Tuesday.
Why is the AP using the term "militants". Blatantly biased.

Hat Tip: Outside the Beltway.



Blount County Weekly News Roundup

From The Blount Countian on Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Rep. Aderholt to give legislative update
Aderholt is giving a speech at the Blount County-Oneonta Chamber of commerce next Tuesday (June 29) at Twin Oaks at Heritage Green. It start at 7:30 a.m. Aderholt will give a legislative update on matters of current debate on Capitol Hill.

Pennington situation will not go away
The Blount County Board of Education went into executive session at the end of a special meeting called last Friday. The session was related to the ongoing situation at J.B. Pennington High School involving the ag teacher, who was not rehired for the 2004-2005 school year. The "situation" involves the ag teacher using school materials and equipment for personal projects, as well as letting students leave the school campus to work on his farm.
I am unsure about the accuracy of this story. After I questioned some people who know a little about what's going on, I think this is a case of "he said, he said". It sounds more like political infighting to me.

Fire department gets ready for shopping spree
Cleveland Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded a $56,876 federal grant. The grant will be used to buy fire equipment and protective gear for firemen.

Girl Scouts invade Palisades Park
Around 60 girls from over the county are participating in crafts and structured games.

Board recognized Veal at last meeting
The Oneonta City Board of Education said goodbye to Smiley Veal, long-time superintendent.

Fire damages Oneonta landmark
A fire severely damages a house at 320 Fourth Avenue West, known locally as "The Bains House". No one was injured in the fire.

not much in the way of news this week


Is it '84 already?

This is doubleplusungood.

President Bush plans to unveil next month a sweeping mental health initiative that recommends screening for every citizen and promotes the use of expensive antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs favored by supporters of the administration.

Government mandated psychiatric screenings. No danger to civil liberties there, no sirree bob, notta. Has Bush completely lost his damn mind? I've never been a huge fan of his, but I can't bring myself to vote for Kerry, either. So he WAS going to get my vote. When are the two main parties going to nominate someone that people can actually vote FOR? Bush and Kerry both want to increase the size of government, and in my experience, when government gets bigger, freedom gets smaller. A pox on both their houses.

Who are you voting for and why?

Today's Beltway Traffic Jam



This blog has broken the 1,000 hit mark today. Feel free to leave a comment to any of the posts below. Thanks for visiting my site.



South Korean killed

S. Korean Worker Slain by Kidnappers in Iraq
Let's get something straight. There isn't a reason why they killed Kim Sun Il. These murderers are not "freedom fighters", "gurrillas", "insurgents", or even "terrorists". They are just old fashioned sociopaths. There's no more reason to why they do what they do than there was a reason Ted Bundy did what he did. Which is to say, they get off on it. So quite asking "why do they hate us". They hate us because they can. They kill us because they can. The only solution is to kill them faster than they can kill us.

P.S. Kudos to S. Korea for not pulling a Spain.

Hat tip to James Joyner at Outside the Beltway


I've been invaded

This is a topic that hits very close to home for me, literally. I have been battling some non-native invasive plants on my land since the beginning. Battling and losing, but battling non-the-less. The two biggest threats in my yard are privet and japanese honeysuckle. What's maddening is that a lot of garden retailers still sell this stuff. If you see an invasive being sold in a garden center, please notify a manager about it's invasive properties. As an added bonus, it may be illegal for them to sell it.

If you have any invasive on your property, and I almost guarantee you do, please take steps to eliminate it. You'll be glad you did.

today's Beltway Traffic Jam



I have received 380 visits since Friday, practically all due to this post. As a result, I find myself experiencing a bit of the stage freight. I'm not sure what to do about it. I guess I'll just have to suck it up.

P.S. No comments yet!



Headin' out

On my way to City Stages. I'll put up pics next week.


Another Beheading


Al Qaeda militants beheaded an American hostage, posting on an Islamist Web site today three photographs of the head and body of Paul Johnson, who was abducted in Saudi Arabia six days ago.

I try not to be one of those "Kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out" kind of people, but these fucking murdering bastard sons of a whore need to DIE. DIE. DIE. My blood lust tells me that whole sections of the middle east nead to be vaporized. I know that it would make us worse than them, but I can't help myself. Intellectually I know that we need to be systematic and deliberate in gathering intelligence in order to find these people, the rest of me says "drop THE BOMB". And then drop a couple more, just to be sure.

via Outside the Beltway


Critique of the local news

This article in The Birmingham News shows the disconnect between journalists and their subject matter, even here in Alabama.

It starts right from the first sentence.

The weapon used to kill three Birmingham police officers Thursday in Ensley was a powerful assault rifle originally used for military purposes
It's a 7.62 x 39mm, no it's not powerful. That's the whole point of a military round. The more powerful the round, the greater the recoil. The greater the recoil, the longer it takes to reaquire target for a follow up round. Quickly being able to put multiple rounds on target is a must in the military.

The SKS is a gas-powered, semi-automatic rifle that usually holds 10 rounds and was first used by the Soviet Union in the mid-1940s, according to www.hk94.com, an online resource for information about firearms. Semi-automatic means the weapon fires once with each pull of the trigger.
I'm going to give them BIG KUDOS here. The journalist, Amy Bartner, correctly defines simi-automatic. This is probably the first time I've actually seen it stated properly in the media. They usually really fuck that one up. However, what's up with the "gas-powered, semi-automatic". All semi-autos are gas-powered, at least I haven't ever heard of one that wasn't. I think it's supposed to sound menacing. All it means is that some of the high pressure gas from the ignition of the propellant in the bullet is redirected to cycle the bolt. As opposed to manually opening and closeing as you do in a bolt action or pump.

...although a hunter might purchase the 9-pound gun for hunting, it's not the weapon of choice.
I'm not sure why she stated the weight, assuming that is indeed the weight. Is it supposed to sound heavy? light? The SKS isn't particularly heavy, but it's not particularly reliable, accurate, or "powerful" either. Which is why it's not "the weapon of choice" for hunting.

"It's not normally a super-accurate gun," he said. "It would fall vaguely under the category of assault rifle."
I would put it less vaguely under the category of "plinker", but that's just me.

"It would probably shoot through two phone books," Lee said....
Two WHOLE phonebooks. /sarcasm. A .22LR will probably shoot through two phonebooks at close range. It's a meaningless statement.

"...It's a rifle I would hope I wouldn't have to face."
Is there one you would like to face? All guns can kill you. Be more worried about the guy pulling the trigger than what kind of gun he has. That circa 1750 black-powder rifle is more dangerous in the hands of someone who knows how to use it, than a tank in the hands of someone who doesn't.

Tarrant police use Army-donated vests that hold two ceramic plates, but George said even those vests might not withstand a blast from an SKS.
She doesn't state what the actual vests are so it's hard to be sure, but if a military vest can't stop a military round we got problems. Also, the use of the word "blast", is a little overly dramatic, IMNSHO.

Reinforced vests are more effective against such rifles, but are much too heavy to wear for extended periods, George said. He added that they also wouldn't be useful in a tactical situation because they restrict movement.
The military is doing it in Iraq, but whatever.

Terry Oglesby also touches on this topic over at Possumblog.


Three Officers Slain

3 police officers killed by gunfire from The Birmingham News.

Who: Carlos "Curly" Owen, 58; Charles Bennett, 33; and Harley Chisholm III, 40. All members of The Birmingham Police Dept., West Precinct
What: Killed by a suspect while serving a misdemeanor assault warrant
When: Thursday, June 18, 2004 1:18 pm
Where: Apartment in Tuxedo neighborhood of Ensley, AL
How: Belived to have been shot, multiple times, by SKS
Why: ?

Add1: Kerry Marquise Spencer, 24, and Nathaniel Woods, 27, were booked into the Birmingham City Jail at 10:30 p.m. on suspicion of capital murder.
Add2: Arrests were made at 1736 18th St. in Ensley
Add3:Police recovered the assault rifle in the bushes outside the apartment where the officers died. It was unclear whether more than one gun was used in the shootings and whether any police officers were able to return fire.

I think we can all agree that this was extremely tragic. Some people, the killers in this case, are just so (evil?) that they don't seem human.




Radley over at The Agitator has found the "most asinine neoprohibitionist law on the books."


Loonies in "Bama

Example #1 - Baptists

"God does not approve of same-sex marriage!" the Rev. Steve Gaines, pastor of First Baptist Church in Gardendale, thundered during the convention sermon. "There is no way God endorses any kind of marriage except a man and a woman."
This guys just plain old-fashioned crazy. Unless he has a direct line to the Big Man himself, how does he know what god thinks. Even the bible doesn't make a clear stance on homosexuality, regardless of what most people think it says. The bible has some interesting parts, people should try actually reading it.

Example #2 - Christian Coalition & Rep. Robert Aderholt
Alabama's Christian Coalition is fighting a new policy at the state Department of Public Health that requires its clinics to offer patients the morning-after pills following unprotected intercourse.
Nothing Like making sure that the poor and young don't receive adequate medical care. When is the last time that withholding information from a patient was a good thing? ..........never. Why does the Christion Coalition think they have a right to decide what medical treatment is appropriate? .........Pride. These guys really tick me off.

Today's Beltway Traffic Jam



The Blount Countian News Roundup

A summary of the local news as reported in The Blount Countian

Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Equipment purchases, Sunshine Law highlight June commission meeting
The Blount County Commission authorized spending almost $93,000 on road equipment for Dist 1 and Dist 2 and recommended that the Alabama Sunshine Law cover all agencies whose boards are appointed by the commission.

Cleveland still hoping
Cleveland City Council is working on having AL 79 four-laned through Cleveland. They have met with Senator Jack Biddle and plan to meet with Senator Robert Aderholt when he speaks at the chamber breakfast on June 29. BFI quarterly billing will increase from $12 to $13 a month, or $39 a quarter. Qualification for mayor and clerk would begin Tuesday, July 6 and continue through July 20 for the August 24 municipal election.

Hayden office opens
Hayden annex of the revenue office opened last Friday at the old Hayden High School site.

Tidwell Hollow residents complain of drunkenness
Tidwell Hollow residents say the must pass homes where drunken revelers bring their excessive behavior to the edge of the road. Deputy Sheriff Terry McDowell states, at an Allgood Town Council meeting, that an arrest cannot be made on private property unless that person is infringing on someone else’s rights. The Deputy suggested that the town consider adopting a safe streets ordinance, which would give the sheriff’s office more leeway.

Predators win Tuscaloosa tournament
The 14 & under Royal Predators softball team went undefeated to bring back the championship trophy for the June 4-6 T Town Showdown.

Second annual Josh Niblett speed and football skills camp
Oneonta High School Football Coach Josh Niblett will host a speed camp July 5 & 6, and a football skills camp on July 7 & 8 at Gilbreath Stadium. Ages 6-15.

Underwood resigns at Penningtion
J.B. Pennington head football coach Neal Underwood resigned last week.

Lowry loves working at Wildlife Center
Cindy Lowry, 1991 graduate of Oneonta High School, enjoys her job as development assistant of The Wildlife Center in Shelby County.

Appalachian students work to cheer soldiers
High School senior Brandi Jones was prompted by the deployment of her father, S/Sgt. Walter Champion, on January 3 to put together a care-package drive. Brandi led the school in raising money to buy items the military suggests be sent to the troops. The care packages were sent May 20.

Susan Moore Band Carwash: June 19, 9 a.m. at Sonic in Oneonta

Pine Mountain July Fourth Meat Sale: Pine Mountain Community Center and Pine Mountain Volunteer Fire & EMS are taking orders for their July smoked meat sale.

Carwash for Danny Bray: Wynnville Community Church will have a donational carwash for Danny Bray at Wal-Mart Tire & Lube Express on June 26 at 8 a.m. Bray has been fighting cystic fibrosis and money is needed to meet the expenses of his lung transplant. The church has opened an account on his behalf at People’s Bank.

Nine businesses volunteer to collect used motor oil
Local businesses volunteer to take in and recycle used motor oil.

Today's Beltway Traffic Jam

*I plan on making this a regular feature. Although, it may be sporadic at first.


BC Map

map courtesy of The University of Alabama

Larger Image

Just in case you were curious.


City Stages

I'll probably be heading down to the 'ham for City Stages this weekend, and I'll post some pictures next week, if I bother to take any (expected inebriation and all). If you live in the area, I would urge you to attend. It's a really good time, hot, but fun, and the bands this year seem to be excellent. Although, I don't know what idiot decided that scheduling George Clinton and The Parliament Funkadelic and Live at the same time was a good idea. I haven't seen George Clinton before so I'll probably head over to the Coca-Cola Stage to see them (assuming the crowd isn't crazy big).



Never Would of Guessed That!

Alabama is the 2004 State of the Year.

We've made some big improvements lately, especially on the employment front, but this is a bit over the top. Then again, who's our competition? It is the Southern Business and Development magazine. If we're just competing against Mississippi then, well, OK.

today's Beltway Traffic Jam


Siegelman Pleads Not Guilty

Former Alabama Governor Arraigned on Conspiracy Charges (washingtonpost.com)

Whatever you say, bud.


Burnin' Up the Bits

Lots of NRO readers tearing up the comments over at Reason.



Required test post. Testing new holoscan comments.

UPDATE: yeah, it works.



An Explanation

I'm afraid I may be starting to sound like The Raving Atheist. I don't normally have this much hostility toward religionists (is that even a word), but my wife (don't ask for a picture, you perv) was accosted by a fundamentalist at her place of work. The usual "have you been saved", "are you born again in the lord", "you're not catholic are you?", etc. This is beyond bad manners. You, as a Christian, may feel free to express your religious views at work and not be afraid of being fired. However, if I approached my co-workers asking if they had discovered the truth of atheism, how long do you think it would take before I was fired for creating a "hostile work environment"? I'd be gone by the end of the day. In reality as an atheist I can't even defend myself when approached, as my wife was, by a fundie at work. I have to take it, nod my head, smile, and hope they go the hell away. I don't get this hostile when it happens to me, but I have an instinct to protect my wife and I can't do it in this case.

To sum up: Feel free to spout off any drivel you want, but don't do it when the other party is handicapped in their response. It's not fair. Witness to your heart's content, but don't do it in a place of work. Otherwise, I will brand you a COMPLETE AND TOTAL ASSHOLE FUCKTARD.


Crispies Get the Smackdown

A Rhea County, TN bible class was ruled unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar of Chattanooga.

The 30-minute classes were held weekly for about 800 students in kindergarten through fifth grade at the county's three elementary schools. Parental consent was not required and students were allowed to participate in alternative activities if they objected to the classes.

I hardly think that fifth graders are able to make such judgments, to say nothing of the kindergarteners. They have no basis for determining the validity or lack thereof of things presented to them by the school district as fact. Setting aside the obvious violation of the "establishment clause" of the first amendment, teaching religion as fact is painfully close to deception. Religion, God, Buddha, Allah, etc, are not fact. They are not falsifiable and hence not fact, not by any definition of the word. Let me say it again: "religion is not fact!" At best it could be considered opinion. I would call it mass delusion, but that's just me.

I think this is probably more egregious violation of the constitution than was "Roy's Rock". It' not Alabama so there's no way to spin the story to show how backwards we Alabamans are, hence, very little media coverage.


Moore's Senate Hearing

Bill on judges gets a hearing

Is it just me or is Moore starting to resemble a bad charicture of himself. The man sounds like a broken record:

"acknowledge God, acknowledge God, acknowledge God"

So this hearing was about a bill, introduces by Sen. Shelby, that would limit the courts ability to rule on cases involving the acknowledgment of God "as the sovereign source of law, liberty or government."
Can we say unconstitutional? I think we can. Can we also say "instant theocracy"? Just add water. (for high altitude cooking: replace water with 3 parts christian-fundie-nutbags.) Rinse repeat.*
We need to require all congressmen (state and federal) to undergo a course in constitutional law every year. Maybe they would stop wasting the taxpayers time and money (and more money) with this bullshit.

P.S. And Shelby seems to be the more moderate of our two senators. Sessions is a fucktard.

*Yes, I have had about three too many cups of coffee.


If you say so..

Gas Prices on Slow Decline in Alabama

Gas prices in Alabama have continued a slow decline over the past ten days, with the average price of self-serve regular at a $1.91.

I haven't noticed. Prices haven't been quite as volitile lately, but not rising is hardly the same as "slow decline". Maybe, it just hasn't filtered down to the BC area, or I just need to get out more.



Alabama...The Wayback Machine

Christianity Not Requirement For State Superintendent

A recommendation that the candidate be conservative and Christian came up...in the current search, but board members said that's a mistake.

That this "mistake" appeared in any form is the mistake. It suggests that "conservative and Christian" at least made it to their short list of qualifications. Who'll give me odds that the person they hire will just happen to be "conservative and Christian". Stupid crispies.


Another Governor....Another Indictment

What is it with Alabama politicians? Particularly governors. Are all politicians this corrupt? Or are they all just the victims of some pretty damn fine frameups? (yeah....riiiiiight) I haven't even bothered to follow this one closely, but Siegelman did it. I'm not even totally straight on what "it" is, but he did it. I'm just betting with the odds here.

Alabamian + Politician + Governor = Club Fed. It's like the Second Low of Thermodynamics. It's a universal constant. If you're governor of Alabama your going to be indicted on something.

Link to Tuesday's Beltway Traffic Jam


More from Moore

Everyone else has used that title, why can't I?
Roy Moore is going to testify at a congressional hearing today. Kristopher thinks it will be "interesting", I'm going with assinine. That whole First Amendment thing really puts a major roadblock up for Roy's plan to instill a theocracy, but he just can't GIVE. IT. UP.

via The World Around You


More Palisades

I don't know what it is either. Chipmunk?



Palisades II

Rock Overhang: I took the previous picture from the end. It feels more secure than it looks.


Photos from Palisades

This is a view from atop Palisades Park. I am really disappointed in the camera's inability to render the blue of the sky



Schools are for losers!

Required reading at Hit & Run.

Pretty much sums up my experience in school.



June Fling

June Fling III is scheduled for this Saturday, June 5th in downtown Oneonta.

Main St. Stage Scheule
9am to 10am - Tom Prickett, Chris Green, & Friends
10am to 11am - Mark Dunn
11am to 12noon - Melissa Lawler
12noon to 1pm - Jo Ann Bullard
1pm to 2pm - Angie Noojin
2pm to 3pm - Amy Simmons
*3pm until ... - Sky Dogs with Brent Sibley
Crossroads Cruisers (antique car show)
"Arts and Crafts"

If you're into that kind of thing, come on down. The local economy could use some tourist dollars.

*This probably means about 5pm. It's Blount County fer Chrissakes. Not much in the way of a night life 'round here.

UPDATE:Free parking, apparently.


Primary Roundup

Here's the results of Tuesday's primary as reported by The Blount Countian.

District Five seat on BC Board of Ed.
Chris Latta - 482
He will be uncontested for the Nov election.

District Attorney
Tommy Rountree - 54.9%
Rountree will challenge Democrat Scott McPherson in Nov.

Dist 2 County Commissioner
Robert Bullard - 53.8%

Dist 4 County Commissioner
Waymon Pitts - 43.8%
Bob Shows - 30.6%
They will face each other again in a June 22 runoff.

Tobacco Tax Increase
Passed with 56% of the vote.

That's pretty much it. I'll have some more goings on from The Blount Countian in a later post.



June 1st Primary

I'll have a roundup of the primary results from Blount County just as soon as I, well, round them up.