Aug 31, 2015

What Visitors to Montgomery See.

     There have been a lot of visitors to Alabama this year because of the Civil Rights anniversaries...but some of them are returning home with less that pleasant memories.
     The Episcopal Diocese of Washington D.C. sponsored one such trip to Haynesville, Alabama, scene of the murder of an Episcopal Seminary student who is now considered a martyr by that church.      
     Here is one comment on the church website about the trip they called "challenging":

"The pilgrims’ most difficult experience came when they visited a Stuckey’s in Hope Hull, Alabama, selling t-shirts emblazoned with the confederate flag, and the motto: “If this flag offends you, you need a history lesson.” As Clark wrote in her essay: To my dismay, the Stuckey’s cashier, flanked with actual Confederate battle flags on the counter, glared and nodded at me. In that moment, I knew that I and all the pilgrims of African descent were not welcome. So, the whole group, all 40+ pilgrims, about-faced and kept our money in our pockets.”

Read more of their comments HERE.

MMMM # 504 --- The Virignia TV Selfie Murders, and Katrina Remembered

  The father of the reporter who was murdered on live-TV in Virginia is vowing to make gun control his issue.
     I sincerely grieve for his loss.
     But I would remind him that the murder of 20 elementary school children and a half dozen teachers and other adults by a crazy boy in Connecticut had zero impact on gun laws. 
     The workplace murder of two media types by a former co-worker---even on live TV---isn't going to move anybody to do anything.

     A Washington Post columnist wrote about the media-centric nature of the killings:

The relationship between murderers and media outlets flows both ways; reporters have long recognized the news value in reaching out to a killer, sometimes even when a crime is in progress.


     The 10th Anniversary of Katrina cause a flood of coverage, reported the on-air remainder of The Times-Picayune newspaper:

As of mid-week, 613 news-media representatives (many of whom were local) had registered with the city's "Katrina 10" coverage-resources program. Dozens more came in the weeks and months leading up to the anniversary to pre-report their stories.

Many residents of New Orleans had anniversary fatigue even before the actual anniversary arrived. 

Alabama had its own Katrina memories, including then Governor Bob Riley standing next to then President George Bush when he praised his FEMA director on his other side. "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" people died.

Director Michael Brown was days away from being out of work when he received that compliment. CNN talked with him five years ago, on the 5th anniversary.

The former FEMA head told CNN that he winced when President George Bush said the now infamous line, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."
"I knew the minute he said that, the media and everybody else would see a disconnect between what he was saying and what I was witnessing on the ground," Brown said. "That's the president's style. His attitude and demeanor is always one of being a cheerleader and trying to encourage people to keep moving. It was just the wrong time and the wrong place."
Brown headed FEMA under the Bush administration and resigned in September 2005, two weeks after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast and 10 days after President Bush famously complimented him.
     Refugees from the storm came in droves to Alabama, including some who stayed.

 [The Monday Morning Media Memo is a longstanding feature of]

Aug 30, 2015

New Elantra for 2017

Will it be assembled in the Montgomery, Alabama plant?

Photo was released by Hyundai with no additional information.

Sunday Status: George Washington?

     A tiny group of Neo-Confederates called The Alabama Flaggers  demonstrated for secession on the steps of the Alabama Capitol Building Saturday, and were amazed more people didn't show up. The Montgomery Advertiser story quoted one of the organizers criticizing the anti-confederate flag movement of recent weeks:
"The Civil War happened, and there's not anything anybody can do to sweep it under the rug," Mincey-Burton said. "Taking the battle flag down, taking statues of Robert E. Lee down, that's like taking George Washington out of the Revolutionary War. This happened. Face it, and get over it."

      Not to dis the group, but George Washington was fighting FOR the United States against Britain. He is honored for doing so.
     The Confederate Army was fighting against The United States.  They are remembered for doing so.
     The story also quotes a James Perry of Macon County:
"Every time Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King broke wind, (the media) reports it, and it's on the front page. There's not a sign down here commemorating the Confederacy, and it was born here."

Lower Dexter Avenue.

At the top of The Capitol Building Steps
With no mention of Booth as Lincoln's killer.

Inside the restored Legislative House Chamber
Feet away from Saturday's secession rally

Cornerstone of Confederate Memorial
The Confederate Monument on Alabama capitol Grounds

Also on Dexter Avenue

Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Capitol Grounds.

On Dexter, feet from The Alabama Capitol Building


[Related: University of Texas votes to remove Jefferson David statue.] 

Aug 29, 2015

Saturday Data: How Ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm.....

     One-third of Alabama's rural counties lost more than 10% of their population since 1994.

      The folks at Stateline report a 3.5% drop in Alabama's rural population since 1995. Three Black Belt counties are in the top ten shrinking Alabama counties: Macon, Perry, Lowndes and Greene.
     Alabama is a rural state.
 95.64 percent of the land area has rural status. But the majority of the population lives in urban areas.
     A few years ago, The University of Alabama did the math:
“....most of the people live in our urban areas. High-population density is one of the criteria for determining urban status. In fact, 59 percent of the population of Alabama lives in urban settings, and 41 percent lives in a rural area. “
(Those) comments are based on data from the 2010 census released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau about urban and rural areas and how their status is determined.
  (Annette Watters, manager of the State Data Center at The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce.)

[Saturday Data is a regular feature of]

Aug 28, 2015


"The Bentleys have four sons, three daughters-in-law, seven granddaughters, and one grandson. Two of their sons are adopted but they have been loved so long no one remembers which two,"' according to her biography on a state website.

     From an AL.COM of many today about the amazing news that the first lady is divorcing the Governor. While it is a nice thought that all of the children are loved equally, and I am confident they are, something tells me Mrs. Bentley remembers which ones she gave birth to.

   The Governor's media apparatus is crying PRIVACY!  about the split, which apparently started in January when Mrs. Bentley moved back to Tuscaloosa. She continued to make appearances with the Governor as recently as this morning.
"The Governor asks that you please respect the privacy of the Bentley family during this difficult time," the statement read. "There will be no further comment."

     Sure, the PR types were more than willing to announce every good-news event involving Robert and Dianne, now we're supposed to ignore their breakup after a half century of marriage.
    Watch political analyst Alabama News Network Steve Flowers dissect the news HERE
     By the way, there was a time when Alabama was the place people traveled to for a quickie divorce. Really. The article was in Women's Day:

in 1945, Alabama abolished it's former requirement for one year of residency. After that, you could divorce in Alabama after only a twenty-four hour wait.

     The Governor and First Lady are, of course, on the flip side of a quickie divorce. They waited over a half century.