Aug 20, 2014

Judge Fuller

Federal Courthouse, Montgomery, Alabama
     The hearing on the domestic violence charges against Alabama Federal Judge Mark Fuller has been delayed two weeks. It is now set for Friday, September 5th in Atlanta, where the judge's wife called 911 from their hotel room and told police he had beaten her.

     Now a lawyer for Fuller says the judge is entering treatment and is embarrassed over the incident.

A story in AL.COM a year ago described Birmingham lawyer Barry Ragsdale like this:

He represents defendants and plaintiffs in anti-trust, securities, insurance and business fraud cases. He also handles matters involving products liability, shareholder, and other complex litigation and class actions. 
And a story from the FreeDonSiegelman website includes this information about the lawyer:

Barry Ragsdale, an attorney who is a friend of the Vances and has
been associated with the Over the Mountain Democrats in the past,
acted as master of ceremonies for the swearing in of Judge Joyce White Vance
as Chief Judge of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals) Apparently he is a funny guy, and made several jokes, including poking fun at Chief U.S.
District Judge Mark E. Fuller of Alabama’s middle district, the federal
judge who presided in the controversial case against Siegelman and
his co-defendant Richard Scrushy.

“I’m glad Karl Rove gave you permission to be here,” Ragsdale
quipped, according to the Birmingham News account of the swearing
     Some Alabama Democrats have seized on the arrest to discredit Fuller, who was the trial Judge for the Siegelman/Scrushy trials, which they saw as political, and unfair to former Governor Siegelman, who is serving time in a Federal prison in Louisiana.
     If Fuller is convicted, could they end up cellmates?

Aug 19, 2014

WWII Training at "Maxwell Field" in Montgomery, Alabama

WWII really WAS a different time. Can you imagine a U.S. military service writing that caption today?

It took a little time for these aviation cadets at Maxwell Field, Ala. to concentrate on taking code from such an eyeful as these WAAC instructors in the Pre-Flight School for pilots. Seated, is Junior Leader Better McNiece, of Portland, Ore., and the cadets think she sends it "solid." Standing is Junior Leader Chris Aos, of Seattle, Wash.
Army Air Forces, Southeast Training CenterScience Service Photo 

Source: Smithsonian Institute

Aug 18, 2014

Gatorsaurus, Second thoughts

     The fifteen foot, thousand pound gator caught in Alabama's Black Belt will be stuffed. Here's a Google Earth still of the taxidermy shop that will do the job. 
      You can even see the Google auto-drive car that took the pictures reflected in the window. It doesn't look like the building would be big enough to even contain the gator..but it is deeper than it is wide, so I'm sure they'll find a way.

ABC has more details on the battle with the big creature. It was a shotgun shot that killed it. Between the eyes. Into the brain.       
     Not sure why that makes an emotional difference to me, after all pretty much all hunting involved using tools to kill critters. 
     I know the family wasn't expected to wrastle it to the ground and give it a shot to put it to sleep, but at what point does the hunter's tools/weapons provide too much of a disadvantage? Would a stick of dynamite have been "fair"..whatever that is in hunting.
     What do you think??

MMMM #462 -- PR Firm to PR Firm's Rescue, and solving the journalism problem.

  •      The (paywall) New York Times public editor has written a column on the status of journalism...and it is a good read for folks in the business or interested in it from the outside. The editor completely ignores the great broadcast journalism being practiced every day in TV newsrooms, but I am confident there is a good journalistic ethical reason for that.

  •      Edelman is one of the largest PR firms in the world...yet it has recently found itself in a PR debacle that they, shall we suggest, they should have seen coming? Physician heal thyself I suppose. 
  •      Why do people think they can do just about anything in public. Don't they know there are people with cameras everywhere, and most of them are not reporters. The beating an urban park ranger suffered in Philadelphia over the weekend is the latest example.

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

Aug 17, 2014

Real Freedom of Religion

     The U.S. Navy is returning copies of Bibles placed in the rooms at Navy Lodges. They were removed after complaints of favoritism to Christian religions, but will be returned while the Navy investigates.

     The AL. COM story includes this quote:

"If chaplains can be in the military, Bibles at no expense to the Navy can in Lodges," Chaplain (Ret.) Col. Ron Crews, executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, said. "Our national has a history of religious accommodation for military personnel since before George Washington established the chaplain corps in July 1775. Allowing Bibles in guest quarters is a continuation of our desire to serve those who serve us."

     The question: does the CARL endorse placing Koran's in those same rooms if they are provided free?

Sunday Focus: Where are you from?

     The NY published a data driven feature listing each of the states and showing in graphic form where the residents of that state have come from over time...for example, in 1950 88% of Alabama's population was born IN Alabama....and 6% of those born elsewhere were born in other Southern States, mostly Georgia next door. Less than 1% were born outside the U.S.!
      By 2012, 70% were still born in the state, and we were still pulling most (12%) of our newcomers from other Southern States, but 10% were coming from states outside the South. And 4% came from outside the U.S.
   All of the states are represented in the feature, so take a look at your own state!
    You can also find a lot more information about the population of Alabama and all of the states from the most recent census. There are 4.8 Million Alabamians, up 2.4 per cent since 2000.

[Sunday Focus is a regular feature of]