Monday, June 11, 2012

Compliance through pain

Compliance through infliction of Pain At the store where I work sheriffs deputies regularly stop in to get free drinks and such. It's no big secret that I do not like cops on general principal. I don't like the way they swagger around like they own the world and everything in it, including you. I hate the way their deadly weapons squeak and jingle when they swagger. Everything about them just sets my teeth on edge and gives me instant piss off. When I see one I go into instant activist mode. I can't help it.  I'm civil to them because I have to be. If you work with the public then you have to attempt to be civil to everyone. Sometimes that is difficult, at best. What happened at the store the other night merely reinforces my theory that 99% of cops are ignorant, power-tripping, high school diploma holding at best, assholes who ain't shit without that badge and gun. I've met a few good ones but not enough to make me think there is any sort of reasonable balance between good and bad among the ranks. My side of the store, the grill side, closes at 7pm on Sunday, 8 pm Mon- Thurs and 9 pm on Fri and Sat. We start breaking down thirty minutes before closing time and shut the grill down. Anything that is left is all moved to one steamer and we serve from that if someone comes in and wants a hamburger or a hotdog. What is leftover goes home with employees, if we want it, or into a bag for the guy who comes by to get it for his dog.  Well, the other night two deputies came in at closing time. I was getting ready to take out the trash and mop and had already put the remaining food into the doggie bag. One deputy got what he wanted from the store side. The other one came halfway over to my counter, not at the register where a normal person places and order, and announced that the wanted a hamburger. I said I was sorry but he was too late because the grill closed thirty minutes ago.  He looks at me, smiles and very casually his hand moves down to his gun belt, unsnaps a holster and he pulls out his fucking taser and points it in my general direction.  I looked him dead in the eye and said, "I wish you fucking would."  He responded, "Oh, so it's been a day like that?" I replied, "No, my day was fine til you walked in. I can dig you a hamburger out of the doggie slop bag if you want one that bad."  Instead of responding he puts his potentially lethal toy away and heads back to the other side of the store. I was sorely tempted to point him in the direction of the donut aisle, but refrained. He'd already proven himself, unprofessional and most assuredly unstable and, while the makers of the Taser and the cops who love to use them for the least provocation, would swear before the very throne of God that they are non-lethal, last time I checked there were over 500 deaths in the US directly attributed to their use.  My ticker is a little funny and I just didn't feel like dying that night over a fucking hamburger. You know, you sort of expect that kind of idiotic behavior from street punks and robbers. Criminals. But more and more it's the cops acting like thugs. Every day it gets harder to tell the difference between the two groups. The only difference that's clear is that one group of thugs has government sanction and government power backing it up and the other does not.  I guess what this particular punk mother fucker with a badge and a gun did passes for cop humor. But I'm not a cop and I didn't find it a bit funny. So, here's a bit of advice to cops who might read this, something they should have learned at their mothers knee and had reinforced in cop school; Don't pull it out unless you intend to use it. Tasers aren't toys any more than guns are toys. They are weapons. They can and do kill.  Also, electrocuting me will not make me make you a hamburger. Why, it's even less effective than saying, "Make me a sammige, bitch."   And you should never, ever, piss off the cook. That night the taser happy cop decided on a box of chicken bites that had been under the lamp for a stretch. I hope they gave him salmonella

Friday, March 09, 2012

Fringe candidates party on beyond the mainstream

Yesterday a fantastic article by Patrick Hruby was published in the very conservative Washington Times about third parties and the difficulty we have breaking through the media and various campaing laws in different states. A large part of this article features my 2006 campaing for Governor of Alabama. It's a great article which showcases the positive and lasting contributions third parties have made in American politics. Please go read

Fringe candidates party on beyond The mainstream

My part starts on page 3.

Many thanks to Patrick Hruby for his flattery and knocking this one out of the park.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

A frightening picture of drug war reality

In Andalusia, Alabama 16 people have enterEd guilty pleas for various crimes and offenses.

One of those people, Christopher David Hughes, 32, plead guilty to "sexually abusing an intellectually disabled female family member, He has remained incarcerated in the Covington County Jail since his arrest in May."

The paper goes on to inform us that Mr. Hughes had previously been convicted and incarcerated for raping a 15 year old girl.

And the judge and prosecutor agreed on a deal whereby Mr. Hughes will serve one year in prison. For raping an intellectually disabled female relative.

Meanwhile nine of the remaining guilty pleas were from drug offenders. No mention of violence connected with their crimes of possession or manufacturing and certainly no mentally disabled rape victims in their wake. Yet the minimum sentence for this group was nearly three years and the maximum was 25 years on two drug charges.

What's wrong with this picture? Who are you more afraid of walking the streets? The guy who occasionally likes to smoke a joint or the guy who preys upon defenseless handicapped girls?

If I were in Andalusia I'd make it a point to let the judge and prosecutor know just how out of line these sentences are and be looking for their replacements come next election. I will be writing a letter tonight. I hope you will join me.

Child rapist gets one year, drug offenders get up to 25

Here is a quote from the esteemed Walt Merrell District Attorney of Covington county Alabama where all of this took place. The quote is from a story a few months back about how he planned to cage all drug users.


“(Those arrested) have preyed on the young, the weak and the afflicted for long enough,” Merrell said. “The act of selling drugs is sub human, and we won’t tolerate it. Predators belong in a cage, and that’s where we intend to put anyone who sells drugs.


– Walt Merrell
District Attorney
Covington Co, AL
07/07/11
334-469-5744

Please take a moment and let Mr. Merrell know what you think about his practices.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I have an OpEd in today's Birmingham News about HB25 the medical marijuana bill which has been prefiled in the Alabama House.

Alabama must enact law for medicinal Marijuana use

Please read, comment and pass along.

Then use this form to determine who your representatives in Montgomery are and contact them and ask for their support on HB25.

Alabama House Roster

Friday, January 13, 2012

Medical Marijuana bill filed in Alabama House

Rep. Patricia Todd has pre-filed the Michael Phillips Comapssionate Care Act, the medical marijuana bill in Alabama. The number is HB25
It has been assigned to health committee. Please contact your legislators and ask them to support safe access to medical marijuana in Alabama by voting YES on HB25. Legislative contact information is here

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Lucifer Pig

So, I've got this crazy pig, a Vietnamese pot bellied pig, a male, an intact male, and around this time of year for the last two years he gets downright unmanageable. Oh yeah he's a LARGE pig. I'd put him at least 150. He resembles a mini-tank...or a bulldozer....or maybe a rhinoceros is a more apt description. He has large tusks sticking out each side of his jaw. Sharp ones! He has huge teeth and an huge mouth and he is stronger than an ox. 

Now, nine months out of the year he's a really friendly guy. Follows us around the yard and wants belly rubs. But when fall rolls around he becomes a horny, disgusting lucifer of a pig. The bastard is downright scary and dangerous. I should have had him cut when he was young but the vet wouldn't do it and the proscribed method was to find an old farmer who knew how to wield a razor blade. This method involved no anesthesia and I just couldn't subject him to that. I cannot overstate how much I regret that unfortunate decision.

Fall is apparently mating season for pot bellied pigs, regardless of whether or not another pig of the opposite sex is nearby. There isn't a female pig anywhere near my house so the male pig, being the incredibly intelligent animal that he is, has found multiple substitutes for his absent piggy partner. Last year it was logs of firewood and a couple of empty white barrels. When he can get one he has settled for feed buckets. Pretty much anything with a round shape that isn't cemented down will do as a stand in for the real thing. 

This season the lucky girl is the ever lovely rectangular garbage can with wheels. You know, the ones that have to be placed at the end of a drive on trash day? Those. 

Since fall rolled around poor ol piggy has fallen very hard  in lust with the trash cans of two neighbors. Since the trash picks up on my side of the street all the cans have to be placed on that side. When piggy hears them rolling down the driveways destined for his side of the road he squeals with delight. He starts plotting. Gets very busy. And within minutes he has bitten through the chain link fence and worked himself free. We can't keep him penned up on trash day short of a damn underground concrete bunker. I'd put money on him even getting out of that when his gals stand so invitingly at the end of the driveway. 

And then, by god, come Friday morning it's on. And he's on....the trash cans.

As soon as the truck empties them and makes them easier to roll around and have his way with them, he shoots down the driveway like a pig with an ACME rocket attached to his ass and right there in front of God and everybody  he proceeds to make passionate love to his trash can. Doesn't matter which one he gets to first. Apparently he is equally fond of both. He knocks it down, rolls it around, mounts it from all sides and has his undisputed way with it.  With people driving and neighbors with small impressionable children looking on he sprays his nasty piggy jizz into every orifice of his trash can gal all the while squealing and grunting with delight. The wheels, the underside, the handle, he opens the top and gives the inside a good working over too. No can left unjizzed is the motto of this particular pig. And he can go at it for hours. Its like Ron Jeremy eat your heart out.

Last week he got my neighbor from across the streets can and rolled it into the woods. I didn't see it until a few days later. I retrieved it and washed it off and had my husband walk it back over to their house. They weren't home so he was spared the humiliation of offering an explanation. However, this past Friday they saw me at the mailbox and I had to offer up the explanation. Not fun. They are awesome people though, and having seen him go at it with one round object or another over the last few years, including the large plastic pumpkin belonging to the neighbor on my side of the street, they have developed a sense of humor about it. After we returned the can we were able to quarantine and barricade the bacony love machine....until this Friday morning anyway. And that's when all he'll broke loose.

One minute he is seemingly secure in his chain link fence and the next thing you hear is the loud bumping sound of him rolling around one of his bulky girlfriends. Then you have to go tearing out the door and down the driveway to try and wrestle one of his girls away from him. And that, my friends is no easy task. As I mentioned earlier he's a large, strong animal with huge teeth and he uses all of those attributes to keep anyone from disentangling him from his love interest. This Friday my husband went down and took the first can away from him. The pig fought him all the way back up the drive way. Piggy will bite in and hold on. And it's not like you can kick him off. You'd be apt to lose a foot. It's not like you can physically restrain him in any way at all. He's shaped like a muscular bullet and there is no where to grab hold of him. And even if you could grab hold of him no one wants to touch the filthy genetic material slime covered mean bastard anyway. ICK!!!

Well, as I said, my husband gets the first can away and eventually piggy returns to his own yard. We tried to trick him into going up. He was having none of it. None. Of. It. And all we could do is wait for round two. We didn't have to wait long either. Directly we heard the hollow booming sound of the empty can being raped from the bottom of the driveway. 

Now, I had just taken a shower and was on my way somewhere and didn't want to be anywhere the foulness of that beast. I thought, "Dammit I'm gonna get hog shit on my shoes and goo no telling where else on my person". I did not want to help. But since my husband did the first one alone I agreed, very reluctantly, to help him this go round.

Now on the first disentangling adventure none of the neighbors were out and about. Not so lucky this go round. My neighbor Budrow, a large and humorous black man with a deep voice and manner of speaking that always makes him sound like he's eating a large greasy pork chop, had ventured out to sit on his porch. Piggy had the other neighbors barrel just off the side of the road and...well you know what he was doing. At first my husband and I just stood there trying to devise a way to get the can away from him safely. The can was down a mild embankment covered with saw briers and slicker than goose shit. No good footing was to be had and the last thing on earth either of us wanted was to lose our footing and fall victim to the sexual advances, hell let's be really honest...it would have been sexual assault, of this rampaging, oinking, squealing horror. So, no going down the embankment to get it. Finally I retrieved a large stick from the truck and from a safe distance I was able to push and prod the pig off enough for my husband to grab the horribly defiled can and sprint for the damn truck to safety. 

All the while this spectacle is unfolding I can hear my neighbor howling and snorting laughter on his front porch. Right in the middle of our trying to get the can my neighbor hollers out, "Terry and Loretta das da horniest pig ah eva did see."  After the had exhausted his laughter over that witticism he hollers out, "Dat dar pig coulda been a porn star." And when he says porn it comes out sounding like it rhymes with cone. It's like pawn star.

When he said that I nearly fell down in the middle of the road laughing. If anything had been coming I would have been run over. There was no getting control over myself at that point because I am a sucker for humor, even sometimes at my on expense, and I'm sorry but that shit was funny.

I told my neighbor I had his can and would bring it back once it had been de-pigged. By this time piggy had run off to destination unknown and we thought since we now had both cans we were done with the humiliation at least until next Friday.

Wrong!

The very next day my neighbor drives up in my yard and asks for his trash can back. He also mentions that the sneaky pig has stashed a barrel (one that we had been searching for for months) behind his house in a ditch. He kindly requested that we get the barrel while we were there in an effort to keep piggy out of his yard. So we back the truck down again. My husband gets out and goes over to first get the barrel. Luckily piggy was elsewhere at the time, probably having his way with a tree in the woods or some such thing, so there was no wrestling it away from him. As soon as my husband reaches for the barrel my neighbor hollers out in his 'I'm eating a delicious, greasy pork chop voice, "I woulda had brought dat back to you but after all dat love he been done made to it I ain't wanna touch it."

Now, I like the pig when he isn't on a sexual assault rampage of all inanimate objects not welded, nailed or cemented down, but I've had enough. Enough to the point where if the guy who is supposed to come and relieve me of this terrible burden doesn't hurry, piggy is likely to meet with an unhappy end. 

I've always heard that vietnamese pot bellied pigs aren't good to eat. But as a friend so poignantly asked me the other day when I relayed this story, "Well, what in the hell do the Vietnamese do with them?"

Friday, October 07, 2011

When bullies get bullied

I've just returned from my daughter's school where web had a very lively discussion with the offending teacher from yesterday. Up front I will say that I intended to piss her off so I could see how she would react and then measure how her reaction coincided with my daughters description of how she acts in class. And, wouldn't you just know it....she acted just like my daughter said she would. Beautiful!

When we first got there the assistant principal said right off the bat that this teacher had received some emails asking for permission to use the restroom and that she, the teacher, felt it was harassment. I just nodded my head. I don't think it constitutes harassment. If you work in government or for government in some way, in this case she is a teacher and therefore a state employee, and you do something that outrages the public then they are perfectly within their rights to let you know about it. Her email address is public.

But anyway the asst. Principal said that his discussion with her had gone well and that she was sorry and so forth and so on. He said that, much to his surprise, she had even indicated a willingness to apologize to my daughter in front of the class. Her willingness to apologize implies guilt in my eyes. I told him that was fine but that I still wanted to have a chat with her. Then he invited her in. And things got complicated. Quick.

I don't remember exactly what I said first. I believe I asked her to explain to me why she felt the need to make such a big deal out of a request to use the restroom. I told her I could maybe understand her reaction if there was a history of my daughter abusing bathroom privileges. There isn't. And even if there was it would not excuse the teacher's behavior. Something to put her on the defensive for sure. Could have been the fact that I went in with the intent to handle things like a prosecutor. I deposed the defendant. Before the meeting I had my daughter write down everything she remembered from yesterday. I then proceeded to go down the list and ask the teacher if she had said those things.

"Did you tell my daughter that there is no way she had to use the restroom right after the bell rang but not before? If so, then explain how you are more attuned to her biological functions than she is?"

I asked her, "After my daughter returned from the restroom did you ask her in front of everyone if she knew how to use the bathroom?"

I asked her if after my daughter returned from the restroom and was obviously in the throes of a panic attack did she check on her or ask if she needed the nurse. She claims she did. My daughter says differently.

She denied saying any of that. Just flat denied it. Which is exactly what I expected. But she wasn't convincing.

At one point I asked her that after my daughter returned from the restroom did my daughter inform her that there should be an email in her box concerning restroom breaks? She said yes. I asked her if she then checked her email to confirm that and she said yes. I asked her if she, after reading the email, apologized to my daughter for her conduct and she said yes.

My daughter said no, that what actually happened was that the teacher subjected her to further ridicule in front of the class and even kept her after class to lecture her some more. Later on I brought the issue of the email up again and the teacher completely changed her story and denied that my daughter ever said anything about a possible email from the nurse. I reminded her that only a few minutes before she had answered yes to those questions. She denied ever answering yes.

Now, I may or may not have a recording of the entire exchange :) Plus, she said all of that in front of a witness.

I brought up previous incidents that my daughter has shared with me involving this teacher. Namely her propensity to invade personal space and take the liberty of touching my daughter. She likes to put her hand on the student's shoulders and squeeze. I explained that my daughter does not like to be touched if she hasn't invited anyone to touch her. Further, I told her that I see that form of touch as intimidation because it implies that someone else has physical power over your person. I informed her that she is never again to lay one finger on my daughter. She seemed very offended and put off and said, "Well I can promise you
that I will never touch her again!"

"Good then we understand each other," I said.

I then mentioned what my daughter told me a few weeks ago about an altercation she had with this teacher regarding an admission slip. After a student is absent, in order to get back into class, they have to have an admission slip from the office. The excuse for the absence had not made it to the office yet and my daughter thought it had to be there in order to be given an admission slip. When she tried to explain this to the teacher the teacher started her usual routine of ridicule and humiliation in front of the class.

When I asked the teacher if this happened she denied ridiculing my daughter and then immediately contradicted herself by saying out loud and in front of me, "I asked her how she ever made it to 9th grade without knowing what an admission slip is."

For the record my daughter is an honor student and unless it has changed very recently turning in admission slips has nothing to do with whether or not a student passes to the next grade.

Then I said, "And you don't think saying something like that in that manner and tone in front of the whole class is ridiculing or humiliating...condescending maybe? Hateful?"

She didn't. I opined that we obviously have very different views on what constitutes being ridiculing, humiliating, rude and hateful. It was beautiful for her to just come right out and be herself. It was exactly what I wanted her to do. Show her true colors.

Basically she claimed my daughter was rude and hateful and was lying about everything and that she herself was an unsoiled angel in all of this. I told her that I don't buy that because, as far as teachers go, I never get complaints about my daughter, that all I ever get is praise about how polite she is, how helpful she is, how mature she is, what a joy she is to have in class etc....

"Well she was rude to me," she said.

My daughter said, "I wasn't rude to you. I just asked for permission to go to the restroom and you blew up at me in front of the whole class."

Then this crazy whack job all of a sudden said to my daughter "I can still write you up right now!"

And boy howdy that did not go over well with me. I looked at her and said, "You do that but let me remind you that teachers no longer have tenure in Alabama."

She said, "Are you threatening me?" (Well, duh?)

My daughter piped up and said, "Well you just threatened me."

I couldn't believe the teacher was foolish enough to threaten my daughter with a write up a day after the fact and while we were sitting in the office discussing the teachers hateful nature and bullying ways. It was her final attempt to hang on to her imaginary authority. And it was a colossal mistake.

I said, "You can take it however you like...I'm merely pointing out the fact that you no longer have tenure and you'd do well to remember it."

At this point the assistant principal saw that there would be no resolution. He asked me what I wanted to do and I told him that I wished to file a formal complaint and that I was prepared to take it to the top if the education food chain. He again mentioned that the teacher had offered to apologize in front of the class and did we still want that. Before I could say anything my daughter spoke up and said, "I don't want her apology because it wouldn't be sincere." I concurred and stated that her speaking some empty words would not prevent this from happening again. At the point the teacher got up and stormed out. It was hard to keep from giggling...but somehow I managed it.

During further discussion with the assistant principal he pointed out that I hadn't really been nice and had been more than a little provocative. I admitted to as much. My whole intention was to push the teachers buttons and see how she would react. And she did just what I thought she would. Fell right into my trap.

As we got up to leave he asked my daughter if she was checking in. I told him that she would not be checking in (she was very upset) and that she also wouldn't be marching with the band tonight, mainly for medical reasons. I said we would go around to the band room and let the instructor know and the assistant principal said, "Mrs. Nall after that confrontation I think it would be unwise for me to allow you to go anywhere on campus unsupervised." I found that highly amusing.

I held up my hands and said, "I am unarmed except for my tongue." But, in the end, I accepted his offer to inform the band instructor that my daughter would not be there tonight.

Now on Monday I have to go back to the school and start the formal complaint process. This isn't over. And while it may sound odd to some of you I must admit that I had more fun today than I've had in months. There is nothing quite as satisfying and getting to bully a bully. There is nothing like making someone lose their composure like I made that teacher lose hers. I really should have gone to law school.