Saturday, January 30, 2010

R.I.P. Daniel Mingo

Daniel Mingo, 25, MURDERED by Mobile Police

I think I am going to have to stop reading the paper. Every time I do so I find a story about another person murdered by police. This one in Mobile is enough to make you hate every cop you see, much more than you already do.

By Katherine Sayre
January 30, 2010, 6:33AM
BREAKING icon.jpgMOBILE, Ala. -- A Mobile man who, according to a lawsuit, was severely beaten and shocked with a Taser by Mobile police last week, died Thursday after being taken off life support, authorities said.

Daniel Mingo, 25, filed a lawsuit against the city of Mobile and the Mobile Police Department, claiming police beat him after he ran away from officers on Halls Mill Road on Jan. 21.

The lawsuit also claims that officers knew Mingo had mental disabilities and was a patient at local mental health facility.

The city has said police acted appropriately and were waiting the results of an autopsy.


That's what they always say, "Police acted appropriately" when they know it is a damn lie. Why does the city cover for these MURDERERS?

After the altercation with police, Mingo was left brain dead and breathing on a ventilator at Mobile Infirmary Medical Center, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in Mobile County Circuit Court.

He suffered a broken nose, blunt force trauma to the head and neck and several cardiac arrests, according to the lawsuit.

Mobile police have said that officers saw Mingo's car swerving across the road just after 11:30 a.m. and pulled him over.

An officer saw Mingo put something in his mouth, police said, and Mingo ran away, shedding his clothes as he fled. He was later found in a nearby shed.

According to the lawsuit, police beat him, "stripped him of his clothes," "drug him through asphalt gravel and glass," and shocked him with a Taser several times.


However, the hospital says no drugs or alcohol were found in Mr. Mingo's system.

According to the lawsuit, Mingo wasn't in possession of illegal drugs, and "had committed no crime other than a possible alleged traffic violation."

Dearman said tests at the hospital immediately after the incident confirmed that Mingo had no drugs or alcohol in his body. The cause of death was respiratory failure, he said.

Mingo had "nonviolent mental disabilities" and police were told about those disabilities by his mother - who called police dispatch - and a person in his car, according to the lawsuit.

Dearman said he had learning disabilities and suffered from paranoia.

After being stopped, Mingo ran away because he was "fearing for his life," the lawsuit states.

Officers who eventually caught Mingo had "harassed and threatened" him in the past for refusing to become a drug informant, according to the lawsuit.


At the hospital, nurses spent more than two hours removing glass, gravel and other debris from open wounds, according to the lawsuit, and Mingo suffered from severe brain swelling.


Mr. Mingo died after being removed from life support at 3:30 pm Thursday.

I am so angry right now I am at a loss for words. The poor family of this young man must be absolutely devastated. I know I would be. I also know this. Cops are rarely held accountable by the courts for murders they commit. If this were my kid I would straight up go sniper on the mother fuckers involved. And I wouldn't go for the cops themselves right away. I'd go for their loved ones....so they could know first hand the unspeakable pain their actions caused and could feel just exactly what it is like to lose a child. Death would be much too painless and over much too quickly for the cops themselves. They need to suffer.

Friday, January 29, 2010

I'm surrounded by Idiots!

Yeah, yeah I know...I shouldn't be surprised. After all I have lived here all my life and should be used to willful ignorance and prideful stupidity. But, I never get used to it. It's almost like the logical thought process has been bred out of the gene pool in nearly all of Alabama.

On the local news forum at the Alex City Outlook some dufus is trying to blame the fire that killed the four young Mississippi college students on the fact that the person who accidentally started the fire was in this country on an expired visa. Their take...Well you'll just have to read the garbage for yourself.

A really dumb letter in the Anniston Star

A lady named Tonya Curvin wrote a response to ACC member and patient Chris Butts letter about medical marijuana that appeared in the Star a few weeks ago. It may be one of the dumbest things I have ever read. She suggests that terminally ill people and those suffering from severe, debilitating pain go to a counselor, a chiropractor, exercise and talk to the preacher instead of using medication of any kind to ease their pain.

What a nut!

She uses the same tired, old, unfounded propaganda to try and back up her claims.

Drugs lead to more drugs

However, her ignorance sparked a really great conversation. I encourage all of you to check it out, join in the discussion and write a letter to the Anniston Star in response.

speakout@annistonstar.com

Birmingham School Girls drug tested, suspended over Altoids

According to a story in the BHAM News three girls in middle school each ate an Altoid breath mint, got rushed to the hospital and drug tested, passed the drug test and were still suspended.

Zero tolerance policies, for all practical purposes, outlaw the use of common sense by school teachers and administrators. They never should have been instituted in the first place, because they are fucking retarded, and it is long past time we got rid of them.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nodine passes drug test, polygraph in marijuana investigation

Lagniappe

According to The Lagniappe in Mobile, County Commissioner Stephen Nodine has passed both a drug test and a polygraph during an investigation into marijuana that was supposedly found in his vehicle by a mechanic at the county garage.

I've said all along that the whole episode reeks of a set up. A county Commissioner would not be very likely to ride around with marijuana stuffed inside a pill bottle in a county issued vehicle. They would also be unlikely to roll joints inside said vehicle and spill enough marijuana on the floor board that anyone would notice it. I also find it most strange that there was already a cop at the county garage when this marijuana was supposedly found. How fucking convenient! Now, who has the most unrestricted access to marijuana and all other illicit substances in the entire universe? Why, police officers and sheriff's deputies, of course.

If I remember correctly Mr. Nodine had some harsh words for the police department in Mobile not too long ago. Coincidence that the cop just happened to be at the garage when this happened? I think not.

That being said...if marijuana were legal then people like Mr. Nodine would no longer have to fear being set up by vindictive assholes out for revenge and would not have to fear their lives and careers being over because someone planted a small amount of green leafy plant material on them.

Isn't it just hard to fathom that ones whole life can be wiped out in an instant over a plant that grows naturally on this earth and has never killed anyone?

NO MORE DRUG WAR!!!

King Cockfight is KILLIN' me this morning

King Cockfight is funny as hell! I've been holding my sides for the last half hour. And anyone who despises Senator Hank Erwin as much as I do just has to be a great person.

If you haven't visited lately let me suggest that you drop by today and be sure to check out the following posts

Speaking of Hank (Erwin)

And

Hanksturbation: Legal Language

And

Make-Believe

Long live King Cockfight!

Alabama Guard Engages in War on Students

So, I came across this story last night and, after I finished puking and ranting I decided to wait until I had calmed down to post about it. I still haven't calmed down, but I am going to post anyway. This is nothing but a "War on Kids". The military has NO BUSINESS engaged in talking to kids about drugs. They are the MILITARY!!!! HELLO!!!! Plus they have the stupidest mascot I have ever seen. Reddy Ribbon (pictured below) looks more like a menstruating Gumby...except well Gumby was cool.



Alabama Guard active in fight against drugs

The Alabama National Guard is fighting the war on drugs -- in the air and in the classroom.

While the Guard's counter-drug program helps law enforcement agencies locate and destroy drugs, the Guard also is going into schools to help reduce the demand for these drugs by educating young people about the dangers of using them.

First Lt. Michael Mitchell oversees the criminal analyst section. Criminal analysts are guardsmen who are put on active duty status and attached to local, state or federal law enforcement agencies.

They support the agency's counter-narcotic programs or offer technical support, at no cost to the agency.

"That frees up an agent who can be on the street conducting active operations," Mitchell said.

The Guard's counter-drug office also supplies support in the sky.

Capt. Patrick Ferguson leads the Security and Support section, which flies OH-58 Kiowa helicopters and the recently added UH-72 Lakota helicopters to help law enforcement agencies locate drugs and supports security missions for homeland defense.


And despite the "War on Students" according to the annual Pride Survey Alabama teens are doing more drugs than teens anywhere in the nation....even than in states where marijuana is legal for medical purposes and in states where the penalties are much less severe.

I had an excellent editorial published about that very subject in the Birmingham News on Sunday.

Aside from marijuana, what drug could the guard possibly be looking for from the air? Crack and meth do not grow on trees. So, their 'war on drugs' is really a war on people who smoke marijuana, the least harmful of all psychoactive substances legal or illicit.

There are better ways to educate kids about the dangers of drugs (of all kinds) than turning the military loose on them. I guess this really is a war.

Medical Marujuana Valuable Tool

Penny Vaughan, who is web coordinator for Alabamians for Compassionate Care, as well as a patient had an excellent letter published in today's Montgomery Advertiser about medical marijuana.

Medical Marijuana a Valuable Tool

Medical marijuana is a popular issue. A recent ABC/Washington Post poll shows that 81 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana for medical use, and state medical marijuana initiatives have been repeatedly endorsed by voters.

Studies have shown that marijuana relieves debilitating symptoms including nausea, appetite loss and severe pain. I have been a chronic pain patient since 2002, following a failed back surgery.

In my case the doctors prescribed fentynal and hydrocodone, both of which are very addictive opiates that have serious adverse side effects and may even cause death. Many otherwise illegal substances, such as Oxycontin and morphine, can legally be prescribed by doctors. The same should be true for marijuana, which is less dangerous and addictive than any of these substances.

Medical marijuana would be a wonderful alternative for someone like me. However, since it is not yet legal in my home state of Alabama, I must become a criminal if I choose to use cannabis to alleviate my symptoms.

I strongly believe the decision of what medicine is best for an illness should be left up to the patient and the doctor, not to police and prosecutors. Our state should use tax money to prosecute violent crime, not punish medical marijuana users.

The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act is set to go before the House of Representatives this session. This bill will protect physicians who recommend medical marijuana (cannabis) for their patients, and protect patients who use it.

Penny Vaughan
Lineville

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb's State of the Judiciary Address

The following is Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb's address to the joint session on the State of the Judiciary on Jan. 26, 2010. I will post more on my thoughts on it later.

video

My Apologies to Rep. Steve Hurst

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my coverage of Rep. Steve Hurst's accident near my home a few weeks ago and I have decided that I owe him an apology. I have called him and personally apologized over the phone, but the readers of my blog need to know that I have apologized as well.

Since there was no way to prove whether or not Rep. Hurst was drinking I should never have stated that he was. I did hear, from what I consider a reliable source, that alcohol was involved, but, for all I know that reliable source could have a vendetta against Rep. Hurst and could have been willing to put out false information regarding his condition at the time of the accident.

Sometimes, when I see a chance to jump on a member of the legislature I take it. The majority of them are so corrupt one could believe almost anything about them. They are the people we love to hate in Alabama. But, from here on out I won't make serious trouble for any member of the legislature unless I know for absolute certain that my information is irrefutable. That's a promise.

Now, Rep.Steve Hurst has a very good bill up for consideration this session that I would like all of my readers to get behind and push very hard for. It is HB253 and it would mandate that any public agency testing blood or urine samples to determine if an individual is in compliance with the terms of his or her parole or probation to retain the samples for a certain period of time to allow independent testing at the cost to the individual when the samples test positive.

Currently if someone on probation or parole fails a urinalysis they are immediately arrested and taken back to jail or prison and the urine sample is destroyed thereby leaving them no chance to have an independent analysis done. Plus, there are hundreds of over the counter medications and prescription medications that are non-narcotic that can cause a false positive on a drug screen. According to Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb in her address to the joint session yesterday 1,600 people are in an Alabama prison for the technical violation of a dirty urine. That costs Alabama taxpayers $24,365,800 a year just to house in prison. Wonder how many of those 1,600 are there because of a false positive on a drug screen?

This bill would clear those 1,600 out of prison and provide a safeguard for everyone else on probation or parole from immediately returning to prison because of a dirty urine.

I am not sure when this bill will be coming up in the Judiciary Committee but Rep. Hurst said he would let me know as soon as he got a better handle on the time frame. I hope that all of my readers will help to get this bill passed. It's a really good one.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Very Bad Bill....KILL IT!



Alabama Legislature bill would allow civil damages against convicted drug dealers

Rep. Blaine Galliher (R- Rainbow City) has introduced a bill in the legislature HB358 that would allow for civil action to be taken against convicted drug dealers if a death by overdose is caused from the drugs they sold. However, according to the article Galliher says....

“I'm not trying to cause any harm for doctors who prescribe drugs illegally,” Galliher said. “This is for the persons who have been convicted of selling illegal drugs.”


So, Rep. Blaine Galliher wants the doctors who are ILLEGALLY prescribing drugs that make their way onto the streets and wind up in the hands of people like this young man to not be harmed by this bill??? Perhaps Mr. Galliher has a doctor prescribing drugs for him illegally? Sure wouldn't want to mess that up.

This is a ridiculous bill. No one made the guy take the pill. He bought it of his own free will, took it of his own free will. Maybe if drugs were legal then we could better educate people who might be considering using them to the real facts and dangers. But, since they are not we will just have more people dying that could have been saved if only they'd had the right information.

Are we going to start suing alcohol producers, too, because somebody got drunk, wrecked their car or maybe died of alcohol poisoning?

This is an issue of personal responsibility. Passing this law (which will be unenforceable because no one will be able to prove who got drugs from whom) won't stop people from selling, using, manufacturing, or transporting drugs. Not to mention that if the person has already been convicted of dealing drugs the state or feds have already stolen anything of value under the asset forfeiture laws.

I wish this family would realize that the government failed to save their sons life with current prohibitionist laws and adding another prohibitionist law to the mess we already have won't help others in the least. I am sorry for their loss but this is just silly and unproductive.

Section D of this bill is really interesting...It states


(d) A law enforcement officer who acts in furtherance of an official investigation or a person who acts at the direction or in cooperation with a law enforcement officer in an official investigation is not liable under this section.


Does that mean that a narc or undercover cop who sells drugs in furtherance of an official investigation, and those drugs kill whomever they were sold to, would not be liable for that death because they were breaking the law to enforce the law? BULLSHIT!

There is an excellent discussion of the bill happening here. Join in...

Ballot Access Bill

This Wednesday Jan. 26, 2010 HB142 the ballot access bill is coming up in the Constitution and Elections committee. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Cam Ward, would reduce by half the number of signatures a third party or independent candidate would have to collect in order to be placed on the ballot. We really need this bill in Alabama. The political system here is locked up by Democrats and Republicans and you see the mess we are in because of it. Fresh faces and new ideas are badly needed if Alabama is to ever move forward.

Please take a moment and write/call/visit the members of the members of the Constitution and Elections committee and ask them to support this bill. Everyone should have the right to participate in the political process and the Democrats and Republicans have no business making rules that cut everyone who is not a Democrat or Republican out of the process by demanding such an outrageous number of signatures for ballot access. They DO NOT OWN the political process....the people DO.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

J.D. Crowe is RUTHLESS...

And that's why I love him. Check out his latest masterpiece.....

Viewpoints: National Survey shows Drug War failing Alabama Teens

The following editorial, written by me, is in today's edition of the Birmingham News. Many thanks to Joey Kennedy at the News for getting this placed for me. Please write a response.

By Special to The Birmingham News
January 24, 2010, 5:33AM
By Loretta Nall


National Survey Shows Drug War Failing Alabama Teens

According to a recent Pride Survey, Alabama teens are more likely than teens in the rest of the country to have recently used drugs, especially marijuana. These survey results expose a truth that's becoming harder to hide: Alabama's war on drugs is failing our youths and our communities.

Our current approach to drug policy is a distortion of our priorities: We invest more to incarcerate people for nonviolent drug offenses than we invest to educate our children. Every year, our elected officials spend $132 million just to warehouse drug users in our prison system. That's $15,223 in tax money spent for every drug prisoner. However, we spend only about $9,000 per pupil for education. The disastrous consequences of this policy are evident as Alabama continually ranks near the bottom nationally in education.

But we rank at the top of the class in prison overcrowding and a broken criminal justice system. Alabama has the harshest punishments in the country for minor marijuana offenses, paralyzing our courts with a flood of marijuana offenders. Our prison system is notoriously overcrowded, in large part because of incarcerating people for nonviolent drug offenses. According to the Alabama Sentencing Commission, nearly 30 percent of our prison population is behind bars because of low-level drug offenses.

And yet, none of these disastrous drug policies are keeping drugs out of the hands of young people. In fact, Alabama teens are using more marijuana than teens who live in states where medical marijuana is legal and in states where the penalties for marijuana are much less severe. That's because prohibition makes it easier for any child who wants to experiment with drugs to acquire them.

Some argue that if we legalize marijuana, then kids everywhere will be able to get it. But that is the current reality in the illegal, unregulated market. On the black market, any kid who wants to experiment with drugs can obtain them. There are no well-lit storefronts with clerks to check ID, and drug dealers don't ask for ID. The very policies we enforce are putting our children in greater peril. As a parent, that deeply concerns me.

Even when Alabama's drug policies improve, we, as parents, will always want effective strategies to keep our kids safe. Unfortunately, the "Just say no" approach is not enough -- we've used that approach for nearly 30 years, and even today drug use by teens is on the rise.

One alternative approach, employed by parent-teacher organizations in other parts of the United States, is Safety 1st, a comprehensive, reality-based approach to teen drug use that encourages abstinence while acknowledging the fact that not all kids will listen to or follow the abstinence-based approach.

No parent wants her child to use drugs. We, as parents, want our kids to grow up safe, but they often experiment and do dumb things. When they do, we need them to be honest with us so we can keep them safe. It's OK to tell children to not do drugs, but we should also tell them: If you do, please don't drive home; call me so I can get you, or, if you use drugs, let's talk about it first so you can be as safe as possible.

That may sound crazy until one considers what happens to teens who use drugs in an unsafe manner. They die. That's why Safety 1st and other models that emphasize honesty are so important. (For more information on the Safety 1st model, please visit www.safety1st.org.)

It doesn't matter whether you love drugs, hate drugs or don't care about drugs at all, the drug war is a failure. It's time to take a new approach to drug policy in Alabama. Through educational campaigns, alcohol and tobacco consumption rates have declined among teens in Alabama without resorting to locking up everyone who uses alcohol or tobacco. We need an approach that focuses on health and safety and not on incarceration.

Marijuana needs to be legalized to better keep it out of the hands of children. The $132 million we spend annually to lock up nonviolent drug offenders, even though it does not prevent others from using drugs, could be redirected to education, where it is desperately needed. Some of the tax revenues generated from the sale of marijuana to adults could also be earmarked for education.

Marijuana will never be eradicated, no matter how many people we lock up or how many millions of dollars we waste year after year in pursuit of that unobtainable goal. Staying the course on this clearly failed policy can no longer be justified at the very high cost of our children's education and, sometimes, their lives.

Loretta Nall is an Alabama parent and director of Alabamians for Compassionate Care. E-mail: lorettanall@gmail.com

Friday, January 22, 2010

Good News! Good News!

I just spoke with a member of the House Judiciary Committee and I was informed that HB214 the bill that would allow those who have drug convictions to be eligible for food stamps and TANF passed overwhelmingly out of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. This is EXCELLENT news and a huge step in the right direction. Many, many thanks to all of you who wrote, called or visited the committee and urged them to pass this bill. GOOD JOB FOLKS!!

Also, Rep. Mac Gipson's bill HB194 which would allow the county sheriff in any Alabama county to stand down the feds at the county line also passed out of Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Again, thanks to those of you who wrote, called or visited on behalf of this bill.

I have to say that the House Judiciary Committee is off to a great start this session. Here's hoping they keep it up throughout the session.

Sen. Webb's Criminal Justice Act Passes Unanimously!

Stop The Drug War

The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved Sen. Jim Webb's (D-VA) National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009 on a unanimous voice vote Thursday. The bill would create a commission to conduct a top-to-bottom evaluation of the country's criminal justice system and offer recommendations for reform at every level.

Webb has been a harsh critic of national drug policies, and has led at least two hearings on the costs associated with current policies. The bill could create an opportunity to shine a harsh light on the negative consequences of the current policies.

An amendment offered by Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and accepted by the committee stripped out the original bill's lengthy list of negative drug policy "findings" and replaced them with blander language, but left the bill's purpose intact.

Passage out of committee was applauded by sentencing reform advocates. "Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) commends the Senate Judiciary Committee for recognizing that the American criminal justice system needs an overhaul," said Jennifer Seltzer Stitt, FAMM federal legislative affairs director. "Any comprehensive reform of our criminal justice system must include eliminating mandatory minimum laws. One-size-fits-all mandatory drug sentencing laws enacted in the 1980s are responsible for filling prisons with low-level, nonviolent drug offenders, wasting millions in taxpayer dollars, and destroying public trust in the criminal justice system. The National Criminal Justice Commission can help right these wrongs by recommending mandatory sentencing reform."

The bill's prospects are uncertain. It faces a crowded calendar in the Senate and has made little progress in the House.

Into the minds of future cops 2

This is the second installment of comments made by my classmates on the Criminal Justice discussion board.

This weeks question is....

Which of the following would you prefer to work for? ATF, IRS, DEA, FBI, Secret Service
Explain your answer.


I would like to work for the DEA. I would like the thrill of knowing my life is on the line and that it could end within any moment because I am doing something to help the community be a safter place. Also, who wouldn't love being able to tear peoples houses inside out and it be legal? That is the one thing I plan on going into after college.


CHRIST!!

And you know I just had to respond to that one.

I wouldn't love to tear people's houses inside out and have it be legal. It's that mentality that makes people mistrust law enforcement. Why, do you think you would find invading people's homes and destroying their property enjoyable? Would you enjoy it if someone (legal or otherwise) did that to you? You sound more like a burglar wanna be than someone who wants to protect and serve.


I chose Secret Service because they are the least offensive group of those listed that I could work for.

Medical Marijuana in Alabama

ACC member and medical marijuana patient Chris Butts had an excellent letter published in The Anniston Star today. Way to go Chris!!

Medical Marijuana in Alabama

Medical marijuana in Alabama

Again this year, a medical marijuana bill (HB 207) is before the Alabama Legislature. Year in and year out, it seems we have a bill introduced that could drastically transform Alabama patients' lives.

That bill, in turn, usually gets moved to committee, where it sits ignored throughout the session and dies. There are now 14 states, as well as the District of Columbia (near 30 percent of the country), that have adopted medical marijuana legislation and given their residents the option of using marijuana as medicine under their doctor's care.

People hear the word "marijuana" and immediately get images in their head of poorly groomed individuals wearing tie-dyed T-shirts dancing in a circle and smoking pot. Let me assure you that is not what this bill is about.

As a chronic pain sufferer, I am prescribed the legal equivalent of heroin (Oxycontin). This product is evil and very addictive and comes with a multitude of possible side effects, including death. Marijuana has proven to be a safe and useful alternative to my prescribed medications, and the side effects are getting hungry, a dry mouth, feeling well and sometimes getting a little sleepy. Those are side effects I can live with.

No matter where you stand on the issue of "drugs," it makes no sense to allow Alabamians who could benefit from this medicine to suffer or become addicted to the narcotic pain prescriptions being handed out freely.

Chris Butts
Cullman

Goddamn Idiot!

TSA screener plants white powder on passenger....as a JOKE!

A joke.....This happened at the same airport where the underwear bomber had been just days before. I might potentially rip someones head off for doing something like that to me. That shit ain't funny! How fucking dumb can you be? And where do they find these jackasses that man TSA security checkpoints? The joke shop? They round them up off the street? I've always suspected the latter. I hope this young lady sues the absolute dog shit out of TSA and wins.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Barnyard Update



Got this shot yesterday while everyone was out playing. We've recently started letting the pig out to play and hunt for tasty things to eat. He stays right in the yard and woods and doesn't seem at all interested in running away. There is some serious testosterone competition between the pig and the buck goat, Ervine. The pig is madly in love with the doe goat, Fig, and chases her around the yard. Ervine, being the boyfriend of Fig, cares for that not at all. So, he and the pig get into scuffles. The pig starts most of it by running up to Ervine and having a grunting, squealing fit. Ervine lowers his horns to butt the pig but the pig bites Ervine's horns. Ervine did get in a few good licks the other day though. He won't be able to handle piggy much longer though, as piggy will get much bigger than an African Pygmy goat. Hopefully they will get things worked out. Ervine may be small but those damn horns are serious. Right now I have a huge bruise stretching from the top of my left calf nearly to my heel where Ervine got me the other day at feeding time.

Anyway, the pig is a super neat animal. He loves his belly scratched and he is just so damn cute.

Major Wardrobe Malfunction

A UK Olympian getting ready to go sledding gets a blast of cold air.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

SB153 Homebrew Bill

Correction: This is not a Free the Hops bill. It is being pushed by a network of Alabama Home Brewers. More information can be found at Auburn Brew Club

Here is another bill that I will be supporting this year and that I hope my readers in Alabama will support as well. SB153 is being pushed by a network of Alabama home brewers and sponsored by Senator Larry Dixon (who knew he could do anything progressive that allows more personal freedom?) This bill would allow anyone over the age of 21 to brew beer, mead, cider and wine for personal use. It does not allow for home brew to be sold.

I hope it passes. I've always wanted to try my hand at wine making. I know I am damn good at wine drinking :)


High Support for Medical Marijuana

ABC News has a new poll out which shows that 81% of those surveyed support medical marijuana and nearly 50% support decrim.

READ IT HERE and then send it to your elected officials in Montgomery.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Contact Judiciary Committee on HB214

I've just sent the following letter to the members of the House Judiciary Committee regarding HB214, a bill that would allow those convicted of drug felonies to be eligible for food stamps and TANF when they get out of prison. Please take a moment and send one of your own or copy and paste mine if you like. Email addresses are below the letter. This bill is coming up in the Judiciary Committee tomorrow (Wednesday) so please write TODAY!

Dear Member of the House Judiciary Committee,

I am writing today to ask for your support of HB214, which would allow those convicted of felony drug charges, who have served their time in prison, to be eligible for food stamps and TANF. Currently, under federal law, those convicted of drug offenses are the only persons denied food assistance. Child molesters, murderers and rapists are eligible for food assistance upon release from prison but not someone whose crime involved taking a substance and not harming anyone else in the process.

When the laws keep people starving it raises the chances that they will resort to crime to in order to simply survive. If that happens they will go back to prison where it will cost taxpayers far more to house them for one year than it would have if we had enabled them to eat to begin with. This law also adversely affects children. Children have no control over what their parents might do, but under current law, they too, are denied food if their parents can't get state assistance while they struggle with reentry and readjustment to society after spending time in prison.

Please do the compassionate, humane, Christian thing and pass this bill.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.

Loretta Nall


camjulward@aol.com
cengland1@hotmail.com,
jamie.ison@alhouse.org,
howard.sanderford@alhouse.org,
yusuf.salaam@alhouse.org,
spencer.collier@alhouse.org,
marcel.black@alhouse.org,
laura.hall@alhouse.org,
paul.demarco@alhouse.org,
priscilla.dunn@alhouse.org,
Tammy.Irons@alhouse.org,
marc.keahey@alhouse.org,
steve.mcmillan@alhouse.org,
charles.newton@alhouse.org,
john.robinson@alhouse.org


Bills to watch this session

I've spent some time going through the bills that have been introduced this legislative session. Here is my current list of bills, both good and bad, to either support or oppose.

Bills to Support

HB207 The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act would protect doctors who prescribe and patients who use medical marijuana for debilitating medical conditions. The bill number will change later on when we introduce a slightly different bill that HB207. However, now is the time to begin calling and visiting your elected official about this bill.

HB142 The Ballot Access Bill would reduce by half the number of signatures a third party or independent candidate would have to collect in order to be placed on the ballot. We really need this bill in Alabama. The political system here is locked up by Democrats and Republicans and you see the mess we are in because of it. Fresh faces and new ideas are badly needed if Alabama is to ever move forward.

HB8 is a bill that would require the clerk to record and preserve all legislative sessions as well as committee meetings. Many people are not able to listen to the legislature in session via the internet because the time conflicts with their work/school and recording the sessions and committee meetings would enable them to listen to their tax dollars at work when they have time. Plus, with some of the crazy things said by our elected officials it makes for great comic relief. HB12 is the companion bill in the Senate.

HB17 would prevent someone who serves as an officer of the court from serving in the legislature.

HB54 would grant subpoena power to the Ethics Commission. They are pretty much neutered without it.

HB61Under existing law, the personal representative of a deceased person whose death was caused by a state employee or official may file a claim with the Board of Adjustment for damages resulting from the wrongful act, omission, or negligence which caused the death of the decedent. This bill would provide that the estate of a person whose death was caused by the wrongful act, omission, or negligence of a state employee or official would receive monetary compensation from the State of Alabama with no more than 25 percent of the compensation to be used to pay the attorney's fees for representing the decedent.

HB81 This is the court records expungement bill that would allow those arrested but never convicted to have their record expunged from the courts.

HB118This bill would require lobbyists to disclose all expenditures on public officials, and require those persons who lobby the Executive Branch to register with the Ethics Commission.

HB152 Under existing law, when the Board of Pardons and Paroles revokes parole, it may require the parolee to serve all or a portion of the original term to which the parolee was sentenced. This bill would give the board that authority only when the revocation is based on the commission of a new crime and would provide that if the revocation was not based on the commission of a new crime, including non-serious traffic offenses, the board could require the parolee to serve 90 days in prison, after which parole would automatically be reinstated.

HB194 This is a fascinating bill. It would give the Sheriff of any Alabama county the right to stand down the feds and deny them entry into said county. I thought this was already the case. It may sound scary to some but think about it like this. Say we pass medical marijuana legislation here in Alabama and later on there is an administration change in Washington DC and the new President wants to start sending the feds after medical marijuana patients again...this bill would enable the sheriff to deny the feds entry.

HB209 This is the term limits bill. It would mandate that a member of the Alabama House or Senate only be allowed to serve 3 terms. Currently a house or senate member can serve as long as they continue to be elected...which is sometimes for life. This is another reason Alabama is in such horrible shape. There are never any fresh ideas if the same people are elected time after time after time.

HB232 This bill would make the Board of Pardons and Paroles more diverse.

HB253 which is being sponsored by Rep. Steve Hurst would mandate that any public agency testing blood or urine samples to determine if an individual is in compliance with the terms of his or her parole or probation to retain the samples for a certain period of time to allow independent testing at the cost to the individual when the samples test positive.

HB201 Initiative and Referendum. This bill would make Alabama the 25th Initiative and Referendum state. That means instead of depending on our do nothing legislature and hug lobbying firms to direct said legislature we could gather signatures and put issues directly on the ballot bypassing the legislature altogether.

Bills to Oppose

HB39 would require that no abortion can be performed without voluntary and informed consent of the woman. Basically that means any woman going in to have an abortion would be subjected to images of aborted fetuses. It is being sponsored by Dr. Robert Bentley who is running for the Republican nomination for Governor.

HB40 This bill would outlaw abortion except in cases of rape, incest or the mothers life is in danger. It is also being sponsored by Robert Bentley of Tuscaloosa who is vying for the Republican nomination for Governor. He's also a dermatologist and not a gynecologist and since he can never give birth to a child he has no business dictating to women whether or not they have to continue with a pregnancy. Why do Republicans always want to stick their noses up the asses of women....literally?

HB41 Another bill by Bentley which would allow health care providers and pharmacists to refuse a medical procedure or medication based on their delusional religious beliefs. What that means is that is a condom fails or some other method of birth control fails a woman could be denied Plan B to prevent pregnancy or RU486 to abort very early in the pregnancy. Bentley is far too concerned with the female reproductive system. He should mind his own business.

HB45 would prevent publicly funded education institutions from providing same sex benefits to employees. It's a dumb, mean spirited bill based on homophobic stupidity. It reminds me of the military right after the second Iraq invasion. They had only a handful elite members of the military who could speak Arabic and the threw one (or more)of them out of the military because he/she was gay. Brilliant, huh? If an instructor does an excellent job at educating their students then we want to do everything we can to retain them in Alabama where we have some of the worst, if not the worst, education system in America.
SB247 is the companion bill in the Senate.

HB247 would allow other states to access your prescription information through the Alabama Prescription Monitoring Database. I oppose the database period and certainly oppose those outside the state to monitor what medications I might be taking. Whatever happened to medical privacy? SB151 is the Senate Companion Bill

SB57 would outlaw salvia. This bill is again being sponsored by Hank "God sent Katrina to kill the niggers and gamblers in New Orleans" Erwin. He is also running for Lt. Governor. I can't wait to see him get trounced and hopefully leave Alabama politics forever. He is such an embarrassing dinosaur.

These are just the bills I have had a chance to look at. There will be others as the session goes on and more bills are introduced.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In the Interest of the People

Tonight between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m. I will be a call in guest on Larry Barton's 'In the Interest of the People' to discuss the Rep. Steve Hurst story. The show recently went statewide. In the Alexander City area it can be viewed on Charter cable Ch. 80 ACN Local Programming. The show begins at 7 p.m. and the first guest will be Congressman Mike Rogers.


Euthanize me now!



Kay Ivey campaigns at gun show

My readers know I don't like Kay Ivey because of an incident that happened a few years ago involving my son and her insistence on cramming GAWD down his throat. And, there is virtually NO CHANCE Ivey will win the Republican nomination for Governor of Alabama and go on to win the race. PACT took care of that.

However, since she has put herself out there we might as well take shots at her while we can. I don't disagree with Ivey on the Second Amendment....but her folksy gibberish makes me want to vomit.

From the article...


“I do carry a gun, and I dang sure know how to use it.”

Asked about her official position on gun control, Ivey said there should be no doubts about where she stands on that matter.

“Oh honey, we’ve got to protect the rights of our folks to hold and bear arms and be responsible in doing it,” said Ivey, who showed up in a leather jacket with a colorful National Rifle Association patch on it. “We’ve got to protect ourselves."


Just euthanize me now...I can't take much more of the bullshit known as politics in Alabama.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Teen Drug Use; Educate, not incarcerate

Fellow drug policy activist Gil down in South AL had a magnificent LTE published in the BHAM News on Jan.2 that I missed. Here it is.


Teen drug use: Education, not incarceration

The recent article on teen drug use in Alabama highlights the failure of our drug policy to reduce teen drug use. As our experience with tobacco has shown, education works better than putting people in jail.

The News interviewed Carissa Anthony, who blames medical marijuana, saying "the legalization of marijuana in some states for medical use may be breaking down psychological barriers and making marijuana appear less harmful than it is."

How does Anthony explain the lower rate of teen use in these states? Their laws are making our kids more likely to use marijuana while at the same time making their kids less likely. This is a silly assertion.

Overall use and teen use are lower in countries that have legalized (The Netherlands) or fully decriminalized marijuana (Portugal, Spain) than in the United States.

How harmful does Anthony think marijuana is? The Drug Enforcement Administration's own administrative law judge concluded marijuana is "one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man" and is "safer than many of the foods we commonly eat."

To reduce teen use and overall use, we must educate not incarcerate.

Gil Joiner
Gulf Shores


Friday, January 15, 2010

Two ACC Patients Tell Their Story



Couple Discuss Reasons for Medical Marijuana Use

Many thanks for Chris and DJ for being brave enough to do this interview with WAFF 48 in Huntsville. Also, many thanks to Robyn McGlohn for doing this story in such a respectful way.

Couple discusses reasons for medical marijuana use
Posted: Jan 14, 2010 5:32 PM CST Updated: Jan 15, 2010 5:37 AM CST

By Robyn McGlohn - bio | email

CULLMAN, AL (WAFF) - The debate over medical marijuana use will soon be a topic on Alabama lawmaker's agenda. A state lawmaker from Birmingham is again pushing a medical marijuana bill.

Chris and DJ Butts are both users of medical marijuana because they both suffer from illnesses. They say it dulls the pain, and it's the healthy alternative to what they are prescribed.

Chris and DJ have been married for 12 years and have three children. They tell their story in hopes House Bill 207 passes through the 2010 Legislative session.

The bill, sponsored by representative Patricia Todd of Birmingham, wants Alabama to recognize certain illnesses, like cancer, anoxeria, and chronic arthritis, are alleviated by the effects of marijuana.

The bill also states if passed, doctors will not be penalized for discussing or recommending the use, and those who qualify will be allowed to grow no more than 12 marijuana plants.

But for the last 4 years it's failed in the legislature. Which means the Butts do what they can to get it.

"Right now it's a drug deal. It's a street transaction just like anything else," said DJ.

They know their actions are not right, feel the choice to smoke is a better alternative than what their doctor's prescribe.

"First of all there are about 535 pills per month that I'm supposed to put into my body, opiate based," said Chris.

"It's a snowball, and before you know it you're taking 10 pills a day and most of them are to counteract symptoms from the original pill," said DJ.

The Butts want to make it clear they're not hippies or pot heads looking for a good time. They belong to a church and they say they're Alabama citizens who want the right to make their own decisions with their doctors.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

A bill to support this session

Here is an excellent bill that is up for consideration during this legislative session. Please get involved to ensure its passage.

HB214 sponsored by Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa).

HB214 would allow the state to opt out of the federal law which dictates that those convicted of felony drug offenses are not eligible for food assistance from the state government.

I've have wanted to see a bill that addresses this issue for years. Drug offenders are the only citizens that this law applies to. A child molester can get food stamps as can a murderer etc..Drug offenders also aren't eligible for public housing.

When the laws keep people homeless and starving it raises the chances that they will resort to crime to in order to simply survive.

You know for a former prosecutor, Rep. England is turning out to be an excellent legislator! Please keep up the amazing work Rep. England!

I'm just now beginning to sort through the massive amount of legislation for this session. Stay tuned for a post detailing the good stuff to support and the bad stuff to kill.

Ok...That's effin CREEPY!!

Lamb in Turkey born with Human Face



I'm not sure what to make of this other than it is creepy as hell. Look at that thing! How does such a thing happen? I hope there will be some scientific studies carried out on the carcass.



Into the minds of future Alabama cops

So, this semester I am taking Introduction to Law Enforcement...just for shits and giggles. It is an online course, which allows me to see the answers to questions that my other classmates give. The following is directly from the minds of those who are going into law enforcement as a career.

Here is this weeks question.

What do you think William Parker meant when he referred to the police as a 'Thin Blue Line'?

And here are some of the unbelievable answers given to this question by those who will soon be carrying a gun in public.

I believe that William Parker meant that the good of society should always come before anything else, including individua rights. Other oficer should not mistreat any prisoners since they are innocent until proven guilty. Officers cannot carry ou their own form of judgment. Even if evidence in an investigation was obtained illegally, it should still be submittable to a court in order to get a criminal off the streets.

When William Parker referred to the police as the "Think Blue Line" he basically meant, police are so well trained and disiplined that they would stay on that blue line. They followed a thin line. There wasn't anymore police brutality or anything of that nature.

i belive that mr parker was refering to the fact that law enforement officers have to think like the criminals that they are try to stop while not cross over the boundrys of the law themselfs making them no better than the criminals ,but if any one else has a differnt view i would love to hear it


My favorite word is.........drumroll please........themselfs. Don't you feel so much safer knowing that one day soon one of these illiterate goons could be pointing a gun at you?




Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Vote on medical marijuana in Alabama

WAFF Channel 48 in Huntsville is covering medical marijuana in Alabama. The dropping of bill 207 was actually an accident. We are writing a slightly different bill which will be introduced in mid-February. WAFF has up a poll on medical marijuana with this story. Please take a moment and cast your vote.

If you are in the WAFF viewing area tune in tomorrow where two of our ACC patients will be interviewed for this story.


Pat Robertson..."Haitians cursed...Swore pact with devil"

IN a new video religious ignoramus and complete blowhard Pat Robertson claims that the country of Haiti made a pact with the devil and the earthquake that has caused untold death and suffering is the result of that pact.Now that's the Christian Spirit!! (video)

And...if I may ask...how does an entire country make a pact with the devil? Do they get to vote on it?

Up next...Alabama Senator Hank Erwin uses his twitter account to ditto Pat Robertson (j/k...for now). He's got the market on enlightening the rest of us to God's will and the real cause for natural disasters....no need for science or anything.....cause Hank and Pat think science is the work of the devil.

These people SUCK!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Listen if you dare

The Alabama legislature goes into session at noon which is about 7 minutes from now. Listen live if you can stomach it.


Alabama Legislature back in session today

Today the Alabama Legislature begins the 2010 session. I was gonna say something witty but Joey Kennedy at the BHAM News took care of all that for me. If you read nothing else today go read

The legislature is going into session. RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

I laughed so hard I almost lost consciousness.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Palin signs deal with Faux News

Former Vice Presidential nominee and former Governor of Alaska and laughing stock of most of the nation Sarah Palin has signed a deal with Faux News to be a commentator.

I never watch Faux News but will now just to see how magnificently Palin can massacre the English language. She is a never-ending parade of gut-busting laughs. This oughta be real good. It'll be like a female version of Ann Coulter.


OK....I'm sick of this cold weather

I don't know about y'all but I've had about a gut full of this Arctic blast. One of the reasons I choose to stay in the South is because of the mild winters. I'll never understand how people survive in the northern states where the winter temps are often below zero and almost always below freezing for at least 4 months out of the year. In North Dakota and Nebraska last week it was an astounding -30 (at least). How can one live in temps like that? Geez....imagine their winter energy bills!! Seems like if you went outside in temps like that you'd freeze and shatter on the spot.

And a better question....WHY would anyone live where it gets that cold? I, and probably a lot of other people in the South, don't even have a wardrobe for this kind of cold and I can't seem to get enough cover on my bed.

Anyway...I'm ready for this mess to be over.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mobile County Commissioner Stephen Nodine Busted for Marijuana

This story broke a week or so ago and I am remiss in posting about it.

Tests show substance found in Commissioner Nodine's car is marijuana

In short Nodine took his county issued truck into the county garage for servicing and the mechanic claims to have spotted marijuana scattered across the floor board as well as in a prescription bottle bearing Nodine's name. At our Compassionate Care meeting yesterday in BHAM one of our members from Mobile said the prescription bottle was for hydrocodone.

The whole thing seems weird to me. 1) If you are a county commissioner who smokes marijuana in private but carries on the 'law and order anti-drug' stance in public you probably aren't going to carry your weed around in a county vehicle. 2) What are the odds that sheriff's deputies just happened to be on hand at the county garage when this went down? But, how would someone come by a prescription bottle with Nodine's name on it? Did someone steal it from his home? His trash? Was it a fake?

I wonder if Mr. Nodine, assuming the marijuana is his, is a medical marijuana patient? If he is using hydrocodone then he obviously has some pain issues. If this is the case it would be mighty fine of him to step up, say he is a medical user, and call for comprehensive medical marijuana legislation to be passed in Alabama.

Yeah...I know...I'm dreaming. In the event he is charged with possession it will be a constructional possession charge because he was not actually caught with the marijuana on him. Chances are this whole thing will disappear and he will never have to face the music....unlike the normal, everyday people and medical marijuana patients he represents.

Must be nice to be an aristocrat.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Roll Tide!

I'm actually a huge Auburn fan....but this morning I just gotta say

ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!



Thursday, January 07, 2010

Oh Yeah...That's Just What They Need

Chicago police may scrap entrance exam to bolster minority hiring.

More stupid people with guns and badges in positions of authority....yep, that's just what we need in America. Why would anyone with half a brain want to make someone a cop if that someone couldn't pass a cop entrance exam? Isn't the exam there for the purpose of determining who is qualified and who is not? They might as well start rounding up homeless people and mental patients and deputizing them.

I think it should be a requirement that any cop anywhere in the US possess at least a four year college degree.

Remind me never to visit Chicago.



Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of my readers. May 2010 bring us closer to freedom.