Saturday, January 31, 2009

Troy King says, "Take me to your chat room"

MONTGOMERY -- State Attorney General Troy King says the government doesn't do enough to keep up with the 10,605 registered sex offenders living throughout Alabama.

When the Legislature convenes Tuesday, King will propose legislation to strengthen the requirements for sex offenders once they leave prison, including requiring them to disclose information about their cars and the names they use to meet people in computer chat rooms and on Internet social sites.

King said the computer has become the tool of choice for enticing victims, and having the computer names will make it easier to catch sex offenders if they try to lure new victims via the computer.

"It gives us a more complete picture of who sex offenders are and where they go in the real world and online world," he said in an interview.

Alabama law already requires sex offenders to notify authorities of where they plan to live when they get out of prison. Law enforcement notifies the neighbors that a sex offender is moving into their neighborhood and the information is posted on the state Department of Public Safety's Web site.

Sometimes I wonder how dumb Troy King really is. Apparently he has zero understanding of how the innertube works. How exactly would this law be enforced? Will he use sodium pentathol to ensure that sex offenders on the innertube give him their real user names and chat rooms? Does he not comprehend that people can change usernames at will on the internet and that there are an uncountable number of perverted chat rooms that one can use? Christ I hope he gets laughed out of the committee meeting for this one. I can't help but wonder if he isn't trying to compile a list of dirty rooms for his own use. He clearly like's them young.

Now, I'm all for keeping better track of child molesters and rapists. The best way to keep track of the sick fuck's is to never let them out of prison to begin with. Just recently I saw a story on an Alabama cop convicted of child molestation who got THREE YEARS PROBATION. That's all. Then up in Huntsville there was this guy who pleaded guilty to repeatedly sodomizing his adoptive children, over the course of many years, who got five years probation. Those are the guys that prison was made for.

The sex offender laws have gotten completely out of hand though. In Birmingham and other metro areas in Alabama homeless men are routinely accosted for urinating in alleyways. They are arrested, jailed and charged with indecent exposure...which is a sex offense, which means they have to register as a sex offender when they get out of jail, which means they will likely never find an actual home because they now have a sex offender rap. This is one of the sickest ways to enforce the sex offender law. Clearly these men are not sex offenders. They are homeless and there are no restrooms available for them to use. What are they supposed to do? Hold it? These are not the people prison was intended for.

Then we have teen's having consensual sex who get into trouble with sex offender laws. Most sane people do not believe that a 17 year old boy having sex with his fifteen year old girl is a sex offender. Prison and a sex offender rap were not intended for kids experimenting with sex.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Salvia Bill is Back

Senator Hank ('Katrina was punishment from God for the sinfulness of New Orleans') Erwin has pre-filed a bill to outlaw Salvia and make it a Schedule 1 on the controlled substance list.

Here is the text of the bill

I feel the same way I did last year when Senator Erwin filed this bill.

As soon as this bill is scheduled in committee I will let everyone know. Get busy writing letters to be sent out when this bill comes down. It must die!

AL Dept. of Corrections Selling More Land

Birmingham News

The Alabama Department of Corrections is selling three parcels of land around Limestone Correctional Facility as part of its ongoing effort to generate more funds for deferred maintenance and capital improvements.

According to a department news release, the largest parcel of land is 185 acres and the minimum required bid is nearly $5.1 million. Another adjacent parcel contains 122 acres; the minimum bid is nearly $3.4 million. The third parcel contains 120 acres; the minimum bid is $3.3 million.

"This is the latest in a series of land sales our department is proceeding with to convert unused property to capital," said Corrections Commisioner Richard Allen. "We plan to use all proceeds to make much needed and long overdue improvements at our facilities."

Allen said ongoing improvement projects include sewer and plumbing renovations at Holman Correctional Facility near Atmore, a new kitchen at Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore, a new dorm for the Decatur Work Release Center, "and much more is needed."

The prison system is overcrowded, needs additional staffing, and is already dealing with a budgetary shortfall.

According to the Deputy Commissioner on prisons Vernon Barnett, there are currently 455 poeple in Alabama prisons right now for simple possession of marijuana. That costs $5,915,000.00 That is just the cost to house them at $13,000 a year.

Then there are others there under a different classification but who were originally there for possession of marijuana. They failed a drug test or couldn't pay the probation officer or court referral officer or missed an appointment and were sent back to prison at a cost of $13,000 a year. I do not know how many are currently there for that. A lot would be my guess.

Then there are those there for being drug addicts who used meth or cocaine or bought a Lortab off the street. They would do better in treatment and it is cheaper too.

Overall drug offenders make up 30% of the Alabama prison population.

Assuming the majority of drug offenders are there for non-violent drug offenses the Alabama prison system could save $117,000,000.00 a year and have all the money they need to run the corrections department if they would stop imprisoning people for what they ingest. They could focus their attention on the dangerous people who are a threat to society like rapists, murderers, child molesters and armed robbers. They could pay the guards more and recruit better people. The could make the guards safer and reduce the likelihood of a riot by reducing overcrowding if they would just get their heads out of the sand and realize that prison is not the place for drug users and prison resources are being squandered on an issue they were never intended to address.

Pre-Filed Bills in AL House & Senate

On Tuesday, Feb. 3 the Alabama House and Senate convene for the 2009 legislative session.

Already over 180 bills have been pre-filed.

Click here for House Bills

Click here for Senate Bills

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Drug Money Keeping Banks Afloat

International Herald Tribune

VIENNA: The United Nations' crime and drug watchdog has indications that money made in illicit drug trade has been used to keep banks afloat in the global financial crisis, its head was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Vienna-based UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said in an interview released by Austrian weekly Profil that drug money often became the only available capital when the crisis spiralled out of control last year.

"In many instances, drug money is currently the only liquid investment capital," Costa was quoted as saying by Profil. "In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor."

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime had found evidence that "interbank loans were funded by money that originated from drug trade and other illegal activities," Costa was quoted as saying. There were "signs that some banks were rescued in that way."

Profil said Costa declined to identify countries or banks which may have received drug money and gave no indication how much cash might be involved. He only said Austria was not on top of his list, Profil said.

Kale! The Best Food on Earth

Yesterday when I did my grocery shopping I decided to buy some Kale to cook for supper. It had been years since I had eaten Kale and I had only eaten it once in my whole life. I remembered it being very tasty.

Tasty is a very real understatement! I think it might just be the yummiest food on earth. It is better than turnip greens, which I also love, but it doesn't have the bitter bite that turnip greens have. Kale is related to cabbage and broccoli. It has the texture of cabbage (but still retains a bit of crunch after cooking) and the flavor of cabbage and broccoli with a hearty, meaty undertone. Its hard to describe.

Here is how you cook it.

Wash and finely chop kale leaves. Remove the larger stems.
Bring pan of water, salt, pepper, dried onions and three pieces of chopped raw bacon to a boil.
Add greens.
Simmer on medium heat for about an hour and a half.

After my crew ate all the greens last night I poured the pot liquor (green juice) into two coffee cups. It made a delicious soup. My daughter drank hers right away and my husband drank his along with breakfast this morning.

We will be planting a very large patch of it in our garden this year.

Kale. Get Some.

AL AG's Chief Investigator Resigns after DUI

Birmingham News

Attorney General Troy King's chief investigator resigned today after being arrested by state troopers this weekend on charges of driving under the influence.

Chris Browning, chief of the investigations division in the attorney general's office, was arrested Saturday by state troopers in Elmore County. Browning had been King's chief investigator since Jan. 1, 2007. He previously was chief of police in Fairhope.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Another Birmingham Bust

Two separate Jefferson County traffic stops net 410 pounds of marijuana

Two separate traffic stops made by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Highway Safety Unit in a span of 15 minutes Sunday led to deputies confiscating more than 400 pounds of marijuana being smuggled on Interstate 20 East between Irondale and Leeds.

According to Lt. Randy Christian here's what happened:

A truck pulling a trailer with two horses was stopped for a traffic violation. A search of the trailer uncovered more than 400 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $820,000. About 15 minutes later, a rental car was stopped and approximately 10 pounds of marijuana -- with a street value of about $22,000 -- was found hidden in the vehicle.

Let's see...there have been 8 murders in Birmingham in the first 26 days of the new year 2009. Yet, the police are out harassing marijuana businessmen.

According to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center the statewide clearance rates for all non-drug related crimes is 19%.

The overwhelming consensus from those leaving comments is that marijuana should be legal. However,until people make their voice heard by pressuring their elected officials in Montgomery these arrests will continue.

Let me ask all of the people on here who support the drug war some simple questions.

In the 40+ years that we have had drug prohibition name one stated goal that has been achieved. Has locking up adults who use responsibly kept kids or other adults from smoking pot? Has the flow of drugs into our country been reduced or eliminated altogether? Are drugs harder for children to get? Has the purity of drugs decreased? Has prison worked as a cure for drug addiction?

They Admit it Doesn't Work

But keep right on doing it anyway.

Drug task forces in 2 Ala. counties count arrests

Associated Press • January 26, 2009

TUSCUMBIA - Drug activity in two north Alabama counties hasn't ended, but law enforcement officers point to hundreds of arrests in trying to curtail it.

Officers in drug task forces in Colbert and Lauderdale counties say they have completed two of their most productive years in arrests and drug seizures.

In Colbert County, the task force made 299 cases, which produced 96 felony arrests. The Lauderdale Drug Task Force made 766 cases, resulting in 430 felony arrests.

Lauderdale task force director Myron Crunk admits there are times when it seems the more you arrest, the more that are out there.

His unit has four agents who have completed a couple of large undercover operations, one which resulted in the arrest of 70 people.

I love this line...

Lauderdale task force director Myron Crunk admits there are times when it seems the more you arrest, the more that are out there.

Ding! Ding! Ding! We Have A Winner!

If the drug war was working then arrests should be going down to the point of non-existence because no one would be selling or using drugs if any of the stated objectives of the drug war were being met. But, every year there are more arrests and more drugs.

How much can police forces and drug task forces really want to wipe out drugs when their livelihoods depend on them?

Decatur Drug Cop Who Stole Money Back in His Own Jail

Huntsville Times

Saturday, January 24, 2009
From staff reports
Huntsville Times

Former Decatur cop booked into Morgan Co. jail

DECATUR - Former Decatur police Sgt. Faron White, accused of stealing money from his office and staging his disappearance, is back in Morgan County from Las Vegas.

White, 48, was booked into the Morgan County Jail at 3:25 p.m. Friday, a jail spokesman said. White, a Decatur officer for 22 years, has been charged with first-degree theft and his bond set at $20,000.

Wow $20,000...that's all? Wonder how much they spent on the search for him? The flights and accommodations to and from Las Vegas? Not to mention the reportedly $70,000 he is also accused of stealing. And how much will the investigation cost? The lawyers? The prison term, if he gets one? I think he ought to be treated like all the marijuana businessmen he encountered over the years. Take all of his money and property and put him in prison for years and years and years.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Compassionate Care Meeting Jan. 31

Our next Compassionate Care meeting will take place on Jan. 31 from 1-3 pm at the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge (same place as last time) located at 4th Ave N and 17 st. This will be our last meeting before the legislative session starts so it is important that y'all be there with as many people as you can round up.

Pass this invite along to everyone you know and I hope to see you on Saturday Jan. 31.

If anyone needs further info I can be reached at 256-625-9599 or

Loretta Nall

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Warped Mentality

So, I was reading this story on the Montgomery Advertiser site this morning about 29 people rounded up in a drug investigation in Elmore County and one of the comments really angered me.

Replying to Peoplewatcher:
I'm saying, the MPD, Sheriff's office, Task Force are real life human beings, just like us, who go in and get these scumbags and risk getting shot. You don't hear about these roundups where the cops go in shooting up the place. On the street, these losers will kill someone for trying to rip them off. After spending months investigating this ring, they went in, got the drugthugs, and nobody got hurt. Since there's no room in the jails because the convicts are crying that it's too crowded, most of these losers are released before the police even finish the paperwork.

So, according to this guy only cops are real life humans and drug users are somehow not real life sub-humans? How is that exactly? How does the ingestion of a substance make someone less than human? Humans have been ingesting substances that alter their state of mind since cave man times. There is nothing unnatural about it. What is unnatural is that we have built an entire prison industrial complex based on laws that are designed to thwart natural human behavior.

And I beg to differ..we do hear about these roundups where cops go in shooting up the place. Try this link for starters
Drug War Victims

And this one
Kathryn Johnston

And it isn't just inmates upset about crowded conditions. It is also the
Prison Commissioner

What I wonder about is how does someone come to the conclusion that people who ingest substances that occur naturally are somehow less than human and that those who chase said ingesters around with semi-automatic machine guns are super human hero's? They wouldn't be shit without those guns. Do people who hate drug users, like this person obviously does, actually think that addicts sat around as children and said, "When I grow up I want to be a heroin addict, or a meth addict or a pill addict?" That line of thinking is beyond retarded. It's like they never take into consideration the circumstances that led to addiction. I guess only simple people can oversimplify something so complex.

Go on over and leave your comments for 'suchdrama'.

Bell Nall takes Second at County Spelling Bee

Bee winner advances to Birmingham

By Dale Liesch
Published: Saturday, January 24, 2009 12:05 AM CST
Alexander City Outlook

Could you spell the word incredulous under the pressure of competition and in front of judges?

Well Lindsey Zimmer, a Reeltown School eighth grader, did and, in so doing, she won the Tallapoosa County spelling bee.

In all, five area students competed in the spell-off held in the extension office of the Tallapoosa County Courthouse Friday morning.

Zimmer said she was nervous until the very end of the competition when she was announced the winner.

“I’m excited to win,” Zimmer said. “The butterflies finally left my stomach.”

Reeltown spelling bee sponsor Stacy Gibson said Zimmer competed in the final round against Julia Bell Nall from Horseshoe Bend School, where the two students took turns spelling words until someone missed their first word.

“(Zimmer) had to spell two words in a row,” Gibson said.

Zimmer, who won the county bee in 2007, will move on to the state competition in Birmingham to be held in March.

Heather Thomas, Tallapoosa County spelling bee coordinator, said the five contestants had started practicing for the competition as the school year began and had to compete at two levels including a grade level competition and a school competition before being invited to the county level.

“All the students worked really hard to make it here,” Thomas said.

Landon Poston, a Dadeville High School eighth grader, won third place in the competition. Rachael Tierney from Councill Middle School and Africa Gaddis from Radney School also competed.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Libertarian Strategy and Organizing Meeting Saturday


I know this invite is short notice but I wanted to invite all of you to the Libertarian Party monthly meeting tomorrow starting and 10 a.m. and running til 4 p.m. Part of this meeting will be dedicated to those seeking elected office. We will discuss the ins and outs of becoming a candidate, requirements and so forth. Another part and the one that will concern most of you will be dedicated to the issues coming up in the legislative session which begins on Feb. 3. I will be discussing medical marijuana, the chemical child endangerment act, the records expungement act, I & R, and a bill that would forbid law enforcement from disarming law abiding citizens during an emergency (think Katrina). I'm sure there are other bills that will need our attention this session. Another guest will be discussing a bill to eliminate sales tax from groceries. Another will be discussing the home brewers bill. It will be an exciting meeting full of information and fun for all. Snacks and drinks will be provided. Bring your friends and family.

The address is

2330 Highland Ave (On Southside right beside Caldwell Park)
Birmingham AL

Call 256-625-9599 or 205-401-7331 for more information.

Hope to see you there.

Mini bust in Hoover

The Birmingham Police Department busted a small grow operation yesterday in Hoover. A guy had what looks to be 60 very small plants and the paper and cops are acting like it is the bust of the damn century. I get so sick of the sensationalism around stories like this. There is a cop on the forums claiming marijuana will make you rob and steal. God, now I have heard it all.

IT'S JUST PLANTS. PLANTS THAT DO NOT, HAVE NOT, and NEVER WILL KILL ANYONE. The COPS do the majority of the killing associated with marijuana in those lovely no-knock, flash bang grenade, 3 a.m. SWAT raids. The laws do the rest of the killing.

Growing your own keeps the money out of the hands of criminal organizations. Its a method of harm/crime reduction.

With the failing economy we will see more and more people turning to this cash cow. Even a few cops will join in. The Great Depression was the largest determining factor in ending alcohol prohibition. I suspect when the empty ideology of the drug war comes face to face with our Great Depression prohibition will be over.

If anyone keeps up with Prison Commissioner Allen you would know that drug offenses are what is fueling our prison crisis. Over 30% of people in Alabama prisons are there for drug offenses. Every year arrests for simple possession of marijuana account for 50% of all drug arrests in the state. Yet there is marijuana everywhere. If the drug war were working this would not be the case.

Its time we legalized and taxed marijuana for adult use. The money collected in taxes could be used to fund schools (much like the taxes from alcohol sales are used to fund DHR), treatment for people addicted to hard drugs, state budgets, not to mention the mass of new jobs and industries that would be created. Why make it cost taxpayers money when it could be making money hand over fist to the betterment of us all?

The majority of the comments on the forum are positive. Most citizens recognize the folly of the drug war. We need to all come together and put an end to this madness. Go one over and leave your comments.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama Closes Gitmo!

I just watched President Obama sign the executive order to close Gitmo! It was an awesome thing.

In my opinion, he is off to a great start. I hope he continues in this fashion.

Marijuana Inc: Inside America's Pot Industry


This link takes you to a page on CNBC's upcoming one hour documentary called "Marijuana, Inc." including a poll on decriminalization.

As of this moment, decriminalization of marijuana is ahead 97.2 - 2.8%

The show airs tonight and is a must see.

While it may not be traded on Wall Street any time soon, marijuana has become a booming cash crop. CNBC's Trish Regan goes behind the scenes to explore the inner workings of this secretive industry, focusing on Northern California's "Emerald Triangle," now the marijuana capital of the U.S. In this scenic pocket of America, the pot business, much of it legal under state law, now makes up as much as two-thirds of the local economy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Remember a couple weeks ago when Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett was jailed for not providing adequate nutrition to inmates in his care? Remember that he also pocketed - legally - $212,000 over three years on top of his $65,000 a year salary. He was able to do that by starving his inmates.

There was public outrage. We were on the front page of the NYT, CNN and who knows how many other papers around the world, looking like the cave-dwelling-knuckle-dragging-barbarians that we always look like when we make national news.

So folks got busy looking at ways to fix the problem. Here is what the Sheriff's Association came up with.

Give us the money we were stealing by starving the inmates in the form of a pay raise and we won't starve the inmates anymore. No shit!

They wanted to make what a District Judge makes which is around $110,000 a year I believe. That made me laugh so hard. The two bit yuk-yuk boss hawgs in this state are not required to have a degree of any kind. Only a GED is required. Yet, they want the same salary as the judge who has spent many years in college to earn that salary.

HELL NO! We are in a recession....nay damn near a depression and there is no money for pay raises. Sheriff's know what the job pays before they take it. Are they saying that they only took the job because of the incentive to starve prisoners and pocket the money that should have been used for food?

I swear the nuts are running the asylum in this state.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

More Money not Answer to Prison Crisis

In yesterday's Huntsville Times Alabama Prison Commissioner Richard Allen stated clearly that more money won't fix the major overcrowding problems in the Alabama prison system. In a sort of indirect way he also said that 'drug abuse' (wrong term) has been the major factor in the exploding population along with 67 new felony laws. That was a big hint to the Legislature to fix the laws that send casual users and true addicts to prison where they become animals and do not receive proper treatment. According to the latest numbers I have around 30% of people in Alabama prisoners are there for drug offenses.

Increase unlikely; fewer prisoners is answer, chief says

MONTGOMERY - State prisons aren't likely to receive a budget increase for the next budget year, so state prison Commissioner Richard Allen said Thursday he saw no reason Thursday to mention a dollar figure during legislative budget hearings.

The Department of Corrections received $363.85 million this fiscal year.

Allen said he presented a $477-million budget in August for fiscal 2010 to Gov. Bob Riley, but that was before the nation fell into a recession.

That figure "has no meaning now," he said. "It's obsolete."

For the new fiscal year, Allen said his agency will focus on how to "dampen down" the number of new inmates.

Those programs will center on sentencing reform, community corrections, new goals for pardons and paroles and a supervised re-entry program.

"The Sentencing Commission's job is looking at new bills and telling legislators what the impact is going to be" on the Department of Corrections, he said. "Sentencing reform requires them to consider alternate means of sentence. Those are very very important."

Allen said one of the reasons Alabama's prison population has grown from 27,972 in March 2006 to 30,508 on Dec. 31, 2008, is that the Legislature has created 67 new felony crimes since 2001.

Also, he said there's been an explosion in drug abuse.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I don't even walk to the mailbox!

I am in Connecticut for the next two days for a drug policy conference with different people from different states.

It's really fucking cold here. I flew from BHAM to Cincinnati and from Cincinnati to Hartford. When I got off the plane in Hartford it was 4 degrees. That's cold. All the way through the trip I didn't get to smoke. There wasn't time between stops to grab a cig. When I got here to the hotel I learned that I had my own private room and it is a smoking room. Suhweet, I thought. That's just exactly what I wanted.

So, I get to my room, very much anticipating that first drag off a cigarette. Except they took my lighter at the airport. I look around for matches because you expect such things from a five star hotel that has smoking rooms. Hell I expect a Chip-N-Dale's dancer to come in and light me up every time I need one at a five star hotel. But they don't have Chip-N-Dale dancers here. Nor apparently do they have matches.

After scouring my room looking for matches I finally gave up and called the front desk to ask them to bring me up a pack. They informed me that they were out.

Me: "Is there a hotel store where I can purchase a lighter?"

Hotel: "No mam. The nearest store is three blocks away....within walking distance."

Me: "I just flew from Alabama where I don't even walk to the mailbox when the weather is warm. I'll be damned if I am going to walk three blocks in 4 degree weather. Surely there is a pack of matches in this hotel somewhere."

But apparently there is not. I tried lighting one off the hair dryer in the bathroom but all that did was scorch my eyeballs. I finally found a friend with a spare lighter and all is well now.

Tomorrow they are expecting 5 inches of snow here and on Friday when I fly out it is supposed to be -20. I am so happy that I found a Shearling lambskin coat at the thrift store yesterday for $15.

Hope y'all are staying warm in Alabama.


I am going to be out of pocket for a couple days. Y'all hold down the fort while I am gone.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bi-partisan lawmakers to tackle law that allows sheriffs to starve inmates

Apparently legislators are reading this blog or the comments on the news forums around the state because this morning the Huntsville Times is reporting that , four North Alabama legislators want to end the practice of allowing Sheriff's to pocket left over food money. They are Arthur Orr, Randy Hinshaw (who pointed out that not everyone in jail is guilty and many haven't even been tried), Ronald Grantland (who actually pointed out that prison IS the punishment...not starvation) and Mike Ball a former State Trooper. Two Republicans and two Democrats....Hmmm do I smell bi-partisan support?

The HTIMES is also reporting that the Sheriff is crying us a river. Says he is a scapegoat for changing the law. Money quote...

It's a sad day when a sheriff can be discredited by a few inmates who have reason to lie about their food," Bartlett said. "If I have left over money, what should I do? Go out and buy the inmates steaks?"

Waaa Waaa Waaa everybody's being mean to me. What a wuss.

Being a bad steward of the public trust and making your fellow Alabamians look like knuckle dragging cave dwellers is why people are angry at you Sheriff Bartlett. Starvation which leads to health problems which costs the citizens of the county money and it is blatantly in violation of the Constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

While no one thinks inmates should get a seven course meal three times a day what people don’t seem to realize that bad nutrition leads to poor health which leads to large health care expense incurred from those in prison/jail. Guess who pays for those health care expenses and expensive lawsuits like this one while the sheriff pockets the $212,000 for his own personal use? We, the taxpayers of Alabama, pay for it. In this case the citizens of Morgan Co. will pay for it since the county commission now has to pay the legal fees of the SCHR lawyers. Wonder how far the $212,000 Sheriff Bartlett pocketed would go towards resigning that debt?

Another thing..

When a judge sends someone to prison that, in and of itself IS the punishment. Removing them from society. All of the other things that happen like starvation, same sex sexual assault, deplorable conditions, the catching of a multitude of diseases those are all extra-judicially imposed and not intended to be part of the punishment.

Those who think those things are ok because someone is in prison are no better than the people who inhabit the jails to begin with and much much worse than some of them. Remember that some of them are awaiting trial and have been convicted of nothing.

Friday, January 09, 2009

APT Cancels For the Record

Alabama Public Television has canceled its long-running "For the Record," a weekly public affairs program, citing state budget cuts.

The show, which has been on the APT lineup for more than 25 years, will air for the last time Feb. 3, and four staff members will be laid off.

APT is facing its "greatest financial challenge ever," Executive Director Allan Pizzato said. "We were forced to make some very hard decisions."

APT's original budget for this year had been reduced more than $2.2 million from last year, and it took another hit of almost $725,000 when across-the-board state budget cuts were announced last month, APT said.


It was the only Alabama news show I watched. It was the only real news show in the state. Now where in the hell will I go for state news with insightful commentary? There is no where else to get what Tim Lennox offered on For the Record. I am very sad to see it go.

Bartlett Blames Inmates for Skimpy Food Portions


DECATUR, Ala. -- Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett will speak with reporters this afternoon about his recent jailing over allegations that he scrimped on food for inmates and pocketed the money left over.

Federal Judge U.W. Clemon jailed Bartlett Wednesday on a contempt of court charge after inmates testified about skimpy meals and Bartlett admitted to legally keeping more than $200,000 over the past two years in leftover food money. A 1939 state law allows sheriffs to keep money left over from feeding prisoners.

Bartlett was released from federal custody Thursday after promising to provide healthier meals and use all money collected for jail food for that purpose only.

However, Bartlett issued a news release today, and scheduled interviews with local reporters, to refute testimony in federal court Wednesday by prisoners who claimed they were being starved.

He said he had received only 15 complaints about food after serving 328,000 meals in 2008.

"I know that the portion size issue came up, and it is possible for inmates serving in the kitchen to short another inmate they had a grudge with or just didn't like. I have been told by staff members and inmates that this may have occurred on some occasions," Bartlett said in the release. "Staff will now directly observe portion sizes of all meals."

What a man's man Sheriff Bartlett is....blaming the inmates because no one will believe them anyway, instead of taking personal responsibility for his actions, which have humiliated Alabama in the national media once again and have cost the taxpayers of Morgan Co. untold amounts of money due to the lawsuit. That's a great way to teach those under your supervision to accept responsibility for the things they have done wrong...blame them when you do wrong. What a total and complete pansy. I am sick of people like this making all of Alabama look like cavemen in the eyes of the rest of the world.

The sheriff and the entire county commission should be run out of town on a rail. The greed of the sheriff has now cost the taxpayers of Morgan Co. a lot of money. I wonder how far that $212,000 sheriff Bartlett pocketed would go towards paying the legal fees now owed by the commission not to mention the health care costs of the inmates suffering from poor nutrition?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Girlfriend says Decatur Cop stole $70,000

Woman says cop stole $70,000

Times Staff Writer

White expected to return to Decatur in one or two days

DECATUR - Police say the woman who allegedly helped a Decatur sergeant stage his disappearance told officers that she thinks he stole up to $70,000 in seized drug money.

Sgt. Faron White, 48, is accused of taking at least $2,500 Friday night when he allegedly staged a struggle in his office before he flew to Las Vegas. Sarah Richardson, 29, a volunteer worker in White's office, is charged with helping White disappear.

Wonder how the cop feels about his girlfriend narcing him out? Oh god I just love the poetic justice-y nature of this one.

Judge Locks Up Sheriff in Own Jail for Starving Prisoners

Yesterday I posted about Federal Judge UW Clemon and his investigation of the Morgan Co. jail feeding practices.

Today the Montgomery Advertiser is reporting that Judge Clemon has arrested Sheriff Greg Bartlett over jail food.

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) -- A federal judge ordered an Alabama sheriff locked up in his own jail Wednesday after holding him in contempt for failing to adequately feed inmates while profiting from the skimpy meals.

U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon had court security arrest Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett after dramatic testimony from skinny prisoners about paper-thin bologna and cold grits. The hearing offered a rare look into Alabama's unusual practice of letting sheriffs pocket money left over from feeding inmates.

The sheriff, who showed no emotion when his arrest was ordered, had testified that he legally kept as personal income about $212,000 over three years with surplus meal money but denied that inmates were improperly fed.

Clemon, however, said the sheriff would be jailed until he comes up with a plan to provide the 300 jail inmates with nutrionally adequate meals, as required by a 2001 court order.

This is absolutely extraordinary! A judge locking up a Sheriff. I like this UW Clemon.

At the hearing, 10 prisoners told Clemon meals are so small that they're forced to buy snacks from a for-profit store the jailers operate. Most of the inmates appeared thin, with baggy jail coveralls hanging off their frames.

Some testified they spent hundreds of dollars a month at the store, which Bartlett said generates profits used for training and equipment.

Inmates told of getting half an egg, a spoonful of oatmeal and one piece of toast most days at their 3 a.m. daily breakfast. Lunch is usually a handful of chips and two sandwiches with barely enough peanut butter to taste.

"It looks like it was sprayed on with an aerosol can," testified Demetrius Hines, adding he's lost at least 35 pounds in five months since his arrest on drug charges.

Most prisoners said they supplement the meals by spending $20 a week or more on chips, oatmeal pies and other junk food at the jailhouse store.

Bartlett said he made about $95,000 last year feeding inmates after also receiving money from the county and the U.S. government for housing federal prisoners. Despite rising food costs, Bartlett said he made a $62,000 profit in 2007 and $55,000 in 2006.

Bartlett said he uses donations and special deals to make money. As an example, Bartlett said he and a neighboring sheriff recently split the $1,000 cost for an 18-wheeler full of corn dogs.

Prisoners testified they ate corn dogs twice a day for weeks.

I must admit I found the 'aerosol peanut butter' crack hysterically funny!

Allowing the Sheriff to directly profit from the kitchen of the jail is practiced in 55 of Alabama's 67 counties. Hopefully this case will set precedent and this idiotic practice will soon come to an end or at the very least Sheriff's will feed inmates more adequate diets.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A Bill to Support this session HB 59

Last year Rep. Chris England (D) Tuscaloosa, introduced a bill that would allow expungement of court records in cases where someone was arrested for a crime but never convicted.

Currently, Alabama citizens can be arrested and charged with a crime but not convicted and whatever you were charged with stays on your record forever. This affects ones ability to travel without restrictions or extra cost incurred (I have to pay an additional $1000 to a Canadian Immigration lawyer every time I go to Canada because of what comes up when they scan my passport), the ability to get a job, public housing, food assistance and if it is a drug charge federal student financial aid is denied. This happens to innocent people and has the power to absolutely destroy a life.

Take this case for instance. Yesterday I got an email from an attorney alerting me to the fact that Rep. England has pre-filed the bill again for the upcoming session. You can view a copy of HB59 here. This attorney has a client who was charged with first degree rape. This is from the email.

"Without any significant investigation, the Police arrested him. We later proved the victim to be lying about her accusation, and the case never made it out of grand jury. The problem is that my client is now walking around with a RAPE, FIRST DEGREE arrest on his record. You can only imagine how uncomfortable it is for him to try to explain that to a potential employer."

When you add in how the small country courts around here operate you can probably imagine that the current state of the law makes for tens of thousands of people walking around with something ugly on their record that they were never convicted of. Please also remember that it could happen to you at any time.

When the legislature comes back into session on Feb. 3 please call, email or preferably plan to visit your member of the House and Senate and ask them to support this bill.

I will be sending out alerts throughout the session on various bills including this one.

Federal judge questions Alabama jail feeding system

From the Huntsville Times

DECATUR, Ala. -- A federal judge is questioning Alabama's practice of letting county sheriffs make a profit from feeding prisoners in their jails.

U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon has scheduled a hearing in Decatur for Wednesday in a lawsuit filed over conditions in the Morgan County Jail.

Clemon ordered the sheriff to bring documents showing how much money he is making off the system.

A state law dating to the Depression pays sheriffs $1.75 a day to feed prisoners and lets them keep any profit. Some sheriff actually make money off the practice despite the low payments.

Critics charge that the system can lead to abuse, but sheriffs defend it.

The judge wants to know how much Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett is personally profiting from the payments.

And it's about time. This is one of those things (like many many other things in the Alabama code) that makes absolutely no sense to me. The incentive for corruption is HUGE. Can you eat healthy on $1.75 a day? Bad nutrition just leads to serious health problems which the state taxpayers also have to pick up the tab for. It will be most interesting to see how much money Sheriff Bartlett is pocketing from this inhumane venture.

Cop stole money to pay back money he already stole

Turns out the Decatur cop who stole money from the department and fled to Vegas stole it because he needed to win enough to pay back what he had already stolen from the department.

The excuse being bandied about by his fellow cops is as follows.

Collier said White had gambling problems, domestic problems and family members in ill health and those pressures, plus the pressure of running the department's organized crime unit, may have driven White to make his bizarre run to Las Vegas.

Aww, the poor feller! Now, watch the outpouring of sympathy for the cop 'under stress' who turned to drugs (last night this story mentioned drugs), gambling, adultery and theft to deal with the 'stress'. Notice also how none of these same emotions are displayed when anyone who is not a cop succumbs to the same 'stress' in life. Like the guy who can't find a job becoming a drug dealer drug to pay child support so he can stay out of jail. That's stressful, no? Or the stressed out factory worker who turns to pain pills from the doctor. Or those of us who simply enjoy a joint to relieve our stress. No sympathy for us....we are scum because we don't wear the blue uniform...but the cop was stressed out from his work and home life (adultery is a real stresser I hear) and all that stealing so his actions are 'justified'.

These people make me sick.

Here is his partner in crime and who he was having a 'romantic relationship' with.

Here is her MySpace page.

(HT to Dale Jackson for the MySpace link.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I just robbed the police department...I'm going to Disney Vegas

A Decatur Police Sgt. in charge of the organized crime unit which focused mostly on stealing money and property from garden variety pot dealers went 'missing' over the weekend. Turns out he staged a struggle in his office, stole $2500 and forewent the customary destination of Disneyland for Vegas where he was apprehended this morning. There is also some innuendo that a woman, who is not his wife is involved.

Looking at his picture I can attest to the fact that he is as stoned as a goose. Being intimately familiar with being stoned as a goose you can trust me when I say that joker is as stoned as a goose. Look at his eyes and that lazy, shit eating grin. BAKED!

Wonder how much money and drugs he has stolen in his 21 year tenure in law enforcement? How many people are in jail on his testimony while he is out using the drugs he stole from them and stealing $2500 of their money from the police department to give to his bookie in Vegas?

Want to take bets on how long he will be suspended with pay before he is allowed to return to work? Or how long it will be before he goes down the road a piece and finds another cop job? It is too much to hope that he might share a cell with some non-violent drug offender he helped to imprison.

Troy King's 2009 Crime Bills Package

In just a few short weeks the legislature will be back in session. I'm not very hopeful that much will be accomplished and what I am hearing from my contacts in the legislature that is pretty much the mood of everyone.

But, sometimes the legislature not accomplishing everything on its agenda is a good thing. Take for instance Attorney General Troy King's new package of crime bills. All that's missing is a rock-n-roll record burning.

- A bill that makes the intent to lure a child for immoral purposes punishable regardless of whether a child is involved.

I'm all for destroying child sex offenders. However that isn't what we do when we catch them. It seems they are released from prison after only two or three years in many cases. If we'd keep these sick bastards in jail to begin with we'd have fewer of them out there on computers looking for kids to molest. I also don't like how cops pose as 15 year olds and lure people in. That seems a lot like entrapment to me. I read about a couple cases yesterday where the charges were thrown out because no child was actually involved as it was the police posing as a child. I also think our whole slate sex offender laws need to be reworked. Right now in Birmingham, AL homeless men are routinely rounded up for peeing in alleys, charged with indecent exposure and labeled sex offenders pretty much ensuring that they will always be homeless. Under current law an 18 year old boy can get a sex offender wrap for having consensual sex with his 15 year old girlfriend. That is just plain wrong. No teen having consensual sex with another teen should ever be labeled a sex offender.

- Put new restrictions on who is eligible for parole;

I'll be most interested to find out just what that entails. The prison system is struggling as always because of severe overcrowding and lack of funding. Seems the AG would better serve the state were he to help in finding ways to let more people out as opposed to ways to keep more people in. Here's a suggestion. Keep the real sex offenders in like FOREVER and keep the non-violent drug offenders out FOREVER. That would solve a great deal of the overcrowding problems.

- Elevate the punishment for cock fighting, including allowing for the seizure of property bought with profits from cock-fighting operations;

If I were Troy I'd stay as far away from anything with the words 'cock fighting' in it as I could. Looks like they are going to start seizing assets like they do when they arrest someone for drugs. I know cock fighting is cruel but does it really rise to the level where the AG has to be involved? Seems like there are other more pressing issues to worry about.

- Redefine drug laws to punish the mother of an unborn child who tests positive for a controlled substance;

This is wrong on so many levels. Humane people with sense would try and approach this with a focus on keeping a family together not further destruction of the family unit. But, alas, Troy King is neither humane nor does he appear to have any common sense. An addicted mother doesn't need punishment. Addicted people whether pregnant women or not don't need punishment. They need treatment. Snatching a mother and newborn baby apart is just plain cruel. It's a very strong bond that forms between a mother and her new baby. Very important. It could be the very thing that gives the mother the motivation she needs to succeed in treatment. Why must the state involve itself in further destroying the family unit?

Another thing about this whole drug testing of pregnant women. About the only thing it is guaranteed to do is stop women who might have a substance abuse problem from seeking prenatal care which puts the baby at greater risk. And how exactly does drug testing work? Do the women consent? Are they tested without their knowledge? How is it that Doctor's can violate the doctor/patient relationship by turning the results over to the cops without facing criminal charges and losing their license to practice? If the test is conducted after the child is born how can it be done without the parent's consent? I fought this bill last year and will do so again this year. There are far better ways to handle pregnant women who have a substance abuse problem.

- Another bill would stiffen the punishment for people who run from police. The crime would start as a misdemeanor and would become a felony if a motor vehicle is used. The punishment would be two to 20 years in prison if bystanders are threatened.
NASA engineer Darren Spurlock was killed on Redstone Arsenal last year after his car was rammed by a drug suspect fleeing police.

How about we stop high speed police chases of drug suspects? That would have prevented Mr. Spurlock's death, which, in reality, was caused by the police chasing someone because they didn't like what that someone was ingesting. Pretty stupid if you ask me. If they hadn't been chasing then the suspect wouldn't have been running and Mr. Spurlock would still be alive. They could have just gotten the tag number of the vehicle and gone to the residence and made an arrest there. No one would have been killed. Sometimes police chases are necessary say when there are bank robbers involved, murderers, child kidnappers....but high speed police chases over drugs are just stupid and high speed police chases in heavily populated areas are the definition of fucking retarded.

One thing that isn't on Troy King's agenda this year - Tougher laws on sex toys. Looks like my direct action involving an inflatable pig cured ol' Troy of his fascination with what other people might be using in the bedroom.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Compassionate Care Meeting Jan. 10

Hi All,

Hope everyone had an enjoyable Holiday season with family and friends. We had a great one at my house. Now it is time to get back to work.

We have set the next Compassionate Care meeting for this coming Saturday Jan. 10. It will be from 5 pm to 7 pm at the following address

Prince Hall Masonic Grand Lodge
2nd Floor Auditorium
1630 4th Avenue North

This meeting will be a training session in preparation for the upcoming legislative session which begins on Feb. 3 I believe. Please bring your friends, family and anyone else who might be interested. Drink and snack items will be provided.

See you there!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Thorazine shuffle in dogs is not cool!

I took my dog Saul in to the vet last week for his yearly shots. Saul is a very anxious dog around strangers and can be more than a little scary, I'll admit that. However, as long as I am with him I can control him and he has never bitten anyone.

The vet noticed his anxious state and prescribed him some Acepromazine which he equated to Thorazine for humans. I told him I thought that was a bit much as Saul is not like that unless strangers are around. He said, "No." I asked him if he was prescribing it to be taken daily and he said no, just when I bring Saul to the vet to give him three on an empty stomach. He said it would make him 'wobbly'. He also said I could give it to him anytime I wanted to calm him down.

So, last night Saul was having a wild night. I had to go out for a while and when I got back he was just NUTS. Jumping on everybody, refusing to mind or get calm, wanting to wrestle and so forth. After about an hour of his nuttiness I decided to give him just one of the pills and chill him out a little.

About five minutes after I gave him the pill he lost all balance and his eyes got as big as saucers. He couldn't stand up or walk. He got scared. His breathing became really shallow and his heartbeat slowed way, way down and became erratic. I was TERRIFIED!! I love this dog like he is one of my kids and I felt absolutely horrible for giving him the pill. If I had given him three it would have killed him. I couldn't get in touch with the vet because it was a Saturday night. All I could do was hope that he made it through the night.

All night long I stayed with him, checking on him every few minutes. He did make it through the night. This morning he is still a little wobbly in his back legs and still a little loopy in the head but otherwise seems ok. He is requiring a lot of extra love.

Never give your dog Acepromazine. It is awful to watch them be so scared and not in control of their bodies. I'll be looking for a new vet that isn't afraid of Saul. And there is always the possibility of using a muzzle during vet visits if I can't find one that isn't afraid of him. I know that I will never again give him medication to make him 'calm'. I like him much better wild and crazy.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Now Everybody Knows...

That you have to wear your Sunday best to MeMaw's on Christmas Eve in Alabama.

HT Steve Gordon

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Looney Toons Marathon!

There's a Looney Toons marathon on Cartoon Network ALL DAY TODAY!! I haven't seen Looney Toons in years so I will be spending the rest of my day in pure, unadulterated cartoon bliss!

Props to Sen. Jim Webb

From the New York Times


This country puts too many people behind bars for too long. Most elected officials, afraid of being tarred as soft on crime, ignore these problems. Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat of Virginia, is now courageously stepping into the void, calling for a national commission to re-assess criminal justice policy. Other members of Congress should show the same courage and rally to the cause.

The United States has the world's highest reported incarceration rate. Although it has less than 5 percent of the world's population, it has almost one-quarter of the world's prisoners. And for the first time in history, more than 1 in 100 American adults are behind bars.

Many inmates are serving long sentences for nonviolent crimes, including minor drug offenses. It also is extraordinarily expensive. Billions of dollars now being spent on prisons each year could be used in far more socially productive ways.

Senator Webb -- a former Marine and secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration -- is in many ways an unlikely person to champion criminal justice reform. But his background makes him an especially effective advocate for a cause that has often been associated with liberals and academics.

In his two years in the Senate, Mr. Webb has held hearings on the cost of mass incarceration and on the criminal justice system's response to the problems of illegal drugs. He also has called attention to the challenges of prisoner re-entry and of the need to provide released inmates, who have paid their debts to society, more help getting jobs and resuming productive lives.

Mr. Webb says he intends to introduce legislation to create a national commission to investigate these issues. With Barack Obama in the White House, and strong Democratic majorities in Congress, the political climate should be more favorable than it has been in years. And the economic downturn should make both federal and state lawmakers receptive to the idea of reforming a prison system that is as wasteful as it is inhumane.

It isn't often we find a politician with the testicular fortitude to actually stand up for what is right. Doing what is right means doing something hard and going against the grain and leaving oneself open to attack from challengers and political enemies. I applaud and fully support Senator Webb's courage in this difficult endeavor. Please contact your member of Congress and your Senator and encourage them to support Sen. Webb on prison reform.

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year to all of my friends, readers, fellow activists and everyone around the world. May 2009 be our best year yet!