Friday, April 28, 2006
On this day:

Does George Allen have a "race problem"?

Andrew Sullivan, the patron saint of me-o-cons*, thinks that George Allen of Virginia - former Governor, current U.S. Senator, and probable candidate for President - may have a race problem. Allen's offense? According to Sullivan:
The New Republic's forthcoming cover-story, by Ryan Lizza, will reveal something new about Republican senator and potential GOP presidential candidate George Allen. His interest in the Confederate flag goes back much further than he has ever admitted. In fact, he is wearing a Confederate flag pin in his Palos Verdes, California high school yearbook.
*Me-o-cons - \'mee-oh-cons\ n. Those who believe their own political ideology to be a complete, exclusive representation of conservative principle, and who generally prefer impulse and sentiment over tradition and reason as a basis for their views.

Justin at Southern Appeal commented on Lizza's TNR article yesterday, eliciting a good discussion from SA readers. Check it out.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006
On this day:

The University of Alabama's "Quotagraphic" display

A new exhibit is making its rounds at the Capstone. Called the "100 Lenses Project," it was sponsored by the University's Crossroads Community Center, which was created by the UA administration last fall in response to demands for a campus multicultural center.

The goals of the "100 Lenses Project" were:

1. To depict the culture of the University of Alabama through the eyes of students.
2. To assess campus culture and determine areas where there are gaps, wide or narrow margins and intersections.
3. To generate discussion about the University of Alabama’s culture.
4. To assist Crossroads Community Center in understanding campus culture through the eyes of students from different backgrounds.
Here's how it worked: 100 students were selected to go around and take lots of pictures using disposable cameras provided by the CCC. The idea was for them to take photos showing the culture of the University of Alabama from their unique perspectives. At the end, each student was allowed to choose three of his photos for use in a collage which is now being displayed at various locations around campus.

Sounds pretty noncontroversial, right? Well, it could have been, but...

If you read through the information sheet, here's what you'll find:

  • Under Selection of Students: "Diversity in ethnicity, race, gender, and university affiliation will be considered." [Translation: Yeah, we've got quotas, but they're flexible... you'll never catch us on it.]
  • Under Considerations: "A diverse set of students will be selected" [In case you didn't get the point already] and "University statistics of 100 participants." [What the heck does that mean? Perhaps a more diverse vocabulary is what's needed.]
  • Under Instructions: "Using a disposable camera, participants are asked to take pictures of the culture of the University of Alabama from their perspectives. Diversity in ethnicity, race, gender, and university affiliation will be considered." [Pretty clear now what's most important here, huh?]
  • Under Process Map: "Demographic form will need to be filled out to ensure that all information is correct and processing of student statistics is accurate." ["Hey, go to the library and find an Asian dude. We're one short."]
All of that raises a few questions:

  1. It is clearly stated that diversity of race, gender, etc. will be considered in the selection of participants. Were any specific criteria used to determine whether the group was "diverse enough?" If so, what were they? If not, what is the meaning of "considered?"
  2. More specifically, were quotas used? If so, what were the "magic numbers" for each demographic group? If not, how did you ensure that a diverse set of students was selected? Absent quotas, what would you have done if you had found that the final group of 100 was not diverse enough?
  3. Were any categories besides "ethnicity, race, gender, and university affiliation" considered in order to assess "diversity?" For example, religion, sexual orientation, or political affiliation?
  4. What was the purpose of collecting demographic data from the nominees/participants? Was the demographic data of the nominees/participants compared to any other demographic data, such as from the University as a whole, from the State of Alabama, or from the U.S.? If so, what was the purpose of the comparison and how did it affect the process of selecting the participants? If not, I repeat: what was the purpose of collecting demographic data?
  5. What questions were asked on the demographics forms? What statistics were computed? Are the statistics included as part of the display? Are the statistics publicly available?
  6. Were any students rejected because their participation would upset the diversity goals?How many students were rejected? Why were they rejected? What did they write on their demographic profiles?
  7. Who nominated and selected the participants? How were the nominating individuals or groups selected?
  8. Finally...Were any Australian aborigines included among the 100? Monty Python fans? Trekkies? Eunuchs?
I hope to find out the answers to at least some of those questions over the next few days, and I'll be sure to follow up. (If someone at UA can get hold of one of those demographic forms, or provide any additional information, I'd be most appreciative. Send it to

So, why should something like this even matter? I mean...those of us who work (or at least simulate it) in the real world have plenty of things to worry about already. Why should we care about some silly collage at the University of Alabama?

Here's the short answer:

The diversophiles who reign on college campuses today - whether they call themselves multiculturalists or interculturalists or whatever - believe that no enterprise or pursuit is legitimate unless it conforms to a narrow and limiting concept of "diversity" that places value on human beings not as individuals, but according to their group identities. Under this philosophy, the success of an endeavor is measured not by its...ummm...success...but by the "diversity" of the participants: Were whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, men, women, gays, etc. represented in the right numbers? Did everyone feel that their voices were heard and that they were sufficiently included in the process?

For the diversophiles, diversity is not merely the means to an end; it is the principal objective. If they are correct in their views, then the whole American experiment is illegitimate. For example, the U.S. Constitution doesn't require that Congress, the executive branch, and the Supreme Court must be composed of 51% women, 12% blacks, and 10% homosexuals (or 5%, or whatever the latest study shows.) It doesn't even require that there be one woman, or one black, or one homosexual (or one man, one white, or one heterosexual, for that matter). That's anathema to the diversophiles, but to me, it's a good thing. It means that we still live in a land where people are free to make their own decisions, absent the intervention of diversocrats, diversophiles, and diversity-mongers.

New e-mail address

I finally set up an e-mail address for the blog. If anyone wants to contact me, feel free to send me mail at The address is also listed in my Blogger profile (click on "View My Complete Profile" in the top-right).

Cool links, constructive feedback, interesting info, and suggestions for future blog posts will be much appreciated.

I love gospel music

...but now I can't get this song out of my head.

Lucy Baxley: "Standing on 'No Promises'"

If you're waiting on Lucy Baxley to provide the details of her vision for Alabama, don't hold your breath.

From the AP last Thursday:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley says there's a reason she hasn't given a lot of details concerning what she plans to do if she's elected governor — she doesn't want to make promises she can't keep. ...

A candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for governor, Baxley said she doesn't want to be like Republican Gov. Bob Riley, who she said has not kept some of the promises he made in a 90-page booklet he put out detailing his plans when he ran for governor four years ago.

"It's difficult for me to make grand promises about things I know it's difficult for the governor to do," Baxley said.

Speaking to a conference of airport administrators at a downtown Montgomery hotel, Baxley said if she was a typical candidate she would promise to extend all airport runways in the state, but said she would not make promises she knew might be impossible to keep.

"Fairy tales start out with 'once upon a time,' but in an election year that changes to 'when I get elected,'" Baxley said.

Lucy, Lucy. No one's asking you to make promises you can't keep. People just want to know what you think. Everyone knows that a Governor can't solve all the state's problems, but saying "I support this" or "I oppose that" is something that every credible candidate for public office has to do at some point. As Riley spokesman Josh Blades said, "a smiling face and a cute slogan" just don't cut it.

I'll give Lucy credit for one thing, though. Her campaign platform of "No Promises, No Plans" is certainly simple to understand.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006
On this day:

Survival of the fittest

ABC News reports that "Mormon crickets invade to survive." Basil adds: "Muslim crickets threaten Jihad."

Thank You for Smoking

I saw the movie the other night. It was pretty good, I thought, but the book was much better, and much funnier. Isn't that usually the case?

If you're a Chris Buckley fan, you might think about reading God is My Broker. I read it on a long plane trip a few years back, and I couldn't stop the great annoyance of my fellow passengers, I'm sure. You can read the first chapter here.

On a lighter note

Don't mess with Thelma Carter. The Decatur Daily reports that the 74-year-old grandmother choked an intruder into her Decatur home on Sunday. In her words, "I grabbed him around the throat and I just strangled the living daylights out of him." Once the man had finally had enough of tangling with the pissed-off Grandma, he ran away. Mrs. Carter didn't want to leave it at that, though: "Last I saw him, he was running down the street.. . . I wished I had run after him and picked up something and knocked him in the head."

Now, that's the kind of story I like to hear.

Nall no longer endorses Darby

Loretta Nall, the Libertarian Party's candidate for Governor, has responded to my earlier question of whether she still endorses Larry Darby for Attorney General. Thankfully, the answer is "no." Here's what she said:

""One other thing while I have you you still "encourage all of your supporters to support Larry Darby against John Tyson in the June primary?""

Let me try and explain my relationship with Mr. Darby.

Back in 2002 when all of my legal troubles began I hired Mr. Darby as my children's attorney due to having some very serious problems with the school system here in Tallapoosa County.

All I knew about him at the time was that he was a fellow Atheist and supported drug policy reform.

In all honesty I did not know that Larry Darby was a white supremacist/holocaust denier until he attended my news conference on the steps of the State Capitol and made it a point to inform the media of his stance on those particular issues.

Had there been a rock large enough for me to crawl under at that time I think I might actually have done it.

I vehemently disagree with Mr. Darby's viewpoints on white supremacy and the holocaust. I find them offensive. I, however, respect his right to hold those views no matter how offensive I might find them. We all share the same freedoms regardless of how we choose to exercise them. To take away ones freedom to think repugnant thoughts is to also take away my right and yours to think nice, tolerant, peaceful ones.

I apologize for coming off so harsh...not for saying it was "utter horseshit"....that's just the way I am. I don't mince words and I don't abide by what the potty mouth police try to enforce.

I am actually kind of glad you brought this whole thing up. I had been wondering how long it would be after Mr. Darby made that statement on the Capitol steps before someone would dig up my original endorsement for his campaign. Now this is out in the open and can be dealt with.

I don't agree with Mr. Darby, and having discovered his real position on race issues I no longer support his campaign for AG.

We need an AG in Alabama who can be fair when enforcing the laws. Not one who is biased and racist. Alabama needs so desperately to move away from the politics of hate and the terrible image we have across state lines. I will only support candidates who are true to those ideals.

In Liberty,
Loretta Nall

She also let me know that I'm not on her s**tlist. That's nice to hear. I get the feeling that Loretta Nall's s**tlist would not be a very pleasant place to be. (Why do I keep saying s**t, by the way? Why can't I just say s*it, or sh*t, or even *hit?) Anyway, here's Loretta:
Oh...and you're not on my s**tlist. I try to reserve that for people who actually belong there and you don't, as far as I can tell.

You had every right to ask the question that you did....I only wish you had contacted me first to ask about the details.

No happens to the best of us and I hope that my answers have cleared this up.

I think she has cleared it, if anyone's interested in helping out with Mrs. Nall's campaign, head over to her web site at We need someone in this race who will keep the two major party candidates on their toes, and I think that Mrs. Nall will be a good one to do it.

Now, let's move on to less depressing topics, shall we?

Remembering the Holocaust

At 10 AM today, air-raid sirens sounded throughout Israel in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day. In Poland, thousands of marchers - Jews and non-Jews - will walk from Auschwitz to Birkenau in a "March of the Living" to remember the victims of the unspeakable atrocities that were committed there.

"Life" and "living" aren't what we normally associate with the Auschwitz and Birkenau death camps. There may be no site in this world that more signifies pure, raw evil. The death marches...the gas chambers...the cold...and the despair. More than one million people - most of them Jews - were murdered by the Nazis there on the Polish plains.

Leslie Schachter, a writer for the Jerusalem Post, wrote earlier this week about his first trip to Auschwitz:
A couple of days ago I took the bus from Krakow to Auschwitz. The inevitable awkward feeling of requesting a bus ticket to Auschwitz, the most notorious of the Nazi death camps, was almost as surreal as actually being there.

I felt I had to go, not to educate myself; I already knew enough of what took place there. I needed to go more out of a sense of respect to all those who perished there. Walking past the barracks, large red brick houses, it was hard to believe that all of these horrible things really happened, and only just a few minutes away from the next village.

Yes, it is hard to believe that these things really happened. Even when you're right there and the evidence is staring you in the face, it's hard to believe that human beings could be capable of such evil. But, we know that they were.

On May 5, 1985, Ronald Reagan visited the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in what was then West Germany, and delivered this speech, which I've excerpted below. Reagan's visit was extremely controversial at the time: later that day, he would visit the Bitburg military cemetery, which served as the final resting place for about 2000 German soldiers, among them 48 of Hitler's Schutzstaffel - the SS. The reaction of various Jewish organizations ranged from disappointment to outrage, but Reagan went on with the trip, viewing it as a symbol of America's friendship with Germany and a clear expression that American would never forget about the Holocaust.

Here's some of what Reagan said at Bergen-Belsen: (He later delivered this speech following his visit to Bitburg.)

Today, we've been grimly reminded why the commandant of this camp was named "the Beast of Belsen.'' Above all, we're struck by the horror of it all -- the monstrous, incomprehensible horror. And that's what we've seen but is what we can never understand as the victims did. Nor with all our compassion can we feel what the survivors feel to this day and what they will feel as long as they live. What we've felt and are expressing with words cannot convey the suffering that they endured. That is why history will forever brand what happened as the Holocaust.

Here, death ruled, but we've learned something as well. Because of what happened, we found that death cannot rule forever, and that's why we're here today. We're here because humanity refuses to accept that freedom of the spirit of man can ever be extinguished. We're here to commemorate that life triumphed over the tragedy and the death of the Holocaust -- overcame the suffering, the sickness, the testing and, yes, the gassings. We're here today to confirm that the horror cannot outlast hope, and that even from the worst of all things, the best may come forth. Therefore, even out of this overwhelming sadness, there must be some purpose, and there is. It comes to us through the transforming love of God.

We learn from the Talmud that: ``It was only through suffering that the children of Israel obtained three priceless and coveted gifts: The Torah, the Land of Israel, and the World to Come.'' Yes, out of this sickness -- as crushing and cruel as it was -- there was hope for the world as well as for the world to come. Out of the ashes -- hope, and from all the pain -- promise. ...

As we flew here from Hanover, low over the greening farms and the emerging springtime of the lovely German countryside, I reflected, and there must have been a time when the prisoners at Bergen-Belsen and those of every other camp must have felt the springtime was gone forever from their lives. Surely we can understand that when we see what is around us -- all these children of God under bleak and lifeless mounds, the plainness of which does not even hint at the unspeakable acts that created them. Here they lie, never to hope, never to pray, never to love, never to heal, never to laugh, never to cry.

And too many of them knew that this was their fate, but that was not the end. Through it all was their faith and a spirit that moved their faith.

Nothing illustrates this better than the story of a young girl who died here at Bergen-Belsen. For more than 2 years Anne Frank and her family had hidden from the Nazis in a confined annex in Holland where she kept a remarkably profound diary. Betrayed by an informant, Anne and her family were sent by freight car first to Auschwitz and finally here to Bergen-Belsen.

Just 3 weeks before her capture, young Anne wrote these words: ``It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them because in spite of everything I still believe that people are good at heart. I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness. I hear the ever approaching thunder which will destroy us too; I can feel the suffering of millions and yet, if I looked up into the heavens I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end and that peace and tranquility will return again.'' Eight months later, this sparkling young life ended here at Bergen-Belsen. Somewhere here lies Anne Frank.

Everywhere here are memories -- pulling us, touching us, making us understand that they can never be erased. Such memories take us where God intended His children to go -- toward learning, toward healing, and, above all, toward redemption. They beckon us through the endless stretches of our heart to the knowing commitment that the life of each individual can change the world and make it better.

We're all witnesses; we share the glistening hope that rests in every human soul. Hope leads us, if we're prepared to trust it, toward what our President Lincoln called the better angels of our nature. And then, rising above all this cruelty, out of this tragic and nightmarish time, beyond the anguish, the pain and the suffering for all time, we can and must pledge: Never again.

The sign over the entrance to Auschwitz, which is still there today, reads "ARBEIT MACHT FREI." Translated, it means "work makes you free." It's an innocent-sounding slogan, but those who passed through the gates at Auschwitz found that it was nothing more than a cloak - a cynical cover for the great evil that lay inside. To those who say that this sign never existed, or that the camp behind it never existed, or that the Holocaust didn't occur, the only response is this: - "NIE WIEDER" - "Never again."

Monday, April 24, 2006
On this day:

Loretta Nall responds

Loretta Nall was kind enough to reply to my previous post, and boy was she quick about it! I hardly had time to read through my book on "Libertarian Party Victories" before she had posted a response. A word of advice: Don't ever challenge Mrs. Loretta to a duel. Anyway, here's what she had to say (in a comment and on her blog):

None of my principals support white supremacy or denial of the holocaust.

When I posted that blog entry I did not know that Larry Darby held those views.

He and I share the same views on drug policy reform and some of the same views on religion and that we do not believe any theology.

Our similarities end there.

You can see first hand my views on race issues by watching this video of my speech to the Alabama Conference of Black Mayors on the 41st Anniversary of the Edmund Pettus Bridge Crossing.

I am a firm believer in Liberty being one of the things you can never have if you are not willing to give it to others as well.

Please take the liberty of contacting me directly in the future if you have questions about my stance on any issue....before you report it to your readers as fact. I am happy to answer your questions.

Just ask.

In Liberty,

Loretta Nall
Vote Nall Y'all...It's Just Common Sense

Here's my reply, which is also posted as a comment to the previous post:

Ms. Nall,

Thanks for the response and clarification. I'm glad to hear that you do not endorse Mr. Darby's views on the Holocaust. I had assumed that a self-professed friend of Larry Darby would be aware of what he has said on that topic. His enemies certainly are.

You are a candidate for Governor of Alabama and the most prominent leader of the Libertarian Party - a minor party that dreams of becoming a major party. If you expect your campaign and your party to be taken seriously, I suggest that in the future, you should be more discriminating in your endorsements.
Since I'm already on Mrs. Nall's s**tlist, I figured, "Why not ask her the question she managed to avoid addressing?" Can't hurt, right? So, here it is:
One other thing while I have you you still "encourage all of your supporters to support Larry Darby against John Tyson in the June primary?"

Now that we all know about Mr. Darby's views on Jews, the Holocaust, etc., that shouldn't be a difficult question to answer. I'm sure we'll get a response as soon as I click..."Publish..."

Libertarian candidate for Governor endorses Darby

Loretta Nall, who is running for Governor as a Libertarian, endorsed Larry Darby's candidacy for AG back in December. She says that "Larry is a friend of mine and we share many of the same ideals and principals [sic]."

Well, if one of Loretta Nall's principal principles is supporting those who deny the truth of the Holocaust, would-be Libertarian voters should weigh their options heavily come November.

Darby: "40,000 to 70,000, tops" died in Holocaust

From the Tuscaloosa News (March 30, 2006):
TUSCALOOSA Larry Darby, the founder of the Atheist Law Center in Montgomery, has brought some controversial views to the campaign trail, and they aren’t limited to his take on religion.

The candidate for Alabama attorney general told The Tuscaloosa News earlier this week that he favors decriminalizing marijuana, that the Holocaust “never happened" and that he believes both blacks and whites would prefer separate schools.

Darby said he is a former libertarian who became a Democrat “to save the party from itself." ...

Darby said he has been criticized for his views on the mass murder of Jews during World War II, but that he stands by those who deny the Holocaust, in which as many as six million Jews were killed by the Nazis.

“I think it was only 40,000 to 70,000, tops," he said.

Darby protested the installation of the Ten Commandments monument in the Alabama Judicial Building by former Alabama Chief Justice and current gubernatorial candidate Roy Moore.

He said he supported Roy Moore in his contention that no federal court could order him to remove the monument because it was a state matter.

“But I disagreed with putting any artifact, any holy material, on state property," he said. “The Ten Commandments are by and for the Jews."

The devil's in the details, as they say. For a good example of sloppy, lazy journalism at its worst, check out Darby's profile over at WHNT-TV's web site:
Darby has been an active participant in matters before the Legislature, often addressing committees about concerns about bills that are unconstitutional or otherwise threaten the sovereignty of Alabama.

Darby’s favorite endeavor has been being a Daddy. Beyond that, he enjoys playing backgammon and keeping up with important current events in an historical context.

Yeah, and he likes kittens and has recently taken up needlepoint. What the hell?

Democratic AG candidate Larry Darby calls Holocaust the "HoloHoax"

Is Larry Darby a Holocaust-denier and/or an anti-Semite? His words speak for themselves.

On January 2, Mr. Darby responded to this blog post by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh. (See my previous post.) Darby's response was published on the ReligionLaw discussion list, which is moderated by Professor Volokh. Here's an excerpt:

Preserving the myths regarding "the holocaust", which is a modern religion for Zionists or Israel-Firsters, is what motivated Volokh to write his piece about me, without interviewing me or addressing genuine issues. Criticism of Trotskyism or Communism, which is the ideology of the Nonconservatives (Jewish and Jewish-Christian Zionists), is what Volokh feared. He later revealed that he had lied to me when he claimed he did not know what "MOT" means, but I digress again, which is easy to do when pretentious "scholars" reveal insidious motives that, if successful, will result in the destruction of our Republic or the principles of individual liberties forged during the Enlightenment and manifested in the US Constitution. A reason why the Traditional Enemies of Free Speech are quick to holler "anti-semite" or "holocaust denier" or "anti-Jew" (terms of art for Zionists) is that they fear that when a truth-seeker begins looking into taboos of Judaism, World Jewry or its organizations, and their global endeavors, that their cover will be blown, so to speak. In my investigations of modern mythology, such as the Six Millions Lie, which by the way was first trotted out by Zionists during or immediately after World War One, there is a nasty aspect that is too often ignored - that of Jewish Supremacism. I've noticed megalomania or superiority complexes even with so-called secular Jews. Even though so-called secular Jews reject the existence of YHWH (the Jewish God of War, the surviving god of all the gods Jews once worshiped) who made them the Master Race, according to the Tanakh, so-called secular Jews are still Jewish Supremacists.

I think Gilad Atzmon sums up how it is: I argue that once you strip Jewishness of its spiritual content you areleft with mere racism. Gilad Atzmon, Israeli-born, raised as a "secularJew", who later renounced his Jewishness altogether. Dec. 21, 2005 in San Francisco Independent Media. ...

Many Americans are brain-warped to believe that criticizing Judaism or Jewry or US foreign policy regarding Israel is taboo. Many people don't understand that the offensive (not defensive) terms of art, such as"anti-semite", are just weapons employed by the Traditional Enemies of Free Speech to quash free inquiry and free expression about subjects that lead to greater awareness and understanding of the elephant in the living room.

Later that day, Darby added:

Remember that Volokh opened the door to this, without even bothering toaddress genuine issues of fact. As I said, the artful dodger ignored orrejected by willingness to get to a material discussion of the issues. Volokh set out on a course of groundless personal attack based on the [dumbed down] propensity of most Americans to accept without question the politically correct dogma fed to us by media for the masses and government-run schools and ivory tower "intellectuals" with insidious motivations. And like it or not, the dogma we are fed includes a big dose of Holocaust religion that is without evidence or proof, such as the "Six Millions Lie" first trotted out by Zionists during or after World War One. ...

It is not the Latin cross the Neoconservatives are trying to install in government building[s]!

When one list member asked Mr. Darby to clarify his position (i.e. "what he means by the 'six millions lie'"), he responded:

I have little or no interest responding to your query; it appears to be an attempt at misdirection away from the issues, such as Volokh's dishonesty and rampant Jewish Supremacism in the United States. ... does not have to have survived anything to be deemed a"holocaust survivor" just as one does not have to deny mass deaths of innocents in order for the mythmakers and profiteers of the Holocaust Industry to deem one a "holocaust denier".

There's no business like shoah business!

Finally, Mr. Darby came right out and said it: the Holocaust (or what is presented as such) is a myth.

I know the truth is very difficult for some of you to accept, but what is presented as "the holocaust" is a myth and there is an industry that goes with it. A Jewish fellow, Norman Finkelstein wrote a book on it,"The Holocaust Industry", which for those of you versed in the English language, is just another way of saying "Shoah Business."

Resorting to calling me names just won't work. I do not bow down to semantic terrorism deployed to quash discussion of fact or mythology regarding mass deaths of innocents during World War Two. It's sorta like the man in New Jersey said, ""These Holocaust deniers are very slick people. They justify everything they say with facts and figures." - Chairman, New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education(Newark Star-Ledger, 23 Oct. 1996, p 15) Have a nice day.
It seems that Darby is not only a Holocaust-denier...he's a Moses-denier, too. Interestingly, his objection to public displays of the Ten Commandments seems to stem primarily from their Jewish origin, as opposed to his own atheism:

The half-hearted opposition to religion encroachment into government, popularly known as "separation of church and state", with its artificial constructs of the "Lemon" test and "Marsh" exception appear to effectively have worked to allow the Law of Moses or the Ten Commandments (given to the fictional Jewish character Moses in Hebrew lore) to represent the de facto US Religion.

When the Hebrew writings (or translation) are presented as historical documents (a factual impossibility given that the Torah was derived from sources over a period of about 800 years) and placed next to genuinely historical documents (such as the US Constitution), Government is telegraphing that Jewish law is equal to or superior to the Supreme Law of the Land.

It is not the Latin cross or other genuine Christian symbols the Neoconservatives (Trotskyists, Zionists, Dominionists) are placing on government property, validated by courts far and wide.
It gets worse. This item , posted by Darby on January 27, eventually led to his booting from Volokh's discussion list. In it, he linked to an article claiming that "Jews have superstitious reasons pertaining to the number 'six' for claiming that six million died" and that "Holocaust lore is essential to the precarious legitimacy of the Jewish State." After he was kindly asked to keep his posts on topic, Darby went off the deep end:

My post was very much material and relevant to law and religion. I believe our ListMeister fears any criticism of Judaism or world Jewry or global endeavors of its adherents. No matter how often or who opposes freedom of religion, which includes criticism of Judaism, the knowledge of truth (of the HoloHoax) is expanding across the Earth.
So, there we have it, folks. A major-party candidate for Attorney General of Alabama recently called the Holocaust the "HoloHoax." If this has been reported in the mainstream media, I must have missed it. If the Alabama Democratic Party has issued a statement distancing itself from Larry Darby's views, then it seems that that too, has either passed by unnoticed or unreported.

To be fair, the Montgomery Advertiser did run this article back in November of 2005, after the Southern Poverty Law Center's criticized Darby for hosting Holocaust-denier David Irving at an Atheist Law Center event. Darby also got a brief mention in this January AP article, after he spoke in opposition to Alabama's proposed hate crimes law:

Larry Darby, founder of the Atheist Law Center in Montgomery and a Democratic candidate for attorney general, urged the committee to kill the bill because similar laws in other countries have been used to prevent free speech. He cited British historian David Irving, who is in jail in Austria awaiting trial on charges of denying that Nazis slaughtered 6 million Jews. Denying or diminishing the Holocaust is a crime in Austria punishable by up to 10 yeas in prison.

"Irving's findings are counter to the government-sanctioned version of what is called the Holocaust. The Holocaust has evolved into a religious industry with sacred precepts that are examined only under the penalty of law. Free speech is anathema to the Holocaust industry," Darby said.

Some committee members ridiculed Darby's remarks. "I hear the black helicopters coming," quipped Rep. Dick Brewbaker, R-Montgomery.

Holmes said he was uncertain what would happen to his bill until Darby spoke against it, but his remarks cinched the favorable vote.

Other than that, though...the mainstream media has been silent. Oh, it's probably not that big of a deal, and it's probably best that Darby's views get as little attention as possible, but if he were a Republican...don't you think that the coverage would have been a little different?

Meet Larry Darby

One fellow who may not appreciate Joe Turnham's words of wisdom on God and Alabama Democrats is Larry Darby. Darby, who is currently seeking the Democratic nomination for Attorney General, is the former president of the Atheist Law Center, a legal advocacy firm based in Montgomery.

Darby will inevitably be defeated in the primary by his only opponent, John Tyson, Jr., but just in case anyone's tempted to vote for's some food for thought:

Back in December, Eugene Volokh noted that Darby "has some rather interesting views about Jews, Zionism, and the Holocaust."

Volokh writes (with follow-ups here and here):

Leading Atheist Legal Activist and Candidate for Alabama Attorney General Has Some Rather Interesting Views About Jews, Zionism, and the Holocaust: Larry Darby is apparently a pretty prominent atheist legal activist. He was the president of the Atheist Law Center (though he has since stepped down to run for public office); filed amicus briefs in the Supreme Court's Ten Commandments cases on behalf of various atheist groups and also on behalf of running in the June 2006 Democratic primary for Alabama Attorney General — I suspect that he has little chance of winning, but I take it that he'll want to use the race as a platform for expressing his various views, which include juvenile law reform and decriminalization of marijuana.

Mr. Darby also (1) apparently wrote that "David Duke is right on with the problem of Zionism and the Zionist-Occupied Government we live under," (2) seems quite interested in whether media representatives who contact him about such matters are Jewish, and (3) was substantially involved in organizing a speech by noted Holocaust denier David Irving.

I first heard about this when an acquaintance of mine e-mailed me an exchange that included Mr. Darby's "Zionist-Occupied Government" quote. I then e-mailed Mr. Darby to verify the quote. (I had and still have no reason to question my correspondent's veracity, but I thought that checking would be a good idea.) The closest Mr. Darby came to denying the accuracy of the quote is when he eventually said — after an exchange of several e-mails — "Know that what you sent to me as represented by [my correspondent] is not authentic," which seemed to me like a somewhat coy way of addressing whether Mr. Darby indeed said the "Zionist-Occupied Government" item.

I then followed up by asking "My question was simply whether you did or did not e-mail the text I asked you about. Did you or didn't you?" He didn't respond to that question, but instead insisted that I tell him whether I was a Zionist and a Trotskyite. Mr. Darby's e-mails to me also included the following, which further leads me to think that my correspondent indeed accurately quoted the "Zionist-Occupied Government" line:

"[F]or the record, Dr. David Duke does offer insight into the neoconservative or Trotskyist government in Washington, DC. Some of what he has been saying for years is bearing out in the news today. Have you ever read anything of Duke's your self? I'm sure he'd talk to you. Write him at and find out for yourself. And read what he really says for yourself, without relying on what Jewish Supremacists say about him.

"Have you been keeping up with all the Zionists (Jews and Jewish-Christians) being arrested by the FBI? I know it hasn't made mainstream media, but it is happening and expectations are that when Kidan turns evidence against Uber-Zionist Abramoff, some other members of Congress might be indicted. Those are only two of several people arrested.

"If you aren't keeping up with those issues, then likely you won't be able to understand that Dr. Duke knows what he's talking about when it comes to Jewish Supremacism and Zionism. . . ."

Earlier in the exchange, Mr. Darby had also asked me whether I was a "MOT," which he later elaborated to "MOT refers to Member of Tribe. In other words, are you a Jew?" A quick Internet search revealed to me Mr. Darby's invitation of David Irving.

The Wikipedia article on David Irving is here. The Southern Poverty Law Center reported on the Darby-Irving connection in their Fall 2005 Intelligence Report.

Friday, April 21, 2006
On this day:


I noticed today that the Alabama Democratic Party blog has a new slogan, courtesy of party chair Joe Turnham:

"Alabama Democrats are as conservative as the Word of God and as liberal as the love of God."

Thursday, April 20, 2006
On this day:

We're Here! We're...ummm...Quiet?

April 26 should be a peaceful day on the Plains.

Alabama legislature fails to act on immigration before session ends

It's not like they didn't have the opportunity. The Birmingham News reported Tuesday that nine bills relating to illegal immigration were introduced this session. All of them died in the Democrat-controlled legislature without a vote.

This B'ham News piece from February discusses the bills' content. (H/T Politics in Alabama...where one commenter filled in some of the details.) I don't want to suggest that these were all good bills. A particularly objectionable one was House Bill 483, proposed by Rep. Mickey Hammon (R-Decatur). It would have made all personal property of illegal aliens subject to forfeiture, except for basic living necessities. That just goes way too far, in my opinion. Illegal aliens are not slaves. To deprive them of the fruits of their labor would pay them an undeserved injustice. We can support stronger enforcement of the nation's immigration laws without surrendering our civility.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006
On this day:

Georgia acts to curb illegal immigration

A model for Alabama?

An empty gesture

From the AP:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Legislature gave final approval Monday night to a bill that sets up a process to pardon civil rights icon Rosa Parks and hundreds of others arrested for violating segregation-era laws. ...

Those arrested or family members of those deceased would have to request the pardons. ...

The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Thad McClammy, D-Montgomery, said the bill could lead to pardons for Parks, civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King and hundreds of others convicted of violating laws aimed at keeping the races separate. McClammy said the arrests date back as far as the early 1900s.

I'm sure that this bill was passed with good intentions, but I think Rep. John Rogers was onto something when he noted that "Martin Luther King and the others were arrested with pride."

The laws of Alabama at the time King, Parks, and others were arrested were unjust and applied unfairly. It is precisely because of that injustice that the heroes of the civil rights movement intended to break the law, did break the law, and paid the penalties for breaking the law. Lawbreaking was an essential part of the civil rights struggle, and crucial to its success. That's a part of our history, and although it may be sad in many ways, it's also inspiring. To pardon the lawbreakers now would not only fail to make proper amends for past injustice, but it would also detract from the legacy of the civil rights movement. Why commemorate actions that were so full of meaning with a gesture that is so empty?

Siegelman takes campaign to new audience

Jury selection for Siegelman's trial on corruption charges begins today.

Just peachy

Gov. Riley has signed a bill making the peach Alabama's "official tree fruit."
Earlier Tuesday, Riley said he wasn't worried about comments that have been made by some officials in Georgia, known as "the peach state," claiming that their peaches are the best.

"We don't want to have an argument. We just think our peaches taste better," Riley said.

Asked if he had invited Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to attend the bill signing, Riley said, "He's more than welcome."

Feds consider gender quotas for university engineering, physics, computer science departments

Look...I know that math and science geeks need all the help they can get when it comes to getting laid, but this is ridiculous:
On March 25, National Journal reported that the Bush administration planned an unprecedented expansion of Title IX enforcement into the math and science departments of the nation's leading research universities. In interviews with several publications, Assistant Secretary of Education Stephanie Monroe announced that the Department of Education would be teaming up with the National Science Foundation to investigate the sex disparities in hard sciences--particularly engineering, physics, and computer science--that got former Harvard University president Larry Summers into so much trouble when he broached the subject in an academic meeting last year.

Monroe said that, beginning this summer, Education's Office of Civil Rights--which she heads--would conduct intensive investigations of colleges and universities to determine if they are complying with Title IX in their treatment of women as undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. ...

She told Inside Higher Education...that because the discrimination faced by women in math and science is often "subtle," the government would investigate policies that result in women "feeling unwelcome" in their pursuit of advanced degrees or tenured positions in the hard sciences. Although Monroe promised to "not simply look at the numbers," the unwelcoming environments for women she intended to investigate were in fact schools where a relatively small number of women pursue postgraduate work or where relatively few women are hired as faculty in math and science.
Seriously, guess is that the scarcity of women in the fields of math, science, and engineering is the result of self-selection, not discrimination. For whatever reason - whether nature, nurture, or some combination of the two - women as a group just don't find these particular fields that appealing. So what? Men are underrepresented in colleges of nursing, social work, and education. That's not evidence of discrimination, either. It only demonstrates the age-old notion that men and women have different interests and abilities. No amount of bureaucratic busybodyism can change that.

Now, for the good news:
...on March 29--four days after Monroe's announcement appeared in National Journal--the White House quietly forced a retraction. On Department of Education letterhead, a statement was released over Monroe's signature promising that "the Department of Education is not expanding Title IX enforcement beyond its regular activities to combat unlawful discrimination. Further, the Department is not implementing any quota system or new enforcement program to advance study opportunities in math and science." And then Monroe promptly went on "travel," according to an Education Department spokesman, and has since been unavailable for interviews.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006
On this day:

Senator Sessions on immigration II

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions critiques the U.S. Senate's immigration reform "compromise" proposal today on National Review Online. He concludes:
If the Senate wants to be successful in passing immigration reform, its first priority should be to approve a bill to secure the borders and increase interior-enforcement infrastructure. Then we can move on to discussions about fair and humane treatment of the illegal-alien population and the future flow of immigrants across our borders.

B'ham domed stadium stalled "because of politics"

Too bad it's not "because of common sense."

Riley signs bill raising threshold for paying income taxes

Last week, Gov. Riley signed a bill that eases the tax burden for the state's lower-income taxpayers. From the Mobile Press-Register:
Among several changes, most focusing on lower-income taxpayers, families of four who were taxed on all income above $4,600 now will start being taxed at $12,600. The maximum tax savings for a family of four would be about $250 per year. The old threshold was the lowest of any state in the country, leading many observers to declare Alabama's system unfair and, in the governor's words, "immoral." ...

Alabama's new threshold ranks 47th, higher than West Virginia ($10,000), Montana ($10,800) and Hawaii ($11,500). ...
It's disappointing that the tax cut doesn't extend across-the-board, to include middle- and upper-income taxpayers, but it's a start.

NY Times: Outrage at funeral protests pushes lawmakers to act

The Times reports that the disgusting tactics of Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church (which is not affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention) are causing a backlash:
Over the past decade, the church, which consists almost entirely of 75 of Mr. Phelps's relatives, made its name by demonstrating outside businesses, disaster zones and the funerals of gay people. Late last year, though, it changed tactics and members began showing up at the funerals of troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, has put it on its watch list.

Embracing a literal translation of the Bible, the church members believe that God strikes down the wicked, chief among them gay men and lesbians and people who fail to strongly condemn homosexuality. God is killing soldiers, they say, because of America's unwillingness to condemn gay people and their lifestyles.

Standing on the roadside outside Corporal Bass's funeral here under a strikingly blue sky, the six protesters, who had flown from Topeka, shook their placards as cars drove past or pulled into the funeral. The 80-year-old wife of Mr. Phelps, slightly stooped but spry and wearing her running shoes, carried a sign that read "Tennessee Taliban." She is often given the task of driving the pickup trucks that ferry church members, a stack of pillows propping her view over the dashboard.

Next to her stood a cluster of Mr. Phelps's great-grandnephews and great-grandnieces, smiling teenagers with sunglasses, digital cameras and cellphones dangling from their pockets and wrists. They carried their own signs, among them, "You're Going to Hell."

Careful not to trespass on private property, the group stood a distance down the hill from the Woodmont Hills Church of Christ. Police cars parked nearby, keeping watch, but mostly making sure no one attacked the protesters.

The Times mentions that the Tennessee legislature is considering a measure to prohibit protesters from standing within 500 feet of a funeral, burial, or memorial service. That's all well and good, but I have a better solution...take away the police, and let's see the Phelps family give new meaning to "cut and run."

Illegal immigrants deported after landing at Point Clear

Just think - a few thousand more stories like this one, and...well, we'd still have an illegal immigration problem.

Latest poll shows Riley with huge lead over Moore

...and I do mean huge. The latest Mobile Press-Register/University of South Alabama poll shows Gov. Riley with a commanding 64%-20% lead over Roy Moore among those who say they will vote in the June 6 Republican primary.

The Moore campaign smells a conspiracy:
J. Holland, Moore's campaign spokesman, released the following Moore statement in response to the results:

"This poll is being used to divert attention from the recent revelations of unethical political action committee (PAC) contributions to my opponent from such sources as the Alabama Education Association, trial lawyers and gambling interests. Other surveys taken across this state do not reflect these results, and just like my race for chief justice in 2000, this poll will be proved totally inaccurate on June 6, 2006."
So here's a Roy Moore trivia question for y'all. I remember hearing one of Judge Moore's old law school classmates tell a story about how Moore earned the nickname "Fruit Salad" while he was attending law school at the University of Alabama, but I can't remember why. The Wikipedia article on Judge Moore simply says that "the nickname 'Fruit Salad' was bestowed upon him by a professor for his unconventional legal theories." Can anyone tell me the story behind the nickname?

Monday, April 17, 2006
On this day:

Alabama takes step forward in protecting the unborn

Governor Riley has signed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act into law.

The law redefines the term "person" to include the unborn, stating:
The term ["person"], when referring to the victim of a criminal homicide or assault, means a human being, including an unborn child in utero at any stage of development, regardless of viability.

Legislators went out of their way to ensure that the law doesn't affect one particular form of violence against the unborn - abortion - with the following language:

Nothing [in the act] shall permit the prosecution of (1) any person for conduct relating to an abortion for which the consent of the pregnant woman or a person authorized by law to act on her behalf has been obtained or for which consent is implied by law or (2) any woman with respect to her unborn child...

Nothing in this act shall make it a crime to perform or obtain an abortion that is otherwise legal. Nothing in this act shall be construed to make an abortion legal which is not otherwise authorized by law.

With Governor Riley's signature, Alabama became the 33rd state to enact a law recognizing two victims instead of one when a pregnant woman is assaulted or killed.

Riley spokesman comments on another Moore conspiracy theory

From the B'ham News:
"Last week Roy Moore said that our state government is planting cows in Alabama with mad cow disease, now he is saying that the head of the Democratic party is trying to elect a Republican governor. Both are ridiculous conspiracy theories," Riley spokesman Josh Blades said.

Thursday, April 13, 2006
On this day:

Senator Sessions on immigration

Alabama's junior U.S. Senator, Jeff Sessions, has been an outstanding voice of reason in the ongoing debate over illegal immigration. In the past two weeks, he has delivered a series of floor speeches on the issue. The full transcripts are available on Sen. Sessions's web site: March 29, March 31, April 3, April 5, April 6, and April 7. I haven't had a chance to read them all yet, but from what I've seen so far, there's some good stuff there. I'll be posting some excerpts over the next few days.

In his March 29 speech, Sen. Sessions announced his opposition to the bill that had just been reported out of the Judiciary Committee, saying that it was essentially an amnesty bill. In that speech, he framed the immigration debate like this:

Mr. President, we are a Nation of immigrants. There are so many great stories of people who have come to this country and enriched our Nation and benefited their families and had great life experiences. There is no dispute about that. I don't think there is a single Member here who would deny that.

But there is a suggestion that those who do not support the Kennedy bill--or whatever you want to call the bill that came out of the Judiciary committee, of which I am a Member and the Presiding Officer is a Member--if you don't support that bill, you want to run everybody out of the country and you want to lock them up and prosecute them. If you don't support this bill, you have bias against them and you don't believe in immigration. You don't believe in the great freedoms of our country. Nothing could be further from the truth. That is not right.

What we are trying to do is to develop a system to deal with the immigration crisis that we have that is consistent with our values as Americans, that is consistent with the rule of law in this country, that treats people who do the right thing better than it treats people who do the wrong thing. That is what this debate is all about. We are trying to set policy for the future about the people who are allowed into our country, how many and under what circumstances. A Nation surely has a right to decide how many people it allows to come in. We are one of the most generous nations in the history of the world in allowing people to come here. But we have a right to decide how it should be done. ...

I want to say a couple of things first. We are going to pass legislation dealing with the entry of people into our Nation. We are going to pass legislation, and I will favor properly drafted legislation that will increase the number of people who come to our country lawfully. We want to pass legislation that treats fairly and decently and humanely the 11 to 20 million people who are here illegally. But I hope and trust we won't pass amnesty which gives the full benefits of legal entry into our country to those who come illegally.

That is really what we are talking about, because what we learned in 1986 was that when you do that, before the ink is dry on the bill, other people come in illegally because they expect we will be right back here again in this Congress giving them amnesty again. So we need to reestablish the principle of law. That is all I am saying. We can treat people in a good way. We will not have to remove all of these people from America. They would not have to be prosecuted and put in jail. How silly is that? That can't be done. Nobody is proposing that.

What we are working on is legislation that can bring law, bring principle, and bring integrity to our immigration system, and I believe it is within our grasp to do so. ...

Sessions went on to identify four different amnesty provisions in the bill:

[1.] Element No. 1, the committee bill takes every illegal alien in the United States who pays $1,000 and was employed before January 7, 2004--whether full time, part time, seasonally or self-employed--and puts that person on a direct path to citizenship. The family of the illegal aliens, their spouse and children, would also be given amnesty, even if they are not already in the United States. They would now be able to come and come legally.

How will it be given out? How do you get on this direct path to citizenship? What is required of the person who seeks it? The truth is that other than illegal presence in the United States, very little is required. ...

[2.] The second major part of Specter-Kennedy substitute amendment--that was an amendment that was substituted for the original Specter bill in the past--is a new program for bringing low-skilled workers into the United States, in addition to illegal aliens already doing these jobs. The program puts them on a direct path to citizenship. It is a new program.

The new program would bring 400,000 low-skilled workers per year into the United States on a 3-year work visa. This visa is renewable for 3 years. It is essentially a guaranteed entry for 6 years to work in the United States. ...

By the sixth year this program will immigrate 2.4 million new low-skilled workers, at a minimum, into the United States. ...

Under the bill language, you can qualify for this new program and come to the United States as a low-skilled immigrant even if you were in removal proceedings and signed a voluntary departure agreement but never left, or you were already removed from the United States and illegally reentered. If you had been removed and illegally reentered, you are eligible.

One might ask, why does this program cover these people? I thought the program was for people who wanted to come to the United States to work in the future, not for those who are already here. This provision is specifically designed to make sure that illegal aliens who are not covered by the bill's amnesty provisions because they did not work in the United States prior to January of 2004, or because they were not legally present in the United States on that day, are not left without a direct path to citizenship also.

This bill covers everybody. It should be called ``no illegal alien left behind.'' I am not exaggerating. It is fixed so that if they are not covered under this ``magic'' date, January 7, 2004, they are covered under the new exemptions of the 400,000 people per year.

[3.] Element three, the Dream Act. That was brought up several times. It never moved in the Senate. But boom, in 2 minutes, Senator Durbin offered the Dream Act and we voted on it in committee Monday afternoon as an amendment to the bill. It took him less than 2 minutes to get it in the bill as an amendment.

The Dream Act does two things. It grants amnesty to an unlimited number of illegal alien minors who graduate from a high school and enroll in college or the military for at least 2 years, or who perform hours of volunteer work, or who can show ``compelling circumstances for the inability to do any of those three,'' and, two, eliminates United States Code section 1623 which I will describe below, thus allowing all illegal aliens enrolled in college to receive in-State tuition rates. This means that while American citizens from Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Massachusetts, have to pay out-of-state tuition rates if they send their kids to the University of Virginia or the University of Alabama, people who have illegally immigrated into this country do not. ...

Allowing all the illegal aliens enrolled in college to receive in-State tuition rates means that while American citizens from the 49 other States have to pay out-of-State tuition rates to send their kids to the University of Alabama or Virginia, people who have illegally immigrated into this country might not. Out-of-State tuition rates range from 2 to 3 1/2 times what in-State tuition rates are. It has always struck me that one of the things you do to encourage people to come here legally and abide by the law, is not give benefits to those who come illegally. It is one thing not to prosecute them; it is one thing not to take them out of the country; but to give them benefits that people who do the right thing get? We should not do that. It is bad policy. ...

[4.] While we were going about our business in committee, the AgJOBS bill was offered as an amendment. ... It was a 106-page amendment. It put 1.5 million illegal alien agriculture workers on a direct path to citizenship--just like that. ...

How does it do it? After the Feinstein amendment, 1.5 million illegal alien workers who pay a $500 fine and demonstrate they worked in agriculture for 150 workdays in the last 2 years will be given blue cards and will be allowed to stay in the United States. Because a workday is defined as 1 hour of work per day, an alien who worked in agriculture for only 150 hours--there are 168 hours in a week--over 2 years will qualify. So if you work 150 hours over 2 years, you qualify. Spouses and children of illegal alien agriculture workers also get legal status and work permits, and they are not limited to working in agriculture either.

The blue card holder is eligible for a green card in two ways: after 3 years of 150 additional workdays--1 hour per day is all that is required--per year or after 5 years of 100 additional workdays per year.

Then, what about citizenship? For these who come here illegally, and they work 150 hours, what happens as to their citizenship? Even though they came here illegally, are they put on the path to citizenship? Yes. All legal permanent residents become eligible for citizenship after 5 years.

The bill that Sen. Sessions spoke against here was eventually rejected, but the "compromise" proposal currently under consideration retains many of the original's worst features. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006
On this day:

Expel them

The intolerant left rears its ugly head at the University of California-Santa Cruz:
(San Francisco Gate) Four military recruiters hastily fled a job fair Tuesday morning at UC Santa Cruz after a raucous crowd of student protesters blocked an entrance to the building where the Army and National Guard had set up information tables.

Members of Students Against War, who organized the counter-recruiting protest, loudly chanted "Don't come back. Don't come back" as the recruiters left the hilltop campus, escorted by several university police officers.

"The situation had degraded to the point where there was a possibility of injury to either a student or law enforcement officer. We certainly didn't want that to happen,'' said Capt. Will Griffin, one of the Army recruiters. ...

...the Army's Griffin said he sensed that some of the students were "looking for action" and decided to pack up their table before things got out of hand and someone got injured.

Students Against War members said they were pleased that their counter-recruiting effort forced the military personnel off campus, at least for the time being.

Counter-recruiting effort, huh? The adults at UC-Santa Cruz (assuming that there are any) should teach these thugs and thugettes that threats and intimidation are not acceptable modes of behavior in a civilized society. As Ronald Reagan used to say back when he was campaigning for Governor of California, "Obey the rules or get out."

Tobacco company sues second-hand smokers

I think this is a joke, but it reminded me that the movie Thank You for Smoking will begin showing here in Huntsville this Friday, April 14. I can't wait. I read the book a while back, and it was hilarilous - a delightful dose of political incorrectness. NRO's Kathryn Jean Lopez had an interview with author Christopher Buckley (William F. Buckley's son) last month.

NRO also recently published movie reviews by Louis Wittig and Frederica Mathewes-Green (careful...there may be some spoilers), and republished Andrew Ferguson's 1994 review of the book.

Republican Supreme Court race heats up

Politics in Alabama has the scoop. The AP story is here.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006
On this day:

Candidates qualify for June primaries

In case you missed it, last Friday was the last day to qualify for the June 6 primaries in Alabama. Here's a listing of major party candidates for statewide offices (I've added links to campaign web sites, if I could find them. "I" indicates incumbents. Source: AP):

Lieutenant Governor
Attorney General
Secretary of State
  • Republicans - Kay Ivey (I)
  • Democrats - Steve Segrest, Keith Douglas Williams
Agriculture Commissioner
  • Republicans - Albert Lipscomb
  • Democrats - Ron Sparks (I)
Public Service Commission (Place 1)
  • Republicans - John Rice
  • Democrats - Jan Cook (I)
Public Service Commission (Place 2)
  • Republicans - Perry Hooper Jr., John Amari, Jack Hornady
  • Democrats - Susan Parker, Debbie Murphree
State Supreme Court Chief Justice
State Supreme Court Associate Justice Place 1
State Supreme Court Associate Justice Place 2
  • Republicans - Tom Woodall (I), Henry P. Fowler
  • Democrats - Gwendolyn Thomas Kennedy
State Supreme Court Associate Justice Place 3
  • Republicans - Lyn Stuart (I), Alan Zeigler
  • Democrats - Albert L. Johnson

State Supreme Court Associate Justice Place 4

  • Republicans - Jean Brown, Glenn Murdock, Tracy Gwyn Birdsong
  • Democrats - John England Jr.
State Court of Civil Appeals Place 1
  • Republicans - Mark Anderson, Terry Moore
  • Democrats - Ray Vaughan
State Court of Civil Appeals Place 2
  • Republicans - Craig Pittman (I)
  • Democrats - Kimberly Drake
State Court of Civil Appeals Place 3
  • Republicans - Bill Shashy, Terri Willingham Thomas, Phillip W. Wood
  • Democrats - Jim McFerrin
State Court of Criminal Appeals Place 1
  • Republicans - Greg Shaw (I)
  • Democrats - Aubrey Ford Jr.
State Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2
  • Republicans - Kelli Wise (I)
  • Democrats - Jamie Durham, Claude E. Patton
State Court of Criminal Appeals Place 3
  • Republicans - Clay Crenshaw, Beth Kellum, Alva Lambert, Sam Welch
  • Democrats - Deborah Bell Paseur
State Board of Education Place 2
  • Republicans - Betty Peters (I), Frank Moore
  • Democrats - Charlotte Kirkland Williams
State Board of Education Place 4
  • Republicans - none
  • Democrats - Ethel Hall (I)
State Board of Education Place 6
  • Republicans - David Byers (I), Jonathan C. Putnam
  • Democrats - none
State Board of Education Place 8
  • Republicans - Marrell Dixon
  • Democrats - Mary Jane Caylor (I)

Where's Dick Cheney?

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — A bald eagle is recovering from a gunshot wound in Gulf County, Florida, but it will never be able to fly again.

Another missing link?

The theory of evolution is still "only a theory," but the fossil record seems to have yielded yet another compelling piece of evidence in its favor. From the New York Times (if that link doesn't work, try here):

Scientists have discovered fossils of a 375-million-year-old fish, a large scaly creature not seen before, that they say is a long-sought missing link in the evolution of some fishes from water to a life walking on four limbs on land. ...

The skeletons have the fins, scales and other attributes of a giant fish, four to nine feet long. But on closer examination, the scientists found telling anatomical traits of a transitional creature, a fish that is still a fish but has changes that anticipate the emergence of land animals — and is thus a predecessor of amphibians, reptiles and dinosaurs, mammals and eventually humans.

The BBC also reported the discovery here.

Siegelman, Scrushy play the race card

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Attorneys for Richard Scrushy tried Monday to scuttle an indictment against him, former Gov. Don Siegelman and two former Siegelman aides by arguing that blacks are underrepresented in pools of potential jurors in Montgomery's federal courts. ...

Wanda Robinson, former jury administrator for the federal courts in Montgomery, testified Monday that the 23 counties in the federal courts' Middle District of Alabama are 30 percent black, and the pool of qualified jurors from those counties is 21 percent black.

Prosecutors say that is within the 10 percentage points allowed by law.

But Scrushy's attorneys said they see problems with the calculations. They also argued that the pool of potential jurors included more whites than it should have because of errors in the way people excused from jury duty were added back into the pool of potential jurors once the reason for their excuse — such as a vacation or illness — ended.

Let me get this straight. According to Scrushy's attorneys, the pool of potential jurors for the Middle District isn't sufficiently representative of the district's black population for a fair trial to be held. Wouldn't the same be true for any trial held in the Middle District? Scrushy and Siegelman are effectively saying that the wheels of justice must grind to a halt, all because of their insistence on an arbitrary racial quota. This is an insult to the justice system and to people of every race - the underlying premise being that - you know - those people...they all think alike.

Republican fire ants

Lucy Baxley was also up on Sand Mountain recently.
Following her speech, it was discovered that Baxley had unknowingly stirred up a fire ant nest and received several bites while talking.

[State Rep. Jeff McLaughlin, D-Guntersville] drew laughter as he jokingly told the democratic audience “I want to apologize for the Republican fire ants."

Monday, April 10, 2006
On this day:

Supporters of illegal immigration rights rally in Alabama

Sunday, in Birmingham. Today, in the heart of Sand Mountain. (More here.)

Alabama's per capita tax burden still among lowest in the nation

Newly-released figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show that Alabamians paid approximately $7.018 billion in taxes to support state government during 2004. That comes out to $1550.99 for every man, woman, and child in the state - giving us the fifth lowest per capita tax burden in the nation. Only residents of New Hampshire, Colorado, South Dakota, and Texas paid a lower amount per person.

Here's how that $1550.99 breaks down:

Taxes on sales and gross receipts: $812.28
Individual income taxes: $495.81
Licenses: $87.83
Corporate income taxes: $64.54
Property taxes: $48.94
Other (death, gift, documentary/stock transfer, severance): $41.59

States with the highest per capita tax burden were (in order): Hawaii, Wyoming, Connecticut, Minnesota, Delaware, Vermont, Massachusetts, California, New Jersey, and New York.

That's all pretty much what you'd expect, with the possible exception of Wyoming. I always thought of Wyoming as a low-tax state. It has no state income tax on individuals or corporations, and its property taxes are relatively low. So, how is it possible that it has the second-highest level of taxation in the Union? A closer look at the data provides the answer. Wyoming's per capita tax revenues are $2,973.87, but a whopping $1,350.21 of that comes from severance taxes. Those are taxes levied on the production of natural resources such as oil, natural gas, and coal - all of which Wyoming has in abundance - and all of which have undergone substantial price increases in the past few years. The state has profited handily, as the chart in the center of the page here shows. Just in case you were wondering.

Friday, April 07, 2006
On this day:

Back in Huntsville

The trip to England was great. I got back to Huntsville yesterday evening, after a long day of traveling. My flight out of Gatwick was at 9 AM London time - that's 3 AM Central time. We arrived in Atlanta at around noon Central, then made the 3 1/2 hour drive up to Huntsville. I didn't get much sleep during any of that time, so I'm currently suffering a mild case of jet lag. I hope to post a few more details and pics later this weekend, after I transfer my photos to my computer and perk up a little bit.