JAMES MADISON QUOTE - 1822

"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."

SCOTTSBORO WEATHER

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Weeds





Even the lowly weed has beauty on God's good Earth. (Photos by Garry Morgan)

Fire on Edmonds Drive




Fire caused extensive damage to a home near the end of Edmonds Drive Sunday morning. An explosion prompted me to look out side. A large smoke plume rose into the sky to the east. After emergency personnel had cleared the scene, I traveled to the fire scene to get pictures of the damage.



During the emergency call I monitored communications of the incident. Fire response was immediate, less than 5 minutes after the explosion, emergency medical response was shortly thereafter. There was an injury in the fire. Emergency Ambulance Service of Highlands Medical Center transported 1 patient with burns. It was reported during patient transportation to the Medical Center that electronic patient monitoring equipment that measures patient vital signs, O2, pulse and heart rate, was inoperable.



The patient was a fire and smoke inhalation patient, inoperable patient monitoring equipment in our community ambulances is an unacceptable situation. (Photos by Garry Morgan)

Friday, March 28, 2008

New Jersey Media Mogul Controls Alabama News Papers


The largest privately owned news media organization in the United States. This Jersey media mogul controls 3 major newspapers located strategically in Huntsville, Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama. http://cjrarchives.org/tools/owners/advance.asp A billion dollar mogul who owns the largest internet news and discussion forum in Alabama, "al.com," to include news and discussion forums in many other states. A fact that places this media corporation in a unique position to control regional political news and discussion through intensive media propaganda and discussion front campaigns. This media giant's services are for hire. Pseudo-discussion and information services structured toward political agendas. Structured news with a political agenda, propaganda. A tool for the politician instead of information, news and discussion for the citizen.




Who is this media giant? Advance Publications. http://www.forbes.com/lists/2006/21/biz_06privates_Advance-Publications_9UC7.html Representative: http://www.nj.com/sopranos/ If you asked the question, what does Alabama and New Jersey have in common? Newspapers and criminal politicians.
Then there is this.
Now to realize what it is all about. A sad day in deed, "I shed a tear in the realization that tyrany has risen and no one said no to the tyrant." A few facts in video form: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wJsovPRTEM&NR=1 part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5NJoZRYOJk&feature=related
Corporate media censorship and Government censorship. How easily the two become entwined. How easily corporate media censors public speech. I guess they are following the example of the House of Representatives, or is it the corporate media setting the example for the House? It seems some of our governmental bureaucrats and strategists have realized the way to censor the public and insure repetitive re-election of political officials is to structure the media corporation in such a fashion that the corporate media giants control public speech and what the public hears, sees and reads. The internet serves as a barrier to tyrany and a pipeline to world wide information and knowledge. The "net" also provides an alternative means of mass and individual communications aside from the routine status quo of corporate media's structured news, propaganda and information exchange. A word from "ginagoddess" on the subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpVK4vIwmmg&feature=related

Radioactive Materials Reported in Scottsboro's Water Supply




How safe is our drinking water?? Official government reports reflect problems from manufacturing and Nuclear Plants upstream on the Tennessee River. We wonder why our citizens have a high cancer incident rate in this area?!
In the past 10 years the following radioactive materials have been found in Scottsboro's drinking water: Tritium, iodine 131, Strontium 90, Titanium dioxide208. Those substances were also found in Scottsboro's surface water supply, Tennessee River at Scottsboro along with Lead212. (Info on Tritium: http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/tritiumnaturalbackground.pdf Tritium levels frequently exceeded 200 pCi/L in Scottsboro as listed in the below NAREL Report linked.)




Within the past 5 years the following other contaminants have been found in Jackson County's Water Supply Systems: 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, Styrene, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Xylenes, Dichloromethane; methylene chloride, o-Dichlorobenzene, p-Dichlorobenzene, Vinyl chloride, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, 1,2-Dichloroethane, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, Carbon tetrachloride, 1,2-Dichloropropane, Trichloroethylene, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, Tetrachloroethylene, Monochlorobenzene, Chlorobenzene, Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, TTHMs [Total Trihalomethanes] and Coliform (TCR)




Source:
Environmental Radiation Data (ERD), Office of Radiation and Indoor Air’s National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory (NAREL) in Montgomery, Alabama, and contains data from the Environmental Radiation Ambient Monitoring System (ERAMS); EPA's Safe Drinking Water Information System







Today I visited Scottsboro's Water Sewer and Gas Board. I requested to see the past 10 years of Scottsboro's Water Quality Reports. Those reports were not made available. I was told that I would be called when located.
Update: March 29, 2008, 12PM I received a call from Mr. Roy Light, Manager of the Scottsboro Water Sewer and Gas Board, stating that he had gathered the information for me and that he would bring it by, he did and it is much appreciated. In screening the data from Scottsboro's WSG Report and the EPA's Radiological data there appears to be discrepancies in the Radioactive contaminant levels. Although the Scottsboro WSG reports beta/photon emitters it does not report specific emitters, as in the official EPA report. It is significant that many of the Scottsboro WSG reports prior to 2003 list "Radioactive Contaminants" as a line item and their level. However begining in 2004 the reports omit this line listing. The EPA radiological specific reports demonstrate presence of substances such as Tritium in the water supply, although in small quantities and not in the quantity cited in 1998.
It is important to remember there is a difference between "safe" levels of radioactive materials and levels which are considered permissable and a violation under the law. It is significant to note the EPA's reports do not coincide with Scottsboro's WSG Board reports of 1998 concerning Radioactive Contaminants in our water supply.
Many thanks to Mr. Roy Light, WSG Board Manager, for going this extra step in providing this data.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

More on a Nuclear Scottsboro



Which garden do you like??
An interesting and very true statement,
"Die Menschen lernen nur aus Katastrophen. Schade!"
[People only learn from catastrophes. Too bad!]
Graffiti on a wall close to the Gorleben Nuclear Site in Germany http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/sepam.pdf another link: http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/routineradioactivereleases.htm



“There is no safe level of exposure and there is no dose of radiation so low that the risk of a malignancy is
zero”--Dr. Karl Z. Morgan, dubbed the father of Health Physics.1
“…there is no safe level of exposure to ionising radiation, and the search for quantifying such a safe level is
in vain.”—Rosalie Bertell, PhD.2 http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/nosafedose.pdf

Monday, March 24, 2008

Jackson County Commission Meeting


Consent agenda had 10 items for approval. Old Business: J.H. Partners approved as Architecture firm to handle window replacement. New Business: 1) Resolution recognizing the week of April 6-12, 2008 as National County Government Week. 2) Printing of Voters List awarded to The Daily Sentinel for $2550. 3) Resolution commending and congratulating the TVA Board of Directors on TVA's 75th Anniversary. 4) Approval made to acquire permission from County Health Insurance Carrier to cover County Park Employees under county health insurance plan. 5) Approval to pay for Hicks Disposal Service for hauling, tipping and dumpster fees provided for storm cleanup. >>(Note: In my discussions today with Mr. Tidmore, County Commission Chairman, there has been near $23,000 expended in actual expenses for Storm Cleanup. This does not count $73,000 expended for Labor and Equipment costs from the Public Works Department.) 6) Renewal of contract with AlaTax Inc. to collect county sales tax. 7) Approval of ALADOT agreement to stripe Co Rd 17 8) Approval of $25,000 to purchase truck and knuckle boom from City of Scottsboro. 9) Approval of disposal of drums containing hazardous wastes, contract awarded to Safety Kleen, approximately $9700. 10) Approval of agreement from ALADOT concerning paving of Co Rd 67, Langston Rd., resurfacing for $373,000, Federal funding. 11) 3 Labor hires were approved for the county Works Department. 12) Speed limit correction for Co Rd 43, Speed limit established at 50 MPH. 13) Discussion of Health Care costs for inmates. Health Care Insurance contract saved the county $150,000 just for one patient. Actual cost paid by county for the patient was $50,000. 14) Approval of EMA Director and Assistant Director to attend workshop. 15) Preliminary discussion of Sales Tax Holiday for Back To School, Aug 1-3.

City Council Meeting/Old City Hall Remodel Cost, $2.89 Million


Old Business: 1) Low bid was announced for the remodeling of the old City Hall, $2,890,137.00, this will include the jail renovation. 2) Two citizens spoke in support of the old City Hall renovation, Debbie White and Reid Hinshaw. Both stated they were recent graduates of the Citizen's Police Academy, both gave strong supporting statements for the renovation project. The Police Department will move into the building once renovation is complete. 3) On line reverse auction bidding for city bids. The City attorney recommended that the city not participate at this time as there was a question of the legality under state law. A resolution was passed recommending no action.



New Business: 1) Alcoholic Beverage License public hearing for Lakeside Lounge, 2914 Veterans Drive. The license was approved pending final fire and health inspections. No one spoke in objection to the license. 2) Bid recommendation, tractors for Cemetery Department approved, 3 tractors at $5500 each, a total of $16,500. 3) Alcohol purchase for Civic Center, $500 approved. 4) Tools for Street Department, $10,170.00 purchase approved. Inventory of all equipment is ongoing in order to identify missing tools and equipment. Inventory and sign out procedures have been implemented. 5) Approval to increase litter fines from $250.00 to $500.00. 6) Surplus property request and declaration, total of 17 vehicles and miscellaneous equipment declared surplus most to be sold on govdeals.com. A 1995 Ford Bronco will be utilized by the Sanitation Dept. and a 1999 GMC with a knuckle boom will be offered to the County Works Department. 7) 3 appointments to the Recreation Advisory Board, Dr. Leslie Barrilleaux, Camden Holland, Dr John Reickel. 8) Vacancy on Electric Power Board, request to be turned in by April 17, 2008. 9) Vacancy on Public Parks and Recreation Board, request to be turned in by May 1, 2008. Reports: Mrs. Smith requested the City Council look at the Animal Control Ordinance due to recent attacks from dogs. City Council Meeting continued until after the work session on April 7, 2008 for decision on City Hall Renovation.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Group Opposes Bellefonte Nuclear Plant




"Making the southeast better one community at a time." The motto of Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, http://www.bredl.org/ . They are opposing the start up of the Bellefonte nuclear power plant. There are several issues this group brings to the "community table" that needs discussing and some answers provided: http://www.bredl.org/pdf2/BEST-factsheet.pdf
(Pictures: 1. TVA proposed Nuclear Facility; 2. Radioactive Material Hazard Placard; 3. TVA photo of existing non-operable Bellefonte Nuclear Plant, billion dollar tax waste facility.)

I think the biggest question that all of us that live in the area should be willing to ask ourselves, are we willing to take the risk? A risk of an accident or disaster that results in the release of radiation that could end life as we know it in Hollywood, Scottsboro and a large portion of Jackson County, not to mention the destruction of the Tennessee River. Are you willing to take the gamble? Do you want to expose your children and grand children to the risk? Are you willing to spend several more billions of dollars in our already broke country for a nuclear hazard?


An article in the "Atlanta Progressive News" outlined the dangers of Nuclear Power: I. NUCLEAR POWER DANGERS
Nuclear power is inherently dangerous.
More than a half-century of accidents, leaks, and fires - including several in Georgia - have proven humans are fallible and mishaps inevitable.
"We have studies going back to the beginning that show in every community where these facilities are sited, there are higher incidents of cancer, leukemia, birth defects," Alice Slater, President of Grace Policy Institute (GPI), warned during a panel discussion hosted by the institute, on July 6, 2006.
"The risk associated with this kind of all out political muscle support for nuclear power is that regulatory process gets skewed... And it's under those conditions you get events like the very disturbing accident at (David Bessey) in 2002 in which the hole in the top of the pressure pistol had essentially occurred through a rusting process, leaving only the stainless steel liner between the plant and a significant loss of cooling accident, of a type for which the safety systems are not designed," Peter Bradford, former chair of the New York Public Service Commission and Maine Public Utilities Commission, former Commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said during the GPI Panel.
Nuclear power plants release radioactive contaminants, such as tritium, along with hazardous chemicals and heavy metals during routine operation.
"These emissions cause leukemia and cancer over extended periods. It can be a slow, tortuous death," Jeanine Honicker, WAND activist, told Atlanta Progressive News. "That's enough to oppose nuclear power, if for no other reason."
Indeed, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has a "Quarterly Worker Injury/Illness Rate Chart" for the Office of Nuclear Energy which shows incidents occurring every quarter.
On October 29, 2005, fire broke out at Georgia Power's Edwin I. Hatch nuclear plant located near Baxley. Although the reactor was not affected, mineral oil from the transformer leaked into the Altamaha River as a result of the firefighting effort. Absorption booms were placed in the river and the company said no adverse environmental impact was expected.
Soon after the fire, the Southern Company (Georgia Power's parent) discovered 5 feet, 8 inches of spent nuclear rods missing. These rods are highly radioactive and extremely dangerous. On August 22, 2006, the company announced they still couldn't account for the location of 18 inches.
"The company said the fragments were the result of a corrosive water problem at Plant Hatch that broke down fuel rod casings for a period in the 1980s, allowing the fuel rod pieces to fall out," The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
August 15, 2006, radioactive, cancer-causing tritium leaked into the groundwater beneath the San Onofre, California, nuclear power plant causing San Clemente officials to shut down their drinking-water well.
"In recent years, tritium leaks have been found at more than a dozen nuclear plants across the nation, prompting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to form a task force this year to study the cause of the contamination" according to The Los Angeles Times.
In March, a tritium leak contaminated millions of gallons of groundwater near a nuclear power plant in Illinois.


Alabama Browns Ferry has been plagued with problems from fires and leaks in pipes as a result of sub-standard welds. There is the issue of storage of waste. The waste will be required to be stored on site for an indefinite period of time. Are you willing to assume the risks of Nuclear Power at Bellefonte for our future generations?




The citizens of Jackson County deserve to hear all of the truth and all of the issues concerning nuclear power, the positives, the negatives and the risks. Once we have all the information we the citizens should make the decision whether we want the plant to be located at Bellefonte. Do not allow the politicians to "shove" this project down our throats in the pretext of making them look better by saying, "see what we have done for you." It is our lives and that of our children and future grand children that is at stake.
Memership information for the Blue Ridge Enviromental Defense League: http://www.bredl.org/membership.htm


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Scottsboro Parks & Recreation Board Meeting




Better known as the Goose Pond Colony Park Board. Their monthly meeting is on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Notice is posted on the front door to the Park Office.


Old Business: 1) Golf Pro hire: Ryan Patterson was hired, it was reported he was the Pro for Huntsville Country Club, was employed there for 9 years and served as pro for several other courses around the country. 2) Pro Shop Inventory, $2100 credit given for returned golf balls. Nike Clubs on consignment from Nike were returned. Sales were good and many items are reduced in price by 15%. It was reported that an inventory system will be implemented for the Pro Shop. 3) Plantation Point Pool & Fence issue is not resolved. Apparently no one can seem to locate an agreement between the Scottsboro Park and Recreation Board and the Home Owners Association as to responsibilities. 4) Traffic Control Discussion concerning Goose Pond Docks, acceleration lane to be installed on road. It was stated that funding of turn lane will be less than $2400.00, the board voted to approve the construction.


New Business: 1) Special Projects Review, $209,000 was allocated with $166,000 expended. The deck area around the swimming pool was approved for repair. Many other repairs are in the process of completion or have been recently completed. 2) General Manager Report. a. Surplus property list was given to the Board. GPC Manager, Lyle Sosebee, stated the surplus items would be sold on GovDeals.com. b. Electrical rate increase will be realized due to rate increases and increased numbers of campers in campground. c. Swimming Pool Schedule, repairs should be complete by May 15. It was mentioned that the pool cement liner will need to be replaced next year, estimated cost will be $18,000. There was also a discussion concerning a low diving board and insurance costs involving a diving board. d. Spring Fling Golf Tournament was very successful. Many names were mentioned in appreciation for assisting in the event. 3) Financial Report: comments were made, looks good, ahead of last years statement. 4) Manager Reports: most areas were covered during the meeting. It was stated by the director of Course Maintenance & Greens Keeper that the course is in good shape, greens good, fertilizer has been spread.


After the meeting was adjourned I made inquiry concerning the financial statement. This is the half way point in the current fiscal year. I requested specific figures as to income and expenses. The following is provided: Total income was $923,295; total expenses were $1,047,661, this leaves a net income of -(negative) $124,365.

Monday, March 17, 2008

City Council Meeting/Missing Tools & Equipment from Street Department?


Tonight's meeting was a work session. Mr. Hodges and Mr. Thomas were absent due to work commitments.


4 items were on the agenda, a couple of more were added. 1) Litter Ordinance discussion centered on raising fines from $250 maximum to a $500 maximum fine for littering. 2) Review Ala Tax request concerning collection of Business License revenue, utilizing contractor not recommended at this time. 3) Discussion concerning online bidding of contracts. Council President Keith Smith recommended not to utilize online bidding. 4) Budget amendment Discussion for Street Department concerning the need of tools and equipment. Apparently the Street Department is missing tools and equipment. Keith Smith, Council President stated, "...purchase receipts will be located. If there are equipment or tools missing there will be an investigation initiated." 5)Surplus Property discussion. 6) Budget amendment discussion for Civic Center alcohol purchase. 7) Discussion concerning Recreation Advisory Board. Positions open for appointment on board contact Mrs. Gail Duffey, City Clerk at 574-3100 for more information prior to Noon Friday 21 March.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Internet Public Forum Censorship


For some time now I have been researching censorship on the internet. I began my search in 2006 as I frequently post on several so called "public discussion forums." I have realized there are no "public discussion forums." There are individual or corporate owned message boards, "discussion forums," which allow monitored discussion from registered users. What is allowed is strictly up to the owners. An important question that all "public forum" owners might consider is the Supreme Courts ruling on what constitutes a public meeting place. Although a news outlet may be a privately owned enterprise, when they step out of their doors of the news room into the realm of "public discussion forums," do they fit into the "public street corner" definition of a "public meeting place? After all, wires, air waves and mass communications do fall under Federal Law. Another issue for forum owners is "net neutrality." Blog link to "net neutrality" issue http://renigade.blogspot.com/2008/03/internet-freedom-preservation-act-of.html


There does exist pretend "public discussion forums" owned by corporate media organizations. Wiki article on "internet forums": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_forum The forums are advanced message boards which are "moderated, "edited" by hired staff. They have rules and some of the rules are open for interpretation by "special users" and "moderators/editors." Then there are blogs, such as this one.

Let's look at the broad scope of censorship as it applies to the great world wide web, media and information in general. Wiki defines censorship, link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship. Here are several definitions of censorship. Censor: One who supervises conduct and morals: as a) an official who examines materials (as publications or films) for objectionable matter; b) an official (as in time of war) who reads communications (as letters) and deletes material considered harmful to the interests of his organization. Censorship: The institution, system or practice of censoring; the actions or practices of censors; esp : censorial control exercised repressively. --Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
Censorship: The use of the state and other legal or official means to restrict speech.--Culture Wars, Documents from the Recent Controversies in the Arts, edited by Richard Bolton.
In general, censorship of books is a supervision of the press in order to prevent any abuse of it. In this sense, every lawful authority, whose duty it is to protect its subjects from the ravages of a pernicious press, has the right of exercising censorship of books.--The Catholic Encyclopedia (a publication of the Catholic Church)
What Is Censorship? Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that certain persons -- individuals, groups or government officials -- find objectionable or dangerous. It is no more complicated than someone saying, "Don't let anyone read this book, or buy that magazine, or view that film, because I object to it!" Censors try to use the power of the state to impose their view of what is truthful and appropriate, or offensive and objectionable, on everyone else. Censors pressure public institutions, like libraries, to suppress and remove from public access information they judge inappropriate or dangerous, so that no one else has the chance to read or view the material and make up their own minds about it. The censor wants to prejudge materials for everyone.
For the ALA, technically censorship means the "The Removal of material from open access by government authority." The ALA also distinguishes various levels of incidents in respect to materials in a library which may or may not lead to censorship: Inquiry, Expression of Concern, Complaint, Attack, and Censorship.--The American Library Association (ALA)
The word "censorship" means "prior restraint" of First Amendment rights by government.--Morality in Media (Morality in Media is "a national, not-for-profit, interfaith organization established in 1962 to combat obscenity and uphold decency standards in the media.")
Censorship1. The denial of freedom of speech or freedom of the press.2. The review of books, movies, etc., to prohibit publication and distribution, usually for reasons of morality or state security.--Oran's Dictionary of Law
Censorship: official restriction of any expression believed to threaten the political, social, or moral order.--Encyclopedia.Com
Censorship - the prevention of publication, transmission, or exhibition of material considered undesirable for the general public to possess or be exposed to.--Fast Times' Political Dictionary (Fast Times is "a nonpartisan publication on contemporary world affairs & media with no political, ideological, or religious affiliation of any kind.")
Censorship: the cyclical suppression, banning, expurgation, or editing by an individual, institution, group or government that enforce or influence its decision against members of the public -- of any written or pictorial materials which that individual, institution, group or government deems obscene and "utterly" without redeeming social value," as determined by "contemporary community standards."--Chuck Stone, Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of North Carolina


Lets now look at some definitions of "editing' and "forum standards" Wiki's definition of editing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_edit_a_page ; forum standards examples: http://www.spokane.net/stay_connected/ForumStandards.aspx#public ; more complex standards and rules: http://www.al.com/useragreement/



Forum Moderator definitions: Wiki-A Forum Moderator, often shortened to just mod, is a person granted special powers to enforce the rules of an Internet Forums (message boards). Almost all moderators on all forums can move discussions to different sections of the forum, close discussions, edit the content of individual postings, answer questions (or help people with problems), and stick discussions so they remain visible in their forum section even if no new postings are made to them. Different forums may give their moderators further powers, such as being able to block/ban people from the message board http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forum_moderator .




How does all this apply to me, the internet and forum user. Education and the realization as long as you are on another's turf, there are rules, those rules may not be agreeable with your ideas of standards, values or morality. Fortunately we do not have internet censorship by government on political issues as practiced in China, or do we ?http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/december2005/091205nothidden.htm another link http://www.aclu.org/freespeech/internet/index.html . The key to consistent successful forum posting is do not post anything profane, inflammatory, disagreeable, controversial, political, religious, sexual and/or personal in nature on the "pretend public discussion forums" and you will never be blocked, banned, suspended, removed and/or censored from posting on the "pretend public discussion forums."




If you have read my blog you will realize that I have been banned from posting on "al.com" on several occasions. It appears this time my "arklite" account on al.com has been permanently suspended. Why you may ask? For openly not agreeing with the Bush administration policy of torture and linking of parodies concerning the Bush administrations officials. My account was suspended previously for discussion and proving that specific local politicians and public officials were involved in illegal acts and activities. It seems in my case "censorship" has occured at the hands of the largest privately owned corporate media outlet in the United States, Advance Publications and their many media outlets. I'm sure the folks at al.com whose parent company is Advance Internet/Publications maintains that my bans and restrictions were as a result of the profanity expressed in some of the parody links listed. Heaven forbid the use of a cuss word. On other occasions when a post was removed or I was "banned" their standard reply was "violation of forum rules." Although I and others could not find a violation of rules and al.com has never replied with a specific reason when asked. Then the gall I have of telling you who I am in my profile, busting the dishonesty of anonymous posting, gone since my al.com forum account has been deleted. Anonymous posting is no more than the breeding of "lemmings and sheep" to keep quite while seemingly allowing open discussion about issues making the poster feel better about the issue while not being identified. People seem to be afraid of expressing how they feel about issues and being identified as the one expressing their thoughts. Another remarkable fact about this issue is the fact it was letters to the President of Advance Publications by me and one or two others which resulted in the return of the Scottsboro al.com site. This occured after being banned on the Huntsville site when talking about Scottsboro issues. I have suffered threats of bodily harm, called many names, have been accused of crime (lies) while disclosing the truth and my opinions of local and state politics and politicians. It seems some do not approve of citizen participation in government and citizen expression of real problems facing us a people. While my posts were censored by corporate censors other posters were allowed to make threats personally directed at me and many lies were directed at me by name. The posts were of such a threatening and aggrievous nature it took filing a Police and FBI complaint to convince the folks at al.com of the seriousness of the threats against me and to end the harassing and threatening communications. It was very peculiar that al .com would not allow my political speech but would allow threats and harassing communications directed at me by name.

Here we are, here and now. I still post on al.com not utilizing my forum name of arklite. I sign my posts so all will know it is I who is telling the story, or discussing an issue. Knowing who is doing the talking seems to be very threatening to some, I have yet to figure that one out.


I am interested to hear about your stories and experiences of what you think is "internet censorship." Please feel free to post and discuss this issue.
(Photobucket image by redarmymike)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Animal Control Shelter Progress


Permits have been acquired and construction is underway. Construction is being performed by inmate labor from Alabama Department of Corrections. This results in lower costs for the city. Word has it that an inmate escaped from the site this past week but was recaptured in short order. Previous post about this site for the shelter: http://arklite.blogspot.com/2008/02/animal-control-shelter.html

River Scenes from Goose Pond





#1: River barge going up river with equipment to work on the new bridge across the Tennessee River, #2: Black Geese at Goosepond (never scene these locally), #3: Blue Heron, #4: March Mallards.

Mistake-U.S. Forces Korea



It seems the Korean Forces Commander, Gen. Bell (1st picture), has recommended that the Korean tour be an accompanied tour. An accompanied tour means family members will travel with Service Members to their assignments. This will also mean a tremendous expense of building housing, schools and other family member support facilities. Currently the Korea tour is a 1 year tour without family members. We are still at war with North Korea, both sides are currently participating in a cease fire. http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=49246 Border clashes occur much more often than the public is told, such as this one last year. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,292206,00.html Sources inform me there are 2 border incidents per month. The border: http://ah6hy.htohananet.com/korea.html The 2nd picture is that of the "Bridge of No Return." An Army Officer lost his life in this location in the late 1970's, several other soldiers were injured when North Koreans attacked a group of U.S. Military clearing shrubs and trees from the South side of the bridge.
Sending military family members to Korea is a mistake, we are still at war with North Korea, a fact that the U.S Forces Military Commander in Korea seems to have ignored.

Companies Hiding Debt



The credit crunch and poor management have resulted in some publicly traded corporations attempting to hide debt. http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/CompanyFocus/3WaysCompaniesBuryTheirDebt.aspx

Shhh, we have secrets and we don't want our stockholders to know the truth. Here is a good article on evaluating company capital structure. http://www.investopedia.com/articles/basics/06/capitalstructure.asp A short course in "stock scams." http://www.fraudbureau.com/investor/101/

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Illusions


Are these videos illusions of paranoid citizens? I'm sure there are those that would like you to believe that. Unfortunately the portrayals are true, the warnings are true. All that is left to be determined is how U.S. Citizens will react to the pending disaster of economic collapse of the U.S. Economy due to lost value of our currency.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Censorship or Editing?


The battle for your hearts and minds continues. Once again my al.com forum name of "arklite" has been banned from posting on the forum. When clicking on my "arklite" forum name on the postings my account does not show and I am prohibited from initiating another account. Apparently this time around it was either the parody of Condoleeza Rice http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0f2dHJ6A18&eurl=http://www.encyclopediadramatica.com/Condoleezza_Rice on the Hardball Politics Forum or the lively political discussion on the Alabama Politics and Scottsboro forum, who knows. It seems some do not understand artistic satire, parody and political discussion about politicians. Parody and satire have been the basis of political dissent since the begining of recorded political history. A fact our country's founders cherished and some folks seem to have forgot.


The only thing worse than a left wing tyrant is a right wing tyrant. This bit of British humor seems to have upset some folks. http://www.utterpants.co.uk/news/politics/bushpants.html This is the George Bush Rap, it's funny. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JX-Bx0BETQ&NR=1 There are other parodies which are funny and some that are rather harsh.
It seems others are experiencing corporate censorship as editing policy. http://harrisburghappening.blogspot.com/2006/03/if-you-were-censored.html This is also on the same blog http://harrisburghappening.blogspot.com/2006/03/how-censorship-kills-discourse.html
Update, March 11, 2008: A second and third member of our discussion group were also banned today from posting on al.com. All posts concerned discussions countering right wing posters supporting issues such as torture of non-combatants and enemy combatants. One of the posters also was involved in discussing support of Barrack Obama. Although I certainly do not support Mr. Obama, why should someone be banned as a result of posting their support of any candidate. It appears the al.com forums are nothing more than a political tool of right wing extremists.
I have sent letters of protest to Advance Publications, parent company of al.com, concerning editorial policy and treatment of its customer base. It may be their company but the customer base includes advertisers which pay their bills. The writer and reader to the forums are a customer, a fact that editors at al.com have a hard time understanding. The customer on the web is capable of having a far reaching effect on a web based business. Does al.com and Advance Publications want negative comments concerning the product they offer the public?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Scottsboro City Council Meeting


Tonight's meeting was in 2 parts, Work Session and Regular Council meeting continued from last week. Several members of the Council will be in Washington next week, reason for the double meeting. Boy Scout Troop 444 led the Pledge of Allegiance. Scout Leaders made a presentation to Mayor Dan Deason in the form of a Letter of Thanks for his support of the Boy Scouts. Mayor Deason was out tonight, Mrs. Duffey reported that he would be receiving his last Cancer Treatment within the week. Please remember the Deason family in your prayers.



1) Report by Chuck Chitwood, CDG Engineers, on StreetScapes Project. 1752 ft. of Sidewalk, wiring, curb and gutters have been completed. It was reported this project is 47% complete. 2) Pete Yonce of Ala Tax, presentation on recouping delinquent business license fees. 3) Animal Control Budget Amendment request. Chief Dawe requested that $5000 in funds set aside for a cage be utilized to purchase a new vehicle instead of a used one. $15,000 had been set aside for purchase of a used vehicle, a new vehicle cost is $20,000. This item was approved in the regular session. 4) Chief Dawe submitted a request for a new Terminal Server for the Police Department. Old server is becoming obsolete and requires replacement. Cost not to exceed $7500.00, this item was approved in the regular council meeting. 5) Discussion by Chief Dawe on Taser Use Policy. Officers will under go training before issue, local officer is certified trainer. There will be 2 trained officers on each shift qualified to utilize Tasers. The policy was approved during the regular Council Meeting. 6) Rick Wheeler made presentation on Terminal Server for City Courts. Replacement cost not to exceed $2900. This server as well as the Police Department server will be paid for out of Jail and Court Fund. This item was approved during the regular session. It was also reported that City Employees had been trained and are backing up Computer Records on data systems so as not to lose information in case of power failures or a system "crash." 7) Airport Manager Discussion, 9 persons applied for position. During the Regular Council Session Elbert C. Daugherty was chosen. (I'm writing what I hear. Evidently I'm going to need to verify all names as my hearing is not what it used to be. Daugherty was the last name, not Dolberry as I had originally wrote.) He will be required to pass a physical, drug test and a background investigation prior to begining employment.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

March First Monday Weekend




This March First Monday shows promise for the event. The weather was nice, partly cloudy on Saturday with around a 63 high, Sunday was warmer with a high around 68. Saturday saw about 25-30% square spaces filled but Sunday improved, with 50-55% filled spaces around the square. Brisk buying and trading occured in spurts. In the late morning there was a group of 10 around my booth at one time and a stream of 8-10 per minute. You might compare this rate with last years Labor Day which displayed a rate of 35-40 peak per minute with as many as 35 around my booth.




The trader and visitor showing was good. I think many would be surprised to find out the number of out of county and out of state visitors we have coming to see first Monday, it is 65-70% of the total visitors. Many older folks often express their disappointment that First Monday isn't like it used to be. " I can remember, dogs, chickens, horses, knives, guns, produce, old stuff and about everything else." The domestic animals and livestock may not be there but much of the "old stuff" is still there with some modern items and many crafts.




First Monday is not dead and is improving. It will never be as it once was but there ain't noth'n in life that is ever the same from previous years. A special thanks goes to the Shriner's and the good people that work their concession on the North Side of the Square. They were always there with a hot cup of coffee and a Hot Dog for Lunch, sometimes the only place for food, particularly on Sundays. A special thanks also goes to the Court House Maintainance Staff who has kept the bathrooms open, clean and stocked. There were those morning this past winter when there were only 6 spots with vendors. There were always good folks that stopped by and said hi and engaged in conversation. I learned many years ago to try to make the best of bad situations, even in those cold winter mornings I always made trades. Today and yesterday was a good March Trade Days Event. Not many vendors are staying for Monday unless there is a long weekend involved such as a holiday.