Summary: Daniel Boman wants to clear up some things about Governor Bentley's push for jobs in Alabama - at the admitted cost to an already painfully strapped education budget. Either laughter is the best medicine, or politics in Alabama is one step from simply giving up on a bucket ride down to hell.
BLOT: (06 Mar 2012 - 10:21:03 AM)
Alabama Rep. Daniel Boman (D-Sulligent)'s insane but kind of funny (in that hysterical laughter is better than crying way) House Resolution 204: CLARIFYING LANGUAGE IN THE GOVERNOR'S PROPOSAL FOR CREATING JOBS.
Let me start with clarification: Alabama's local politics needs to cut the bullshit and stop screwing around before the state makes Greece's recent economic downturns look like a vacation in Germany. We have a governor who can only be described as openly hostile to education, who started his term [essentially] with a declaration that non-Christians are not his brothers or sisters [at least he was saying that he wanted us all to come to his Christian flock as opposed to saying he wanted us to all burn in hell fire], and has tended to use the word "ethics" like a non-specific threat. When he said he wants to empty even more money from cash-strapped Alabama education, it fits hand-in-hand with his vision of a Alabama that has been destroyed not by a lack of honestly innovative economic growth, not by an inability to rise above our 50s/60s-image as a place where Blacks were barred from universities by a Governor standing in a doorway, not by a general lack of ability to convert the largely empty state into something like a tourist/camping destination, not by a tendency to only lure big businesses into Alabama by offering up cheaper workers with fewer taxes and more kickbacks directly from Montgomery, and not by a tendency to have local policy dictated by non-local logger lobbying; but by the machinations of the AEA1 [aka, Alabama Education Association] and implications of non-specific statewide corruption that so far have been at least partially aimed, surpises abound, at the scourge of teachers themselves [because stopping Christmas gifts for teachers has fixed everything!].
We are myopic in this state, shortsighted to the extreme when it comes to future investments versus short term investments, when it comes to trying to get vital state cities like Birmingham and Mobile back in the black versus going after penny-ante gambling parlors, but in some ways can you blame us: We don't have money to run anything worthwhile this year, how can we hope to have something like a viable future? Without something like at least three or four major corporations deciding to come here to take advantage of our lax taxcodes or yet-another-Federal-stimulus then things are more likely to get worse before they stabilize, and getting better is right out of the picture until we get something like a plan. An honest one. Not one that gives companies run by out-of-state offices what little money we have to fix backroads up in the claim of making the state better; a plan that instead returns a bit of self-sufficiency to our small towns and to our own firms so that if nothing else, we can stay alive even if we don't excel. We are a state of foodstamp receivers surrounded by underused farmland and Walmart shoppers who drive 45 minutes for Saturday shopping from once thriving but now dead communities because of a loss of locality.
With my righteous [whether or not deserved or useful, I'll leave up to you] anger in mind, reading about a time-wasting, snarky House Resolution (HR204) that clarified Bentley's jobs creating efforts by saying things like: "in the near future...scientists will amost certainly be able to grow money on trees", I was obviously irate. Here we have been debating all the ways we can get around Roe v. Wade with state-enforced guilt and how we can scare off the brown-skinned workers—who despite their sometimes [but, importantly, not always] legal status issues have been about the only thing keeping Alabama small farms solvent [notwithstanding the roughly 2 billion dollars the federal government has paid Alabama farmers to not farm to full capacity over the past 15 years]. It has sounded like we would debate anything that has nothing to do directly the economy rather than face it head on. Then when things like the jobs creation resolutions comes along, they are worded in such a way as to probably never pass, and it feels like a kid offering to clean up his room five times a day for the rest of his life if he can just get his allowance early.2 Yippee!
Then Boman's resolution? Money growing on trees as an official state definition? Sigh. I decided to look it up, though, via ALISON [aka Alabama Legislative Information System ONline, a useful tool for state residents] and actually found myself chuckling. How could I not? I will quote a few lines from it to show what I mean:
WHEREAS, jobs are important unless they are the jobs of teachers, principals, school security guards, school nurses, school janitors, school bus drivers, and school maintenance workers; and...
WHEREAS, a classroom with forty-five children is an opportunity for our children to make more friends; and...
WHEREAS, Alabama's children should be helping our economy by working and not learning useless skills such as reading, writing, and arithmetic that are completely unessential in today's economy; and
WHEREAS, Alabamians trust that the income tax portion of the Education Trust Fund is actually meant to be Governor Bentley's 2.9 billion dollar piggy bank; and...
WHEREAS, working Alabamians are usually overpaid and in support of donating their easily earned money to their bosses...
And then my favorite line in the piece, channeling the spirit of Vonnegut [so it goes...] right into the heart of Alabama policy:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That no jobs, absolutely zero (0), have to be created with this funding, but that would be nice.
Good times. Oh, halcyon days in Alabama.
If you want to read the rest of the resolution [trust me, I did not edit to change its tone, just picked about half the clauses], then clickie to see a PDF I have shared, or go back up through ALISON and read it that way [potentially with further commentary and additions as time goes on].
OTHER BLOTS THIS MONTH: March 2012