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The Millbrook Independent

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Dec 18th
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Media buys into Holmes’ rhetoric
Written by News Desk   
Saturday, 15 March 2014 16:24

bobmartinBy: Bob Martin, Publisher

When State Rep. Alvin Holmes the bombastic state lawmaker from Montgomery makes one of his frequent outrageous statements even the best of the state's news media go into an apoplectic state of mind.

He played one of his notorious prank cards last week on the floor of the House during debate on abortion legislation. Said Holmes: "Ninety-nine percent of white Republicans would take their daughters for an abortion if they were impregnated by a black man" with the possibility of "having a black baby running around their living room."

It took the Capitol press corps and the media opinion writers less than ten minutes to begin pumping out articles about what a "foolish and idiotic remark" Holmes had made. The quickness of the media reporting Holmes comments would rival the speed of reporting after the 9/11 disaster.

The Holmes interlude was just that, a brief sideshow in an important issue for women in Alabama which is being decided by a mostly male legislature but will eventually be overturned by the federal courts after costing the taxpayers of our state millions of dollars for a futile exercise that will only benefit the lawyers. This, of course, means we taxpayers will have to pay those millions to fund the lawyers on both sides of the issue.

Josh Moon a reporter and columnist for the Montgomery Advertiser had this to say this past Sunday: "Creating ridiculous hurdles for legal abortions doesn't stop abortions. According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, restricting abortions have had little or no effect on rates. But you know what did lower rates" Available contraceptives and quality sex education."

"But we act as if telling young people about contraception is the same as encouraging them to have sex. And thanks to that mindset the abortion rate in the U. S. is the highest in the world," Moon writes.

The sponsor of one of the bills, Mary Sue McClurkin, was asked why the bill she sponsored, the fetal heartbeat bill, didn't have an exception for a situation where rape or incest was involved. Her answer was "Because I don't think that gives them the right to kill."

Let's see, what else happened last week in Monkey Town? Senator Scott Beason of Gardendale was able to pass a bill through the Senate, despite opposition of The Alabama Sheriff's Association, that would allow loaded weapons in vehicles whether or not anyone in the vehicle had a permit. And Rep. Becky Nordgren of Gadsden introduced legislation which would establish a sales tax holiday for guns and ammo. How much more of these sales tax holidays can we afford should be a policy question addressed by lawmakers, but don't hold your breath?

Investigation at Tutwiler prison continues

The U. S. Department of Justice investigation into the practices at Alabama's Tutwiler Prison for Women has found that prisoners have been forced to endure humiliation in the form of forced sexual acts in exchange for basic supplies, have been watched while in the showers by male guards, forced into staff-organized strip shows and endure a constant barrage of sexually offensive language that has been going on for two decades.

It has been painted as a toxic house of horrors and DOJ has alleged that a third of the 100 employees at the prison which has 900 prisoners have engaged in sex with the prison population.

For four days last April DOJ investigators interviewed staff and prisoners, analyzed prison documents and received 233 letters from prisoners, which the DOJ said detailed a clear pattern of abuse.

This is a black eye for our state and the governor and other state officials should be at the forefront of cleaning it up.

And a little humor...

I am a regular reader of al.com and The Birmingham News' John Archibald, one of the funniest and best writers in the state. I'll share a few of his recent humorous comments. Even if you've already read them they are worth a second read.

"Gov. Bentley is interested in international trade. Too bad we can't just trade the whole dang legislature...for anything"

"Come on Italy: Give us a pile of meatballs and we'll give you Rep. Alvin Holmes. Straight up. But no civilized would bite. We couldn't even give away Rep. Becky Nordgren, except perhaps as a novelty.

Come on Singapore. We'll trade a Nordgren and a Holmes for a yoyo and one of those pecking birds that chirps all the way down your pencil. We'll even throw in a Sen. Scott Beason bobblehead.

Bob Martin is editor and publisher of The Montgomery Independent and the publisher of The Millbrook Independent. Email him at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
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