Highway 431 Blog

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Coffee Party With Mitchell Howie ::

From Noor Gillani

Come to the next Coffey Party meeting in Madison at the Kenny Mango Coffee House (97 Hughes Rd) on Saturday, May 8, at noon to 2 p.m. and bring your friends. Our special guest will be Mitchell Howie, a Democrat running for US Congress. He will discuss his platform and answer questions during the first hour. Then we will have open civil discourse in a non-partisan spirit among grassroots citizens.

The Coffey Party is a great way to respond to the Tea Party, always through civil discourse and action. It is a national movement which is fast growing. America needs organization of citizens in a sane, civilized, humane manner to counter the weight of those in wealth and power draining our national coffers, and those right-wing Tea Party types who are ill informed and misled, and who would turn our nation over to the likes of Palin and Limbaugh and Beck etc. We mustn't permit it and have an OBLIGATION to stand up and resist and to take back our nation and re-orient it on the path to human rights, moral social justice, non-violence and back on the path of our traditional ideals of democracy and fair play for ALL. The Coffey Party is a grassroots non-partisan way to reach consensus in the best interest of the nation which is what we ALL want, Dems and Repubs. Let us unite at the grassroots and let that influence our dysfunctional congress.

Noor Gillani

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Steve Raby Event ::

I'm just passing this on for informational purposes. I've yet to decide who to back in the Democratic primary. I hope that I will be able to attend this.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Bad Weather Ends ::

At least for now. I understand there was damage in Arab and Albertville, but I have not heard an injury report yet. Hopefully there were none that were serious although the property damage sounded pretty bad. Arab seems to be hit by tornadoes pretty regularly!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wet Weather In The Forecast ::

Looks like rain for sure tomorrow with predictions of up to 1" of rain. Just when I'm getting my lawn mower out of the shop!

Outlet Mall Shopping ::

I was off work last Monday and the wife wanted to run down to Boaz to search for socks. For some reason she's very particular about her foot covering so I humored her and we took off, fighting the road construction from Albertville to Boaz. We hadn't been to the outlet stores in several years and guess what? They're almost all gone and virtually the entire outlet area is deserted. What used to be huge parking lots teeming with people were almost empty. I had heard reports that some stores were closing, but the scope was truly astounding and I believe that this occurred before the economy meltdown of the past couple of years.
As an aside, we did find one store that had some socks the wife bought after I convinced her to buy twice as many as she originally picked up, and she loves the new ones so hopefully we will not go on the great sock search for quite some time because I imagine that this little shop will be gone before long.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Earth Day Celebration ::

Takes place this morning at Hayes Nature Preserve starting at 10am. This is usually a pretty interesting event so come on out!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Teh Crazies! ::

It being April 15th and all, I decided to drive by the post office on Governor's Drive just to see how big the tea party gathering was. As I approached and saw the parking lots and how full they were there was no doubt that this was an impressive sized crowd and, as it turns out, it was. I just drove by without stopping, but there were a lot of people assembled with stands from several of the far right politicians running for office and it looked like there was a speaker's stage set up. There was also a pretty impressive police presence. I saw at least 5 Huntsville police cars. I was hoping for some sort of counter protest, but I suppose that would have just brought more attention to teh crazies. Come to think of it, I never saw any tv trucks either. That surprises me.

I wish the progressives could command crowds like this!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Benefit For A Musician ::

Time has once again snuck up on me and I had forgotten that there is a benefit show Sunday, April 11, at the Bandito right off Huntsville's South Memorial Parkway to help with some extremely serious medical expenses incurred by local musician Lisa Busler.

Here's the blurb that was in the Huntsville Times:

Local musicians are coming together Sunday for a benefit for former Huntsville musician Lisa Busler, who is having severe medical problems, at Bandito Southside, 11220 S. Memorial Parkway.

The benefit starts at 5 p.m. and will include artists Microwave Dave, Dave Anderson, Toy Shop, Marge Loveday, Mike Roberts, Ally Free, Rob Aldridge, Dan Hardin, Kira Hughes, Turner Family Band, Tasha Jones, Jonathan Giles, Sean Hopkins, Scott Kennedy, Jerry Pearson, Scott Morgan, Lisa Graf Malone, Bobby Blount, Andrea Carden, Walker Street Opry, Neeve Weinberger, Summer Johnson, Christina Lynn, Dawn Osborne Trio and Hugh Messenger.

Robert Salinas will be the host. The benefit will include a plant sale. Donations are accepted at Redstone Federal Credit Union through the Lisa Busler Benefit Fund. For more information, call 489-3232.

That's a great lineup and I hope to see you there. It's a great time of the year to toss down a cold adult beverage, buy some plants, listen to some great music, and help a deserving person who need our help!

The Moonbuggy Races ::

are continuing today at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. If you get a chance, you should stop by for an hour or two to cheer the high school and college kids home. Their enthusiasm is great, as are their technical and creative skills. The team leading the pack going into Saturday's event is a high school team making its first appearance here and yesterday's drivers consisted of high school freshmen. This should present a nice challenge to the more experienced teams!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chicken And Egg Festival ::

This happens this weekend over in Moulton. I've never had the opportunity to go and I will be working this weekend, but the festival sounds like it would be a hoot! Go, if you can, and enjoy it!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What Are The Chances Of Eliminating The Tax On Groceries?

From the Mobile Press Register:

Editorial: Lawmakers won't let go of grocery tax
By Press-Register Editorial Board
April 02, 2010, 5:48AM

YOU NEVER know what will pop out of the mouth of one of our Alabama legislators.

During debate in the House on the annual effort to remove the state?s 4 percent sales tax on groceries, Rep. Mac Gipson, a Republican from Prattville, apparently got confused and thought he was dealing with some big tax-and-spend bill in Washington, D.C.

Alabama and Mississippi are the only states that fully tax food, with no credits or rebates for impoverished families. State legislators everywhere else in the country have decided that taxing groceries unfairly penalizes families that use a high percentage of their meager incomes to purchase food.

Rep. Gipson, however, thinks that giving the poor a break on the food tax and replacing the revenue by taking a tax break away from the well-to-do is a Washington, D.C.-style strategy to redistribute wealth.

"The whole bill is a redistribution of wealth," he said. "Washington is doing such a good job of that I don?t know that we need to get involved with that."

He was referring to a bill written by Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery. Rep. Knight wants to let Alabamians vote on a constitutional amendment that would drop the sales tax on groceries ? for everyone ? and replace the lost revenue by eliminating a state tax deduction for individuals with annual incomes of at least $150,000 and couples with incomes of more than $300,000.

Alabama has a regressive tax system that takes wealth from the poor and uses it to fund state services. In most state capitals, this is considered unfair and unproductive, because it hinders low-income families? efforts to rise from the bottom and achieve economic security.

Rep. Gipson evidently believes that reducing the tax burden on those who can least afford to pay is a socialist share-the-wealth scheme. We wonder whether this champion of the unfettered free market ever supported a tax break or subsidy for businesses or agricultural interests. If so, he really doesn?t mind redistributing the state?s tax burden, as long as the redistribution serves his favorite interests.

Rep. Knight?s argument for change is much better than Rep. Gipson?s strained defense of the status quo. Alabama?s upside-down structure is indefensible; it hurts the poor and it denies state government dependable revenue streams.

But that doesn?t mean the Legislature will approve Rep. Knight?s bill, or do anything to reform the tax structure. It appears most lawmakers would rather have a regressive tax system than a balanced, reliable one.

Let's look at some odd things in Alabama law. Do you know that if you buy vegetable seeds that there is no tax? Next time you buy some check your receipt and you'll see that you haven't paid whatever the tax percentage is on that. Or, even worse, if you're a new mother and buy formula you pay full tax on your the formula you buy for your baby, but, if you're a farmer with a new calf and buying formula for this calf, then you don't pay tax on that. Hardly seems fair, does it?