Commentary from the boondocks. If it makes any sense, it is just by chance. firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, June 13, 2003
The official position of the BBQ Emporium is that we support Governor Riley's tax plan. None of us wants to pay more taxes and we don't agree with Michael Bowen that it logically follows that the current woes are the result of the economic downturn. Cletus says he thinks high living during the late 90's boom set us up for a fall when there was the slightest drop in economic activity. As he says, he didn't live high and he hasn't noticed any problems with the downturn. Cletus is a real fan of Isaac Newton and believes that what goes up must come down. If he gets elected County Commissioner, he may be the only office holder in the country who understands that concept.
Bubba says that politicians can't resist buying votes with the taxpayers money and when tax revenues are up, then they see an opportunity to at least buy some options on future votes. It never crosses a politician's little pea brain that a little money set back for hard times is a better plan than spending everything you take in.
Mr. Bowen is right that Alabama is not the only state with budget problems. They all have them. He says we need to approve the tax package and then see what we can do about the office holders. We agree with him on the tax package, but we will wager that the "extra' $600 million will be used exclusively to buy votes and that the fixes Governor Riley wants will not see the light of day.
We'll vote for the taxes and hope for the best, but we want to say "We told you so" in advanced on the reform business.
Thursday, June 12, 2003
Back in 1996 when the Presidential Race was Clinton vs. Dole, old Kudzuboy was in and made the comment that it was a contest between a wholly owned subsidiary of Tyson Foods and one of Archer-Daniels-Midland. Cletus thought that was one of the wittiest things he had ever heard which goes to show that the boy needs to get out more. This morning, he got to wondering who owned the Alabama Legislature. We settled on the AEA and ALFA with the AEA being the majority stockholder in the firm. Now we know that individual teachers don't have a lot of influence or else they might be paid better, but you can't deny that the AEA seems to have inordinate influence concerning the fate of legislation.
Cletus says real reform in Alabama will only happen when the Governor and Legislature get the gumption to really be public servants and tell both the AEA President and ALFA to get lost. Don't hold your breath.
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
Cletus asked if we remembered the time..., but before he could get any farther, Elroy said that we didn't need any of Cletus' fanciful tales. Bubba explained to Cletus that he thought Elroy was calling Cletus a liar. Best I could tell, Cletus had already picked up on that since he was spitting sputtering and trying to get out of his chair. We don't allow no fightin in the Emporium and Elroy refused to go outside so there was nothing for Cletus to do but go on with his tale. He got about two lines in when we all agreed that we remembered it very well and started correcting him on his facts so the tale came to nought. Cletus doesn't exactly lie, he just doesn't always remember things the way they happened. Like his tale about the first time he ever drank any beer. According to him, he and old Jerry Dale went over to the bootlegger near New Hope and got a case of beer and drank it. JD got rolling drunk and Cletus had to drive him home and explain to his Mama that he was sick. JD says it was the other way around and that Cletus may be big, but he is a half a beer man. Just can't hold his alcohol. From obsrvation, we go with JD's version. Anyway, Cletus is trying to think of something to tell and getting nowhere since the boys keep telling it before he can get it out.
We got the one about his first girlfriend (according to him, he matured years before the rest of us and had a steady girl in the first grade), the one about his first car, the time he saved several people from drowning and even a repeat of the great chain gang story. (See the Jnauary 5 archive, you know I can't link to it.) Nothing went anywhere so I guess we won't have a Cletus story today.
If you haven't read the all the drivel posted here, the archives should prove...enlightning?
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Cletus is fixin to add some new links over on the left or maybe at the bottom or top, you never can tell when he gets to work in the IT world. Bubba says Cletus is an 8088 in a Pentium world, but then a big argument started over whether or not we had progressed past the Pentium and now we think we may all have become obsolete if'n we don't even know what chip version we are up to. Please note that Compleat Redneck does not necessarily subscribe to the idea of short sentences. We have noticed that ending and beginning sentences leads to having to use the shift key and we are not real good at that. In fact typing is not our four tay, apparently neither is spelling and we are not real miracle workers when it comes to punctuation. Anyway, the BBQ Emporium crew has looked at thousands of Blogs and chosen a few to be added to the dishonor roll. Actually, we looked at the ones we read everyday. Since we read about as slow as we type, that is not a lot even if we add up all the Emporium denizens (Cletus says that means something along the line of "those who dwell here, but that set off a long argument about point dwell and its relevance to motorcycle maintenance and finally Bubba said that it sounded like no one had a clue what anyone was talking about which is as true as anything you might read here.) since we are not a fast reading bunch.
I would have Cletus put one of them sayings like Mr. Possum has on his blog but then who knows what it would look like or where it might end up. If we had such a saying, it would be something like " Everything you read here is true. The truest things may be the ones we made up." but then we would have to update it ever so often and the whole bunch of us can't think of anything else to put there. Okay, the truth is Cletus doesn't have a clue how to do it. So there, we confess. Cletus tried to add a hit counter but couldn't find one that only counts up to two.
Boy, are we getting off track! What heck were we talking about? Oh, yeah new links. Hope they work.
Well. I see that the Legislature passed the dern thing. $1.2 billion in new taxes if the voters approve it in September or half that in new taxes if they don't. Cletus came up with that. He says that from what he has read, the Leg will have to increase those taxes that they can if the voters turn down the increase approved last week. Of course, the increases they can approve are the sales tax inceases and they will really hit hard at people who don't have a lot to begin with, such as Cletus. Actually, Cletus will be hit harder by an increase in property taxes since he doesn't seem to ever buy anything. I swear he has been wearing the same overalls since 1970. Not the same pair. He has several pairs, but he doesn't seem to ever buy new ones and Lord knows, he doesn't buy any food. He says he the sales tax still affects him because I always put the tax on his tab. I guess if he ever decided to settle up, then he would be hit pretty hard.
Bubba asked if any of us had any ideas about where spending could be cut so that the State didn't need the extra money. Elroy, who got a speeding ticket last week, suggested that we could cut way back on the highway patrol, but none of us really liked that idea since it would probably put old Marcus out of a job and besides, the HP really does a good job overall and we need them at wrecks. Someone said we could cut back on teachers but that doesn't seem to be a right good idea since then who would teach the younguns? It would be nice if we were able to get all the younguns able to earn a decent living. Some people think we should do away with public eduaction and let the private schools take over since they operate at lower costs, but then if you look at them right close, you find that many of the Church related schools pay their teachers a pittance and it is doubtful that they could find enough people willing or able to work for low pay to educate every kid.
No one was willing to cut back on highway building and repair since if the roads get any worse, the damage to our cars and trucks would be more than the tax increase.
Bubba offered up the politicians, but even if we got rid of them all, the state would still need more money than it takes in now. Elroy suggested throwing all the old people on the street since they aren't contributing economically to the society, but then all of us are real close to being old people and a couple of us don't contribute a lot now. Elroy is down on old people this week. Seems that some mail got misplaced and a bunch of electric bills didn't get sent out and people got notices that their power was going to be cut off and them old people have a lot of time to come by the Coop and call on the phone. Elroy has been pressed into "customer relations" this last week and he says some of them "sweet" old ladies forgot their sugar. He says he learned several new cuss words last week.
Right now, we just don't know what to do. I guess the State really does need more money, but none of us here at the old BBQ Emporium are real comfortable with what we see so far.
Bubba says $1.2 billion mixed with 140 legislators just sounds like trouble to him.
Monday, June 09, 2003
Well we all made it to the reunion of our little two room elementary school where we learned the school was only in existence for 34 years and had probably less than 350 students total during those years. 70 former students and 5 former teachers attended. Everyone told a story about their time at the school and since we are a community of story tellers, it took about three hours to get around to everyone. If prizes had been given out, Cletus would have surely have won with his tale of numerous paddlings each and every school day. He had the record among those at the reunion with eight times in one day not counting the whuppings from Mizz Jones when he got home. We could never figure out how our Mama's always seemed to know when we had not been our best at school. Bubba says that in Cletus' case, it was not too hard. He did have best days.
The school closed in 1970 and the community is still upset about it. The elected county schools superintendent decided to close the smaller schools based on the theory that larger schools and classes offered a better education (and save money). To the community, the school was the heart. Our community life centered on that school. It served as our community center, our school, our sports fields and was the focus of community life. Several dozen people went to the Superintendent and begged him not to close the school. People offered to pay the overhead for operating the facility. The Super was adamant and the school closed. When it closed, the life went out of the community. The Superintendent got his way, but the community won a victory of sorts. The people spent the next two years campaigning against him and he was soundly defeated when he came up for re-election. Even his own relatives didn't vote for him. He actually left the county. Our school was still closed, but we didn't have to look on the face of the man who closed it. Democracy in action I say.
Cletus says the reunion was great because we saw people we normally only see at funerals and his tales just don't fit real well at those. Maybe he is out of the doldrums and will be back in action and we can have some good stories here.
One story for the reunion. This was not our class since we were much better behaved than the classes that came before us. It seems that a bunch of 5th and 6th graders decided one day after lunch that they would see how many people they could stack on top of a single chair. One boy sat down then 12 more people on top of him before he could no longer feel his legs and cried for mercy. When they got unstacked, their teacher paraded them across the hall where she and the principal took turns paddling them. It wasn't until they got home and their Mama's were whuppingg them again that they learned why. Seems a couple of the boys had their hands up the girls dresses.
Cletus found the story very disturbing since the class telling the story was his Mama's.