The video of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's address to the Pastors-for-Life in Mississippi conference last January has gained recent notoriety, thanks to the judge's amazing assertion that only Christianity is entitled to First Amendment protection under US law. The top jurist bases his assertion on some rather dubious history and theology, which Kyle Whitmore carefully debunks. But it seems unlikely that a Chief Justice wouldn't know about this stuff. A fairer assumption is that he simply chooses not to notice it.
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The gentleman in this video claims to hit 30 mph while sledding down Birmingham's Crestwood Boulevard. I have no idea whether or not this is true, but knowing the intersection he's sledding past (I used to live right near there), it would certainly be a hell of a ride down a long stretch of steady grade. Other context that makes this video more fun: Crestwood is (as the "boulevard" implies) a multi-lane, divided small highway that's usually filled with cars going 55 mph in a 40 mph zone. The fact that this man is not hit by a car is a testament to how much the city has been shut down by the recent snow and ice.
Oh, and, finally, all those people going "wooo!" as he passes are standing outside of the neighborhood bar. Natch.
Sixty feet under the Gulf of Mexico lie the remains of an 50,000-year-old forest
. Diver and photographer Ben Raines took some amazing photos of the site and sent samples of the trees — which still look like trees — to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for radiocarbon dating. You can see sap in a cross-section of the wood and, when it's cut, Raines says it still smells like fresh cypress.
The Guardian reports on life for visible minorities under Alabama's new "immigration" law that allows the police to detain and question "suspicious" (that is, brown) people and arrest them if they don't have immigration papers -- even if they're American-born US citizens. Many people of Hispanic origin have walked out of their jobs in protest, while others are fleeing the state:
Even families legally entitled to be in the country are being caught. Cineo Gonzalez was shocked a few weeks ago when his six-year-old daughter came home from school carrying a printout. It gave details of HB56 and its implications, under the heading: "Frequent questions about the immigration law."
Gonzalez is a US permanent resident, having come from Mexico more than 20 years ago. His daughter is an American citizen, having been born in Alabama. Both are entirely legal. Yet she was one of only two children in her class – both Hispanic in appearance – who were given the printout.
Why was she singled out, Gonzalez asked the deputy head teacher. "Because we gave the printout to children we thought were not from here," came the reply.
Gonzalez is a taxi driver. Soon after the law came into effect, he began getting calls from Hispanic families. "People started asking me for prices. How much would it cost to go to Indiana? How much to New York? Or Atlanta, or Texas, or Ohio, or North Carolina?"
A newlywed couple in Birmingham, AL had problems with the automatic checkout system at WalMart, which refused to ring up their $2.90 packet of chicken necks. A WalMart employee helped them with the system, and they paid and made to leave. A security guard confronted them and accused them of stealing the chicken necks, despite their receipt, which showed they had paid. The manager was summoned, reviewed the receipt and the security footage, and concluded the couple had done nothing wrong. However, the security guard insisted on calling the police, and then WalMart contacted the INS to alert them to the husband's legal trouble (he hadn't yet been naturalized following his wedding to a US citizen), as well as the WalMart where the wife worked in order to get her fired. The husband was deported, the wife lost her car and home in the ensuing legal battle. They're suing.
Plaintiff told these employees to look again as the item was on the bottom of the receipt and therefore accounted for. The security guard started screaming and asked to see the identifications of the plaintiff and her husband. The security guard screamed at the plaintiff and her husband saying they were going to be deported. The security guard, in overly loud voice, stated plaintiff and her husband were illegal and what were they doing in this country. Plaintiff asked for the assistant manager. The security guard answered by saying plaintiff and her husband were going to jail...
Wal-Mart Goes Nuclear Over Chicken Necks; Newlyweds Lose House; Husband Deported
The assistant manager said in presence of plaintiff and her husband: 'I see where she scanned it, I see where it's been rung up.' Plaintiff responded: 'I did scan it, I told you.' Ricky, plaintiff's husband said I'll pay for it again if you want me to. The assistant manager then said to the security guard: 'Well what do you want to do?' The security guard said he wanted to put plaintiff and her husband in jail.
...When the security guard found that Mary Hill Bonin had worked at another Wal-Mart, he called that store and informed it "that she was being charged with a Theft of Property in the Third Degree," even though the assistant manager already had told him that the chicken bones had been bought and paid for, the Bonins say.
(Image: Red Dog Deli Chicken Back & Neck, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from doggybytes's photostream)