Goodloe Sutton is publisher of the Democrat-Reporter, a newspaper published in the small town of Linden, Alabama, and he is very upset about "Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats [who] are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama," so much so that he published an editorial calling on "the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again" to address the issue. Read the rest
Archprankster Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G, Borat, etc) has a new show called Who Is America? where he disguises himself sits down with US politicians and tries to get them to do something absurd, with some pretty remarkable (and even career-ending) results (though not everybody falls for it). Read the rest
Alabama college student Walter Carr, 20, got a job at a moving company in a nearby town. The night before his new job started, his 2003 Nissan Altima broke down. Read the rest
Fact: The only thing that smells worse than your poop is tons of other people's poop. If you don't believe me, take a road trip to the town of Parrish, Alabama. They'll back me up on this one: According to the Associated Press, the citizens of Parrish were forced to endure the stench pouring off a train full of sewer sludge from New York and New Jersey for close to two months.
It's not unusual for trains full of human waste to pass through the town of 982 people: there's a landfill complex that treats and disposes of the excrement another 20 miles further down the track. Having the train stop in town to share its intoxicating perfume for two months? That's both unreasonable and unusual. It seems that another county in Alabama blocked the train's passage, making it impossible for it to reach its final destination. So, there it sat in Parrish: like a man in the bathroom after a large, questionable meal, full of poop, making everything terrible for everyone. NPR states that the train was stopped near a local park. The odor coming off of it was so bad that little league games had to be cancelled.
After two months of having to put up with the stench ruining the lives of everyone in the town, in mid-April, the Mayor of Parrish was finally able to tell her constituents that it was finally moving on. The town's administration will be looking into passing a series of by-laws to keep similar incidents from happening again. Read the rest
A train carrying a load of human waste from New York City has been stranded outside the 982 resident town of Parrish. Evidently, after two months of sitting next to their little league fields the stench is overpowering.
Via USA Today:
In Parrish, Ala., population 982, the sludge-hauling "poop train" cars have sat idle near the Little League ball fields for more than two months, Mayor Heather Hall said. The smell is unbearable, especially around dusk after the atmosphere has become heated, she said.
“Oh my goodness, it’s just a nightmare here,” she said. “It smells like rotting corpses, or carcasses. It smells like death.”
All kinds of waste have been dumped in Georgia, Alabama and other Southern states in recent years, including toxic coal ash from power plants around the nation. In South Carolina, a plan to store radioactive nuclear waste in a rural area prompted complaints that the state was being turned into a nuclear dump.
In Parrish, townspeople are considering rescheduling children’s softball games, or playing at fields in other communities to escape the stink.
Two months ago, dozens of train cars filled with ten million pounds of human shit from waste disposal plants in New York and New Jersey came to rest outside the town of Parrish, Alabama, population 982. Read the rest
Etowah, Alabama County Sheriff Todd Entrekin took advantage of a Great-Depression-era rule that lets the sheriff pocket any "excess" from the budget for prisoner meals (provided he makes up any shortfall from his own finances) and used $750,000 that had been allocated to feed prisoners to build himself a luxury beach house. When his gardener tipped off a Birmingham News reporter, the gardener was locked up in the Sheriff's jail on mysterious drug charges. Read the rest
In a country that has so much, it should be a crime to leave the less fortunate with so little. But it isn't, so here we are: As part of a United Nations study on poverty and human rights abuses in America, researchers have stated that rural Alabama is home to the worst poverty in the developed world.
According to Advance Local, the U.N. Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, was shocked at the level of environmental "degradation," economic inequality and systematic racism in the state:
Of particular concern to Alston are specific poverty-related issues that have surfaced across the country in recent years, such as an outbreak of hookworm in Alabama in 2017—a disease typically found in nations with substandard sanitary conditions in South Asia and Subsaharan Africa.
You should know that economic inequality and racial discrimination lend themselves to civil rights abuses. That makes poverty a human rights issue.
A lot of us, including myself, live comfortably enough. I know where my next meal is coming from. Too many of our fellow citizens aren't as fortunate. The fault for this, according to Alston, can be laid at the feet of our governments:
Read the rest
“The idea of human rights is that people have basic dignity and that it’s the role of the government — yes, the government! — to ensure that no one falls below the decent level,” he said. “Civilized society doesn’t say for people to go and make it on your own and if you can’t, bad luck...
Late last month, a woman in Alabaster, Alabama spotted an unusual bird in her backyard feeder, which was soon revealed to be an extremely rare yellow-pigmented Northern cardinal.
Auburn University biology professor Geoffrey Hill said the cardinal in the photos is an adult male in the same species as the common red cardinal, but carries a genetic mutation that causes what would normally be brilliant red feathers to be bright yellow instead.
Alabaster resident Charlie Stephenson first noticed the unusual bird at her backyard feeder in late January and posted about it on Facebook. She said she's been birding for decades but it took her some time to figure out what she was seeing.
"I thought 'well there's a bird I've never seen before'," Stephenson said. "Then I realized it was a cardinal, and it was a yellow cardinal."
... Hill -- who has literally written books on bird coloration -- said the mutation is rare enough that even he, as a bird curator and researcher has never seen one in person.
"There are probably a million bird feeding stations in that area so very very roughly, yellow cardinals are a one in a million mutation."
However, an expert at the National Audubon Society has a different theory on why the bird's plumage is yellow:
Read the rest
As Geoff LeBaron, Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count director, points out, the cardinal’s crest and wing feathers look frayed in photos. While wear and tear is a natural part of a bird’s life, it can be exacerbated by a poor diet or environmental stressors.
Warning, this post contains upsetting content about the sexual exploitation of children. Read the rest
When Massachusetts GOP Senator Scott Brown was elected in a 2010 special election, Senate Democrats agreed to delay a key vote on health care reform until he could be seated, so that the vote would be held by elected officials, not the appointed lame duck who was sitting in the seat that Brown was about to occupy. Read the rest
Roy Moore, who has been thoroughly endorsed by Donald Trump, said in 2011 that the US government would "solve many problems" by ridding itself of every Constitutional amendment after the first ten -- a list that included the 13th Amendment (which ended slavery), the 14th (which gave citizenship to former enslaved people); the 15th (which gave the vote to black men) and the 19th (which extended voting to women). Read the rest
During Roy Moore's judicial bouts -- punctuated by frequent removals from the bench for gross misconduct -- he was part of the mass incarceration wave in America, which has resulted in millions of black people being thrown in prison on flimsy pretenses for long sentences, while whites in similar situations have gone free. Read the rest