Tin Shop Tartan - Randolph County Alabama's Own Snarky and Surly Scot Gets All Native

Blogging from the suburbs of the Tin Shop community, Captain Plaid brings Progressivism, and a share of Quixotic angst, to the ridges and hollows of Randolph County, Alabama. Hardly a booster yet rooted here enough to fight, Plaidsters can perhaps find like cause in trying to build local solutions to global concerns. Education, environment, economy, entertainment, engagement ... Trust the Tartan!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Relay for Life, Alfa, Youngsters, & Aw Shucks

Just back from Relay. First thing in the gate I ran into Dean Wyser out campaigning and laid into him about Alfa. Dean holds a Director's position with Alfa. I bluntly told him that I was furious about how Alfa had once again helped kill Constitutional reform of Alabama's outdated and racist 1901 Constitution. Mr. Wysner said that he'd tell them my thoughts and I know they'll get a laugh should he. They've been ignoring, and actually scheming to stop, concerned citizens (that actually have some influence!) on this issue for many years. If Alfa gave a damn about the small farmers and regular folks in Alabama they'd stand aside and allow reasonable reform. They are the Biggest Mule in Alabama. Shamelessly selfish!

Good crowd. Good vibe. Enjoyed seeing all the young people. Some were especially vibrant, attractive, talented, energetic ... but I kept thinking how many will leave our community, possibly by choice yet most certainly by necessity. Very few people can remain here and perhaps many that do are making that sacrifice to try to have a decent place to raise kids. If parents are willing to make up the difference for what we lack in culture and the like Randolph County can be a rather nice place to grow up. Yet making a living here can be tough. And being single and a bit of a lefty bookworm to boot can be a challenge.

The second confrontation I had was with Mayor Spec Bonner. I had a couple of folks say, perhaps teasing but I think they meant it, that Mr. Bonner wanted to talk to me about my letter I'd placed in The Leader. So I walked up and asked him. He said he didn't want to see me but I told him I'd like to hear what he thought. He said he didn't understand what I wrote. "Aw shucks" ... just like his President. I said we'll you wrote ...

For the record here's what appeared in The Leader: "He wants everyone to boycott Citgo because of that nasty little despot who is running the government of Venezuela. If we do that, though, we must buy from those nasty Mid-Eastern oil barons who are killing our young men in Iraq or the ones in Iran who are busy making their nuclear bomb."

Mr. Spec then admitted that Miss Lissa wrote the letter. Mr. Bonner then just up and volunteered that if Chávez were killed it would by Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. That assertion freaked me out in how Spec might know this and yet I do think the military/industrial complex, especially in a multi-national world, is alive and well. I then said my only beef was their assertion that "oil barons" were killing our soldiers. More "aw shucks" from the Mayor. I told him as Mayor his allegations surely needed to have some factual basis but once again he tried "aw shucks". Now Bu$h deflects and dodges reporters and critics with his "aw shucks" and the like. But I kept after the Mayor. He then said something like "well it could be that those folks could be behind it". I said there's absolutely no evidence of this that I'm aware of and "Do you have any?". Cornered, game over, no more "aw shucks". I told him I was fed up with folks not knowing what our kids were facing in Iraq and we owed them that much. I left Mayor Bonner with "If you want to talk then you know where to find me."

I don't really care about being right as much as not wanting to be wrong. I want to use facts and reason to support what I advocate. Spec could not support what was written above his name to The Leader and, while I'd like the public to understand Iraq and that strategic portion of the world, especially when we have so much cultural tension now between Islamic nations and the West, I'm hardly optimistic than even a mea culpa would make much difference. Nationally I wish some ReThuglican leaders would challenge the lies and admit the incompetency of Bu$hCo. There's not much I can do on the national level to change the GOP Rubber Stamp Congress.

Locally however I do care that Dean Wysner simply can't be looking out for the little guy if he's supporting the Alfa stand. And he's not on that Board, which I think is a rather well compensated position, without towing the line. And to have Mayor Bonner leading Roanoke, a vital part of this whole area, doesn't give me positive feelings. Truthfully he never has appeared to be the best leader, although we've had some limitations in that area all over the county for some time, to see how he handled this one minor issue has given me a real jolt. We've got critical times in these next few years and we've got to have super solid folks up front that should be 100% dialed in to facts and policy and creativity. These kids I referenced above need serious LEADERSHIP to make our community better for their present. This need is especially true for making the option of remaining here, should that be what these kids want once they are grown, possible .

Peace ... or War!