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, May 12, 2006

For Randolph County, Two out of Three Ain't Bad!

In this week's The Randolph Leader we get a Progressive Lefty take on an issue and I did not even write the thing. Amen!

U of A Law Professor Susan Pace Hamill reminds us "Alabama is a long way from being truly pro-life" in tackling the efforts of certain wingnuts and/or pandering politicians to ban essentailly every form of abortion in our fair state. "Birth 'em and then abandon 'em! could be on their campaign literature! A sharp lady over in T-Town that is talking and writing the walk! Here's a portion of Professor Hamill's work:

The latest statistics show that in 2004 there were just over 11,000 abortions in Alabama. Credible studies also indicate that poverty substantially contributes to the number of abortions. All Alabamians of faith should find this a disturbing tragedy.But is it enough to merely support legislation banning abortion? Does this satisfy our moral obligation to fully embrace the dignity of life?

In writing of a “seamless garment of love”, the late Cardinal Bernardin defined pro-life as meaning much more than restricting abortion. To him, genuinely pro-life communities support pre- and post-natal care of mother and child through healthcare and subsistence safety nets, as well as access to decent housing, education and job training.

Even a cursory snapshot of our state reveals we are a long way from truly embracing the dignity of life. Alabama has among the highest rates of poverty, especially children living in poverty. Over a quarter of our people do not get primary healthcare with too many Alabama mothers, especially in the rural areas, receiving inadequate pre-natal care. Our education funding is grossly inadequate and child advocates complain that our foster care support is less than what it costs to board a dog in a kennel.

Especially since poor women resort to abortion in far greater numbers, why are we not aggressively fighting poverty? Why do we not guarantee all pregnant women access to adequate pre-natal care, nutrition, drug and alcohol treatment, and job training? Why is our public support of most other life-affirming areas so pitifully low?

The reason is those of us at higher levels of income and wealth are unwilling to bear the cost of a truly pro-life community. We are unwilling to accept the high-sacrifice of state and local taxes which raise sufficient revenues needed to support such an endeavor. Instead we fool ourselves into thinking that merely supporting anti-abortion legislation is all that it takes to be pro-life.

The truth is being genuinely pro-life requires embracing Judeo-Christian guided tax policy.

Yet we also get Christian pre-school "K-3 teacher" Brenda Overton responding to Paul Huey's latest missive, not as dreadfully bizarre as his global warming denial, with "Three-year-old schooling is better than alternative". Some of what neighbor Paul wrote made some sense in the idea that the adult(s) at home are what counts. I see Paul playing with his kids and expect he's a good Dad yet leave education policy alone please. Europe and much of Asia is killing us at the middle and high school levels yet our efforts at "educating" even the less academically inclined child gets much of the blame. And Paul, the SAT is likely rarely taken by students in other countries. Returning to Ms. Overton, it is obvious her faith means much and yet I'd expect that kids that have been with her, if in fact this is an alternative to public schools, would be performing better if they'd been in the average public setting. Not a knock on Ms. Overton really, even though her writing seems a bit scattered, but rather the statistics seems to show this when we adjust for poverty.

Finally Steve Williams (might have not made the print edition yet but he did make it online this week) responds to my scolding of Shelby and Sessions for not handling Dubyah with "Sponsor a bill praising the president". I'll be responding to his "logic" and "historical insights" soon I expect. "A position not founded on reason cannot be swayed by argument."yet tackling the errors in his work might flip a few folks back from the Dark Side of the Force. Even in Randolph County maybe?

The point is that we've gotten a little lefty thought going into the paper and darned if I'm not pleased. I expect Johnny and a few folks up at The Leader would write a little more left if the traffic would allow yet I know they've got to sell ads and keep customers. Small town papers are really in an awkward place at times yet The Leader has often stepped up and written what needs telling. Peace ... or War!