Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stars Don't Fall on Sweet Home Alabama

If you want to give a jeweler a good laugh, ask him to inscribe “Look how this ring encompasseth thy finger” inside a ladies wedding band. Why? It’s a beautiful line from Shakespeare, isn’t it. Yes, it was spoken by Richard III to Lady Anne; he married her with the intention of murdering her, and it wasn’t pretty, folks.

It would seem most of our pols in Montgomery are just as clueless when they espouse the “Sweet Home Alabama” lyrics to identify with our beautiful state. Even that sorry, lowdown Dem crook Don Siegelman was intelligent enough to know what Alabama needed in way of a colloquial advertising motto.

But let’s continue to be as dumb and inane as possible. The federal government likes states to be that way. Let’s never strive to rise above the chaff. If we did, it just might cause some high tech industries to look twice at us...or even some think tanks...and we certainly wouldn’t want that.

Thank God the motto “Sweet Home Alabama” no longer fits on our license plates. Not that our current plates have any artistic merit of which to boast. Even atheists are so appalled by the artwork they request the “God Bless America” alternative.



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Local Hydrocodone Hijinks

The price of addiction? Not all drug crimes/sales/thefts are trafficking or involve as strong a drug as heroin. Some are so small as to hardly be worth risking...unless one was fairly sure he would get away with it. These crimes are thefts of various narcotics for personal use.

Recently we’ve heard of two such instances in the Shoals. Imagine this scenario: An ambulance is called to the home of extremely ill patient. A frantic family member hands the attendant a paper bag with the patient’s medicines inside. The paramedic then rides in the back of the ambulance to the emergency room. Upon arrival, he hands the appropriate person the bag of drugs, which now is minus any narcotics.

A savvy family member reported this crime, and the person responsible later admitted his guilt and was arrested in Franklin County, charged with simple theft of a small amount of narcotics. We say small amount since most narcotic scrips are limited in number initially and obviously contain a varying number of pills at any time during the (usual) month.

We understand that hydrocodone goes for about two dollars a pop on the street. Did this felonious ambulance personnel make any money from his theft? We’re guessing it could have gone either way, but the pilfered pills were probably for his own use.

How about an even smaller crime? We’ve reported earlier on the problems at a Lauderdale County nursing home where patients were not receiving their hydrocodone as prescribed. Was this a huge theft? No it could have been as little as one or two pills each day. Obviously, this would indicate someone with a personal need or someone who assisted others with his/her personal need.

How did it work at the nursing home? One patient in this scenario, now deceased, was receiving 10 milligrams of hydrocodone every three hours. The prescription was written so that the 3:00 a.m. dosage could be omitted if the patient was sleeping and appeared comfortable.

What would a medicine nurse do if this were the case? We hope she would note that the dosage wasn’t given, but who would know if she slipped the single pill into one of her numerous pockets and charted the drug as administered? The exact number of pills someone could steal in this manner would never be great and would depend on the number of patients who had drug orders with this much leeway.

As far as we know, the situation at the local nursing home was never resolved. Was it covered up? We can’t say that it was or wasn’t, but our source has never heard the results of any investigation. Intentionally swept under the rug? Perhaps it’s simply that with so little proof, there was nothing nursing home authorities could do. In this particular case, there were other full hydrocodone scrips totally unaccounted for, and we continue to monitor that situation.

The moral of these small thefts? If you have a family member or friend who isn’t able to speak for themselves, be vigilant. Only a desperate or very misguided person would steal from someone who cannot take care of themselves but it happens even at reputable ambulance companies and Christian nursing homes.

We believe in leniency, but we also have to ask: If someone steals one or two pills because they have the chance, why wouldn’t they steal hundreds if the same chance arose?


Friday, July 18, 2014

Is Justin Matthew Green a Killer?

Often we know we’re preaching to the choir on many issues. Surely all of us, who are even minimally sane, want to protect our children. Then why don’t we?

How many times do we read of a child found dead while in the care of the mother’s boyfriend? And please tell us about this phenomenon...why leave your children in the care of someone younger than you (oh, sure he’s a stud!) and who has absolutely no idea how to take care of a cocker spaniel much less a human child? Why?!!!!!

Let’s look at Justin Matthew Green, all of 25 years of age. He’s been charged in Lauderdale County in the death of one of his girlfriend’s three children (God only knows where the father/s was/were). An electrical cord was...somehow...wrapped three times around the neck of the youngest child, aged 13 months. Did Green do this intentionally?

There were two older children in the home, aged four and five, who could have done the crime in a joking way, not realizing the consequences of their actions. Both young children deny abusing their young sibling.

Now we have to ask another question or two. Do the police actually think one or both of the young children killed their sibling, either intentionally or accidentally? If so, the charge of criminally negligent homicide is appropriate for Green. Psychological help is also indicated for the entire family. Or do authorities think Green intentionally killed the child himself and don’t have the evidence (at least yet) to prove it?

Justin Matthew Green is in all liklihood much more of a killer than Jodey Wayne Waldrop, yet he will one day walk free and live as normal a life as someone of his intelligence/morality can. No one said life is fair, and our judicial system proves it everyday.

We’re going to add a word of warning to young mothers: Sex/Affection is not worth more than the life of your child, or at least it shouldn’t be to any caring, intelligent person. If you can’t take care of a child, don’t have one. Yeah, we know...that last piece of advice is going to go a long way.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Colbert County Schools Unimportant?

We’ve had some interesting comments on the state of security/ambiance/fuzzy feelings at Colbert Heights Elementary School. A recent blog commented on remarks from parents who were pleased with the changes that made school access easier, as well as proclaiming vaguely “you know, it’s just better.”

We’ve found when one asks for examples of either good, bad, or indifferent, a glaringly nebulous answer is all one receives; however, after our blog several (presumed) mountain matriarchs commented sentoriously that there had been few changes along those lines and we were just “stirring the pot” to mention them.

First, we have never been inside said school; all our information comes from parents and faculty. So we obviously have some parents who want this “betterment” advertised as proof of Mr. Montgomery’s failings, while we have other parents who wants this change relegated to the “it’s so minute, it hardly matters” department.

We’ll still accept comments on the security/ambiance/decorating/local color metamorphosis, but for those who disagree, please don’t shoot the messenger.

Now, for those who wish no more said about CHES, let us ask why? In case you, as parents/taxpayers are not aware, lawsuits are still extant against the Colbert County Board...not just arising from CHES, but related to draconian personnel changes at other Colbert County Schools as well. You may not care how your taxpayer dollars are used, but rest assured most do.

Second, let’s suppose Bob Montgomery (as well as two or three others) wins not only a large financial settlement from the school system, but also is allowed to return to his previous job from which he was suddenly extricated screaming and kicking. You who seem to like the current menage of teachers/administrators at the CHES should be aware that this is a possibility. Old news? Hardly, it’s still developing, and we will comment on it.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

You Can Say It Here...Well, Most of It

We’ve always stressed our policy on guest editorials/blogs/columns. They don’t have to follow our lead; they can be diametrically opposed to our ideologies as long as they aren’t violent, profane, or libelous. So we were a little shocked when a friend asked if we would publish an editorial in support of Augie Hendershot for Lauderdale County Sheriff.

Obviously the answer is “yes.” Just as obviously we will also stand waiting with quill in hand to rebut the rebuttal. We’ve never been accused of being short on verbiage. Political debate is good for the system. Voters need to be involved and educated. Sadly, that seems to be a rarity in Northwest Alabama.

We don’t expect anyone to vote for a candidate simply because anyone here says to. We do expect voters to be able to give a logical reason for voting as they do. Remember, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Learn a little. Live dangerously...


We’re accepting restaurant reviews for the Shoals Cuisine blog. Besides eateries, we accept reviews of prepared foods, as in packaged barbeque, rolls, pizza, etc. Fill us in on your favorite places to eat or your favorite supermarket buy.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Standing for Office is Expensive!

For those who may not know, for whatever reason, running for office in today's highly specialized world is expensive. First a candidate must pay a registration fee; that's small potatoes compared to the advertising that's required to make oneself known.

So how much would a political candidate normally shell out? It depends. Obviously candidates for state and national offices receive numerous contributions from business interests...ahem. What about local candidates for county offices? Some of them also receive such contributions, mainly from friends and family. It's still an expensive business for someone who doesn't make a large salary...or someone who can't afford to invest in a failing effort.

How does such a candidate fund his/her campaign? We've heard the current wife's divorce settlement makes a nice start.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Thoughts on Two Failures...

What of the Cypress Lakes golf course? We understand that this property also includes tennis courts and other amenities. Unlike the golf course, upkeep to these venues seems to be minimal.

Do the citizens of Muscle Shoals want to sell Cypress Lakes after so many of their tax dollars have been poured down the 18 holes? Do they want to throw good money after bad?

A reasonable solution might be to lease the facilities to a management company. The city’s monthly income would be regular and guaranteed. Such arrangements often work well, but some do not. It’s an idea that the Muscle Shoals City Council should look into.

Has the former International Paper Company already been purchased? That's the rumor; however, there doesn't seem to be any paper trail in the state. Options, etc., aren't always filed at a local courthouse, so the tales of a new small, non-union paper mill may be true. Stay tuned...