July 2009

15 Jul 2009

Ridiculous Amendments: #351, #361, #393

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As you read these posts, keep in mind that each of these amendments required either unanimous vote of the state legislature or a majority in a state-wide popular vote.

The legislature may authorize the levy and collection of a one mill ad valorem tax in Mobile county on real and tangible personal property that is subject to such tax under the laws of this state for the purpose of controlling mosquitoes, rodents and other vectors of public health and welfare significance...

That was amendment 351. Amendment 361 revised amendment 351 to remove a single word ("tangible"). Amendment 393 extended 351 to include "other general health purposes", but only if those "other general health purposes" didn't comprise more than 50% of the tax collected under this amendment.

Should this truly require the state's attention?

08 Jul 2009

A long-overdue picture

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Just over 2 years ago, I posted here about an old friend I had gotten back in touch with after many years. This last week while I was on vacation Amy helped me get a picture that's about 18 years in the making:

Catherine and Jeff

The long chat outside the Ferry Building was so worth the sunburn. :)

05 Jul 2009

Ridiculous Amendments: #482

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I really want to be writing about my recent trip to San Francisco, but that requires more brain cycles and time than I have available right now. In the meantime, here's the first post in what I hope to make a series here.

For my non-Alabama readers, the current Alabama state constitution was written in 1901 and is currently by a wide margin the longest still-operative constitution anywhere in the world. Most of the length comes in the form of its almost 800 amendments. These amendments are necessary because the constitution reserves so much power for the state government that localities can do almost nothing without explicit constitutional consent.

I have very little hope that this document will ever be re-written, but if it does happen, it will only be because Alabamians realize just how ridiculous it is. To that end (but mostly just so I can poke fun and amuse my friends), I give you amendment 482:

The Limestone county commission is hereby authorized with or without charge to provide for the disposal of dead farm animals, and the excavating of human graves.