Aug 29, 2013
commented on IRS to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage for Tax Purposes, Regardless of Where the Legally Wed Same-Sex Couple Resides
Reasons to live in Alabama:
1) It's gorgeous, straight up. There is not a bad season to drive on US 78 between Birmingham and Tupelo, Mississippi, but fall is the best. (It's mountainous. And in the spring, it's covered in wildflowers -- red and purple and yellow carpets all along both sides of the road.)
2) There are many badass local organizations working to bring about progressive change to the state, especially in Birmingham and Montgomery.
3) UAB and UAH have incredible, world-class medical science and space programs.
4) Taking advantage of this new fed policy will piss off all the right people in Alabama.
Aug 1, 2013
commented on The Worst Jobs We’ve Ever Had
In high school I worked as a cashier at Kroger (the parent company of QFC). The area is on the border of suburb and exurb of Atlanta, and even today is a place where nice country folks, mostly blue-collar and not rich, live warily around the SUV-wielding, McMansion subdivision-dwelling imports. My coworkers were mostly high schoolers; they weren't bad. Store management, however, told us in no uncertain terms that if we didn't join the union, they'd find other high schoolers to take our place. An all-union shop was, and is, a rare thing in Georgia, and it soured me on unions for a long time (I would have joined voluntarily but balked at being told I had to if I wanted the job). I still don't think very kindly of the particular union that I joined.
When Bob Barr was trying to find a new seat in the U.S. House after he got gerrymandered out of one, back in the early 2000s, he was one of the SUV-driving horde, buying a McMansion near the Kroger in order to establish residency so he could run again. He came through my line, bought $300 worth of groceries, wrote a check -- and yelled at me for not running the check through the machine fast enough. His wife then yelled at him for yelling at me. I vote progressive and always have (which in exurban Atlanta was difficult); when I got to clock out for my break I went out to my car and called my mom so we could cackle together.
The politest customers were always the construction workers who came in to buy cases of Natty Light. My least favorite customers -- other than Bob Barr -- were the SUV drivers. Two that stand out: the man who yelled at me for not being able to intuit that he was red-green colorblind and thus I was supposed to run the card reader for him (he didn't ask me to do this, just yelled at me), and the man who came through my line right after a woman with a baby paid for milk and eggs with WIC vouchers who saw fit to spend a good five minutes telling me how welfare was evil and if he ran things women like her wouldn't be able to shop in places like this. At the time I was making ten cents over minimum wage.
Jul 11, 2013
commented on This Is Why I Read the Obits
Oh yeah, and maroon communities like @2 is talking about were more common in the eastern part of the South. Whites took control of present-day Mississippi relatively late (treaties with Creek, Choctaw, and Chickasaw mostly happened in the late 1830s) and settlement for agriculture happened even later.
Even the Delta -- which is on the opposite side of the state from Starkville -- wasn't cleared for plantation agriculture until after the Civil War. Frederick Law Olmsted's travelogues, compiled nowadays as The Cotton Kingdom, describe frontier conditions in 1850 in that part of the U.S. South -- no infrastructure to speak of, much less plantation agriculture. Olmsted does address maroon communities in the Carolinas, though.