25 AUG 11: Go White to Jail
Instant Message to all new families from Fort Knox: If you haven't noticed it already, race relations tend to bubble below the surface of nearly every issue in Columbus. If you want a "city too busy to hate," head for Atlanta. Some people in Columbus seem to have extra time to think about it.
The stage is set for what could be Columbus's next racially-charged criminal trial. Wednesday's Ledger-Enquirer reported a grand jury indicted and police arrested "white rights" activist Michael Weaver. It's a good thing jail outfits are orange, because Weaver might object to black and white stripes being side-by-side.
Prosecutors say the local National Alliance leader stopped his car in the Rose Hill neighborhood, got out and sprayed a pedestrian in the neck with mace. The indictment claims it happened on a Saturday evening last December -- but it does NOT tell us if either person demanded figgy pudding.
At first Michael Weaver was charged with misdemeanor battery. But according to the newspaper, a "detective familiar" with the suspect contacted the Solicitor General, who in turn alerted the District Attorney's office. Prosecutors explained it was because the attack was unprovoked -- or is it a case of Weaver provoking too many people in general?
Regular blog readers should be familiar with Michael Weaver's name. He's been in regular contact with us over the last couple of years. And if he wasn't being held without bond, Weaver probably would have called us Wednesday offering an exclusive jailhouse interview.
In fact, Michael Weaver informed me last summer I "provided the inspiration" for his "White Information Network" blog [16 Jul 10]. I dared to check for my name there Wednesday night -- and this is one time when I'm grateful to report I've never been thanked, or mentioned at all.
That blog also fails to mention Michael Weaver's arrest in Rose Hill last December. And Weaver's entries stopped last Saturday - so if the National Alliance has other members in the Columbus area, no one has come forward to take his place. A group so opposed to racial conspiracies certainly will hold a public meeting to select a replacement....
But the White Information Network blog mentions a couple of other Columbus residents in startling ways. Michael Weaver used the killing of Heath Jackson last September to promote the National Alliance's goal of "an All White Homeland." But for some strange reason, he's never been a big promoter of Columbus Cottonmouths hockey.
The biggest surprise for me Wednesday was NOT really the arrest of Michael Weaver. It was the indictment revealing his real name is Michael Carothers. A man who's claimed to be "in pursuit of the Truth" operated all this time under an assumed name?! Weaver and "Brother Love" again have more in common than you might think.
I can almost imagine Michael Carothers making comparisons to C.A. "Brother Love" Hardmon from his jail cell. Carothers considers himself a civil rights activist, only with the monochrome reversed. If Glenn Beck would hurry home from Israel, he could do for Carothers what Michael Baesden did for the Jena Six.
The District Attorney's office will need to handle Michael Carothers's case with special care. He's bound to see an aggravated assault trial as free publicity to promote his cause. National Alliance supporters could organize rallies, the way Jesse Jackson came to Columbus after the killing of Kenneth Walker. And who knows - maybe the Kardashian sisters will show up to restore racial harmony.
Many people grumble about racial issues in Columbus, but Michael Carothers has been rare in turning the grumbling into action. He's handed out "white rights" literature downtown - and even engaged a local rabbi in an e-mail exchange where Carothers made tough accusations against Jews. It's a wonder Carothers was never hired to work for Andrew Breitbart.
Michael Weaver/Carothers ranks with several other people who have written me over the years -- people on the political or societal fringes, who come to a humor blog because no one else is giving them any attention. Is it really better to have someone laugh at you, than ignore you completely?
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E-MAIL UPDATE: We asked for outside help in recent days with a couple of other hot topics. Wednesday brought an explanation about volunteer fire departments from Andy Guy of the Lee County forestry office....
The Alabama Forestry Commission does not collect financial reports from the departments. They are not reported online. Each county has their own source of funding decided by the local departments and are distributed differently. Some are fire fees, some come from sin taxes, etc. Lee County volunteer fire departments receive their funding through a fire fee that is collected by the Lee County Tax Assesors Office. They can help you receive this information.
Aw c'mon -- sin taxes?! It's hard to believe volunteer fire departments are making money from people who might smoke cigarettes in bed.
So the Lee County Tax Assessor may (or may not) have the Friendship Volunteer Fire Department's financial report. And a blog reader informed me Wednesday she's obtained the 14-page state law authorizing a Lee County fire fee referendum. But I have to ask: do readers want a humor blogger pursuing this stuff? Do you find plenty of joke material in your personal tax return?
Next comes an e-mail we held over -- and since it covered many topics, we're going to hold part of it for this weekend. But here's the rest....
As for the Judge submitting his resignation papers, I guess this excludes him from any further investigations by doing so and no danger of him winding up incarcerated with all the ones he had already sent up the river, huh?
The River City Report has been all over this story, so I passed this question to Robbie Watson Wednesday. She told me Judge Doug Pullen indeed will be able to escape further probing and sanction by the Judicial Qualifications Commission. Time will tell if Pullen escapes punishment as long as that convicted sex offender.
Robbie Watson adds as of next week, Douglas Pullen truly will be a "retired judge." And he won't be able to come back to Muscogee County court, because he's being banned from further judicial service. There's only one way Pullen could oversee cases again - if WLTZ gives him the time period Judge Greg Mathis used to have.
Now it's time for closing arguments (or statements or whatever) from Wednesday's news....
+ Muscogee County School Superintendent Susan Andrews revealed to WRBL she had the Public Education Center evacuated during Tuesday's earthquake in Virginia. Andrews said she felt shaking in her third-floor office for several seconds. And amazingly, it was NOT due to parents attempting to move children into schools which made Adequate Yearly Progress.
+ The Liberty Learning Foundation presented a program at Downtown Elementary School. It ended with Columbus Councilor Bruce Huff having children repeat the phrase, "I am the next great American." Now wait a minute -- they can't ALL be the next one. That's why we need programs such as "America's Got Talent."
+ The Russell County Commission voted to end all funding for the public library near downtown Phenix City. Oh boy - now that can be named after Jimmy Wetzel, too.
(Library Director Martha Noyes told WRBL a $500,000 renovation project is planned in the children's section, because it's "one of our growingest programs." Yes, she said "growingest." How many books did she read aloud to preschoolers this summer?)
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