Friday, June 30, 2006

So I'm Behind the Curve on This One

Which is ironic since I got called by the reporter for this piece. If you haven't already, check this out.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

For What It's Worth

Whew… That’s finally done. Is anyone still out there? Here are the ways I’m leaning in the charter commission races.

Position 1: Horace Jones.
Position 2: Silvia Cox
Position 3: Not sure. I liked Withers until he went off complaining about inspections. James was a cute old guy, but has little chance. Darrel Thomas maybe?
Position 4: I like the idea of having someone from the old charter around which speaks well of Fred Davis. I know Howard Richardson and like him. Buck made a lot of sense even if he is a Republican. I’m still thinking about this one.
Position 5: Mary Wilder. I was inclined towards John Branston before (if for no other reason than that everyone else I know over at the Flyer is cool so he must be cool because of the company.) I didn’t disagree with what he said, but he was lecturing the voters like they were a bit dense. The room was filled mostly with activists and voters who pay a lot of attention to government. Please don’t condescend to them. That really turns me off.
Position 6: Paul Schaffer
Position 7: Doesn’t really matter. Myron Lowery is going to wipe the floor with everyone.

Position 7 (Plus a mea-culpa)

Jeff Johnston- He’s a native Memphian who was educated here. He is an everyday citizen who will listen to the voters.

Anthony Milton- He married a Southern girl and once you do that you can’t leave. He doesn’t think we need a “Boston Tea Party.” He wants to look at taxes, ethics, contracts, and conflicts of interest.

Jenny Robertson- Did not attend.

Myron Lowery- His son spoke late. He has been on the council for 15 years. He supports term limits, staggered elections, and was one of the few votes against the Fed-Ex Forum. He also gave the audience his home number for questions.

I missed two late comers for District 2 earlier:

Michael Sadler- He played on the Celtics championship team and for the Mavericks. He wants to be a public servant and get the people involved.

John Malmo- He had someone else speak in his place. He helped organize the charter drive because of the pension issue. He is the chairman of Archer-Malmo and was on the parks commission before the city scrapped it. He also called some of the local golf courses “boon-dongles.”

Position 6

Debra Grundy-Chalmers- She is a minister and native Memphian. She said that she is a new face who is familiar with our uniqueness and thinks integrity is the most important issue.

Rodney Jeffery- He is a native Memphian who says he will listen to the citizens’ desires.

William Mims- Did not attend.

Frank Palumbo- He is a civil engineer and former director of public works for the city.

Paul Schaeffer- He’s the manager of the IBEW union, president of the building trades commission, and Vice President of the AFL-CIO. His children go to public school. He wants to study the charter and listen to voters.

Perry Steele- He is an activist with the campaign slogan: “Enough is enough. I’m fed up. Clean up Memphis.” He wrote Barbara Cooper’s used car law, recently stopped a planned subdivision from being built in his neighborhood, and won a racial unity t-shirt contest.

Reginald Tate- Did not attend.

Patsy Turner- Retired business person. She ran because of the pension issue. She thinks that the city needs to be sought after.

Sharon Webb- She has 14 grandchildren and is a pastor. She says that she is “not a coward.” She has a Master’s degree and two Ph.D.’s. She used to be a quality control officer for the post office which taught her how to work as a team. She talked about three issues. Two of them were ethics and racism. The third I cannot read. I apologize for that, but considering how messily I write, one word out of 13 pages of hastily scratched notes (small pages) ain’t too bad.

Mondell Williams- Did not attend.

Position 5

John Branston- Many of you may be familiar for John who writes on city government for the Memphis Flyer. He also writes for the Memphis Magazine, I think. He said that he has sent all his kids to public schools. He also talked about his experiences having talked to city leaders for 25 years. He has looked at the charter and thinks that the first rule is to “first do no harm.” He also talked about the need to make as little change as necessary and to fully explain those changes to the public.

George Brown- He has been a local judge and a member of the school board. He thanked all the candidates for running and said that he intended to keep an open mind about what needed to be changed.

Russell Hensley- He’s a lawyer and a staff city attorney. He has litigated the city charter before and thinks it needs to be as specific and clear as possible.

Larry Henson- He’s a native Memphian who believes our government has become dysfunctional. He supports term limits, a “none-of-the-above” option on ballots, and to protect areas like the river promenade.

Robert Wayne West- He’s a businessman and on the alcohol commission. He’s also a Republican political consultant at times. He wants to get us to work together and avoid unintended consequences with the charter. He supports term limits, ethics reform, and addressing eminent domain.

Mary Wilder- She is an active volunteer and works for MIFA. She’s also the former director of the city’s rape crisis center. She thinks we need to not make changes lightly. She supports term limits, an ethics code, addressing conflicts of interest, and establishing a planning commission.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Position 4

Fred Davis- On the original charter commission. He served on the first city council under the charter. He also designed the district lines that the council used. He’s running because he feels we need the experience of someone involved with the original charter.

Janis Fullilove- (Who has commented on this blog before) She talked about her experience marching with MLK Jr., being jailed for protests at the U of M, and being a TV and radio host. She said she is opposed to politicians who feel a sense of entitlement.

Johnny Hatcher Jr.- (You may remember him from earlier posts from his county commission run and the ensuing controversy.) He started by thanking everyone. He’s an accountant who runs his own business. He said he wants to ask the voters about term limits, taxes, and elections. He then polled the audience about term limits. Nearly 100% supported them. He also stated the need for a tax on people who work here but don’t live here.

Howard Richardson- He serves on the SCDP executive committee and steering committee with me. He had a surrogate speak about his long involvement with politics. He plans to listen to voters’ desires. He is also on the executive committee of the AFL-CIO locally.

Buck Wellford- He is a native Memphian who served two terms on the county commission as a Republican. He said he must have done something right because both sides were normally mad at him. He’s a lawyer and active with Boy’s Club and other groups. He supports term limits and kept his own promise to be term-limited. He also wants to look at consolidation, openness in government, and ethics.

Stanley Tyler- He came late because he is a maintenance guy and had to work overtime (when it’s this hot air conditioning being out is an emergency). He is the husband of Judge Karen Tyler. He had a shout out for her campaign and can often be seen at events helping her. He supports a payroll tax and term limits.

Position 3

Marsha Campbell- Did not attend.

James Daugherty: A cute old man who is deaf as a doornail. He didn’t say his name until over a minute of people shouting out “What’s your name?” He moved to Memphis after he retired and thinks we need term limits.

Darrel Thomas- He’s a biomed guy. He had lunch with a guy who was on the last charter commission in the ‘60’s to learn about it. He wants to hear from the voters about issues such as term limits.

Andrew “Rome” Withers- He’s the son of famous photographer Ernest Withers. He’s also a travel agent and a photographer. He wants a citizen’s committee to get citizens’ input on the charter. He also complained about the money we spend on inspections and said that he wanted to stop that.

Keith Williams- Did not attend.

Sherman Perkins Killimanjaro- Did not attend.

Charles Strong- He had a surrogate speak for him who came late. He thanked everyone running. He’s a business guy who has read the charter and helped to organize the drive to get a charter commission.

Position 2

I would also like to thank the League of Women Voter’s for putting on this very well-attended event. There was standing room only, almost every candidate for that position (and several from other positions) came, and two of our illustrious Flyer writers came, although one was running so I don’t guess he counts.

Bill Boyd- Did not come because he was having surgery.

Silvia Cox- She is a Fed-Ex employee (like nearly 10% of the people who read my blog and about the same percentage of Memphis.) She’s a volunteer for numerous organizations such as the Humane Society, the Orpheum, and St. Jude. She isn’t very political but decided she didn’t want to just vote and complain. She supports term limits, voter oversight of the sell of MLGW, and more contract oversight.

Dean Dayo- He’s a big shot with Leadership Academy, the Coalition for a Better Memphis, and Goals for Memphis. He thinks the commission needs diversity and that it needs a big business perspective which he can provide. He says that he will look at other cities to steal their ideas.

Jack Eaton- He said Memphis used to be called the “City of Good Abode” but not anymore. He supports term limits.

Charter Commission Position 1

Sorry that it has taken a while to get this up. Real life has this annoying habit of taking precedence over blogging. I’m going to take the charter commission position by position for all 7 seats. Each candidate only got 2-3 minutes to speak so they didn’t say a lot. I’ll just point out the highlights. Many of them didn’t really say anything except “I’m a Memphian and I’ll listen to you.” So don’t blame me for any vagueness. I have to echo Jackson Baker’s comment in the Flyer though. They weren’t kooks, and they weren’t politicians. They were regular citizens with a genuine concern and interest in the city having good government.

Willie Brooks- He is a native Memphian and U of M graduate. He says that we need to review the current charter and solicit citizen input before making any changes.

Felicia Corbin Johnson- Did not attend.

Joseph Fox- He is on the “Concerned Citizens of Memphis” slate organized John Lunt and company. He brought a massive copy of half of the current charter to show how big the thing is. He’s also a deputy sheriff.

Horace Jones- Native Memphian who graduated from the University of Memphis. He is a CPA who owns a firm in the district. He thinks his accounting background will be useful. He supports term limits, pension reform, voter oversight of an MLGW sell, pension reform, and more oversight of contracts, appointments, and a limit to officials contracting.

Charles Walker- Said Charles is what his mother named him, but Chuck is what his wife changed it to. He has a background in the FBI and as a lawyer. He says he is upbeat for Memphis and wants to work to create “racial harmony.” He supports consolidation and an income (I assume he meant payroll) tax.

DFM Bush Protest

Please attend DFM Movie Night And Bush Protest primer on Thursday, June 29, 2006 at 7:00 PM. You can RSVP here.

Come join us as Democracy For Memphis, the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center and other local progressive groups as we join forces to plan a protest action to mark the arrival of President George W. Bush in Memphis this Friday, June the 30th. This action will highlight not only our concerns about the war in Iraq, but the war at home as well, and the cost of human life in this war.

Currently we are making arrangements for permits to protest across the street from Graceland from 10am until Noon Friday June 30th and wish to invite participation from any and all local progressives and like minded groups and associations. This Thursday night June 29th at 7pm at Reedmeisters at 3439 park ave, 327-1270, DFM will host a protest primer to make sure all those participating are prepared and aware of any important details in the way of location changes parking and how to protest within the law.

We also will be hosting a screening of the film STREET FIGHT which deals with a grassroots candidate for Mayor in New Jersey and his struggles with the local political machine.Several speakers will also attend to remind us of why we are progressives and why we are morally obligated to take action.So spread the word and come on out this Thursday night to prepare to give George Bush a warm Memphis welcome.

DFM Movie Night And Bush Protest primerThursday, June 29, 20067:00 PMReedMeister's3439 Park Ave.Memphis, TN 38116Handicapped Accessible: YGoogle MapsContact Brad Watkins at 901-237-2563

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tyson Withdraws...

I liked the guy, and I hope he sticks around.

Today, Tyson Pratcher, a Democrat in Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District announced his withdrawal from the race and called on the voices of change to unite behind one candidate.

Statement by Tyson Pratcher follows:

Over six months ago, I left my job at Senator Hillary Clinton's office to return home, for the opportunity to serve the community that made my life possible. I decided to run for this office, because I believed that I was the candidate in this race with the best qualifications to get things done for this great community in Washington.

Over the first few months of my campaign I had the great opportunity to engage people across the great city of Memphis. The one common thread in all of my conversations has been that the voters of this district, regardless of race, religion or age are yearning for a new generation to step forward and assume the mantle of leadership. Their confidence in our government had eroded because of empty promises, racial divisiveness, repeated lapses of ethical judgments and failed policies. The people of Memphis called out for a new generation of leadership that was prepared to restore their hope and confidence in government.

I was not the only new voice in this city who heeded the call of the voters. This race has seen the emergence of no less than 10 new young people running to represent the 9th Congressional District. While the fervor of our collective desires to see this city prosper speaks to how much we all care about the future of this community, the large field has turned into a double-edged sword. My internal polling shows that the vast majority of Memphians want a new generation of leadership. The problem, however, is that there are now so many new voices in the race, we are splitting the vote for change and jeopardizing the realization of such change.

While we have spent our time fighting amongst each other, the old guard has sat on the sidelines, ready to use the strategies of the past to win an election without having a plan for the future. Many political insiders are even suggesting that we will once again see them attempt to divide us based on race to win this election

The immediate question is how to approach their strategy of divide and conquer. Will we stand in the proverbial “circular firing squad” and allow our own personal ambition to make the city miss a pivotal opportunity to go forward? Or will we unite and offer this city one real reform candidate who will articulate a message about the future?

While I believe I am the best voice for change, I cannot and will not allow my personal ambition to threaten our city’s ability to move forward. We must use our energy, not to fight against each other, but to fight to help turn the tide of violence, poverty and school drop-out rates.

To that end, I am withdrawing my candidacy in an effort to ensure that the new generation of leaders is able to bring about the change the people of Memphis want and deserve. I encourage others in the race who shares a common vision for the future to join me in a meaningful discussion in the coming weeks about which candidate is in the best position to end the politics of the past, and unite behind that candidate and work with me to help get that man or woman elected. Together we can work to prevent the perpetuation of failed policies, old grudges and racial divisions that have served to keep this city from the greatness that its people deserve.

My love for this community and drive to help make it better will never fade and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to speak out for change.

Contact Information:

JB Rabinowitz

Tyson Pratcher for Congress

454 North Willett

Memphis, TN 38112

T: 917-407-3144

Monday, June 26, 2006

Charter Commission Forum

Even I'm having trouble making intelligent decisions about the races on the ballot this time. It's hard enough when you have such an assortment of down-ballot clerks of various types, but I can handle that. When you throw in something in the realm of 57 judges then it gets harder. I've been interviewing them all though, so I think I can handle that. Now we have charter commission and I'm about ready to throw up my hands in despair. Aside from a few like Howard Richardson and Paul Schaeffer whom I know, I don't know a dang thing about most of these candidates. What's a political junkie can do? Your first choice is to pick the coolest name. If that doesn't float your boat, then you're welcome to come here:

Memphis League of Women Voters

Invites You To A

Memphis City Charter Commission Candidate Forum

Monday, June 26 beginning at 6 PM sharp

Main Library
3030 Poplar
Meeting rooms C & B
(From lobby turn left do not go through second set of doors)

Every registered voter in the city of Memphis can vote for a candidate in each of the seven positions. When elected the charter commission supposedly will make suggestions to change the city charter. This could be anything they agree upon, including term limits for city elected positions.

This potentially could be one of the most important selections you make in the August election. Please attend and give yourself the opportunity to hear the candidates.

Everyone's favorite local political blogger (or at least 7th favorite local political blogger) will be there. Afterwards you can expect one of my patented, exhaustive, political forum rundowns that we all know and love. Hope to see you there.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

So Many Places, So Few Hours...

After interviewing long-winded judges all day, a man needs a drink. But I can't decide whether to go here or here. Either way you should go to one too.

I would like to announce that...

I'm changing my last name to Ford and running for state rep. Best of luck to all my other fellow Fords on the ballot. My wife will also be running for trustee as a Ford. We look foward to serving alongside Roderic and all our other brothers in Ford.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Guide To Memphis Politics...

So I met a fellow future law student last night. The poor guy has gotten a crash course in local Memphis politics from me in the 3 days since he moved here. He asked that a local blogger post an Idiots' Guide to Memphis Politics so that a newbie could know what the heck was going on. I said I'd think about it. Before hand though, I want to send out a challenge to the Cracker. He's an old-timer from way back and should be the one to take a crack at it. How about it Steve? How about a Peoples History of Shelby County? I'd defer to your superior wisdom.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Solar Power Meeting

The Shelby County Sierra Club June Meeting
Wednesday, June 28, 7 PM
Cordova Branch Library
(Note new location)8457 Trinity Road
Featured Speaker Randy Johnson Director of Solar Engineering, Sharp Manufacturing Will speak onThe Basics of Solar Energy

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Congressional Endorsement...

I've given a lot of thought to this Congressional race. These seats only come up at most often once a decade so this is a choice that's very important to get right. There are a lot of great candidates who I've met in the course of the last several months who I think have a great future in politics if they keep at it.

Several different people I've spoken with about the race have said they knew who I'd pick in the end. They all said Cohen. At those times I had preferences, but I wasn't firm. I asked them why they thought Cohen and the unanimous explanation was because I'm cautious and I like to know what I'm getting. Guess what. They were right.

I'm supporting Steve Cohen for Congress because I know what I'm getting. Steve is a life-long fighter for progressive causes. I could go into all he has done, and all he plans to do. I could point you to the issues on his webpage and to his incredibly long voting record, but you already know all that. If you read this then most likely you are as big a dork about politics as I am. I had to ask myself which of these candidates is most likely to provide a progressive voice in D.C. The only guaranteed answer I had was Steve. I asked myself which of these candidates would be least likely to fade into the background of Washington politics. Say what you want about Steve's personality, but noone who has ever met him can honestly say that they expect him to be low-key and let politics-as-usual go on without comment. The final question I asked myself is which of the candidates that I like would be most likely to beat those I wasn't comfortable with. That answer was again Steve.

I have talked to people who say that they don't want Steve to win the primary because black voters will support Jake Ford in the general. If there was some high-profile race-baiting going on that Steve responded to clumsily than that could happen. It's not however. Not that his race isn't being made an issue of, but they're not really creating the anger that it would take for that to happen. Anyone who can make Steve out to be Bull Conner needs to be running the Republican's elections. Because that is talent of Rovian proportions. I don't buy the arguement that black voters are going to run in mass to vote for Jake Ford over the Democratic nominee just because his name is Ford without some strong reason. Give me a strong reason?

Dropping Like Flies.

Looks like Michael Hooks Jr. has been indicted as well.


Michael Hooks Jr., a former member of the Memphis City School Board, was indicted Tuesday morning in the Tennessee Waltz investigation.

The indictment charges that in 2001, Hooks along with two unindicted co-conspirators, conspired to embezzle property that was valued at $5000 or more that was owned by the Shelby County Juvenile Court Clerk’s Office. It also says that in April of 2003, Hooks made a false entry into record or document with the intent to impede the government’s investigation. Finally, it charges hooks with making a false statement to FBI agents in May of 2006.

Action News 5 will have more on this story today on Action News 5 at Noon, and for instant updates, including a copy of the indictment, stay with

Essay From Way Back...

My senior year of high school someone called and told me that the Jackson Sun was having a civil rights essay contest. Unfortunatly, it was due in an hour. I decided what the heck and typed something up and emailed it out to the editor. Given the turn-around time I was surprised that I won. I got a savings bond or something and it got published. I had forgotten all about it. A relative who just learned how to use the net was engaging in the pasttime everyone engages in when they first learn the power of the web, she googled the name of everyone she knows. Turns out my essay is still online, and she sent me the link.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Let's Win This

Volunteer to help Steve Mulroy!




EVERY SATURDAY 9:30 am & 1:00 pm


Contact: Joe Weinberg 755-6180
Contact: Gilda Gant 324-4761 or

For more information, pleasevisit
or call 324-4761

Listing of Reception/Fundraiser's for Steve Mulroy:

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 5:00-7:00 - Steve Mulroy for County Commission, Campaign Kick-Off, Steve Mulroy Campaign Headquarters, 4691 Knight Arnold at Perkins. For more information, please visit or call 324-4761

Monday, June 26th from 5:00-7:00pm – Steve Mulroy, Candidate for County Commission , District 5, Reception Fundraiser, Owen Brennan's, 6150 Poplar Ave. Please,consider sending a check made out to Mulroy for County Commission and send to the attention of Karl Schledwitz, 100 Peabody Place, Suite 1325 , Memphis , TN 38103 .

Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 5:30 to 7:30 pm - Steve Mulroy, Candidate for County Commission , District 5, Reception Fundraiser, Bank of Bartlett, 1870 Kirby Parkway at Poplar, Lobby/Community Room. Suggested Contribution: $500 - Entertainment/Food/Drinks. For more information, please visit or call 324-4761.

Southern Baptists and Bloggers and Conservatives, Oh My!!!

I was a Southern Baptist until I was 18, and am now an American Baptist. Although the church I grew up in and I are far apart when it comes to some beliefs, I still have fond feelings for the denomination. It's like a punch in the gut everytime they do something extremist, such as calling for children to be pulled out of public schools because schools support the "gay agenda." The SBC isn't going to become a voice of progressiveness in the next century, but I do wish it would get taken back from the angry, fundamentalists who have taken it over in recent decades. For that reason the recent election of president of the denomination was quite reassuring. The establishment choice from the group that has clung to power since about '79 was defeated in an effort that begun on Baptist blogs. The new president, small-church pastor Rev. Frank Page, although a conservative, promises to forge a new, less attack-oriented SBC. He says "I believe in the word of God, I'm just not mad about it." He also says, "For too long, Baptists have been known for what we're against. It's time to say, 'Please, let us tell what we're for: That there is a life transforming, relevant-to-today's-people message that we have to share." Developments such as this, along with the evangelical movement's increasing affiliation with issues such as "creation care" and global poverty make me cautiously optimistic. Although many of my liberal friends are understandably skeptical of conservative Christianity, there are many good, caring people in the fold who are more than just gay-bashing and political clout. It's good to see those voices starting to assert themselves more. Whether you are Christian or not, it is a good thing when Christians decide that it is most important to first show the "love of God" to the world.,2845,MCA_25341_4779977,00.html,2845,MCA_25345_4781446,00.html

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sierra Club Movie

The Sierra Club

Would like you to join them in viewing
Al Gore's movie"An Inconvenient Truth"

Friday, June 23, 7:00 pmMalco Ridgeway5853 Ridgeway Center ParkwayTickets are $8.00 (If you ask at the booth, there may be a special "Sierra Club" discount)Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb. If the vast majority of the world’s scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics, and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced. Enter the film An Inconvenient Truth. A Sundance festival hit, An Inconvenient Truth offers a passionate and inspirational look at former Vice President Al Gore’s fervent crusade to halt global warming’s deadly progress in its tracks by exposing the myths and misconceptions that surround it.

Carbon Footprint

So what affect do you have on global warming? This calculator shows how much carbon you emit every year. We're at 7500. Are you too high? Go here and fix it. It's only a little bit more money, but you get the added bonus of not adding to some oil or coal executives golden parachute. I decided to get off my butt, resist my cheapskate impulses, and put my money where my mouth is and switch to 100% renewable energy for my household. I'm saving up for a hybrid too, but will have to wait on that one till I get out of law school.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

I saw the new Gore global warming movie yesterday. Wow... I'm sure I will blog more about it later when I have time but I just want to say "Wow." You have to see that movie. I've been getting a little bit tired and burnt out and disgusted with politics lately and I left that movie completely energized, pissed, and optimistic.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Steve's Campaign Kickoff!

You are cordially invited to the

Steve Mulroy for County Commission

Campaign Kick-Off

Thursday, June 22, 2006
Hors d’oeuvres & beverages

Steve Mulroy Campaign Headquarters
4691 Knight Arnold at Perkins

For more information, please visit
or call 324-4761

Thursday, June 15, 2006

To Bob Corker's Daughter:

If your father is running for Senate, then you don't post pictures of yourself kissing girls and dancing in your panties on the internet. The pictures aren't that bad, not anything that college girls across the country don't do, but you would think some common sense would tell you that they would be found and used to embarrass your father.

UPDATE: I've rethought and decided not to link to the pictures, cause I get ticked off when people go after a candidate's family so I shouldn't help that. If you really want to see it you can use google.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Like everyone else, I thought the Gore movie opened on the 23rd, but it looks like they moved it up. It starts this Friday at the Ridgeway 4. You know, the one they hide so you can never find it.

An Inconvenient Truth *

An Inconvenient Truth *


So I'm sitting here watching a dude from Van Halen singing a blue-grass version of "Jump." Now that's interesting.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Maybe He Can Do It.

Check out the latest Zogby poll about Ford's race. Thanks to Cracker for pointing it out. Actually looks decent for him.

Hottest Man in Politics

To avoid looking sexist, I guess I have to link to the hottest man in politics poll too. Jr.'s on there. I betcha my good friends in the progressive blogosphere will spend their day voting for him as often as they can.

I'm a Bad Grandson...

For some reason I take perverse joy in freaking out my grandmother. I tell Margo that I'm trying to open her mind, but really I'm just amusing myself. This weekend Margo and I went to Cooper Young for lunch, not realizing that the Gay Pride Parade was occuring. We had to walk through it to get to the restaurant. Later, I called up my grandmother and left a voice mail that we had been "in" the Gay Pride Parade.

She still can't get over that my church has a woman pastor. Everytime I talk to her she says "Do you still have a lady-pastor?" BUT, she did vote against Bush last time. Maybe there's hope for her.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Iowa Polls Already?

Yep. The presidential campaigns are already reving up, and John Edwards recieved a nice 53rd birthday present. He's in the lead in Iowa. He's ahead of the Iowa governor, the winner of the last Iowa caucus, and Hillary Clinton.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Blogging Rules vs. Get Off Your Lazy Bums And Do Something For A Change

I wanted to cross-post something I commented with on Cracker's page. It's an interesting discussion going on over there.

So what happens when everyone is right? Do we all hold hands and sing kumbaya? I doubt it, and that would take all the fun out of things anyways. I think's Desi's point about the need for people to actually do more than talk when it comes to making a change is a valid one. As Dean said "We are the ones we've been waiting for." No use waiting for some progressive knight on a white horse to come save us. We have to put in the grunt work ourselves. I like to think I've been doing that, but that's besides the point.

On the otherhand, I think blogs are quite useful as a forum for political debate, information, etc. It's not like someone is forced to come here. People do because they want to have an idea of what's going on and put forth their own opinions, etc. I've seen numerous instances where things said on blogs have had a strong influence (both good and bad and I am sure Desi could name some bad ones)on things that have happened in real life. I see blogs as similar to the old papers of the revolution. Radicals and rabble-rousers both reasonable and not spoke their minds and fanned the flames that led to action. Blogs help people to give voice to their thoughts and that's a very good thing. It's a very democratic medium with a small d. Are they enough on their own? Not at all, but that doesn't mean that they're without merit. The fact that you read them seems to imply that you don't either.

Blogger's Bash

What happens at Blogger's Bash, stays at Blogger's Bash. It was a great time. Funny how the conservatives come and leave early, and the liberals come late and stay late. Let it be known to John Harvey that I gladly take his bet that I'lll be a conservative by the time I'm 30. Ain't gonna happen.

Here's a link to all the rabble rousers in attendance.

Friday, June 09, 2006

It's All Bush's Fault...

So blogger sucks and hasn't worked for days, I hurt my foot in jujitsu, and then on the way to Drinking Liberally my tire blew and I had to change it in Memphis in the summer. It's all Bush's fault, so I am going to have to do something to undermine the idiot's presidency just as soon as I get a new tire today.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Dixon Trial

My post before last was probably no little bit unreadable. I was tired and grumpy, and I shouldn't post when I am either. Regardless, the fact remains that we have a lot of corrupt politicians who when called out on it ask us to fast and pray for them. That doesn't fly with me.

In case you hadn't noticed, I am a little bit angry. That happens when a politician is arrogant enough to not only misuse the sacred trust given to him through our vote, but then asks me to pray that he gets away with it. It angers me that this is often par for the course with politicians both in and out of Memphis, and throughout the years. So I ranted. Oh well. Was I wrong? I don’t think so. If I ever get so cynical that corruption doesn’t make me so angry that I sputter incoherently then I will then need to not just stop being involved in politics but stop voting all together.

On another note, Roscoe Dixon was convicted today. The others would likely be well-served to plea. The batting average for Tennessee Waltz defendants is not that great.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Legislative Pay

Count me among the minority that think that state legislators don't get paid enough her. $16,500 a year pretty much guarantees you are going to need another job too unless you are already wealthy or retired. What kind of job lets you be away for several months at a time? Law, contracting, buisness, etc. Types of jobs that are perfectly reputable, but also tend to have a conflict of interest at times with the ways in which they deal with the government. I think it would be better if the job paid enough that it could attract smart, successful people without having as big a financial temptation. It's not going to happen though, and everyone knows it. SO, politicians get into this game knowing the sacrifices it entails of both time and money. They've read the job description, and they don't need to be doing to much whining about how hard it is for them. They asked for that. Nobody held a gun to their head and said they had to run for office.

Memo To Tennessee Waltz Defendants

Go to Hell. I have not an ounce of sympathy for them. I am tired of having to defend good Democrats because of the self-serving, cynical assholes that get caught with their hands in the cookie jar. In addition to the ongoing Roscoe Dixon trial, in which he tries to explain away the bribes in part because he didn't get paid much as a state legislator, we also had a former Democratic governor in Alabama who almost won while he was on trial for corruption. That's not even mentioning the bribe-cicles that Jefferson had in his freezer. Margo asked me rhetorically yesterday why Democrats don't mind corruption. That’s a good fricking question. I hold my own party to a higher standard than the other one, and damnit we ain’t reaching it.I had nothing against any of the Tennessee Waltz defendants before hand (well... maybe against John Ford but we won't go there.) I liked Katherine Bowers and helped some on her state senate campaign.

A lot of Democrats get mad and repeat innocent until proven guilty over and over. They also try to make it out that the whole exercise was just a witch-hunt targeting black Democrats.As far as innocent-until-proven guilty, that is true in the courts, but these assholes are on tape taking effing bribes! In the court of public opinion they've been guilty from the start. The fact that not only is Bowers keeping her seat, but to the best of my knowledge has no Democratic opposition is despicable. How hypocritical is it for us to bitch and moan about Delay and Company and then keep silent about the BS here at home? Even ignoring morals, politically what does it help the party when someone is indicted and the party just shrugs and says oh well and lets the Republicans use the issue to kick our asses with?Maybe those lawmakers were targeted unfairly, I'm not a conspiracy theorist but stranger, more sinister things have happened. Does that change a damn thing? Are they still crooks? Yes. Do they need to go to jail? Yes. Do they need to be run out of politics with sticks and stones? Hell yeah!

I’m not doing a damn thing for another Democrat just so a Democrat wins. I’m sick and tired of this, and party loyalty can be damned. I’m not a Democrat to make money for myself or anyone else. I’m not a Democrat to help myself or anyone else gain power. I’m a Democrat because I think we’re all in this together and we are our brother’s keeper. Any politician who is in it for any other reason can kiss my liberal ass.

Not That I'm in the Green Party

But I got this email from their candidate for U.S. Senate in Tennessee, Chris Lugo, in which they are trying to get a full-time intern for the campaign. Unpaid of course, but they'll provide food, housing, and cable.

Hey, don't laugh. It's better pay than I normally get for my political work. I don't even have cable. Maybe I need to have a talk with some people. :-)

Those Angry Liberals!

So the next time you hear someone complaining about the angry-left, just plop in a recording of Psycho-Bitch Ann Coulter saying that the widows from 9/11 who fought to get the 9/11 Commission started are enjoying their husbands death. Or that liberals hate America more than terrorists do.

It Works!!!

I decided to actually post and, wouldn't-you-know-it, blogger has been down all afternoon. I promise I'll get a couple of posts out tonight or tomorrow. In the meantime, polardonkey has an interesting post.

On a side-note, it is quite rude of all of the local bloggers to stop posting at the same time. Who is going to rabble-rouse if we are silent? In the future, we need to always keep one person in an undisclosed location blogging away to ensure to continuity of commenting should the unthinkable happen to the rest of the blogosphere as they try to pretend like they have a life outside of their blogs.

On another side-note, how the heck do I have LESS free time when I am unemployed than I did when I was employed? That ain't right!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Fantasy Time

We're off to Little Rock for the weekend, where we'll see the Clinton Libray. Then we can fantasize about a utopian world where the deficit retreated to surplus, the country was at peace, the economy was booming, and people distrusted government because the President lied about a blowjob and not about sending our troops to war.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

And While We're on That Topic

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the last time I read the gospels I remember seeing a lot about turning the other cheek, caring for the sick, helping the poor, etc. I don't recall seeing a whole lot (read NONE) about homosexuality or abortion or tax cuts.

When I read the words of Jesus I see love, compassion, and wisdom. What I don't see is condemnation, hatred, and villification. It is painful to see fellow Christians who seem to focus on sharing the condemnation of God and not the Love of God. If God is to sit in judgement of everyone later, then let's leave that to him and focus on working to make his world better because life if hard enough as is without making it harder on each other.

Banging Your Head Against a Wall.

Why do I engage in political discussions with my conservative friends and relatives? You'd think I'd learn. There are some that I respect a lot and can have intelligent conversations with about tax policies, the war, the deficit, etc. And then there are the ones who want to talk about gay marriage. Ugh...

I don't deny what the bible says about homosexuality. There are theological arguements you can have on the issue, but if you are someone who has a literal word of God interpretation of the bible then it is cut and dry that homosexuality is a sin. Even if you accept that, it doesn't deserve the extra attention on the sin list it often gets, but for the sake of arguement I let him have this as a given.

"Hank" then preceded to blast the assault on marriage in this country. I asked him to name me one divorce he knew about that was caused by homosexuality. Us heterosexuals are doing just fine at destroying marriage all by ourselves without any help.

He likes to pretend he's a libertarian on a lot of issues, so I turned the discussion to the Texas sodomy law that the Supreme Court struck down recently. I asked if it was any of the government's buisness what he did in his own bedroom. Get this, he responded by quoting that great philosopher Rick Santorum.

The gist of his arguement was that if gay sex is legal then soon bestiality, pedophilia, and polygamy would be legal. After I finished choking on my tea, I tried to respond. How the heck do you respond to that anyways? I find it hard to believe that anyone actually believes that. It almost has to be just a chance to vilify gays by putting them on the same level as criminals, and not an actual arguement.

Working on the assumption that he was being honest though, I pointed out the obvious. Gay sex IS legal and has been for years and those things have not become legal. Besides, there is no similarity to homosexuality and bestiality or pedophila. The first is consensual sex between ADULTS. The other two are between an adult and something or someone who cannot protect itself and is therefore legally protected.

I shocked him on the third though. I'm not a great legal scholar (yet), but I think it's quite possible that will prove correct on polygamy. If the government eventually recognizes the legitimacy of same-sex relationships between consenting adults, than recognizing relationships between more than two people isn't that great a leap.

Hank's responce was basically "See! See! We can't allow that! We have to stop that!" I asked him why. His responce was "Because it's wrong."

I mentioned that Abraham and company did that in the bible and God didn't seem too upset, and that even if it was legal most people aren't mature enough to manage one wife or husband so very few would try for two or more.

At that point he gave up on the converstation because now I was just "being silly."

So... I defended gay marriage and polygamy today. There goes any political career I could ever have had in Tennessee. :-) I can see the ads already...