Sunday, June 29, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Police can stop a vehicle for driving too slowly, the [Tennessee] state Supreme Court ruled Monday in a case that led to a drug bust.You'll have to go to the Memphis Daily News to read the rest, because it's an AP feed, and the Associated Press has been acting like real shitheads lately about bloggers allegedly overdoing fair use.
Chattanooga police arrested three people for possession of cocaine and marijuana with intent to sell or deliver after they were pulled over in 2005 for driving 20 miles an hour in a 35 mph zone.
Here's the Court's summary of the opinion with a link to the full opinion:
State of Tennessee vs. Richard Adam Hannah, Larry Darnell Penn and Tracy Lee Ray - No. E2005-02833-SC-R11-CD ViewNow we've got another ground for pretext stops (usually done in hope of finding drugs in a vehicle), now admissible in evidence under the U.S. Supreme Court's holding in Whren et al. v. United States. The Tennessee Supreme Court could have found more protection under the Tennessee Constitution than the federal constitution requires, but they didn't.
Hamilton County - We granted the State’s application for permission to appeal in order to construe Tennessee Code Annotated section 55-8-154(a) (2004), the impeding traffic statute. The trial court held that the driver of a slow-moving vehicle does not impede traffic, unless other traffic is made to come to a stop. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed. Upon review, we hold that the trial court based its decision on an erroneous interpretation of the statute. Therefore, we reverse the trial court and remand for a new suppression hearing.
"Land of the free," huh?
A historic but decaying church in Denmark will be saved with the help of a grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation.What in Hell does a church have to do with the Tennessee Department of Transportation? This is pure political ass-sucking of religionists by politicians with YOUR money. I hope the ACLU gets on this. Are you listening, Hedy Weinberg?
The former Denmark Presbyterian Church on Denmark-Jackson Road has not been active since 1998 but is included on the National Register of Historic Places.
Gov. Phil Bredesen is scheduled to visit Denmark today to make a grant announcement for the church.
Bredesen will present a check for $161,000 at 4:15 p.m. for the preservation of the historic building.
Bill King, head of the Big Black Creek Historical Association, said the organization applied for the grant through TDOT.
The grant includes a match of $32,000 from Madison County, King said.
I could go on and on about the influence of the following videoed group, but I'm buzzing out on the hard stuff at the moment; so I'll just link you to the oh-so-seminal Thirteenth Floor Elevators (do click the link) and present the closest thing to a radio hit they ever had: "You're Gonna Miss me.". Below that, I'll offer you an awesome treasure that can change your life.
I now offer up the best acid poetry ever written, the lyrics to "Slip Inside This House." Take them as the most awesome Tantric Yoga sermon ever delivered on record.
Janis Joplin was influenced by the Elevators' vocalist, Roky Ericson, and was considered to join the band. A couple of members of the Elevators migrated to Mother Earth, where another of the era's amazingly talented vocalists, Tracy Nelson, was singing numbers like her "Down So Low":
I irritated Tracy in 1977 when she thought I was interviewing her for her current efforts but all it seemed I wanted to ask her about was the Elevators. We've since made up.
I've got a lot more in this vein, but this is just the first Psychedelic Saturday. Stay tuned.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Memphis had already gotten into the act with Bill Justis' 1957 "Raunchy," which Wikipedia dubs "the first Rock and Roll instrumental hit."
The next year, Duane Eddy offered up "Rebel Rouser":
Incidentally, Eddy won a 1986 Grammy for a reprise of his smaller-group, guitar-based 1960 version (link) of Mancini's "Peter Gunn" theme.
In 1953, the fabulous jazz guitarist Johnny Smith recorded his composition, "Walk, Don't Run" (Wiki entry) (YouTube link). In 1957, Chet Atkins took a stab at it (YouTube). But it wasn't until The Ventures got a hold of it that the song became part of my generation's sound track, so popular that the band brought it back in a slightly updated version in 1964. I found a video of them doing it live, on in years but showing older guys can still do it great:
About the exact same time as The Ventures' record (summer 1960), The Shadows released the haunting "Apache":
Meanwhile, something more R&B-flavored was coming out of Memphis, with the Mar-Keys' 1961 smash "Last Night" (which video I featured in a previous post) and its successor group Booker T. & the MG's immortal "Green Onions":
In 1962, The Surfaris came out with the unforgettable "Wipe Out":
In 1963, The Chantays came out with "Pipeline":
1963 also saw Lonnie Mack do an amazing instrumental version of Chuck Berry's "Memphis, Tennessee":
I could go on, but this post will already be slow to load. Enjoy and share!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Do you need more reasons to put The Memphis (Daily) News on your reading list? I'll give you two: Bill Dries (L) and Andy Meek (R).
BILL DRIES -- Senior Reporter Dries, from Memphis, has been a reporter for more than 30 years. His career stops include The Commercial Appeal, WHBQ AM, WREC AM and WLYX FM 89 way back in the 1970s! He now covers legal issues and other news.
ANDY MEEK -- Senior Reporter Meek, from Memphis, covers politics, the business community and other news of general interest. He has won awards from the Tennessee Press Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.
Here's your Memphis Daily News feed, right here. Add it to your newsreader.
Friday, June 20, 2008
But there were a couple of other guys who worked for Crown Electric -- Paul Burlison and Dorsey Burnette, and one of them had a brother, Johnny Burnette. They put together a band that worked the regional hillbilly circuit while they tried to get their big break. Sam may have had his hands full with Elvis, so the members of what would become The Rock and Roll Trio moved to New York City. Paul and Dorsey found work as electricians, and Johnny worked in the garment district, until they got a chance to appear on the precursor to American Idol, the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour. After three straight wins, they went on tour, got a record contract, and appeared in a movie. Enough yakkin', take a peep:
The group is best remembered for their rocked-up version of Tiny Bradshaw's "Train Kept A Rollin'," revived by the Yardbirds and again by Aerosmith, which featured an amazing fuzzy guitar tone which has echoed down through the years. I was at an outdoor music festival in downtown Memphis one night some years back and found myself standing next to a tall fellow. I asked his name, and he said "Paul Burlison." Wow. So I asked him how he got that guitar tone, was it a split speaker cone? If I recall correctly, he said he dropped his amp one night and it started sounding like that. He later discovered that a tube had been knocked loose and had become microphonic.
It wasn't long after that that I read he had passed away. I drove down to his funeral just across the state line in Mississippi, at which Smoochie Smith of the Mar-Keys played the most incredible blend of gospel, blues, and rockabilly piano that I have ever heard. I hope the family recorded the proceedings. I would love to post that piano solo. After the services, I dutifully drove back to Memphis to Shawn Lane's wake, held that same day, a very sad day.
But we still have the music; and it still makes us feel good. Here are a couple more mid-50's performers the youngsters may not have heard: Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent. The two of them toured England together and were seriously hurt in a taxi crash. Eddie died in that wreck. We can't revive these artists, but we can revive their music. They would so appreciate that. Click on....
I'll put Eddie up first with his most covered song, "Summertime Blues":
Here's Gene with my favorite of his, "Be-Bop-A-Lula":
Yes, there are more to herald. One from the Sun 50's era is still alive and a heck of a nice guy too, Billy Lee Riley. Here's a modern-day video of him doing his famous cover of Billy "The Kid" Emerson's "Red Hot." Watch, he can still do it. We get to hear him live several times a year here in Memphis. If you get a chance, you should too.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Memphis Daily News reporter Andy Meek filed an excellent report that hopefully will create support for re-examining whether these entities are serving the city well or mainly serving themselves and their special interest constituencies well -- "Council Members Raise Questions About Riverfront Control":
The Memphis City Council has signaled it may begin taking a more hands-on approach than it once did concerning the quasi-governmental entity that manages a five-mile stretch of riverfront Downtown.Could we please know if any of these "luminaries" are getting paid for cutting deals on behalf of the city? If so, how much are they making?
. . . .
In the room with [Councilwoman Wanda Halbert at a budget hearing] and representing the RDC was the group’s president, Benny Lendermon, a former public-works director for the city. Also on hand was RDC chairman Greg Duckett, senior vice president and corporate counsel for Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp., and RDC spokesman Dorchelle Spence, wife of former city attorney Robert Spence.
Halbert, who chairs the council’s budget committee, apparently thought the cash-strapped city – which sharply reduced its funding to Memphis City Schools by about $70 million this month to avoid a property tax increase – was on the short end of the table. And her comments were further evidence that the new council is eager to assert its political influence in every aspect of city government.As Fat Albert would say, "Hey, hey, HEY!"
I've got another one for you, Council: the Center City Commission:
The Center City Revenue Finance Corp. approved a $4 million tax freeze Tuesday for a Downtown renovation project.OK, #1, how much more city money will be loaned and tax preferences given to downtown Memphis, when so many neighborhoods, mine included, are going to hell?
. . . .
The 115 Union redevelopment is the first project that was cultivated as a result of the CCC's Minority Outreach Program, said Jerome Rubin, head of the outreach campaign.
Launched in 2003, the CCC's minority outreach campaign is designed to encourage participation by women and minorities in Downtown's revival.
. . . .
Also, CCC president Jeff Sanford announced that Maurice Cox, director of design for the National Endowment for the Arts, will be the speaker for the CCC's annual luncheon.
#2, women are a majority in Memphis, not a minority; and European-Americans are the racial minority in the governmental unit that is Memphis now, not African-Americans.
#3, Jeff Sanford got a nice cushy job after leaving the Council, didn't he? What does he get paid for presiding over this rape of Memphis taxpayers?
Councilpersons, drive down Vollentine or Kansas Street, through Klondike, New Chicago, or Nutbush, and ask yourselves what this money could do to build police stations and community centers in the many neighborhoods where this city is dying from crime and neglect. Or you can subsidize immensely overpriced downtown housing for "privileged character" developers and rich people. What's it gonna be??!!
UPDATE: Downtown Memphis condo sales crash in May.
UPDATE: Center City offering perks for new Downtown Memphis retailers.
UPDATE: Pontotoc Place Granted $2.2 Million Refinancing:
The Memphis Center City Revenue Finance Corp. board recently approved a $2.2 million deed of trust for Pontotoc Place LLC for its multifamily property at 291 E. Pontotoc Place, at the intersection of South Third Street and Pontotoc Place. The property is due south of FedExForum.Great. So we see this quasi-governmental entity handing out financial benefits to a church.
The deed of trust was dated June 24, with the Memphis Center City Revenue Finance Corp. as grantor. The loan matures July 1, 2018.
CCRFC will retain landlord rights on the property per a March 3, 2003, lease agreement. Pontotoc Place LLC is an entity operated by the Church of God in Christ Inc.
It is already known that curvaceous women live longer and that men find them more attractive but the new research suggests that they are also cleverer.Wikipedia has a balanced scientific article on obesity which nearly everyone can benefit from reading. Here are some excerpts:
The study, to be published this week, shows that men who admire women with hourglass figures do so because they are more intelligent and therefore produce more intelligent children than waif-like women or those of "apple-shaped" proportions.
. . . .
They found that a woman's hips and thighs contained omega-3 fatty acids, which help nurture both mother and baby's brains during pregnancy. Fat around the waist, however, contains higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which does not help brain growth.
"Shapely hips and thighs hold essential nutrients that nurse brains and could produce smart kids, too," said one researcher, Steven Gaulin, of the University of California at Santa Barbara.
His colleague, William Lassek, from the University of Pittsburgh, said: "Men respond because it's reproductively important."
Obesity is a condition in which the natural energy reserve, stored in the fatty tissue of humans and other mammals, is increased to a point where it is a risk factor for certain health conditions or increased mortality. Obesity develops from the interaction of individual biology and the environment. Excessive body weight has been shown to predispose to various diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus type 2, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis. Obesity is both an individual clinical condition and is increasingly viewed as a serious public health problem.Go read the whole thing. And here's a handy Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator that gives a valuable indication of where you may be weight-wise, from the Center for Disease Control's site, "Overweight and Obesity."
. . . .
In times when food was scarce, the ability to take advantage of rare periods of abundance and use such abundance by storing energy efficiently was undoubtedly an evolutionary advantage. Individuals with greater adipose reserves were more likely to survive famine. This tendency to store fat is likely maladaptive in a society with adequate and stable food supplies.
. . . .
In modern Western culture, the obese body shape is widely regarded as unattractive.
. . . .
Recently emerging is a small but vocal fat acceptance movement that seeks to challenge weight-based discrimination.
. . . .
The prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States makes obesity a leading public health problem. The United States has the highest rates of obesity in the developed world. From 1980 to 2002, obesity has doubled in adults and overweight prevalence has tripled in children and adolescents. From 2003-2004, "children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years, 17.1% were overweight...and 32.2% of adults aged 20 years or older were obese." The prevalence in the United States continues to rise. The prevalence of obesity has been continually rising for two decades.
UPDATE: Obese Americans now outweigh the merely overweight.
I'm featuring these three enemies of liberty in Tennessee who voted in our General Assembly for the total-overkill smoking ban in bars and restaurants.
If you're one of the million Tennesseans who smokes, or you love someone who smokes, or you just respect the liberty of private property owners to accommodate smokers or not, then please never support one of these fascists again, for anything.
The enemy of freedom on the left is Democratic Party turncoat Rosalind Kurita, a nurse who wants to use the law to suppress smoking on private property. She's a state senator from up Clarksville way. I hope they dump her.
UPDATE: They dumped her!
The enemy of liberty in the center is state senator Beverly Marrero, who has bummed countless smokes off of me but who told a mutual friend her district is for the ban. There is about zero chance that she has poll data specific to Senate District 30, Midtown Memphis, the Casbah of Tennessee, to support that contention. Mistakes like this are very difficult to undo; but unless she tries, I'm going to try to put someone else in that senate seat.
The enemy of freedom on the right is Mary Wilder, the interim appointee to the seat Beverly vacated and that Jeanne Richardson now holds. Mary is not entirely history. She is running for Memphis City Council District 9, Position 3, but I refused my friend her formidable handler's request to support Mary because of this Nanny-State vote she cast.
UPDATE: Mary Wilder just lost a race for Memphis City Council since this post. Way to go, freedom-loving voters! We're a huge bloc of votes. Heck, with a few more percent, we could elect a mayor.
There are many other Nanny-State fascists who voted for this pernicious, liberty-robbing legislation; and I will be featuring them in succeeding posts, so Internet searchers can land on my anti-tributes to them.
UPDATE: CNN: Locals say al Qaeda amputated fingers for smoking
"They [al Qaeda] ruled with tyranny. They really harmed our town, so we had to stop them, and they left, no return," said one young gunman, who claimed membership in the nationalist 1920s Brigades.UPDATE: Limits proposed on fast-food restaurants: "As America gets fatter, policymakers are seeking creative approaches to legislating health."
Other civilian and insurgent sources in the towns of Tahrir and neighboring Buhruz said al Qaeda had imposed strict regulations, including a ban on smoking -- punishable by the amputation of a finger or hand -- and a curfew on citizens walking in the streets after 4 p.m.
UPDATE: They're coming after you in your own apartment! "An aggressive anti-smoking ban that will limit smoking even within certain apartments will take effect Nov. 8, said city council members who finalized the rule."
UPDATE: Smoking ban costing some workers their jobs.
UPDATE: People with asthma, especially children, were a big argument for smoking bans; but it looks like what we really need to ban are house cats: Asthma Linked to Cat Allergies.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that these three nanny-state fascists were sitting by themselves at the closest table at the Memphis Planned Parenthood event when I got called out of the crowd and praised. Now you want to talk about something that kills people? Be consistent, goddammit!
UPDATE: From Adam Groves' excellent Tennessee Politics Blog:
Ban All Happiness in Parks -- Yesterday, the Metro Council took up banning smoking in Nashville's public parks. The Council backed off of that for now, opting to ban smoking in just playgrounds instead. The East TN city of Church Hill is considering banning pets in public parks because for fear of animal attacks and a lack of attention by pet owners in picking up pet dropings. Church Hill Alderman Rayburn Thacker quips: "There are better places than the park to put dogs in the people mix."UPDATE: Metro Parks may not have authority to ban smoking, state law says
UPDATE: Some restaurants go 21-and-up to keep smokers' business
UPDATE: New Zealand bars British man's 'fat' wife
A British man who moved to New Zealand has been told by officials that his wife is too fat to join him.Now there's some nanny-state fascism I could agree with (if I had no libertarian principles). I guess it's time for the immortal poem by Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group.
Richie Trezise, 35, a rugby-playing Welshman, lost weight to gain entry to New Zealand after initially being rejected for being overweight and a potential burden on the health care system.
His wife, Rowan, 33, a photographer, has been battling for months to shed the pounds so they can be reunited and live Down Under but has so far been unable to overcome New Zealand’s weight regulations.
They came first for the Communists,OK, fat people and any other people, I swear if you don't stick up for us smokers, you can go to Hell when they come for you.
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
UPDATE: Cigarette ban stifling to some: Money-losing restaurants go 21-and-over to attract smokers
UPDATE: Europeans chafe under New Year 'nanny state' laws
UPDATE: Beijing to ban smoking ahead of Olympics:
Beijing is to ban smoking in most public places from May 1 as part of its efforts to improve the city ahead of the Olympics, state media reported on Monday.The point I am making here is that Communist China's smoking ban (which is in Beijing only in this degree and may even be temporary for the Olympics) is less tyrannical than Tennessee's! Bars don't have to be nonsmoking only.
Lighting up in the Chinese capital will be prohibited in all restaurants, offices and schools, becoming the first city in China to have such a comprehensive ban, the China Daily reported.
. . . .
Bars, meanwhile, will be required to clearly separate smoking from non-smoking areas, according to the newspaper.
Beijing adding 40,000 smoking inspectors:
Venues covered by the ban include office buildings and hotels. It does not apply to restaurants, bars or massage parlors.Hmmm, so this later UPI report says restaurants and bars are not included. Tennessee is more totalitarian about smoking than Red China!
Li Lingyan, deputy director of the city's legislative office, said a 12-year-old law on public smoking is being rewritten and toughened.
"Beijing authorities are determined to introduce a blanket ban on smoking at all indoor public venues," she said.
UPDATE: Sean Penn leads Cannes revolt against French smoking ban
UPDATE: Memphis airport officials challenge anti-smoking law
UPDATE: Employers ponder tough tactics to halt smoking:
Weyers, owner of a health care benefits administrator in Lansing, Mich., gave his 200 employees an ultimatum in 2004: Quit smoking in 15 months or lose your job. He refused to hire smokers. Ultimately, he extended his smoking ban to employees' spouses and monitored compliance through mandatory random blood testing.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Here's a picture he autographed and sent to me. That's yours truly on the right. Click the image for full size.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Someone found out he had a stash of material, online on his site where he thought no one could get to it, some of it similar to what the feds' obscenity task force is prosecuting the defendant for selling. Ooops, I guess he didn't know how to make sure no one could guess their way in.
Read about the stash here and the trial here.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Phyllis Betts (Richard Janikowski's partner) talks to author Hanna Rosin about the politics of crime:
H/T to a field guide to urban memphis.
Republicans aren't happy about his latest book, Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World, probably because it undermines the conventional wisdom that "appeasement" caused World War II and is therefore never something to be remotely accused of in pursuit of diplomatic solutions.
When President Bush, before the Knesset, used the word “appeasement” to label those who would negotiate with Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he invoked the most powerful analogy in any debate over war and peace.Click on over to Pat's blog for the rest of his post, where he gives you the real skinny.
No man wishes to be regarded as an “appeaser.”
But, as this writer has discovered since my book “Churchill, Hitler and The Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World” was launched Memorial Day, there is a deep well of ignorance about what happened that September, 70 years ago.
And here's a CNN clip of Pat with Wolf Blitzer on this topic:
While I'm on the subject of Pat, here's another recent post of his discussing "isolationism," "protectionism," and "nativism." I had something similar to say on "isolationism" myself a while back.
A federal appeals court has stayed the first move toward restarting large-scale, court-ordered racial desegregation of the Shelby County Schools system.Now, my original post:
The ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati specifically stays the appointment of a special master to oversee the formation of a plan to meet the guidelines set by U.S. District Court Judge Bernice Donald in a July court order.
. . . .
The stay applies not only to the special master’s position but also to Donald’s requirement that each individual county school reflect the racial balance within 15 percentage points of the school system as a whole.
All sides in the Robinson v. Shelby County Board of Education case agreed last year to end the lawsuit and seek unitary status for the school system.
In his latest column, "What Flight?" the celebrated African-American economist Thomas Sowell discusses the tendency, well-established in sociology, of human beings to group themselves voluntarily by similarities in "race, income, education, religion, or any number of other characteristics."
America has had effective open-housing laws for decades now. Racially gerrymandered school districts are clearly no longer permitted. Is it wise, then, to continue school busing founded on decades-old desegregation lawsuits?
Many parents, white and black, have moved into new suburbs and exurbs to get their children into safer and better school systems unaffected by busing decrees. This movement has played a significant role in increasing expensive urban sprawl, gasoline consumption, and pollution from commuting. Much taxpayer money could be saved through local government and school system consolidation, which school busing decrees inhibit.
A few cities have gone back to federal court and freed their school systems from obsolete forced busing orders, on the ground that school segregation no longer exists, even though racial differences in student body composition from school to school may persist as a result of family differences in income and even family preferences for their current neighborhoods.
Yet there are crusty people so self-identified with their historical court victories that they will not step up to the plate in their communities and ask that these old cases be dismissed, even though such cases can be refiled if they are ever needed again. Their successors in representing the black community don't seem to be willing to step up to bat on this issue either. How does this sort of stagnation advance a friendly, integrated, color-blind America?
UPDATE: Memphis is eliminating dozens of school bus routes and returning to neighborhood schools.
UPDATE: U.S. Losing Its Middle-Class Neighborhoods.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
"We've gotten quite a few over the years out of Vollintine Evergreen and Evergreen and other Midtown areas," said Chris Baker, an assistant curator at the zoo.Yikes again! That's my neighborhood. About 11:00 AM, the power went out and didn't come right back on, so I decided to go outside and cut my grass before it got even hotter, then come back in hopefully to restored power, take a shower, and dry off under the air conditioning. Each time I cut the back yard, I have to move a small pile of 2"x4" concrete form boards this guy left here a year or so, trying to tie up my job (he failed; I don't respond to sales pressure). So today I chunked the pile of boards to a new spot so I could mow where it had been. Well hell, this little lumber pile could easily have been sheltering a copperhead, and I wasn't even thinking about it despite having just read the warning article. I'm getting old. The memory isn't steel-trap anymore. I digress.
I had a big, strong, champion male Viszla who had run away again for the umpteenth time from my yard in Lake of the Woods outside Jackson, Tennessee. I heard him barking madly in the woods next door and wondered WTF? Not long after, he came strolling back with a nose so swelled up he looked like that Fagin character Alec Guinness played in Oliver Twist.
The Wikipedia piece on copperheads disagrees with the newspaper's factoid epilog in one important respect:
Like most North American viperids, these snakes prefer to avoid humans and, given the opportunity, will leave the area without biting. However, unlike other viperids they will often "freeze" instead of slithering away, and as a result many bites occur from people unknowingly stepping on or near them. This tendency to freeze likely evolved because of the extreme effectiveness of their camouflage. When lying on dead leaves or red clay they can be almost impossible to notice. They will frequently stay still even when approached closely, and will generally strike only if physical contact is made.Look at the picture of a copperhead in leaves and believe!
It's time to make the city of Jerusalem a United Nations protectorate.
Jerusalem has been the subject of conquest for 3,000 years, sometimes through political conflict and sometimes for religious reasons. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam each held sway at some point, and all three religions claim holy sites inside the city. From Wikipedia:
The United Nations proposed, in its 1947 plan for the partition of Palestine, for Jerusalem to be a city under international administration. However, on January 23, 1950 the Knesset passed a resolution that stated Jerusalem was the capital of Israel.
. . .
East Jerusalem was captured by Israel Defense Force[s] following the Six Day War in 1967.
The UN Security Council rejected a 1980 Israeli law declaring Jerusalem its "eternal and indivisible" capital. Currently, almost every country in the world keeps its embassy in Tel Aviv instead. Despite Congressional legislation in 1995 and 2003, US Presidents have refused to move our own embassy. Palestinians still want all or part of Jerusalem as the capital of their own state.
Partition of Jerusalem, however, given its several religious sites, is a logistic nightmare. Not only the UN but also the Vatican stands in favor of internationalization of the city. The United States, because of its massive foreign aid and security assistance, has the influence over Israel to make this happen. What better mission is there for the United Nations than to take control of this religious crossroads and guarantee access and safety to pilgrims of all faiths?
OK, here it is, finally, because I'm clearing saved links out.
I don't like the idea of being a second-class victim, any more than a negro or homosexual likes being a second-class citizen.
Moreover, legislators posturing by creating these offenses make me think of the deadly turmoil over parodying Mohammed in European and Middle Eastern countries. Thought crimes or punishment enhancements -- beyond the time-tested, universal elements of premeditation or at least intent to do the harm, or recklessness or negligence in doing it -- do not impress me as legitimate additions to the criminal law. Intent traditionally has meant intent to do the harm, not why the perpetrator did the harm.
Here are the best links I found on this topic:
I fell out with my oldest friend, currently a first-term Congressman, over this issue. The only bright spot to that is that I haven't heard any more out of him about this mess since.
UPDATE: Clearing out links again. These tend to show that the most common hate crimes perpetrated in the U.S. today are against whites, particularly given the population percentage differences.
Boston firefighter stabbed
Maryland Transit Administration officials are investigating a second reported assault on a bus in the last week.
UPDATE: "French screen icon Bardot fined for anti-Muslim remarks." You see, once a society through its government starts going down this road, freedom of speech becomes a casualty too. Read the piece. She wasn't inciting a riot.
UPDATE: "Hate speech or free speech? What much of West bans is protected in U.S."
Now, some Arthur Brown "Fire," because I am burnin' yore ass sooooo bad:
Friday, June 06, 2008
First up is Big Joe Williams, author of "Baby Please Don't Go":
This song made a super-strong comeback when Van Morrison and Them did the first rock version, in 1964 ("Gloria" was the B-side!):
This song still has legs. The boys from Boston, Aerosmith, have made it part of their live shows. These guys were still in their earlier bands when I got my first taste of road managing during the Boston Sound era with the Listening, who had an album out on Vanguard. Rock out!
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
I've already written about my objections to political dynasties and about why this campaign shouldn't be about gender. I don't make facile accusations of racism or sexism, although I've been subjected to them.
But what really decided the result in the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary campaign is sung about passionately in the following music video. Click play if you dare.
Monday, June 02, 2008
Tenn. Code Ann. § 16-21-101 -- The Judicial Council was created by the legislature as an advisory body to receive and consider suggestions concerning the administration of justice. The council may also submit suggestions or recommendations as it may deem advisable for changes in rules, procedure or methods of administration, or upon any other matter pertaining to the judicial system. Members are appointed by multiple appointing authorities, including the Supreme Court.Each week's report is published as its own-date-stamped .pdf, so you have to go to the site and hit the current link (although you could suss out the naming convention and build the link yourself). They also do a yearly report for each session.
These reports are a handy way to follow bills of major import throughout each session of the Tennessee General Assembly and to know which bills passed into law. Reporters, bloggers, activists, and even members of the legislature can benefit from reading them.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse, so here's a good way to keep up with the sausage being made each year as it happens.
It's about time for the Congress to end the hypocritical criminalization of marijuana. Alcohol is so much more dangerous, both to its users and bystanders.
Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank has just begun the process of federal decriminalization with the "Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2008."
Frank's bill would remove federal criminal penalties for possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana and the not-for-profit transfer of up to one ounce (28.3 grams) of marijuana. It would not change marijuana's status as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, and would not change federal laws prohibiting the cultivation of marijuana, sale of marijuana for profit, or import or export of marijuana. It also would not affect any state or local marijuana laws or regulations.Read more about it on Barney's House site:
One bill [HR 5843] would remove federal penalties for the personal use of marijuana, and the other (HR 5842) – versions of which Frank has filed in several preceding sessions of Congress – would allow the medical use of marijuana in states that have chosen to make its use for medical purposes legal with a doctor’s recommendation. Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) joined Frank as a cosponsor of the federal penalties bill.Now we're talking!
Sunday, June 01, 2008
But sinners, it's Sunday and it's time to pray with the Staple Singers so you can "Respect Yourself."
That's better. Now "I'll Take You There."
God, I love the way Mavis sings. Watch as the Staple Singers help The Band carry "The Weight."
Wintermute now returns you to your regularly scheduled programming.