Saturday, April 28, 2007

The return of Aunt Esther...

I had thought Wendi Thomas had put away this nattering-nag attitude for good after she returned from Baltimore, because she was so happy to be home.

However, just when you thought it was safe to pick up the CA again, she has started a campaign to force Memphis In May to remove our local Oscar winners, Three 6 Mafia, from the Beale Street Music Festival. What idiocy.

The greatest musical acts this town has ever seen were whackjobs, and we loved them for it, because, guess what? They were entertaining!!!!!!

These kids have busted their asses, old-school, Horatio Alger-style to get where they are, and we need to APPLAUD them, not scold them like hand-wringing old biddies. Yes, I said old biddies.

Arguably, they are the most successful local musical act since Al Green left the secular world, and all Aunt Esther II wants to do is shut them down. Fortunately, MIM is not taking this lying down, telling Wendi that the shows will go on.

The CA is suggesting that we boycott the BSMF if our local boys go on stage as planned. Here's MY answer: Boycott the CA AND their website if they are successful in knocking out Three Six Mafia.

Look, hip-hop isn't really my music, but that's not the issue. I won't be at BSMF, but not because of Three Six Mafia, but because I'm 48 and not enamored of crowds like I used to be. Why does Wendi Thomas have the right to be our moral guardian anymore than DJ Paul or Frayser Boy? She DOESN'T.

Look, people, they said in the 50s that Elvis would lead teenagers to moral degradation. We all know that was Jerry Lee's job, any way! (Just Kidding!) They said it about the Beatles, hell, they said it about Teddy Pendergrass in the 70s, and I'll bet anyone that Wendi has had her private moments with Teddy's music, so, she needs to back off and let kids be kids.

It's not our music, and, as Pete Townshend once said, it's not SUPPOSED to be.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Four Years, Untold Sums of Money..

And they only convicted John Ford on ONE Count, Bribery. Hell, they wouldn't have gotten that if they hadn't gotten the dumb bastard on tape.

For the record, the jury was hung on the first count, Extortion, they found him Guilty on the Bribery Count (2), and Not Guilty on 3, 4 and 5, all Witness Intimidation.

Yes, he was guilty, no question of it. My attorney has advised me that, according to Federal Guidelines, where there is no real Parole, he could get 10-15 years in the Federal Pen, and he would have to do 85% of that time. As John is 65 years old, this is going to be a life sentence for him, let's face it.

No doubt, there is all kinds of schadenfreude breaking out all over the state, especially in the lighter-skinned parts of it. He was the most visible and most disliked member of the Ford family outside of Shelby County, and I hope some of them have the good graces not to let the N-word slip out when discussing this trial.

Wait, Cracker, are you FOR corruption? No, I simply refuse to believe that the only Gooper who's corrupt in this state is Chris Newton. You know as well as I do that corruption comes in all forms and in BOTH parties; however, I seriously doubt we'll see any Goopers go to jail until we elect a DEMOCRATIC President who will appoint DEMOCRATIC USAs.

I suspect we're more likely to see pleas from Kathryn Bowers and Ward Crutchfield after this verdict, and if so, fine; if they're guilty, send them to the Pen.

You will never convince me, however, ESPECIALLY after the Gonzales USA scandal, that this investigation was anything more than an attack on minorities and Democrats. One token Gooper is not enough to convince me, and it never will be.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


We are moving our clubhouse, under the management of Mr. Jon Carroll and Mr. Rick Maynard, to Memphis Liberal Blogosphere. It's where the BatCave is located, where we research evildoers, and cross-post a lot of what we do here at our own blogs.

No, the Cracker is NOT abandoning the old homestead, it's just that this will be an place where you can see ALL of us, and I encourage you to visit!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

More on District 89

Jackson Baker, as good a friend to the local liberal bloggers as anyone could hope for, has written an article about us and how we have influenced local Democratic politics.

To which I can only reply, thank you, it would have been impossible without your support, and I am serious; he has been our champion, and for that we are ALL grateful.

He also writes about the race to succeed Beverly Marrero in District 89, as the winner of the Democratic Primary will win the general, because A) no one has heard of either Republican and B) the Goopers aren't going to waste good money on a district they have no hope of winning.

I am torn in this race. Dabney and Rick have gotten out front in support of Kevin Gallagher, as Wintermute has done the same for Jeannie Richardson. Full disclosure: I have given Kevin advice and talked to him about this race as to what I would do were I in his shoes, and I had also done that before Jeannie got in the race.

Truth be told, I think either of them would be a great rep. I have known Jeannie for years, and I was a champion for Kevin's former Senate campaign, which he gave up to help elect Beverly Marrero.

I will not bash either of them in this race; while I was disappointed with Kevin for a short time, I would be remiss if I failed to inform you that there are people who were far more upset with him, and they are back with him more solid than ever, and that's something to be said for Kevin. He took his lumps, made his amends, and is working harder than ever to live up to his promises.

I will tell you this much; there is one clear winner in this race, and it is District 89.

Monday, April 23, 2007

District 89's Democratic Primary is under way

and beginning to scare me.

First, Wintermute puts out a list of Jeannie Richardson's qualifications, listing everything but her blood type.

However, Kevin Gallagher, who has been running hard for that seat since Beverly Marrero's Senate victory, has TWO websites, one here and a blog on ISSUES here.

Ok, what the hell's going on here? ISSUES? Qualifications? What the hell does THIS have to do with Democratic politics? Damn liberals.

Oh, wait.....

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Abortion comes down to this:

Whose life is more important: the POTENTIAL human, or the fully-formed female human who carries it?

If you argue for ANY restriction on abortion, you obviously believe the former, and that the primary purpose for a female human is as a birth vessel. The Bu$h Supreme Court, with a 5-4 Catholic majority, apparently agrees as well, as they ruled yesterday against the so-called Partial Birth Abortion, which is a procedure used ONLY TO SAVE THE LIFE OF THE MOTHER. (Ahem, lest you think I am a Klan-like anti-papist, please be informed that I am descended from Polish Catholics.)

Of course, they're only women, so who cares, right? It all comes down to this: does a woman have the right to control her own body or not? Is she a full citizen, or not? Does she have all the rights as an American citizen, or not?

That's all we're talking about here, regardless of all the bullshit about "baby-killing"; does a woman have full rights or not?

How you answer that question, dear friends, reveals how you feel about a lot of things. I know where I stand, and it's in favor of the WOMAN.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Hell, I don't know what to say, either

The madness that struck the Virginia Tech campus this morning is beyond anything that I can comprehend at the moment. Rick's made some good points, but he misses the essential point: We're about 230 years too late to ban guns in this country, they are too infused in our culture. If you tried to ban them, there would be a revolution; frankly, after 7 years of George W. Bush, I'm not ready to get rid of them, either.

On the other hand, the other extreme is beyond ludicrous, it's NUTS: EVERYONE should pack heat, as if that would have stopped that worthless bastard/tormented soul that decided today was a good day for EVERYBODY to die. The only people who would be happy for required ownerwship are the soulless monsters of the NRA, who represent gun MANFUACTURERS, not gun OWNERS,. All they want is for the gun manufacters to sell completely automatic weapons to everyone from age 10 up.

The whole point of today is that, when someone goes nuts, we are ALL vulnerable, and there's not really a damn thing we can do about it, and we say these nutty things because we are scared shitless. Look, those of you who own weapons, as I do, remember this: if someone wants to kill you, they'll find a way to do, and if they're smart enough, you're done.

On the other hand, I am not for registration, but I DO believe that, like driving a car, gun ownership has its responsibilities, like owning insurance and taking a test and getting a license to prove you know what the hell you're doing with a weapon. Hell, I'd even be in favor of using a NRA gun safety course and test, it's about the only thing they do that actually helps humanity.

Now, what we all need, even me, is a good dose of STFU; let's mourn and grieve for these students and educators who died far too young because some damaged soul snapped. They and their families, as well as the whole VPI Campus, need our prayers and our love right now, and that's where our focus should be placed.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

All right people, let's pay attention here..

Like most of you, I was initially dumbfounded when my councilor, Carol Chumney, abstained on Jack Sammons' resolution to remove Joseph Lee as MLGW CEO. WTF?

Well, as Carol's letter to the CA points out, the Sammons resolution amounted to, to steal a phrase, a tale told by an idiot, filled with sound and fury, signifying NOTHING.

Sammoons' resolution would have asked Joseph Lee to resign. Hey, Jack, did you forget that LEE ALREADY RESIGNED??? It's our pigheaded Mayor who REFUSED TO ACCEPT LEE'S RESIGNATION. So, your answer is to ask him to do something he already did?

Sammons' resolution was there to A) take the pressure OFF the Mayor, B) try and trap Carol in to piling on to Lee, and C) make Carol look bad, because he's in the pocket of the developers who want to keep Carol out of the Mayor's office.

Carol's resolution, which didn't get a second, would have put the pressure back on Herenton to accept Lee's resignation. Seeing what her fellow Councilor was trying to do, she wisely backed off and abstained, preventing this meaningless piece of crap from passing. As Carol noted:

My resolution asking the mayor to accept Lee's resignation puts the responsibility where it belongs -- back on the mayor, whose lack of leadership has perpetuated this politically and racially charged controversy. Under the city charter, without written charges, a trial and a judgment, the council has no power to remove Lee. All of this is orchestrated to take the heat off the mayor.

It's difficult in an age where we are besieged with meaningless information to see below the surface as to what's REALLY happening, but this is one of those times where you have to look, or you'll miss the real story. Carol was right, there's a right way and wrong way to do things; Sammons has done them wrong for so long, he's forgotten the difference.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Hopefully, the last word on Don Imus...

Keith Olbermann put it best the other day when he was on ESPN RADIO's Big Show that he does each day from 1-2 with Dan Patrick (heard locally on 730 ESPN). He noted that when the Rutgers women held a press conference with their legnedary coach, Vivian Stringer, that sealed his fate because, finally, the audience could put faces to his remarks and everyone recoiled in horror, and that's when the sponsors started calling MSNBC and CBS Radio to cancel their commercials.

Sadly, it wasn't until the money started leaving that Imus was finished, and he had every reason to be surprised, because, after all, he'd been doing this schtick for 20 yeasrs now, and the Beltway crowd (politicians and the SCLM) had lapped it up in a boys-will-be-boys kind of way, and we're all in the same club, right? RIGHT? WRONG.

So, Imus is finished unless, after the merger of XM and Sirius Satellite Radio is complete, Howard Stern decides to throw him a lifeline out of pity. Then, Imus can be even worse if he wants.

Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh says worse every day, outright LIES, making fun of everyone who's not a right-wing moron, especially if they have an illness or happens to be a minority, and he will continue until he loses sponsorships, too.

So why HASN'T he lost them? Well, it's because, unlike Imus, he has a listenership that WANTS to believe the utter bullshit he spouts day in and say out. Look, Limbaugh knows he's making this up, WE know he's making it up, he KNOWS we know, and, in the deep, dark, recesses of their souls, his listeners know but THEY JUST DON'T CARE.

They are DESPERATE to believe that LIBERALS, MINORITIES (especially those evil rappers!!) and WOMEN are all responsible for the fact that they make less money now than they ever did, that their property values are crumbling, etc. It could never be THEIR fault, and thank God for Rush, Hannity, Fox News and the rest of those creatures who are only too eager to give them what they want rather than reality.

Another interesting note to all of this is that if I hear one more person bitch about Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson or rappers or anyone else in a moronic attempt to excuse Don Imus (or Rush or any of the rest of them) I WILL GET VIOLENT. Well, not that that's a real threat to anyone, but you get the point.

Look, the TAWANA BRAWLEY incident happened what, 20 years ago? Get the fuck over it, people, Sharpton learned from his mistake, why can't you? You think we don't know why you bring this up? Get serious. Al Sharpton has become a respected figure in New York City's African-American community, and he has POWER. Why shouldn't he use it?

Because you folks that whine about Jackson and Sharpton don't want to hear that racism still exists in the heart and fiber of this country, and in every corner of it, and I'm no better than anyone else in that regard, but at least I'M TRYING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

I'm not fond of gangsta hip-hop, either, it's not my generation's music, but, what the hell, this is NO DIFFERENT than people of the 1950s screaming that the world was going to HELL for listening to that evil Jerry Lee Lewis or Little Richard. Better you should listen to that nice Christian boy Pat Boone than that Elvis Presley! You'll dance like those wild (insert ethnic slur here)s down in the jungle!

STOP LOOKING FOR JUSTIFICATION OR EXCUSES. Accept that Don Imus fucked up, I think HE has (maybe) and stop trying to equalize his comments with poorly-done hip-hop. Even Jason Whitlock, the KC Star sports writer has gotten into the act, with every white person trying to rationalize Imus pointing to his article and saying, "See! See! I was right!".

No, you're not. It doesn't equate, and it never will. The blunt point is that African-Americans, despite being a majority in this city and county, make up roughly 12% of the US population. They do NOT possess, as a group, the economic power to have enough effect on the culture of the USA to change it.

Blame your white children who love hip-hop for its advancement in our culture, especially because they probably did it to piss you off, just like YOU did with YOUR parents by turning up your Led Zep albums too loud in 1972. The more you bitch, the more they love it, REMEMBER?

Any way, you've had enough of a whipping for one day, I'll see you Monday.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A fellow blogger is under attack

Thanks to Rick for letting me know about this...

Katherine Coble is a Nashville blogger, who I normally find on the other side of the aisle. However, she and her husband recently found themselves, while job-seeking, as victims of a firm called JL Kirk & Associates. This firm, formerly known as Bernard Haldane, which was charged in the state of Illinois for deceiving job-seekers and overcharging them up-front fees, apparently did the same thing to Katherine and her husband.

When she wrote about her experiences with JL Kirk & Associates, they threatened her with legal action.

Newscoma has some terrific comments about the JL Kirk & Associates situation, and we need to read them.

And, JL Kirk & Associates, you pissed off the blogosphere, and you are going to pay dearly.

You had best be thinking about your next name change, because JL Kirk & Associates will be mud after this.

For a complete rundown and timeline of how JL Kirk & Associates acted, please go to Nashville Is Talking, Brittney has it laid out for you.

OK, I have a question here..

What the hell took MSNBC so long? It's not like Don Imus and his crew haven't been racist and misogynist all along, at least as long as he has had the IMUS IN THE MORNING program. Truth be told, they have been offensive from the get-go, but since advertisers began to bail a day or so ago, MSNBC got scared and dropped the simulcast of his CBS Radio show (not heard in Memphis).

Even more sickening is all the So-Called Liberal Media people who have gnashed their teeth and wept at the demise of their old racist pal. It's all part of the Kewl Kids mentality of the media and the Beltway folks.

However, what's interesting is who HASN'T rushed to the defense of the washed-up old jock, the one African-American who has been on his show more than anyone, the one person of color who Imus has praised above all others. Come on, you know who I'm talking about, don't you? Here's a hint: he used to be our Congressman.

Yep, Junior Ford has apparently disappeared from the planet while this fiasco has been going on, with no public comments to show on behalf of his old buddy Imus. I wonder why? Come on, Junior, it's not like you haven't milked the I-Man for all he's worth, why not help the man who's helped YOU?

Is it because you're a gutless punk? Oops, I answered my own question.

Look, I have not listened or watched the old burnout on MSNBC for years, partially because I'm not up that early, and partially because I would watch Today or listen to Stern if I was up at that hour. I sure as hell am not defending him, but I am curious to know what the I-Man thinks of the disappearance of his favorite African-American.

Harold? Harold? Anyone? Anyone?

UPDATE: Autoegocrat comments that Junior has spoken, and in typical Junior fashion...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Wow, all hell is breaking loose!

Well, we're eleven days from the nominating petitions even being AVAILABLE, and the filing deadline isn't until July 19! Yet, the jockeying for position in the Mayor's race is hot and heavy.

First, we had the polls commissioned by Karl Schledwitz and Richard Fields showing that the Mayor was trailing Carol Chumney. Now, the daily fishwrap has gotten into the act, asking Steve Ethridge to poll Memphians about the race, and guess what? Ethridge finds the same thing, showing my Councilor leading everyone there, too.

Apparently the developers are getting scared again that Carol could win and threaten their empire of sprawl; more than one source has indicated that the Schledwitz poll was intended to scare County Mayor AC Wharton into the race. However, that was before the troubling news that Mayor Wharton's eldest son had been arrested in Knoxville on statutory rape charges.

I really don't believe that Mayor Wharton will make this race, whether Mayor Herenton gets out or not. No, Mayor Wharton's popularity will not be remotely affected by his son's situation, but I can't imagine trying to run for public office while this is happening, just because his head and heart wouldn't be in it.

It's a long freaking way just to the FILING DEADLINE, much less the campaign, but some things are clear:

1) The city is of a consensus: HERENTON MUST GO.

2) For now, before the bloodletting campaign begins, Chumney is the pre-race favorite because of her bulldog-like opposition to Herenton.

3) Nice and unthreatening to the city's power structure as he seems, Herman Morris doesn't seem to be getting any traction with the average citizen.

4) John Willingham, District 2 is calling for you, and you'd better listen; your mayoral campaign only helps one person, and his name is Willie Herenton.

5) Carol still needs to get a plan out there; at some point, people will start to ask, we know who and what you're against, as we are, too, but what will you DO to fix these problems, what are you FOR?

However, we're still a ways off yet from the official start of the campaign, so there's time for all that to shake itself out.

Friday, April 06, 2007

A much needed conversation begins....

Desi Franklin has decided to take on the job of starting a real conversation on the subject of race in Memphis, Tennessee, and I commend her for it, and hope that you and I can lend a hand to this worthwhile endeavor.

This is a conversation that those of us must have if we are serious about bringing this city back from the precipice. There is much right with this city, and there is much wrong with this city, and we need to move it in the right direction.

I contend, however, as I have noted at that post, that you MUST include class and economics in this discussion in order to have a clear view of where we are, how we got here, and how we must improve the city. Without understanding how economics fits into the equation, we leave out the elephant in the room. I have to point out that only when Dr. King began to talk about economics was he considered dangerous outside the South and Midwest. It was also when he was murdered.

Nonetheless, I want to be a part of this ongoing conversation, and if you love Memphis, you should, too.

Go on over there.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Tonight begins the Era of Good Feeling

Or so we all hope, as the first meeting of the new ExecCom takes place at IBEW at 7 PM.

Thaddeus reports that new member Jennings Bernard wants to throw out returned member Richard Fields for various and sundry events, and to Jennings, I say with all love and sincerity:


We can't even get through meeting 1 without this kind of garbage? Give it up and leave it alone, or resign. So why did we kick Del off, anyway?

In other news, Thaddeus also reports the passing of Robert Gill, longtime MPD officer, a good and decent man with whom I served on the ExecCom, and the brother of Del. I have not been able to find the times for services and visitation, but we need to remember Robert, Del and their family in our thoughts and prayers. I believe a few of his friends who still are on the ExecCom will ask the assembly for a moment of silence in remembrance of this fine public servant.

I hope to make the meeting, and see if the good reverend can make good on his promise to get through in an hour. If he can do that, he may get the job for life!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Dog Bites Man...

And Lamar Alexander has just announced he will be a candidate for re-election.

Shocked, shocked, I am. Or not.

Sad as it is to say, I'm not confident that we have anyone to beat him at this time, but if Bob Tuke runs, I'll support him; he'll by God make the Red Flannel Shirt work for that office.

Stay tuned.....

Monday, April 02, 2007

WTL: Don't Whine... Organize...

Confessions of a West Tennessee Liberal...: Don't Whine... Organize...

Oh hell, just go read it, it's wonderful!

We start again...

Today is a day of renewal, the day we believe that anything is possible, the day we all start even and know that our destinies are in our own hands.

No, I'm not talking about Easter, that's next week, I'm talking about OPENING DAY.

Yes, technically, the 2007 Major League Baseball season began when the defending World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals were dumped at home by the team they beat in the 2006 NLCS, the New York Mets. That's OK for them, there's 161 more to go.

My Cubs (Yes, I root for both the Cubs and the Sox, what of it???) open at Cincinnati on both WGN and ESPN2 at 1 PM. The Sox open at the Cell at the same time against the Cleveland Indians, they of the loss to the Cardinals in the Civil Rights Game.

This spirit of renewal can also be found at that most unlikely place known as the Shelby County Democratic Party, which has also been returned to the Endless Blogroll. There is a new Chair, so a new chance to remain on the blogroll has been given.

The CA sent a newby out to cover this story, so they got the vote margin wrong, it was 47-18 for Rev. Keith Norman over attorney Jay Bailey; Norman won votes from all of the "factions" involved. After it was over, he gave a heartfelt thanks to Bailey and asked him to play a role in shaping the party's future.

My take from what I have seen is that, despite complaints from some circles (and you know who you are) I don't think Norman can be owned by ANYBODY, and is not afraid to call bullshit on anyone.

They begin their journey on Thursday night at the IBEW with a new purpose, with some old faces on the outside (Del Gill, among others) and some new faces to be watched (welcome, Landis Hunt!) and the return of a surprising old face (Richard Fields, PLEASE don't do anything to get tossed again!).

All in all, it bears watching.