Sunday, May 31, 2009

Several things on my mind today

First, I apologize for not attending the spectacularly successful rally at First Congregational Church in support of the Non-Discrimination Ordinance that my Commissioner, Steve Mulroy is trying to get passed. He, along with former Commissioner Walter Bailey, Senator Beverly Marrero and others, spoke before a crowd estimated at over 500 to rally the troops for tomorrow's vote.

I will keep saying this until you all figure this out: CIVIL RIGHTS IS CIVIL RIGHTS, PERIOD.

Now, for some angering news. In Wichita, KS this morning, as he was walking up the steps of his CHURCH for Pentecost Sunday servies, Dr. George Tiller was assassinated. Dr. Tiller was often under attack, as his clinic performed late-term abortions (LEGAL ones, he followed all laws and regulations to the letter) for women throughout the plains, as they often had no where else to go.

I am glad to hear that there is a suspect in custody; for once, I am willing to waive my opposition to capital punishment.

However, for a more potent and positive remembrance of Dr. Tiller's life, I suggest that you do as I have (H/T to Amy!) and donate to Planned Parenthood in Dr. Tiller's name. Let's put our money where our mouths are.

If you REALLY want to understand what the Right is about

You need to go to FireDogLake and read this, and it will chill you to the bone,

THIS is innovation

Great idea from Reginald Milton to provide multiple services in South Memphis! Go check it out, H/T to Vibinc.

See, you LIBERALS, THIS is where it will all lead! :)

H/T to Susie at Suburban Guerrilla!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A brief sports interlude (non-Chicago)

Joshua Gunter/The Plain Dealer

What the hell happened to Cleveland? (Sorry, Dabs, I don't know, either).
The MAGIC are going to the NBA Finals after beating the Cavs EVERY TIME at home this year (2-0 regular season, 3-0 in the Eastern Finals) and winning the series, 4-2 with a 103-90 win tonight at Amway Arena in Orlando.
I'm stunned; now I have to root for Orlando or watch Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol hoist the O'Brien Trophy, and see Phil Jackson pass Red Auerbach for most NBA titles as a head coach, which is NOT acceptable.
I feel for the good people of Cleveland, who must feel positively snake-bitten at this point, having won NO professional championships since the 1964 Browns won the NFL Championship.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Let's Play Conect the Dots

Wyatt Bunker compared alcoholism as a sin that is on par with homosexuality. Since some people have a genetic predisposition to alcoholism wouldn't that mean others have a genetic predisposition to say, homosexuality (information on both here and here)? Since you don't have a complete choice apparently on everything, wouldn't it be wrong to discriminate against you?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Go Tom Go!

Mr. Jones at Smart City breaks out the whoopin' stick on the anti-gay preachers over there, and you need to go read it NOW.

Fark you, Wyatt Bunker

i wanted to say something more offensive, but this is a family friendly blog. All families, be they gay, straight, conservative, liberal, etc. As a result i will not delve into rude pundit territory with this post. if you want my uncensored view, come find me at Drinking Liberally every wednesday at 7-9 at rp billiards on the highland strip.

I said it back in April, I'll say it again now, gay rights are civil rights. Morons like Bunker and his supporters keep using the Old Testament as justification for their attacks on gays. It says you can't lie down with men, well, go suck on a piece of catfish ya hypocrite.

Jesus, who you profess to love and carry with you with your gaudy display of faith said he was the foundation of a new covenant which became the New Testament. He also said the following in Matthew 5:43-47

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, [8] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

What does that say? To me it says greet and love everyone the same, because if you don't you are no different than the Gentiles, aka the heatherns. Greeting and loving everyone the same is the exact same as treating them the same. Do not treat them differently, do not discriminate.

Oh and for the grandstanders who are out there professing their faith and what it means, and how it justifies their discrimination against gays, black, etc. Here's a little more Matthew for ya,

Matthew 6
Giving to the Needy
1"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

In other words, keep to yourself, God sees you, you do not have to profess your deeds in public for all to see, praying in public and making a spectacle in his name angers him and you will get your reward, a one way elevator trip straight down.

I know you hate to hear this, but the Christian bible is not the law of the land. Our founding fathers fought and had seen the result of religous wars that devasted europe from the 1300's to the 1600's. They had seen the result of religous leaders like Oliver Cromwell. That is why the law of this land is the Constitution, not the Christian bible

There is nothing more infuriating than someone who has gone thru discrimination to come out in support of it.

I am going to put this in as simple terms as I can. I don't care what your religion is, I don't care what your beliefs are, if you say something as stupid as this, I am calling you a BIGOT:

At the news conference, pastor after pastor repeated the idea that homosexuality can't be compared to discrimination on the basis of race.

"Homosexuality is a choice. Race is not," said Steve Gaines of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, one of the white ministers who spoke. Gaines said it's an insult to black people to compare the struggle for gay rights with what black people went through.

"I feel deep in my heart that this is a gay agenda," said Rev. Andrew Jackson, the African-American senior pastor with Faith Temple Ministries, a Church of God in Christ congregation in South Memphis. "It has nothing to do with civil rights or equal rights."

That is idiotic and BIGOTED. Period. It is a moral disease known as homophobia, and shows an appalling lack of understanding WHY the major theistic religions attack those who are gay.
You're going to tell me with a straight face (no pun intended) that the leaders of these religions, thousands of years ago, didn't look at each other and think, "If men are having sex with men, then they're not creating potential new members of the flock and the other religions will outbreed us", then you haven't been paying attention.
I don't care which scripture you proclaim, if it's got an anti-gay screed, it's BIGOTRY.
And yet, these men claim to represent their deity. They do more to injure Christianity in this country more than any Muslim terrorist ever could. What these men do is sickening to the soul and it's BIGOTRY. Period.
For an even better piece, go read Tom at Smart City, he knocks it out of the park.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Links to the Democratic Candidates for Governor

You will find them, from top to bottom in order of entrance into the race, at the top of THE ENDLESS BLOGROLL.

For your convenience, they are as follows:
You may ask, isn't there someone missing here? When he announces, folks, when he announces....

Random thoughts

Photo courtesy of Rick Maynard

Yes, there was such goofiness later in the evening at Bratfest; this is what happens when you mix sausages, beer and good friends. By the way, many thanks to Jackson Baker for the shoutout in his column; we appreciate that you were there.

Now, about other things. One of the things I bemoaned to our beloved Newscoma and Squirrel Queen was that I wasn't writing enough, and that will change as I start using my mornings more carefully. Twitter allows me to provide my snark in short bursts, but it keeps me from blogging, which is not a good thing. Now, onto other matters.

The Archcrone writes about the changing face of the GOP and the state Democrats' struggles to come up with an answer for it, and I want you to read it. THIS, in particular, hit home with me:

Dems, liberals and progressives nationwide should note in the Ronald Brownstein piece that it is the southern arm of the GOP that is defining the party, and should take advantage of that. But, this does not give us any clues on how dems, liberals and progressives in southern states should/could combat the far-right stranglehold in those states.

Here in TN, the democratic party strategy has been to push forth conservative dems, or put dems that have supported regressive republicans in positions of authority (which failed) or as candidates. And quite honestly, that is not working. It may work in counties that are largely conservative that already have a dem in office. When the dem party pits a relatively conservative dem against an incumbent gop (even against someone this extreme) they will, unfortunately, lose, simply because why would a republican or righty independent vote for a conservative dem when they can vote for the gop? Sounds like a pretty simple explanation, don’t you think? But, for some reason, it seems to escape party officials.

The outcome of continually electing conservative dems clearly shows the dysfunction found in the state democratic party itself, when we look specifically at the state of Tennessee. In short, this strategy belies the mission of the national democratic party, overall.

Exactly what we lefty bloggers around the state have been arguing all along: why aren't you giving Tennesseans a choice???

I think that there is a growing disconnect between Democratic elected officials (especially in rural areas) and their constituents, to the point where the people out there have lost any reason to vote for Democrats because they are always on DEFENSE (or just giving up, as on SJR127) and never advancing a Democratic message (when they can come up with one), which hurts Democrats (ESPECIALLY progressives and liberals) overall.

Right now, House Democrats (and CONGRESSIONAL Democrats, because Tanner, Davis and Gordon could well be redistricted out of jobs) are petrified that they will not be able to get back the state House, and have no role in redistricting after the 2010 elections. If that happens, you can say goodbye to Mike Kernell, Jeannie Richardson, Beverly Marrero, etc, because they will be redistricted out of jobs.

While Jim Cooper and Steve Cohen will be safe in a general election, they will become the outliers in a Gooper-controlled state. Since the GOP cares a lot more about firing up their base than governing, 3rd-world status will get to Tennessee very quickly, and we'll soon replace Mississippi in the "Thank God for" statement. Oh, wait, they have Haley Barbour, so maybe not, but still.

I just want to say these things to the House Democratic Caucus before I meet with them next week (if it's still on):

1. Give voters a reason to vote FOR you, not just because the Goopers are crackpots, show DIFFERENCES.

2. While I understand Shelby County is different from anywhere else in the state (hell, different that ANYWHERE, period), don't automatically discount what we have to say.

3. STOP BEING SCARED OF THE LOCAL PREACHERS! They only have as much power as YOU allow them to have; fight back!

4. Most importantly, GO TALK TO YOUR CONSTITUENTS, and NOT just the ones with whom you're comfortable. Newscoma pointed out how local bar owners in Hooterville were never contacted about the guns-in-bars bill, and they are PISSED. (Maddox, get off your ass!)

Ok, that's enough rabble-rousing for today, carry on!

Monday, May 25, 2009

My thanks to my guests for Bratfest

who came from as far away as Little Rock and Nashville (and yes, Hooterville) and we had a bad-ass time, even if we did have a quick downpour that put the big tent to use.
This was a great time, and I thank all of you who were there (or would have, if they could have) for making this a memorable event.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Let's go back for Feel Good Friday

If you can put up with a goofy bit from Bill Cosby and Tommy Smothers, you will get to see and hear the last great Motown POP record. Not long after this, Marvin Gaye would come out with What's Going On and Stevie Wonder would release Talking Book and change the face of Motown forever.

Here is what I think is the greatest Motown single of that era, I WANT YOU BACK by the Jackson 5. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Vibinc produces an epic in three parts that you MUST read

Mr. Ross has taken time out from being the hardest workin' man in show business to write three terrific posts connected to a theme, and I urge you to read them in order:
I'm not even going to excerpt them because you just need to read them in order. Together, they're called It's Time For Action, and it helps you understand what is needed to change the horrific direction of the state of Tennessee.

Go read it NOW.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A giant has fallen

Mrs. Jimmie Farris has left us at the age of 81.

She had been in declining health over the last few years, but she was as much a Democratic powerhouse as her late husband, Bill or her son, John, to which they would both attest.

Ms. Jimmie was one of the nicest people one could ever meet, but that belied a toughness that got a great deal done for this city and this region. She will be missed greatly, and our thoughts and prayers go out to John, Jim, and the rest of her family.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Feel Good Friday

For the man who wanted to be mayor

and one for the ride home

Treat Your Children Well, or my life has changed

I hesitate to post this. Not because of the nature of the post, but rather because, believe it or not, I am an intensely private person when it comes to my family. If this was about me, hell, I would have posted this a week ago, but this isn't about me, it's about my son.

Six weeks or so ago, my wife took our 3.75 year old son Jack to the doctor for an eye infection. While there, she mentioned that he had been getting cross eyed a lot randomly. Since both of us have near sightedness, the doc recommended we go to an opthamologist to have it diagnosed because it could be lazy eye, weak muscle, the usual stuff.

While there the doctor noticed a spot behind his eye called a lisch nodule. Wanting to ensure that it was nothing serious, we scheduled an MRI. They found what the doctor suspected, spots along the optic nerve pathway that are known as gliomas. The diagnosis, Neurofibromatosis-1 (NF-1). He recommended a neurosurgeon who referred us to the people he works with, St Jude.

Quick sidebar, for those of you who have never heard of it, St. Jude is the childrens cancer medical research facility in the world. Founded by Danny Thomas as a thank you to St. Jude who he credited for helping launch his career after praying to him and promising to build something in his name. The hospital is completely free and treats patients from around the world. More information can be found at their website.

We went to St Jude last week for the test workups. The diagnosis was confirmed that he has NF-1. He is a very unusual case in that he has none of the physical characteristics of someone with the disease and is also extremely young for a diagnosis. Before I go further, I want to state this, IT IS NOT CANCER!!!!!!

Once again, its not cancer, yes it can mutate into it, but that is very rare. It is an extremely slow growing tumor though. Sometimes they stop and die on their own without treatment. Sometimes the patient has to have a cycle of chemo (1 yr) to arrest the progression and attempt to kill the tumor because the tumor is along the optic nerve pathway and failure to do so can result in blindness.

Right now for Jack, they are going to wait and see and reevaluate in 2 months. Hopefully, the tumor will die or stop growing on its own, if not, then we'll see. More than likely though, Jack is going to have to have Chemo though at some point. I want to emphasize that it is non life threating, it is not cancer. Could it become so? Yes, but extremely unlikely.

For those you who have wondered why my facebook status was needing drinks last week, and why I was in even for me, a crappy mood for the last 2 weeks, there's your reason. Because I am going to cross post this in multiple places, I want to state this, don't treat Pam and I differently then you did before, no kid gloves. We are adults, just don't be surprised if at times, she gets a little more emotional and I get a little cranky. Heck, treat Jack no differently, keep tossing him in the air as this will not affect him physically for the foreseeable future. Keep needling me and loving her. If you have any questions, hit me on twitter, facebook, or email at jon.c.carroll at gmail dot com.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Is any comment really necessary?

I swear, if he didn't look just like his daddy I would think he was adopted. How could this schmuck be the son of Harold Ford?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Newscoma saves the day!

First, RE the last post, things are on schedule, but no, we're NOT getting married, not yet.

Now, the reason I'm here. I was getting melancholy about the fact this is my 16th Mother's Day without my mother, when I went to our beloved 'Coma's site and found THIS.

Friday, May 08, 2009

As the Cracker becomes happily nervous or nervously happy.

Tonight, movements and negotiations take place to fulfill something I have wanted for a long time, yet I am nervous. Something I knew was always going to happen, but I'm nervous. I will soon be finding out if there IS too much of a good thing, and if two people who love each other very much yet are way too much alike can coexist and cohabitate without homicide.

Oh, and my TV's gone out.

Stay tuned.


Bands not Bombs • May 9

2pm-til • Outside at Lifelink Church
1015 S. Cooper • formerly Galloway
Corner of Cooper and Walker

Featuring the music of Two Way Radio, Hope Clayburn, Pezz, Yazoo Shakes, Jeffrey James and the Haul, Bulletproof Vests, While I Breathe I Hope, Groundspeak, Monsieur Jeffrey Evans, the Soul Enforcers, & Jessica Jones.

Over a dozen local bands, food, drink and hundreds of your favorite Memphians. During the day we will have a moonbounce for the youngins and the concert area features shade and grassy areas. So bring a blanket and some sunscreen. Kids under 12 get in FREE. Everyone else $10.

Also featuring the Bikes not Bombs ride.....

More info on both events can be found by clicking here.....

You can purchase tickets online here

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hi, I'm Steve and I'm a TweetDeckaholic.

I kept noticing Ross was using TweetDeck, and i debated about whether to download it on my computer.

I did, and since I'm on vacation, I have really optimized it, and I now think Lauren is about to haul me to rehab! Literally, I have had to PULL myself away from this since I downloaded it, except for doing the yardwork yesterday (I beat the rain! YES!!!) .

If you like Twitter, it's awesome. REALLY really awesome. HEEEEELLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPP!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tomorrow is an important day for civil rights.

Vibinc has already noted this, so I am shamelessly stealing his post:

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day for activists seeking equal protection for people in the GLBT community. In Nashville, HB 0335 sponsored by Jeanne Richardson of Memphis is before the House Judiciary Committee, but there’s also something going on right here in Shelby County. County Commissioner Steve Mulroy has introduced anon-discrimination ordinance. Tomorrow is the first reading of the ordinance.

You can read the ordinance here, but essentially the measure provides protections against discrimination for people based on their sexual orientation/gender identity in the County government, by contractors for the county government, and by private employers in the unincorporated areas of Shelby Co.

This ordinance is scheduled to be read for the first time tomorrow. It will have to be read 6 times, 3 in the General Government Committee and 3 in front of the entire County Commission.

Contact your County Commissioners at (901) 545-4301 or via email below, and show your support for this ordinance.

Monday, May 04, 2009

In the end, THIS is what the TNDP Summit was about

It was about uniting behind our Chair, Chip Forrester, and working to recapture the TN House, the Governor's office, and the TN Senate. Thank you to Congressman Lincoln Davis for your eloquence. I was skeptical as hell and waited for the other shoe to drop, but he blew us all away.
Here, then, is the end of the speech; the rest will be up at the TNDP website later.
Enjoy, and be proud to be a Tennessee Democrat.

Vibinc provides a full, in depth report

of the TNDP Summit right here. As usual, he nails it.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Think we're not unified? Think again

This was taken at Upton's party last night as he and new SCDP Chair Van Turner have a cordial conversation, they talked for a long time. Good news for us all!

First, I want to thank ALL of these people for the TNDP Summit

First, to Rep. Mike Turner, who I am now convinced can heal the leper and the lame, for bringing everyone to the table and ensuring that this would be a success. Then, to TNDP Chair Chip Forrester for never giving up, always kept on keepin' on, and he has the TNDP pointed in the right direction.

Then, to Vionne Williams, Lee Levine, Jennifer Buck Wallace, Kathy Chambers, Ben Crumpler, and others whose names I unfortunately missed, thank you very much for the hundreds upon hundreds of hours you gave to make this the success it was. We all appreciate what you accomplished here. Big props as well to our dear pal Mr. Ross, who served as our sound crew for the weekend.

To the elected officials, like Reps. Jeanne Richardson, Joanne Favors, Mike Stewart, George Fraley, Ty Cobb, and the hit of the Rural Forum for me, Charles Curtiss. Sir, I am GLAD you are a Democrat, as I am all of you. Also to Sens. Jim Kyle and Roy Herron.

To the tireless staff of The Smoke House Conference Center, many thanks, especially the young woman who secured a golf cart for us last night so sound equipment could be transported.

To the Pride of Midtown his ownself, David Upton, who rented a cabin there and threw a kick-ass party. To Rick and Jackson, who took the Donner Party Route (tm JB) to Monteagle but made it for Upton's event and this morning's forum.

To Gale, Sidney, John, Lea Ester, Pat, thanks for representing Memphis!

And, last but not least, the wonderful people I finally got to meet, like Mary Mancini of Liberadio, Landree Brotherton of Hamblen County, Cheri from TN4th, Janet Meek of East Tennessee, who is doing great work up there, Ethan and Tony from SEIU (who were sponsors, and are doing really powerful work on healthcare at ChangeToWork, my new old friend JW Hampton, and to those whose names I forgot, I apologize.

I would still be posting for two days to talk about how this all went, but I am closing for now.

Just, thank you, you made this memorable.

UPDATE: Hell, I forgot BOB MOSER, Texas Observer editor and author of Blue Dixie, which I bought. Sir, you rock!

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Boys are indeed back

With many thanks to Joe Lance and our beloved Newscoma, I present the Oak Ridge Boys doing a song from their new album, The Boys Are Back. They are covering........... The White Stripes??????? Here's SEVEN NATION ARMY!!!

I hope they let me come home after this!

Once upon a time, in the early to mid-70s, my friends, my second favorite college football team, after the Arkansas Razorbacks, was, well...........

The UT Vols. Yes, you read that right. Especially when Condredge Holloway was their QB, so much so that I rooted for them against the then-MSU Tigers in those days. This was before I learned how the legislature screwed us over, before I learned that because of some guy named Crump, they held a grudge against our fair city (and school), and before the Pride of the Southland Band ruined Rocky Top for me forever.

For me, UT football will be THIS song, the actual official UT Fight Song, Down The Field. Here it is for you; I hope Lauren doesn't go into my attic while I'm gone to wait for me with a shotgun.