Monday, July 30, 2007

Tennessee'n is believin'

Tennessee is hosting the DLC (Democratic Leadership Council) conference in Nashville right now, which features none of the leading presidential candidates. That is, unless you count spouses:
NASHVILLE — Democrats Bill Clinton, Phil Bredesen, Harold Ford Jr. and others agreed here today that if their party is to seize its opportunity to win the White House and build a long-term majority, it must reject harsh partisanship, build consensus and prove it can make government work.
Meanwhile the other spouse is en-route to the Yearly Kos convention, hosted by Marcos "screw em" Zuniga. Uh...
Well OK, maybe if she's there to deliver Bill's message.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Stuff

Here are some tunes, just because. This is from FFH.



Not bad for gospel rock, eh?

Here's some humor, well, I think it's humorous. MST3K used to be a staple of the AC household on Saturday mornings. We preferred the Joel days, but his replacement wasn't too bad either as seen here.



Happy trails.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Indian Winter

IT WAS ALREADY LATE FALL AND THE INDIANS ON A REMOTE RESERVATION IN SOUTH DAKOTA ASKED THEIR NEW CHIEF IF THE COMING WINTER WAS GOING TO BE COLD OR MILD.

SINCE HE WAS A CHIEF IN A MODERN SOCIETY HE HAD NEVER BEEN TAUGHT THE OLD SECRETS. WHEN HE LOOKED AT THE SKY HE COULDN'T TELL WHAT THE WINTER WAS GOING TO BE LIKE.

NEVERTHELESS, TO BE ON THE SAFE SIDE, HE TOLD HIS TRIBE THAT THE WINTER WAS INDEED GOING TO BE COLD AND THAT THE MEMBERS OF THE VILLAGE SHOULD COLLECT FIREWOOD TO BE PREPARED.

BUT BEING A PRACTICAL LEADER, AFTER SEVERAL DAYS HE GOT AN IDEA. HE WENT TO THE PHONE BOOTH, CALLED THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND ASKED, "IS THE COMING WINTER GOING TO BE COLD?"

"IT LOOKS LIKE THIS WINTER IS GOING TO BE QUITE COLD," THE METEOROLOGIST AT THE WEATHER SERVICE RESPONDED.

SO THE CHIEF WENT BACK TO HIS PEOPLE AND TOLD THEM TO COLLECT EVEN MORE FIREWOOD IN ORDER TO BE PREPARED.

A WEEK LATER HE CALLED THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AGAIN. "DOES IT STILL LOOK LIKE IT IS GOING TO BE A VERY COLD WINTER?"

"YES," THE MAN AT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AGAIN REPLIED, "IT'S GOING TO BE A VERY COLD WINTER."

THE CHIEF AGAIN WENT BACK TO HIS PEOPLE AND ORDERED THEM TO COLLECT EVERY SCRAP OF FIREWOOD THEY COULD FIND.

TWO WEEKS LATER THE CHIEF CALLED THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AGAIN.

"ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT THE WINTER IS GOING TO BE VERY COLD?"

"ABSOLUTELY," THE MAN REPLIED. "IT'S LOOKING MORE AND MORE LIKE IT IS GOING TO BE ONE OF THE COLDEST WINTERS WE'VE EVER SEEN."

"HOW CAN YOU BE SO SURE?" THE CHIEF ASKED.

THE WEATHERMAN REPLIED, "THE INDIANS ARE COLLECTING FIREWOOD LIKE CRAZY."


By the way, I wasn't trying to scream. Just didn't feel like retyping the whole dang thing. Yes, I am lazy.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

More on Mary

I happened to catch a part of Mike Fleming's radio program Friday afternoon, where his guest was District Attorney for the area that includes Selmer, Mike Dunavant, who discussed some heretofore unknown details of the Mary Winkler murder case.

She's of course the preacher's wife who shot her sleeping spouse in the back with a shotgun then grabbed the kids and hustled them off to one last vacation at the Redneck Riviera. At trial she was wrist-slapped so lightly one has to consider jury-nullification to understand the verdict, made possible by defense attorney Steve Farise's successful framing of the crime as retribution for years of domestic abuse, a charge Mr. Winkler was unfortunately unavailable to testify about.

The audio of the show is available here, just scroll down to the Archives on the lower left. This is not an endorsement of Fleming, by the way. His show is sometimes entertaining, mostly pertinent, but his talent as a broadcaster and talk-show host is less than average, sometimes to the point of flipping to Air America (which usually ends pretty quick with a flip to music).

But give Fleming a lot of credit here. His interview unearthed some interesting things, such as the fact the phone cord was ripped out of the wall in the bedroom where Mr. Winkler was murdered. The children apparently testified that "daddy was still moaning" when they left the house, which strongly suggests Mary ripped that cord to keep the Pastor from calling for help. The cause of death was him bleeding to death from his wounds.

Dunavant also said the children testified that people familiar with the family denied there was any marital abuse going on and the children said they had not seen anything. While that in itself is not proof he wasn't forcing her to perform untoward sexual acts against her will in the bedroom, without evidence of that allegation how can a jury believe it? She reportedly confessed after capture that she was afraid of "how loud" the gun might be before "accidentally" pulling the trigger.

Head-scratching stuff. Dunavant refused to characterize the case as "lost" and pointed to the conviction on a Class C Felony but it's hard to imagine he's not suffering some mild denial based on their inability to convince a jury of the factual evidence without having them drift off into a sympathy verdict based on essentially unprovable hypotheticals.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Edwards' visit to Memphis

John Edwards brought his poverty tour to the Mid South on Monday, taking a solemn vow in the process:
"We're with you in this," Edwards said upon leaving the meeting in Helena. "We're going to try and get this thing changed. I can't promise, but I can promise you I will fight."

When I was a kid my parents used to talk about politicians promising "a chicken in every pot". Edwards' rhetoric is similar but a little more refined. He cleverly said he wasn't promising the chicken, but would go to the mat fighting to get it to the pot.

Thing is, although he probably doesn't intend malice Edwards can't help but condemn a few of his like-minded mates by coming to the area and pointing out all the poverty. For example, if Willie Herenton was such a success maybe Memphis would have a bunch of new factory jobs right now instead of Tupelo, Missippi. Or if Bill Clinton, our first African-American president, had been more of a success he would have just ended poverty altogether when he passed that huge tax increase in the early 90s. For some reason not much ever trickled down to this region.

Welcome

Welcome to this shiny new blog, all covered with mud. Mississippi river mud, that is. Memphis even has an island named after mud--Mud Island. Contrary to that mental image, it's actually a place full of yuppies and their zero-lot line homes. Very posh.

Memphis is filled with racial divides...or maybe it's just one humongous racial divide. It's big, though. Like other cities the politics can at times be frustrating, at times comical, and at times outright corrupt, but rarely do folks describe it as noble or awe inspiring. As one politico recently lamented in light of a bribery scandal, "it's the way we do business down here". Nothing racial in that. Black people own no stranglehold on corruption, arrogance or stupidity by any objective measure.

If that sounds stupid and arrogant, well I've just proven my point!

Left Tennessee is primarily a land of Democrats but not necessarily of the liberal stripe. The party's strength consists of old-line voters who wouldn't consider voting for a Republican even if the Democrat contender had recently been filmed taking a bribe. They'd claim he was being framed and the turnout would end up being higher.

The most famous recent events are probably the Tennessee Waltz sting, which featured the infamous John Ford, and his sister Ophelia's "dead voter" scandal, where her election was overturned because deceased Democrats voted in one precinct. As indicated above, turnout in the follow-up election was much higher and she's now in Nashville embarrassing us.

As to the Republicans, many are of the stodgy variety coming from aristocratic families who made their fortunes in cotton. You can thank these cotton-picking people every time you drive through town on Interstate 40 and nearly end up in the north of the Mason-Dixon line just getting to the other side of town. That's if you don't miss the turnoff and end up in the projects asking for directions like Chevy Chase in "Vacation".

This place is sports-crazy. If you love college football, you're cool. They actually drink it with a straw. But if you aren't from one of the notable colleges or don't have a favorite team they secretly accuse you of being gay. And that's just the women.

Memphis has a really nice Minor League ballpark (for the gays who don't like college football) called Auto Zone Park, where you can buy the best plate of BBQ nachos you'll ever cram in your mouth. They come from the Rendezvous restaurant, which is located in a nearby alley. Seriously.

I'm not a native nor did I come from here originally, which will no doubt tick off any Memphians should they ever read this post (which might be a longshot considering my success with blogging). Hey, it's a free country no matter what the liberals say, so take it as it's written in the spirit of good fun. Future posts will generally be about politics or other crazy happenings that happen to happen around here, with a few jokes, anecdotes, musing, ramblings, and the occasional digital picture because as they say, pictures are worth literally hundreds of words. Welcome aboard.