Today In Tennessee Banning Things

As our legislative session limps to a close, let’s look at what our elected representatives decided we can’t have:

Bus Rapid Transit — Applies only to Davidson County (Nashville) and Moore County. Because … Koch Bros. and Lee Beaman.

• Flash Mobs — Because the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gets a little twitchy when large groups of people show up in front of a retail establishment. Pretty sure this is a free speech issue but hey, I’m not a lawyer. Bite me, U.S. Chamber. We didn’t vote for you.

• Risky behavior when you’re pregnant – - Or as I call it, the “Vessels Law.” This bill would make it a criminal act for women to use illegal drugs while pregnant, but a provision could make it illegal to even drive recklessly. What this bill will really do is keep women who are substance abusers from getting treatment. Another shot fired in the war on women by a bunch of men who have no fucking clue what challenges women face on a daily basis. Slow clap for the pro-life crowd. You just ensured more women and babies will die, more women will seek out illegal abortions, and more pain and suffering will go around. You guys are really good at this.

• U.N. Election Monitors — I’m trying to think of the last time I saw a U.N. election monitor at a polling place in Nashville. That would be never. Still! This one is courtesy of the Black Helicopter crowd, aka, John Birch Society.

Bans on bans on Christmas — This one came from the usual source, State Sen. Stacey Campfield, and had a House counterpart, and last I heard it was awaiting the Governor’s signature. Basically this was a solution in search of a problem, though Campfield claims he heard that “some groups” have “threatened” to sue over holiday displays at schools. Right. And I’ve heard you’ve got monkeys up your ass.

• An apology for slavery – - Okay, this wasn’t a ban, but it was ridiculous. The House voted to express “profound regret” for slavery and discrimination, after removing the original language which was “profound apologies.” Cause we regret it but we’re not sorry, you guys. That would be wrong.

It wasn’t all bad. We kept our ban on guns-in-parks and open-carry (for now!) and a bill allowing sales of high gravity beer in grocery stores passed. Which you will need to guzzle today when the House takes up a bill criminalizing union organizing activity.


Filed under Tennessee, Tennessee politics

Tennessee Gun Report

Today in “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” comes news that Remington Arms has recalled two models due to faulty triggers which can cause accidental shootings, or if you prefer the more polite term they used, “unintentional discharge.”

This week’s gun report features a mixed bag of good news and bad. Good news is our legislature has finally said no to the Tennessee Firearms Assn. In the bad, there were three accidental shootings this week, but no injuries.

Stay safe!

• April 15, 2014:

1- Tennessee’s open-carry law, which was passed by the state Senate last week, appears to have died in the state House. Also shot down: the guns-in-parks bill.

2- A Chattanooga man pulled a gun on a car dealer and demanded he fix his son’s car, which had recently been purchased from the dealership as-is without a warranty. Somewhere during the altercation the gun accidentally fired:

Dedios says it all started when 64-year-old Modesto Cardenas and his son came into his shop, demanding Dedios fix the car his son bought two days earlier. Dedios says he offered to pay for the labor only because he says, the 2007 Chrysler Pacifica was sold as is, and without a warranty.

“I got him right here beside me. He pulls out a gun and points it right here. Right at my head,” said Dedios.

Dedios says he then pushed the gun away and that’s when he says it fired. Dalton Police say the bullet went through a window, making it’s way onto East Morris Street. Cardenas was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a firearm.

I suppose this whole thing could have been avoided if Dedios shot the man and his son as soon as they walked in the door.


• April 13, 2014:

A Chattanooga man thought he was “dry-firing” his 9mm Glock but — woopsies! — there was a bullet in the chamber. The gun fired through his living room window and took out a neighbor’s car tire.

No, we definitely do not want these people walking around openly carrying their guns. They simply have not shown themselves to be responsible.

• April 11, 2014:

A Nashville first-grader brought a gun to an after-school program at Dan Mills Elementary School. Apparently the gun was “found in a wall during some remodeling.” That sounds mighty suspicious to me.

• April 9, 2014:

1- A drunken Kingsport man was handling his 12-guage late at night when it accidentally fired, sending shots into his elderly neighbors’ house.

2- Sign of the times: Sumner County’s Sheriff’s Department is issuing “active shooter” bags to its deputies.


This just popped in my email box. Chilling:


Filed under gun control, Tennessee

Guns-In-Trunks FAIL

In South Carolina:

GASTON — A 7-year-old girl was killed and a 5-year-old boy was injured Saturday night when another 5-year-old boy accidentally discharged a gun at a birthday party in Gaston.

Lexington County Sheriff James Metts says the children were outside a home on Wild Bird Lane shortly before 9 p.m. when the 5-year-old asked his mom if he could get his toy gun out of the trunk of her boyfriend’s car. The sheriff says the mother and young boy didn’t realize the boyfriend kept a loaded gun in the trunk, and when the boy reached for it he accidentally pulled the trigger.

The bullet went through the trunk and its fragments struck the girl in the chest and another boy in the arm.

The two were taken to Lexington Medical Center where the girl was pronounced dead and the boy remains with a non-life threatening injury to his arm.

Freedom, Second Amendment, respect the culture, “right to defend my family” etc. etc. etc. Keep pretending you don’t have a problem, America.


Filed under gun control

Your Modern American Sweatshop

Oh how I love these people who post ads on Craigslist (click to enlarge):


Wow, the chance to write a 10,000-word eBook for a whopping $50 bucks! Who could turn down such a lucrative opportunity, especially since if they like your work, there’s the opportunity for more such wonderful assignments!


I mean, cripes: when I ranted about this four years ago the going rate was $5 bucks for a 500-word blog post. My how things have totally not changed. You do the math.

Used to be sweatshops were places in China where they made cheap T-shirts sold at the Gap and Old Navy. Now, it appears sweatshops have entered the white collar job market.

Just, fuck you all very much. Write the damn book yourselves.


Ha! This guy has the right idea!



Filed under media

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

A gun range in Oklahoma City wants to be the first to have a liquor license. Congratulations, owners of Wilshire Gun. You are our Second Amendment Heroes of the week.

Do I have to show you people my Bill of Rights For Dumbasses video again?


Filed under gun control

Good News Friday

Some good news to kick off the weekend. Catch y’all later.

• Bank of America will refund customers $727 million and pay an additional $45 million in fines over illegal credit card practices, like deceiving customers into signing up for identity theft and credit monitoring services, going back to the year 2000.


• Private employers are not, in fact, dropping their employee insurance benefit as Republicans fearmongered they would. In fact, according to a Rand survey, the number of people getting employer-sponsored insurance has surged.

• Related: Well, well! Not everyone is running away from Obamacare. Check out this ad for U.S. Senator Mark Begich, D-Alaska:

• A San Antonio, Texas, district court has dismissed a complaint made by noted liar and assclown James O’Keefe against grassroots voter registration group Battlground Texas, with the special prosecutor saying this of O’Keefe’s “evidence”:

The special prosecutor’s report ultimately found the content of O’Keefe’s video to be “little more than a canard,” and “particularly unprofessional.”

This is standard for O’Keefe’s laughably-named “Project Veritas,” which has become little more than a credibility destroyer for anyone stupid enough to fall for their tricks. Also: has anyone traced who’s funding this lie factory?

• Students at Washington University in St. Louis have staged protests and sit-ins to pressure the university into cutting ties with Peabody Energy, the world’s top private coal corporation. Read about it here and here.

• A Federal judge has ruled that’s billboard criticizing Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal for not expanding Medicaid can stay put.

• SCOTUS declined to hear an appeal from a wedding photographer who refused to shoot a same-sex wedding.

• President Obama signed two Executive Orders that will help female workers discover if they are victims of wage discrimination.

• Maryland lawmakers raised the minimum wage to $10.10/hour by 2018 and decriminalized possession of less than 10 grams of pot.

• The Mexican town of San Luis Rio gets its river back — albeit briefly.

• The U.S. Post Office will issue a Harvey Milk stamp in May.

• A Bay Area jogger who was nearly mowed down in a crosswalk by a motorist found a note of apology taped the utility pole by that crosswalk the next day. Y’all that is just so California.

• IKEA has made its first major investment in wind energy in the U.S. by purchasing the Hoopeston wind farm in Illinois. When the energy producer goes on-line in 2015 it is expected to generate 380 GWh of electricity annually, or 130% of the electricity used by IKEA’s U.S. stores and 10% of its global electricity usage.

• Talk about snail mail: a fisherman found a 100-year-old message in a bottle in the Baltic Sea.

• The FDA has issued labeling guidelines for honey. This is great news because I’m pretty sure I’ve bought some stuff that’s sweetened with corn syrup even though the label said honey. It just had that funky corn-syrupy taste and that I do not want!

• The Archbishop of Atlanta is selling his brand-new $2.2 million mansion after receiving criticism for his lavish spending.

• A Federal judge in Ohio ruled the state must recognize legal same-sex marriages performed out of state, saying failure to do so is unconstitutional.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis celebrated its grand reopening following a $28 million renovation.

• Zoey the pet goat can stay in Nashville’s Woodbine neighborhood, where she enjoyed “neighborhood mascot” status before running afoul (ahem) of Metro Animal Control officers.

• The Koch Bros.’ Americans For Prosperity got handed a rare defeat in the Tennessee House when their school board lobbying bill died.

• Bittersweet: the people of Elizabethton have rallied to support the newspaper carriers and newspaper employees who were laid off after the town’s newspaper, the Elizabethton Star, was purchased by an out of state chain and the inevitable layoffs began. The paper had been family-owned for 59 years.

This week’s cool video: It’s a hilarious campaign ad for Melissa Blackburn, a Democrat running for General Sessions Judge in Nashville. I confess, I’ve had a hard time getting past the “Blackburn” thing myself. But this had me cracking up:


Filed under Good News

Lost In Spaces

Oh, hello. Can someone tell me what day it is? You see, I’ve been underground for so long, I seem to have lost all track of time.

Seriously, TriStar could not have built a more sprawling, confusing, pathetically-lacking-in-wayfinding medical complex than its Nashville headquarters, Centennial. I got hopelessly lost on my way to my annual “X-ray the titties” ordeal and then afterwards toured the poorly-lit parking garage for a full 40 minutes trying to find my car. I was finally rescued by a valet. I’d probably still be down there if I hadn’t run into him. And it wasn’t just me! There were two other women down there trying vainly to find their cars, as well.

I mean, there’s an entire army of lost souls down there, wandering around like they’re searching for Charon to ferry them across the river Styx. Metro Police could probably solve all sorts of missing persons cases if they took a quick trip down there. I’m serious! This was truly the fifth circle of hell. WTF, people?

You want some insult added to that injury? How about this: somewhere along my journey I stumbled across a marble wall with that insufferable Frist family quote, “Good people beget good people,” emblazoned in ginormous silver letters. Savvy liberals will remember this as the title of the family genealogy Bill Frist penned. It got repeatedly hijacked in the Amazon “reviews” section by people offended at the quote’s pomposity, and the fact that then-Senate Majority Leader Frist was making an ass of himself by video-diagnosing Terri Schiavo and helping lead Americans into Iraq. (By the way, the faux reviews are still there.)

“Good people beget good people”? Really? How about, good people know how to design a fucking medical complex so that good people don’t lose two hours of their lives just trying to get to and from their damn appointments. Fuck you, Bill Frist.

I’ve been to a lot of medical complexes in my life, from coast to coast, and have never seen anything as poorly designed as this one.

Major fail.


Filed under Nashville