Tag Archives: Tennessee

Lamar Advertising: Hate Profiteers

Notoriously despicable billboard company Lamar Advertising is profiting from homophobia by accepting this billboard north of Nashville. It was apparently paid for and purchased by “concerned Christians.”

Yeah, this is why people are leaving the church in droves. Just stop the crap, already, religious people. Apparently the tone and message has prompted complaints:

Mayor Wilber said he’s well-aware of the discussions surrounding the sign; one resident called him to complain.

“Thought it was not fit for the time that we’re in, just thought it was out of place, just sent a bad message,” he explained.

Good for the people of Portland, Tennessee. And really, Lamar Advertising is profiting from this? What a horrible company. I’m reminded of this story from just a few years ago in which they refused to run ads from Georgia Equality, saying,

…”We just didn’t feel the copy was right for those markets” …

The offending copy?

The billboards proposed by Georgia Equality feature images of professionals, such as a male firefighter and a female doctor, and include tag lines that read, “I protect you. And … I am gay. We Are Your Neighbors.”

Yeah, so not right.

What a bunch of assholes. Profiting from hate never works, Lamar Advertising.

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Filed under GLBT, religious right, Tennessee

Jim Summerville’s Very Bad No Good Year

So, this just happened:

Tennessee State Sen. Arrested For Public Intoxication In Dickson

DICKSON, Tenn. – Tennessee State Sen. Jim Summerville has been arrested in Dickson County on a charge of public intoxication.

Officials with the Dickson Police Department said Sen. Summerville was arrested Friday night in Dickson after he was seen walking down the street while drinking an alcoholic beverage from a glass mug.

Police said Summerville was spotted walking down the street while carrying a lawn chair in the McCreary Heights area.

Hmm. Okie dokie. Summerville is yet another of Tennessee’s crackpot racist Republicans known for “controversial” legislation like banning affirmative action. Oh, and there was that time where he said he “didn’t give a rat’s ass” what the black caucus thought. However, in August he was primaried, and lost to someone who could possibly be even crazier than he. In response, Summerville resigned from Tennessee’s Republican caucus and said he was henceforth an independent. In his concession speech, Summerville quoted Lord Byron.

I shit you not.

In the irony department, when Summerville’s anti-affirmative action effort failed, this happened:

Last year, he proposed a measure to eliminate affirmative action initiatives from higher education institutions in Tennessee. After the legislation failed, Summerville threatened GOP lawmakers who voted against it, saying they would face repercussions in this year’s election.

Right. So the guy who said there will be repercussions for not doing what he wanted lost his primary and just got arrested for public intoxication. Brilliant.

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Filed under Tennessee, TNGOP

Good News Friday

Hey everyone! We survived another 9/11 without a terror attack. You can stop being scared now.

In other good and/or interesting news:

• Environmental regulators have blocked Western Australia’s truly atrocious shark cull.

• If you haven’t heard NFL Today host James Brown’s passionate plea for men to address domestic violence, do so now.

• The mid-’90s “tough on crime” legislative wave that swept the country that resulted in the 1994 Violent Crime Control Act is now revealed to have been a huge, budget-busting mistake:

“Here’s the federal government coming in and saying we’ll give you money if you punish people more severely, and 28 states and the District of Columbia followed the money and enacted stricter sentencing laws for violent offenses,” Travis says.

But as Travis now knows all too well, there’s a problem with that idea. Researchers including a National Academy of Sciences panel he led have since found only a modest relationship between incarceration and lower crime rates.

“We now know with the fullness of time that we made some terrible mistakes,” Travis said. “And those mistakes were to ramp up the use of prison. And that big mistake is the one that we now, 20 years later, come to grips with. We have to look in the mirror and say, ‘look what we have done.'”

Maybe this is the beginning of a shift away from the punitive, prison-for-profit moral cesspool this country has placed itself in.

Panera Bread’s CEO has asked patrons to leave their guns at home. This is a weak gesture — the stores won’t post “No Guns” signs and store employees won’t ask gun-toters to leave. But it’s a gesture nonetheless. I hope those of us who dine at Panera (guilty as charged!) leave as soon as we see a gun loon walk in the door.

• Acceptance of gays and lesbians in U.S. congregations is on the increase.

• On the grounds that it’s necessary to deter others, prosecutors are seeking 16 months in prison for right-wing narcissist/asshole Dinesh D’Souza, who pled guilty to campaign finance fraud in May:

In a Wednesday court filing, federal prosecutors rejected defense arguments that D’Souza was “ashamed and contrite” about his crime, had “unequivocally accepted responsibility,” and deserved a sentence of probation with community service.

[...]

The government said a 10- to 16-month prison sentence was appropriate for D’Souza, and necessary to deter others from abusing the election process, including “well-heeled individuals who are tempted to use their money to help other candidates.”

It also said D’Souza waited to “the last possible moment” prior to trial before admitting guilt, and then went on TV shows and the Internet to complain about being “selectively” targeted for prosecution, and having little choice but to plead guilty.

“Based on the defendant’s own post-plea statements, the court should reject the defendant’s claims of contrition on the eve of sentencing,” prosecutors led by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan said in the filing.

Bwaaahaaa. Guess those Fox Noise appearances didn’t help his case.

• Congratulations to Neil Patrick Harris, who wed his longtime fiancee David Birtka last weekend in Italy.

• Scientists find another Stonehenge buried beneath the Stonehenge we all know and love. And President Obama just visited there last week. Coincidence? I think not!

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• A first-ever GLBT summer festival in the notoriously conservative Tri-Cities area received a warm welcome, showing signs of progress for East Tennessee:

Although it was their first festival, organizers said attendance was almost double what they expected. With a final turnout of more than 400 people, PCC Co-Executive Director John Baker said he was overwhelmed with the support he and his cause received.

[...]

“The simple fact that we can have it here in East Tennessee is a big plus,” Baker said. “The perceived notion is that East Tennessee is not accepting. But we find that, in East Tennessee, people are very accepting.”

The event was a fundraiser for a planned gay and lesbian center in East Tennessee.

This week’s video is a Key & Peele clip about, erm, “black ice.” Hilarious.

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Filed under Good News, Tennessee

Tennessee Gun Report

A brief round-up … Haven’t actually had a lot of time to look for news. However, we do have one accidental shooting this week.

• September 9, 2014:

1- Two loaded guns were found in different carry-on bags at Nashville International Airport. So, SO responsible, y’all.

2- A Brownsville student brought a loaded gun to school. Sigh.

• September 6, 2014:

A Memphis-area man accidentally shot his friend in the car while it was parked at a Mapco station, killing him.

• September 3, 2014:

A road rage incident on I-26 resulted in one man pulling a gun and threatening to blow off the other man’s finger.

• August 29, 2014:

Nashville’s own open carry loon, who parades around public places with a rifle strapped to his back and wearing a bullet proof vest, is back openly carrying is high-powered weaponry around the streets of Nashville. I have not seen this man, but if I ever do I am leaving. If that means I don’t pay my restaurant check, or bar tab, or whatever, so be it.

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Filed under gun control, Guns, Tennessee

Doing It Wrong

I am not sure why East Tennessee State University has opened its campus to crackpot evangelists who harass students, but apparently being fat-shamed and berated as a “fornicator” is something you must endure as an ETSU student. From the Johnson City Press:

One student, whose identity will be protected by The Press, emailed the newspaper complaining that she was verbally harassed by Jackson in front of a large group of her peers when the streetcorner deacon said she “looked like (she) weighed as much as a football linebacker.”

[...]

But Jackson, who travels a circuit of U.S. college campuses issuing provocative condemnations of nearly every vice, bad habit, alternative lifestyle and differing viewpoint, properly filled out and submitted his application to speak in ETSU’s Borchuck Plaza, one of the college’s defined limited public forum areas, Smith said.

Apparently this guy is part of a fundie outfit called Revival Mission Ministries, which sends preachers out to college campuses to do “open-air preaching,” in which they rail and rant against pretty much everything they don’t agree with. They look an awful lot like the Westboro Baptist Church cult. Here they are at East Carolina University back in March:

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Note the joy on the students’ faces. /sarcasm

According to the story, Jackson’s ranting was followed by yet another raving street preacher the next day, with the campus public safety office erecting wooden barriers around him, something deemed necessary after Jackson’s appearance the day prior. Ye shall know them by their fruits, folks.

This isn’t preaching, it’s harassment. It’s ego-indulging, attention-seeking, self-promotion. In fact, people like this aren’t doing themselves or their cause any favors:

A landmark Pew Research from 2012 shows that attachment by young people to organized religious bodies is on the decline. Many of those who don’t belong to a church, synagogue, or mosque still practice religion informally to a certain extent. However, they have grown wary of the way that traditional institutions mix political power with the pursuit of otherworldly aims.

Nine out of ten older Americans are directly affiliated with a religion, a statistic that goes down to two-thirds with the youngest adults. Softened commitment generally means less strong attachment to God and less frequent attendance at services. It also entails more liberal political views, a higher likelihood of voting Democratic, and support for abortion rights.

Here’s a video of Jackson, pulled from the ministry’s website. As one might expect, he doesn’t seem to be winning many converts. Instead, he seems to be indulging his ego. He also seems to have a very narrow view of “sin.” Intolerance and unkindness are just as much sins as what you do with your naughty parts. Not sure why college students should be subjected to this. Jackson seems young and inexperienced, perhaps in a few years he’ll wake up and realize he’s Doing It Wrong.

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Filed under culture wars, Tennessee

Tennessee Gun Report

The report is back! We were on the road last week, so I’ve got two-weeks’ worth of gun lunacy to share. Two children accidentally shot themselves or siblings, and a police officer accidentally shot himself.

• September 2, 2014:

A Washington County sheriff’s deputy accidentally shot himself in the leg fending off an attack from a dog.

• September 1, 2014:

A 10-year-old Knoxville boy, who graduated from the TWRA’s Hunter Education Program, accidentally shot himself in the foot while dove hunting.

• August 28, 2014:

A judge has dropped charges against the notorious Nashville gun loon who walked around downtown, scaring tourists and shop owners, wearing a bullet-proof vest and carrying an AR-15. He calls himself a “gun rights activist.” I love it that guns have rights but people don’t. Asshole.

• August 25, 2014:

1- A 2-year-old Memphis boy found his mother’s boyfriend’s gun under the couch and shot his 4-year-old sister in the foot with it. Ooops.

2- Guns-in-restaurants fail: This nice old man decided to pull a loaded gun on an acquaintance while he placed his order at the Kingsport Dairy Queen. It’s not the first time he’s threatened the man, either.

• August 21, 2104:

1- Two men were fishing on Todd’s Lake in Murfreesboro when a nutball started waving a gun at them and told them to get off “his” lake or he’d shoot.

2- A Shelbyville man was shot in the arm as he drove down the street. The bullet came through the driver’s-side door.

3- Someone is firing a gun in this Mt. Juliet neighborhood, hitting homes and nearly hitting people.

• August 20, 2014:

1- A Memphis police officer lost his personal weapon and someone found it in the street:

GERMANTOWN, TN -(WMC) – Germantown police say a loaded handgun found in the middle of a busy intersection actually belonged to a police officer.

Police say it was the 23-year-old officer’s personal weapon and that he was off duty when he lost track of it.

Sigh.

2- A bus driver for Murfreesboro schools has been accused of pulling a gun on another driver in yet another incident of road rage. She was in her personal vehicle at the time:

According to a police report obtained by News 2, 41-year-old Robin Snyder was driving on South Church Street and Indian Park Drive Tuesday when she pulled out her handgun and threatened another driver who cut her off.

Guns-in-cars FAIL.

3- A Waren County high school junior was charged after bringing a .22 to school.

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Filed under gun control, Guns, Tennessee

Tennessee Gun Report

This week’s cavalcade of responsible gun ownership includes two accidental shootings, one fatal — sadly, it’s an 8-year-old child.

• August 12, 2014:

1- This Nashville felon tried to sell a stolen gun to some kids in Pennsylvania. The mug shot is priceless:

image

As is the crime:

Nevertheless, police said Brin, 44, of Nashville, was drunk on Patriot Square peddling a stolen revolver to children, using as his shop a bicycle with women’s purses dangling from the handlebars and a cup holder carrying a plastic bottle filled with beer. In his pants pocket, police said they found a bag of synthetic marijuana.

[...]

The incident began about 3 p.m. Saturday when a citizen reported someone was trying to sell a gun in the middle of Patriot Square. The man told police he had been walking through the park and asked Brin to light his cigarette when Brin offered to sell a .22-caliber Ruger revolver for $150.

Brin also tried to sell the gun to “two kids on bicycles while waving the firearm around in the air” and also tried to sell “a nickle bag of fake weed” to the man who asked for a light, police said.

Dude. Get your fucking life together.

2- People with guns lose all perspective over when it’s appropriate to use them. IMHO. Case in point: this Afton man, who fired shots at someone in his truck that was for sale. Shoot first, ask questions later seems to be the MO these days. Also, I’m calling bullshit on his claim that the guy in the truck shot at him first, as no shell casings were found. Going out on a limb here and guessing he’s lying to cover up his irresponsible behavior.

3- A Shelby County 15-year-old brought a gun to Whites Station High School. First week of school, y’all.

• August 11, 2014:

An 8-year-old in White County found a gun at his grandparents’ house and shot himself with it accidentally. He died.

Nationwide, this was the 19th accidental shooting for a kid under age 18 for the month of August so far. Keep in mind, it’s only August 11. Six of those shootings were fatal. For children under age 10 there were 10 shot, two fatally for August so far. And it’s only the 11th. But nope, no gun problem here, no sirreee.

• August 8, 2014:

A 60-year-old Chattanooga man was shot twice while he was asleep:

Mr. Edge said that he was unsure of what happened to him, but did believe that he was electrocuted by some unknown object while asleep and that is what caused him to bleed. Mr. Edge insisted that he was not shot; however, the attending physician advised that he was shot once in his right shoulder and again in his upper right arm.

There were no surveillance cameras in the area to capture or record the incident as it transpired. Investigators were also unable to locate any witnesses, leads, or suspect information due to lack of evidence.

Curious.

• August 7, 2014:

A Nashville man shot into a car occupied by his four children. He was arrested.

• August 6, 2014:

1- A Kingsport woman was trying to show her daughter the family’s new Ruger LCR .38 via Skype when she accidentally shot her husband in the thigh with it. These firearms equipped with laser thingies seem to be factors in an awful lot of accidental shootings.

2- A Jackson dad aimed a shotgun at his 14-year-old son’s head and threatened to blow his head off. Just as the Founders intended.

• July 23, 2014:

Here’s one from Murfreesboro that I missed when I was having all of my internet troubles. Truly astonishing exchange here, and shows the hubris and lack of common sense among the gun-toters. This one says she has a carry permit, too:

Jason Hill and his family were walking to their car when they said 37-year-old Angela Scruggs went speeding past.

Hill yelled for her to slow down and he said when Scruggs did, she pulled a weapon on him.

“She pointed it at me and I said, ‘whoa.’ And she said, ‘I’ll shoot you.’ And I said, ‘go ahead and if I live I’ll call the cops.’ And she said, ‘I don’t care I have a carry permit,’” said Hill.

Scruggs was arrested on aggravated assault charges.

Police recovered a 22-caliber, semi-automatic handgun from her car. She told them she pulled her gun out and sat it on her lap when Hill came walking toward her with his hands in his pockets.

And yes, when everyone has a gun, then a person walking towards you is likely to be armed. Better be cocked and ready to blaze away. This is the world the NRA wants us to live in.

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Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns, Tennessee