New Yorkers On The Presidential Election

I’m traveling again, obviously. One of my favorite shops asked people to post a note about who they plan to vote for. The answers were … interesting. Wish I’d taken more pictures:

Vote1

AND:

vote2

Yeah, I like the John Lennon suggestion, too. Too bad he’s dead. There were a couple hundred slips of paper on this bulletin board and a huge number of them were anti-Trump. Which is funny, since Trump is a New Yorker. Remember how everyone laughed when Al Gore lost his home state? Trump didn’t lose him home state in the primary, at least during the Republican primary, but he certainly doesn’t garner much respect among New Yorkers.

6 Comments

Filed under 2008 presidential election, 2016 Election, Donald Trump, travel

It’s Still Happening

This explains everything, you guys:

20160429_065747

1 Comment

Filed under graffiti, travel

Guns On Campus FAIL

[UPDATE]:

Apparently the officer’s accidental discharge was caught on camera. H/T Larry in comments.

———————————

Did you hear the one about the armed woman threat on the campus of the University of Central Florida yesterday?

The library was evacuated and there was a massive police response. Well, ha ha, funny story about that:

The threats turned out not to be true, and the only gun that went off was that of a police officer, who accidentally discharged the weapon.

The school’s police department tweeted: “We received a social media report of a gunwoman at library. We’re responding to scene, and library is evacuated.”

Hilarious. Some asshole decided to make things interesting during finals week by creating chaos over social media, and a campus police officer accidentally fired his or her gun, just to keep it real.

This seems relevant because campus-carry appears ready to become law in Tennessee, unless Gov. Haslam vetoes it, which I think is unlikely. So here we have an incident where trained law enforcement can’t respond to an armed person threat without accidentally firing a gun, but we’re expecting teachers and other staff of dubious training and skill levels to do better? This is gonna be fun. I mean, it’s worked so well in Utah, Texas, Idaho, etc. etc. etc.

8 Comments

Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns, Tennessee

Poor People Don’t Vote

Bernie is right, actually. Poor people don’t vote.

This is what makes me nuts about the whole “people voting against their economic interests” meme. Actually, no. As the New York Times explained last November in “Who Turned My Blue State Red?”, those people are not voting at all:

In eastern Kentucky and other former Democratic bastions that have swung Republican in the past several decades, the people who most rely on the safety-net programs secured by Democrats are, by and large, not voting against their own interests by electing Republicans. Rather, they are not voting, period. They have, as voting data, surveys and my own reporting suggest, become profoundly disconnected from the political process.

The people in these communities who are voting Republican in larger proportions are those who are a notch or two up the economic ladder — the sheriff’s deputy, the teacher, the highway worker, the motel clerk, the gas station owner and the coal miner. And their growing allegiance to the Republicans is, in part, a reaction against what they perceive, among those below them on the economic ladder, as a growing dependency on the safety net, the most visible manifestation of downward mobility in their declining towns.

Early in the campaign, Bernie Sanders talked about how he was all about bringing these “disillusioned and disengaged” voters back into the process. This was part of his “revolution” spiel. And then he did absolutely nothing to make that happen. Zero. Nada. He gave speeches about it but did nothing to make his vision happen. There was no organizing, there was no field game, there was nothing.

This simply reinforces my disparaging view of Bernie Sanders. It’s incredibly frustrating to see someone who clearly recognizes the problems but doesn’t seem interested in solving them. Complaining is not a solution.

His career has been one endless kvetch. He didn’t even think to tell his supporters to register to vote as Democrats in closed primary states? How lame is that?! Part of this may be due to the fact that he never thought he’d get this far, so back in the fall when those deadlines were looming he wasn’t focused on the actual mechanics of winning. But if you’re running for president, you’re running to win, or else you’re a fraud. If the only reason he was running in the first place was to have a bigger megaphone, then he just wasted everyone’s time. If all you want to do is kvetch louder and longer without following up with any tangible action then I have no use for you. All those thousands of eager kids at your rallies, did you have any organization to harness that energy? Get people registered to vote? Do some outreach to the disillusioned and disenfranchised? No. Bernie is supposed to be a man of the people, but it seems like his campaign has been all about the man, less about the people.

It is also far too simplistic to write off the country’s growing divide into merely Wall Street vs Main Street. As the New York Times piece illustrates, it’s more like Main Street vs trailer park or Main Street vs Skid Row. Any populist campaign that fails to speak to this issue is one focused too much on two-dimensional bogeymen, not reality.

19 Comments

Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, poverty

Open Primaries STILL Suck

I’ve already explained why I think open primaries like the ones we have in Tennessee are stupid and suck. But a whole bunch of Bernie people are complaining that they were disenfranchised by New York’s closed primary this week, and they are saying all primaries should be open, which I think is idiotic. So it seems I need to do some more explaining for the newbies.

1- First of all, primaries are to elect a party’s candidates. If you are too independent to join a party, then stop whining about not being able to pick the candidates of the party you refuse to join. It’s like insisting on choosing the main dish of a dinner you refuse to attend.

Nobody has to vote in a primary. You’re not disenfranchised if you can’t. The primary is not the election. You independent thinkers get to vote in the general election and when you do, you will get to pick from about a dozen or more candidates. Not just the top Democrat and Republican.

It really is incomprehensible to me that people are complaining about this. And yes, it’s the Bernie people. You wanted to vote for Bernie in the primary? Then guess what: Your beef is with Bernie. He’s the one who chose to run for president as a Democrat, when he’s been an Independent for his entire political career. If he hadn’t made that decision, then you’d get to vote for Bernie in November … and you’d get to vote for him against Hillary, Jill Stein, the Republican nominee (Trump or Cruz or whomever), etc.

2- And speaking of Jill Stein, how come all of this complaining is just focused on the Democratic primary? I don’t hear people saying they want to pick the Republican nominee, too. Or the Green Party nominee. Or the Libertarian nominee. Hey, here’s a news flash: they have Green Party primaries, too! Guess what, you weren’t invited. Whaah! Disenfranchised all over again!

Again, all these folks really are complaining about is that they couldn’t vote for Bernie, and that onus is on the candidate, not the process.

2- Election day problems in New York have nothing to do with whether the primary is open or closed. Showing up to vote in the primary and finding your registration was mysteriously changed or disappeared happens all the damn time and it has nothing to do with the primary being opened or closed. Have we all forgotten that time former Congressman Lincoln Davis showed up to vote in Tennessee’s open primary and found he’d been purged from the voter rolls? Have we forgotten the 2012 Tennessee primary when Democrats were given Republican ballots, even though — and I repeat myself — we have an open primary? Hell, I remember working the 2006 general election and voters telling me they were asked a party preference … for the general! That’s a huge no-no.

So yes, stuff gets fucked up, and that’s wrong, and it needs to be fixed, but it isn’t like open primaries and generals don’t also get fucked up.

3- How hilarious is it that the candidate who claimed from day one that he’s running “to bring new people into the process” and “bring back those who have given up on the process” actually forgot to tell his voters about the fucking process? I’m just laughing my ass off on this one. What a major fail this represents for his campaign. Nobody in his campaign thought his voters might need to be told how to register? When to register? All of those rallies he held with thousands of people attending, were there no voter registration tables set up? Was it all just for the cameras and the soundbites? Guess so. Seriously, nothing screams “not ready for prime time” like overlooking basic GOTV stuff in your campaign that’s supposedly targeting newbies.

30 Comments

Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election

What The Hell Is Wrong With Rep. Courtney Rogers?

I’m asking because Tennessee State Rep. Courtney Rogers of the “faith, family, freedom” caucus gave a seriously unhinged rant on the House floor Monday night and I’m starting to wonder what’s wrong with her. It came long after the House decided to defund UT’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion and redirect the money toward “In God We Trust” stickers for police cruisers. I know, that’s pretty crazy in and of itself, it’s the kind of hippie-punching nonsense the idiots in our legislature waste time on every day. But near as I can tell, Rogers had nothing to say when debate over that actual legislation was going on. But long toward the end of the day when business was concluding, she offered this ridiculous rant on the topic.

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I know I’ve been visibly agitated on the House floor tonight, and for that I apologize, but I have an announcement from the Hawaiian caucus tonight.

You know, it’s not easy being a minority, I get it. But try being an endangered species. A Hawaiian in Tennessee. You know, my grandmother in Hawaii would go offer her lava rock offerings to the family god, the Aumakua. And then she would go to missionary school and pray to good lord Jesus because she didn’t want to offend all the gods, so she kinda missed the point. But that being said, missionary school taught servitude to minorities, and the Hawaiians had to fight for education, for English, for math, for science, and we got it.

And as I can see, here are minorities. They have it. If you want to help minorities then what I wanted to say here was yes, continue to shut down those specific diversity offers that waste dollars to teach us ways to somehow sexually abuse our bodies or tell us what not to believe. I would fight any office that would tell me I cannot pray to my family Aumakua, even though I don’t, or to the good lord Jesus. You know as much I would say no Christmas, no Buddha, No Allah, I don’t pray to any of those, but we have a thing called ideological freedom here in America.

If you want to help minorities then quit pushing this intellectual rubbish and start supporting those diversity offices that are recruiting the best, from light meat to dark meat, across the entire spectrum, and start pushing hard work and mental accuity. Those things bring about progress and success and equality. Mahalo.

What the hell is she smoking? Light meat to dark meat? Hawaiians in Tennessee are endangered? Minorities in Tennessee have everything they need so just shut up?

You can see her rant somewhere around the 2 hour and 58 minute mark here, during the announcements. What’s even more alarming is that she appears to be holding a piece of papers as she’s talking, so I wonder if she wrote this drivel down in advance.

Anyway, this is a whole new level of wackadoodle that I can’t even explain.

And yes, this is the same Courtney Rogers who wants to arm college students because of Kent State.

11 Comments

Filed under culture wars, Republican Party, Tennessee, Tennessee politics, TNGOP

One Weird Tip For Ending TN Legislative Lunacy

Rep. Susan Lynn has pulled her ridiculous “bathroom bill,” meaning it’s dead … for now:

“I have learned that our school districts are largely following what the bill says,” she said while inside her office at the Capitol on Monday. “I am still absolutely 100 percent in support of maintaining the privacy of all students. But I’m going to roll the bill over until next year so we can work on those issues.

Rep. Lynn is of course notorious for a whole string of questionable actions since she’s been in the legislature: distributing anti-Muslim videos to her colleagues, killing equal pay legislation, etc. She’s an embarrassment to the state of Tennessee.

While all of the threats of boycotts and hand-wringing and protesting and petitioning has been nice to see, there’s really only one way to stop this nonsense that has overtaken our legislature. Get rid of people like Susan Lynn.

As it happens, Lynn has a Democratic challenger. Her name is Trisha Farmer. Let’s send her some financial help and send a message that Lynn’s bathroom BS is not what the people of Middle Tennessee need.

5 Comments

Filed under GLBT, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

Tennessee Gun Report

While our legislature debates guns on college campuses and Beretta opens its Tennessee facility, we’re all pretty gun happy around here these days. However, there’s always plenty of bad news, too. Without further ado:

• April 15, 2016:

A Springfield man was using his gun to pistol-whip someone when it accidentally went off:

Police say that after the argument at the Stop One Market on N. Main St., somehow the two men made their way over to Travis Lane in the Sleepy Hollow subdivision MAP where the victim was pistol-whipped and the gun discharged. Police told Smokey Barn News that the discharge of the weapon may have been accidental.

• April 14, 2016:

1- Greeneville man shoots himself in the thigh cleaning his gun. Some guns just won’t get cleaned.

2- A Dyersburg man accidentally shot himself and then lied to police about it.

3- Shots were fired at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Memphis.

• April 8, 2016:

But wait, I thought more guns made us safer?

NASHVILLE, Tenn.– According to the gun safety advocacy group Safe Tennessee Project, Tennessee has already totaled as many accidental shootings this year as the state totaled in all of 2015.

It’s almost as if allowing guns everywhere wasn’t such a smart idea.

• April 7, 2016:

A man accidentally shot himself at a Memphis Walgreen’s.

• April 6, 2016:

East Nashville woman inside her home is struck by a stray bullet from outside.

• April 4, 2016:

A 19-year-old Franklin man pulled a gun on the occupants of another car on I-65 in a road rage incident.

4 Comments

Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns, Tennessee

Congratulations, Unidentified KY Boy! You’re Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour

And let’s add a “Mom Of The Year Award” nomination for Jereen Stamper while we’re at it:

ELLIOT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) – Kentucky State Police say a woman was hospitalized after accidentally being shot by her son in Elliot County.

According to police, the shooting occurred as the juvenile was dismounting a horse he had been riding. They say boy’s 22 caliber pistol fell out of his holster and discharged after hitting the ground.

We’re told Jereen Stamper, 39, was struck in the side after the gun discharged.

Police say she was taken to a hospital in West Virginia for treatment.

Sure, who doesn’t go horseback riding with a loaded pistol? And a juvenile, too. Brilliant.

5 Comments

Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns

This Is Not About Us Ladies

[UPDATE]:

Welcome, Crooks & Liars! Please see my update to this post here.

—————————————————-

I’m sorry, I thought this whole bathroom nonsense was really about punishing transgendered people for having the nerve to not be like everyone else. Much to my surprise, I learn the Sir Galahads in the legislature are really just trying to protect the ladies. Awwww:

The bathroom — more specifically, the women’s restroom — is the one publicly sanctioned refuge for women, a sanctuary from harassment and abuse, a safe space, to employ that overused phrase. In all my conversations and in all the articles I’ve read on this issue, I haven’t heard anyone express the fear that a person who was born a woman and now identifies as a man will cause harm if he enters a men’s room.

But the fear that a person who was born a man and now presents as a woman will lurk behind the stalls to attack unsuspecting daughters is threaded throughout objections to the bathroom mandate.

“We’re in denial about most of the violence against women in our society, and this brings it to the surface,” Ladin observed. “If I am in a women’s room and see someone who looks like a guy, I’m taken aback. It doesn’t make sense, except for the fact that women everywhere are exposed to violence.”

Indeed, in Tennessee as elsewhere, it appears this really is just about protecting us ladies. Again: awwwwwww.

Yes, if I had a dollar for every time a man dressed up as a woman so he could gain access to the women’s bathroom to harass me! You know, as opposed to just harassing me out in the open, which is where women are actually harassed on a daily basis. Seriously, guys? This is your argument? The “Tootsie” defense? Bullshit.

Why don’t we ask Republican House Rep. Jeremy Durham how often he dressed as a woman to harass his victims in bathrooms, instead of doing it the old-fashioned way? I’m going to guess the answer would be a big, fat never.

No, no. Your transphobia is your problem. You will not hide behind me on this one. This is not about me. It’s about you.

In my fifty-something years on this planet I’ve been to public restrooms all around the world. Oh yes, I’ve peed in big cities and small towns. I’ve used locker rooms at gyms and swimming pools in major metropolises and small rural burghs. I’ve peed in arenas and stadiums, libraries and museums, restaurants and bars, train stations, airports and shopping malls. I’ve showered at the Centennial SportsPlex in downtown Nashville and the fitness center at Lake Barkley State Resort Park in Cadiz, Kentucky. I’ve used pools and locker rooms in Los Angeles and Copenhagen and London and New York City. Good grief, y’all. In all my many experiences with public facilities in five decades on this planet, two things have never ever ever ever EVER happened:

1- I have never been harassed by a man dressed up as a woman;

2- I have never examined or in any other way even noticed another person’s genitalia, nor have I flashed my own. We go about our business with a certain amount of decorum in the facilities. We do not inspect other peoples’ business.

Have I shared a locker room or bathroom with a trans person? Maybe! Probably! I have no way of knowing. I’m not checking what’s under the towel.

I’m increasingly hearing this “we’re just thinking about you ladies” excuse and I find it incredibly offensive and condescending. If you guys really gave a shit about women and women’s safety you wouldn’t have blocked a paltry $2 million needed to address a backlog of thousands of untested rape kits two years ago.

No, no. This isn’t about us. It’s about you. Own it.

16 Comments

Filed under LGBT, Republican Party, Tennessee