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The Nashville Flood

Posted by – 5/4/10

It is now Tuesday, and I still can’t process what my city is going through. I am personally almost unaffected; the worst I’ve experienced is a lack of power for 7 hours. I live on a hill, and didn’t experience any flooding around my property. My car is fine. I even have access to the nearby Kroger, also situated on a hill.

But my city! Oh… Nashville. My heart breaks for my neighbors. Parts of East Nashville along the river are in ruins. Downtown was underwater up to parts of 3rd Avenue as of yesterday when I went to see the damage for myself. The entire Opry Mills and Opryland Hotel property is underwater.

We can’t help but feel frustration that the national news media has barely been able to muster a Boy, that sure was a lot of rain in middle Tennessee this weekend. Our city has been up-ended. This will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to repair and rebuilt, though some of what has been lost was simply irreplaceable. We may have lost the historic Grand Ole Opry House.

Where was God during this whole thing? some will surely ask. My pastor offers up some clarifying thoughts in a post.

There was a moving piece written on a hockey blog earlier today, and it captures both our frustration and our resolve. We Are Nashville.

Pray for us, we’ll need it. Spread the word: not that we merely want attention or need pity, but we’ll need people to know if there is any hope of our fellow Americans showing their trademark generosity during our rebuilding efforts. I’m grateful for Keith Olbermann’s comment on Nashville and what we’re going through. I hope more voices with national exposure include us in their comments.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

And finally, I am so proud of my good friend Michael Deppisch, whose talent I’ve always thought was undervalued. He ventured out into the rain on Sunday to capture this. It now has over 100,000 views on YouTube. Thanks for telling the story, Michael.

UPDATE: Here’s a photo of Nashville as of Monday, May 3rd. Not one I took, but one that’s been floating around Twitter and Facebook, and it makes an immediate impression of the devastation downtown Nashville has seen. Also be sure to check out this photo roundup from Boston.com. It’s easily the most representative, highest-quality photo essay of the Nashville Flood that I’ve seen.

HuffPo writer misses her own piece's grand irony

Posted by – 2/12/10

I really think it must be a slow news week. The entire country, it seems, is all in a tizzy about John Mayer’s use of the word ‘nigger’ in a Playboy article. When I read fellow Nashvillian Molly Secours’s latest Huffington Post article in which she takes Mayer to task, I honestly thought it was satire. It had to be, right? How else can a writer launch into a diatribe in which she heaps coals on the heads of all white people for being racist?

In an attempt to be subtle, I suppose, she begins her piece with a rather superior rumination on young pretty women. It’s the first of many confidently declared prejudices in an article laced with gleeful snobbery.

Yesterday I was musing about the unconscious arrogance of pretty young women who believe they will enjoy the world of privilege and power afforded to them by beauty — forever. It seems all it takes is a 40th birthday to notice the expiration date on the ‘all access pass.’

Not unlike wealthy men who cannot conceive of operating in the world without the limitless advantages of the double platinum American Express — until it is revoked.

Wow. Bold, Molly. Bold. I wonder what has caused her to live with such a classist mentality? Let’s boil this one down: “Racism is awful, and also I group people into easy stereotypes and ridicule them for the thoughts I assume are running through their heads.” It staggers the imagination.

Suffice it to say Mayer’s words were symptomatic and indicative of white arrogance.

I suppose Secours feels she can be so bold in her declarations of white arrogance because she’s white. (Maybe she’s revealing her own racial proclivities? One has to wonder.) She apparently holds to the notion that one cannot be racist about their own race. Sane people argue, on the other hand, that making sweeping derogatory statements about a group of people because of their race is the very definition of racism. Being a member of the group in question provides no exemption. The baseless comment is ignorant regardless.

Perhaps she’s speaking specifically of one person and his tendency toward racial slurs? Not even close. Without wasting time, she ropes all whites in together as racists.

Mayer is exhibit ‘A’ when illustrating that racism resides within all white people. No exception. Sorry. Whether you are a hip, young liberal white guy who has played music with famous black musicians or a guy working at a factory in a rural Kentucky.

Mayer is just another white man of privilege who has not wrestled with the harsher realities still facing many black and brown folks or the arrogance depicted by his words. I doubt he has struggled with his identity as a white man of privilege and how his own behaviors have unconsciously contributed to reinforcing white supremacy.

So due to a major social faux pas in which John Mayer played a bit too familiar with a culturally charged word, this silly writer responds with a literary garbage heap that has become home to some of her most cherished prejudices. So forward thinking.

If we need further evidence that Ms. Secours does not live in reality, we need look only to her bio.

In 2000, she presented an intervention to the United Nations in Santiago, Chile, proposing that the U.S. “repudiate the official histories and language(s) that maintain the hegemonic and unearned privileges accorded to those who are identified as “white”.

A day of Political Meals: Bill of Federalism, Meeting with a State Senator

Posted by – 5/21/09

Well today turned out to be one that revolved around food and politics. At the same time. I was pleased to have lunch with a new libertarian friend of mine, Adam. (A new friend. I don’t know how long he’s been a libertarian.) I always enjoys those one-on-ones. The lunch begins without any sort of agenda, and an hour and a half later you find your conversation miles from its origination. Of course the hot topics right now among libertarians and conservatives involved state sovereignty resolutions, gun rights bills passed by the states, the tea parties, and things like the Bill of Federalism. Adam read the bill for the first time at the table and was completely enthralled with it. He brings up a strong, significant objection to it though: if we call a constitutional convention, does that not open the whole constitution up for modification? We’re apparently only a few states’ requests away from actually having a constitutional convention. (As I understand it, unless a state recalls its request, that request stands permanently. Thus, all requests for a constitutional convention since our nation’s founding have tallied up to almost meet the threshold.) And since most state legislatures, who would appoint the delegates, are left leaning… that could open us up to some disastrous modifications to the Constitution. Yikes. I’ll be interested to see what professor Barnett says in response to this.

Then tonight I met with Ken Marrero of Blue Collar Muse and several other bloggers to have dinner with state Senator Ken Yager from the 12th district which is a chunk of East Tennessee (back where I come from). It was quite informative, but even better was the opportunity to form a relationship with one of the folks who represents Tennesseans. He certainly seems to hold the constrained world view, and regardless of where I might disagree with him, this means I know we’re forming our opinions based on the same basic understanding of the world.

I also met Jarod Scott, a younger fella with some political aspirations for 2010. I’m not sure how much he’s publicly announced, so I’ll keep mum for now. But I like him.

I’ll write more on things like this later, but I wanted to take a light dip in the pool of political commentary before jumping back in. I’ve been so busy with the tea party efforts in middle tennessee lately, specifically with helping start up the non-profit Tennessee Tea Party, I haven’t had time to really ponder and pen my usual political drivel. Have no fear; I’m sure I’ll be back to churning out the same old useless garbage in no time.

When the facts are examined under the honest light of day…

Posted by – 4/22/09

And, I wondered, how could I have spent decades thinking that I thought everything was always wrong at the same time that I thought I thought that people were basically good at heart? Which was it? I began to question what I actually thought and found that I do not think that people are basically good at heart; indeed, that view of human nature has both prompted and informed my writing for the last 40 years. I think that people, in circumstances of stress, can behave like swine, and that this, indeed, is not only a fit subject, but the only subject, of drama.

I’d observed that lust, greed, envy, sloth, and their pals are giving the world a good run for its money, but that nonetheless, people in general seem to get from day to day; and that we in the United States get from day to day under rather wonderful and privileged circumstances—that we are not and never have been the villains that some of the world and some of our citizens make us out to be, but that we are a confection of normal (greedy, lustful, duplicitous, corrupt, inspired—in short, human) individuals living under a spectacularly effective compact called the Constitution, and lucky to get it.

Fantastic article on David Mamet’s conversion from accepting what’s been fed to him all the way to a thinking, informed conservative position. Amazing how that happens, isn’t it? (Notice how he’s speaking to the constrained view versus the unconstrained view.)

Special Olympics Bowling… really?

Posted by – 3/20/09

I’d just like to say, in response to President Obama’s comments on Leno, that I refuse to go head-to-head with my sister Rebekah, who has Down syndrome, since she has routinely shellacked me in the past. My presence in games of Scrabble where she is involved has taken a permanent hiatus as well. She’s a magician with those two letter words, you don’t even know.

Posted by – 2/17/09

Every disease that submits to a cure shall be cured: but we will not call blue yellow to please those who insist on still having jaundice, nor make a midden of the world’s garden for the sake of some who cannot abide the smell of roses.

- C. S. Lewis

Posted by – 2/6/09

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb willing to contest the majority decision.

- author unknown

Posted by – 2/5/09

The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

- Margaret Thatcher

"We are enemies, deadly enemies…"

Posted by – 11/14/08

Nazi philosopher Gregor Strasser:

We are enemies, deadly enemies, of today’s capitalist economic system with its exploitation of the economically weak, its unfair wage system, its immoral way of judging the worth of human beings in terms of their wealth and their money.

A half century’s slander: it isn’t conservatives who must answer for fascism. Read the whole thing.

"You Betcha!"

Posted by – 11/2/08

(Yes, I was on a YouTube kick tonight.)