Friday, July 30, 2010

DeGeneres quits American Idol. I really don't care, and I hate AI, but I had to crow about this, because Howard Stern has been saying for months how bad and unqualified DeGeneres is on that show.
Franklin High School students to protest flip flop ban. I lived with a dress code for six years in junior high and high school. I have never believed in any of the rationales for them. All a school dress code is is a way for the politicos to look like they are doing something.
Litigant v. Judge Joe Brown: The Judge wins. Judge Brown is a retired Tennessee judge, by the way.
Zach Wamp has been bothering me for quite some time. While in D.C., he lives at -- and refuses to comment on -- the C Street Center, which began as an anti-New Deal organization in the 1930s when the founder believed that God gave him a revelation that government regulation was a tool of Satan’s. This outfit is tied to the Fellowship Foundation, whose leader often presents Hitler, Stalin and Mao as leadership models even as he acknowledges they are "evil men."

Here's what's got me concerned and not a little steamed. In Wamp's commercial featuring "Rusty," some overweight guy sitting at a diner delivers the following line at 19 seconds in:
He even teamed up with New York Mayor Bloomberg to take away our guns.

I emphasized "Bloomberg" because the [presumed] actor emphasized it in his delivery. So here's my question: why did Wamp find it necessary to use the name of the New York City mayor? Was it because it's a Jewish-sounding name? My suspicion is exactly that. Is this Jew-baiting of the smarmiest sort? If so, we'll be lucky to see Wamp shown the door, figuratively. One thing is for sure: I hate this type of almost-true-but-not-quite type of negative campaigning. It's not quite enough to call the guy an out and out liar, but it ain't the truth, either. It's contemptible, frankly.

I'm not a Haslam guy, although he did go to Webb School a couple of years ahead of me. However, I don't blame him a bit for responding to this crap commercial with his Enough is Enough spot, and I think the way he responded was just right.

But why has no one raised the anti-semitism issue? There's an argument that this implicit anti-semitism is rife on the Internet and other media, to the point where no one really notices any more. And that's the road to perdition.

Photo of the week. Fortunately, no one was injured.
And this is why I seldom head up to the mountains....
Vanessa Coleman gets 53 years for double murder. The prosecutors sought 77 years, so this is fundamentally a prosecution victory. As Judge Baumgardner a veteran Criminal Court Judge said, "This is one of if not the most troubling, horrific, shocking criminal episodes that I've ever encountered."
Lamar Alexander praises President Obama on education. It's sad that a Republican lauding a Democrat has become so rare that it's newsworthy.

I'll never forget when, in 1983, while watching Alexander deliver the Tennessee State of the State address as governor, Senator John Rucker leaned over to me in the gallery and whispered, "would you buy a used car from that man?" It was all I could do to keep from falling off my chair with chortles, because I wouldn't!
Not that I fly all that often, but this stinks.
Tanker truck swerves in traffic, jacknifes, goes down embankment; driver killed. A cautionary tale to always leave yourself a good following distance. In our ADD gogogo world, we all too often ride up on the rear of the vehicles in front of us. Sometimes, that leads to tragic results.
Hit and run suspects captured at nearby hotel. Some people are just too dumb to be allowed to drive. I hope the victim wasn't hurt too badly.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Federal judge blocks key parts of Arizona immigration law. On a related note, anybody see where the Nazis are coming to town? As Woody Allen said in Manhattan:
Woody Allen: "Has anybody read that Nazis are gonna march in New Jersey? Ya know? I read it in the newspaper. We should go down there, get some guys together, ya know, get some bricks and baseball bats, and really explain things to 'em."

Victor Truro: "There was this devastating satirical piece on that on the op-ed page of the Times – devastating."

Allen: "Whoa, whoa. A satirical piece in the Times is one thing, but bricks and baseball bats really gets right to the point of it."

Helen Hanft: "Oh, but really biting satire is always better than physical force."

Allen: "No, physical force is always better with Nazis."

Here's the video, too!
Extraordinary color movies of Israel, before, during and after the 1948 War of Independence. Thanks to Howie Feinberg for the link.
TVA's air pollution is NOT an interstate nuisance. Basically, "Because the air pollution standards set by EPA are stricter than the rules under common law, Wilkinson wrote, a company that is in compliance with federal requirements cannot logically be a public nuisance."
Details on the Tennessee titans lawsuit against Lane Kiffin. For those so inclined, here's a copy of the actual Complaint filed in Davidson County [Nashville]. Kiffin registers surprise about getting sued.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
Rabid bat found at U.T. Medical Center: This does not infuse me with confidence.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kentucky nursing home under investigation. Getting old is not for sissies. Sadly.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hit an run victim dies. I hope, for the family's sake, that the victim had uninsured motorist coverage.
One injured in watercraft accident. I had a case somewhat similar a few years back. My client was in his bass boat, putting along and minding his own business, when two wave runners violated the right of way and broadsided him. The client's hip was fractured and his knee was messed up, AND his boat was sinking, but he managed to get it to a dock and pull himself out before it did a Titanic at the dock. If memory serves, we got him six figures for his injuries.
Oh good lord. Street racing? Can anyone say "James Dean?"

Stop the presses! Meg Ryan cancels Israel appearance in "cultural boycott." Well, the bloom is off the rose, officially; I'm no longer ga-ga over Meg. Besides, with a photo like this, well, yuck.
I happened to catch part of her strong 1995 performance in "When A Man Loves A Woman," and she was so gorgeous. Why did she do that to herself? I think her vast popularity drop-off is directly attributable to the rotten plastic surgery she obviously has had. That, and the fact that she apparently is a political idiot.
UPDATE: Compare the photo above with the video here [move to about 1 minute in], and tell me the difference is solely because of the intervening 15 years. Right....
Double Standard: British decry Israel for [allegedly] using forged British passports; British ignore Russian spies using forged British passports.

The British apparently still view Israel as the pariah state of states. Genteel anti-semitism? Or are they still peeved over bailing out of Israel in 1948?
Jonathan Chait on pseudo-journalism:
The problem is that the product of sites like Breitbart's Big Government and the Daily Caller is not journalism but pseudo-journalism. It does not hew to conventional journalistic standards. It is opposition research — bits of data placed in the most damaging possible context and packaged in such a way as to encourage other reporters or pundits to pick it up and hopefully repeat its analytic thrust.

Now, opposition research can be useful, and it often produces good journalistic leads. But people who do hew to conventional journalistic standards do need to be very cautious when handling pseudo-journalistic stories. You can't assume that the information is being provided in context, or that the interpretive frame bears any relation to reality.

I think he hits the nail on the head here.
The difference between news and propaganda. The righties are fond of saying that the mainstram media is dominated by the left. My take for years has been that the media is dominated by whatever the hottest story is -- they want to sell papers, or magazines or get ratings, or whatever.
I don't pretend to understand -- or care much about -- what Glenn Beck says. But he gets his history and theology wrong in this clip, and sounds borderline anti-semitic, too. Your basic two-fer.

UPDATE: B'Nai Brith's open letter to Beck on his erroneous statement, as "inconsistent with Christian teaching that Jews collectively must never be portrayed as responsible for the death of Jesus. This teaching, and the related reflection on the need to present religious scripture with great thought and care, has allowed the development of unprecedented reconciliation, in our day, between Christians and Jews."
Air Conditioning: Bad. Here is an example of how anyone can make an argument that, on its face, seems reasonable, when it is so much hogwash. As a Knoxville native who lived in D.C. for nine years, and as a recent tourist in broiling Atlanta, I can say with absolute certainty that the invention of air conditioning might be the single greatest innovation of the 20th century.

Can you imagine going through the last month and a half of 100 degree days without AC? I mean, really.