Ahh, sweeps season, the time when breathless promos let you know what every TV station's investigative team has been working on for the past month.
Newschannel 5 had Scoopageddon himself, Phil Williams, delving into the state's motor pool (and finding some interesting stuff). Channel 2 has been hanging out at pill mills, looking at a doctor who allegedly prescribes too much. Fox 17? They are DETERMINED to get to the bottom of those surcharges on your utility bill as part of their "Waste Watch" series.
And Channel 4 went to the missing persons well, digging up what appeared to be new revelations in the case of Holly Bobo.
Now chew on this. The rumor mill is turning today about the possibility of Kane — who is a libertarian named Glenn Jacobs in real life — challenging Sen. Lamar! Alexander in the 2014 Senate primary.
Earlier this week, Kane, er, Jacobs challenged Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey to a debate, a news item so exciting we never imagined it could be topped. And yet, it has. #Kane4TN
For the 74th consecutive week, The 'Drome is catfight-video-free ...
NCAA vs AAA : Romanticizing sports is the sportswriter's great temptation — and one that has its place — and the temptation to romanticize baseball is stronger than others.
For the first time this spring, I went to the ballpark this week — twice in fact. Out to Greer for a Sounds game Friday night — delayed by an impeccably timed rainstorm, its pace held down by the millstone of fireballing Triple A pitchers who think every delivery has to be a strike. And I lament about Greer while at the same time understanding than any new sports facility is going to be privately funded — a prospect I realize is as likely as my dog learning to play Dvorak's Ninth on the keytar — because Karl's $585 million Enormodome sucked up all of the city's capacity to fund just-for-funsies projects. Greer isn't all that bad if you don't mind grunginess and if you don't have any pretense that a minor-league park should be a faux-antique Disneyland. Greer is functional, in that there are seats and food and plumbing and a diamond.
Wednesday Tuesday (it's been a long week), by coincidence more than design, I spent a few innings out at Hawkins Field for the Vandy-Belmont game. The crowd was a little more excitable, the weather was better and Lord knows the ballpark is nicer (though those of us of a certain vintage remember when Hawkins Field wasn't as nice as Greer is now). Hawkins is a weird little stadium, shoehorned into the corner between Dudley Field and Memorial Gym. Two-thirds of it are perfectly normal and symmetrical, carefully curving from right field to left, when the fence abuts the quirky gym and the wall has to dance and jut. I didn't have the pleasure of seeing someone lace a liner to left, but I'm guessing it would have been akin to seeing someone play real tennis.
There were charms to both, despite the Commodores' obvious advantages: Vandy's team is, ya know, quite good, while the Sounds are not; the standards of the stadiums parallel the particular fortunes of the two nines.
But Greer, for all its faults, feels real. It may even suffer from realness. For a purely functional experience, it cannot be surpassed. For a championship, though, head to West End.
As Mayor Karl Dean prepares to throw open the doors to the Music City Center, some bad news for his proposed bus rapid transit project, The Amp. Over at The City Paper:
Nashville Congressman Jim Cooper does not believe federal funding will be available for The Amp, Dean’s proposed bus rapid transit project that would run along the West End corridor. The project has already been a source of contention, with some residents, business owners and Metro Council members taking issue with the proposed route.
Members of an emerging group of opponents say Cooper shared his doubts with them during a recent meeting about the issue. Cooper spokeswoman Katie Hill confirmed his views to The City Paper.
“I think his view is that right now with sequestration going on, and until we strike some sort of grand bargain on the deficit, there’s just not a whole lot of extra money floating around out there for projects like this,” Hill said.
The mayor's office, and their D.C. consultants/lobbyists, remain optimistic that the federal program from which the city will be seeking funds still has room in it for The Amp. But before they get there, they'll have to contend with some more opposition forming along the corridor.
The lady seated to my immediate right (very close quarters on bench seating) was fairly insistent about using her phone. I asked her to turn it off. She answered: “So don’t look.” I asked her whether I had missed something during the very pointed announcements to please turn off your phones, perhaps a special exemption granted for her. She suggested that I should mind my own business.
So I minded my own business by utilizing my famously feline agility to deftly snatch the phone out of her hand and toss it across the room, where it would do no more damage. She slapped me and stormed away to seek managerial succor. Eventually, I was visited by a black-suited agent of order, who asked whether he might have a word.
As Williamson describes it, that "word" turned out to be four: "I was thrown out." And six more: "There is talk of criminal charges."
Let's put aside the fact that Williamson fell into the unnecessary trap of conflating his antagonists' behavior with their appearance, describing the offenders as "women of a certain age, the sad sort with too much makeup and too-high heels." He does note that his companion during a prior intermission had spoken with theater management, who "apologetically assured us that the situation would be remedied."
So the question at hand: Did Mr. Williamson last night strike a blow for the advancement of civilization, or hasten its demise? (My own view: if you can make it to the second act of a musical without using the playbill to stab your own eyeballs, you have a right and an obligation to text your friends and tell them about it.)
Over at WPLN, Blake Farmer has the disappointing news that the Music City Center's green roof — composed of 14 different types of vegetation! — will not require a fleet of goats for maintenance.
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean gave tours to dozens of journalists ahead of the grand opening this weekend. He was asked who would keep the four acres mowed. He responded with a joke.
“I think we’ll get some goats or something,” Dean said. “I don’t know. Right now it’s not a problem.”
If all goes to plan, the green roof shouldn’t need mowing. It’s made of 14 types of vegetation, including sedum, which is in the aloe vera family. It will need watering in the hottest part of the summer but not much maintenance otherwise.
“Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey claims that the Internet sales tax mandate is not a new tax. Nor, according to Ramsey, is it an unfair tax. Ramsey is wrong on both counts.” Glenn writes. “I, therefore, invite Lt. Gov. Ramsey for a policy debate on the issue of the Marketplace Fairness Act in a public forum at his convenience.”
There are a lot of reasons Ramsey should do this. Jacobs is a constituent and a citizen of Tennessee. Wrestling is an indigenous art form in the state and the athletes who participate in it should be treated with the same respect and seriousness as any athlete in the state. Plus if there's anyone who's given a lot of thought to taxes, it's a performer who plays and pays in multiple states.
But most of all, this would restore the cosmic balance of our state. Every day we Tennesseans have to grapple with the strange reality that one of our politicians once dressed up in a wrestler's mask and terrorized (or at least annoyed) the people of Knoxville while blathering on about his rights. Now we have the chance to have a masked wrestler talk about politics. It would make us even with fate. We could finally put the luchador mask incident behind us.
It's a win all around. Come on, Lt. Governor Ramsey! If you won't do it for the chance to talk policy with an informed constituent, do it so that we can, as a state, finally heal from Halloween '09.
In the cover story of this week's The City Paper, I tortured several metaphors attempting to illustrate the decidedly unsettled state of all things involving the Tennessee State Fairgrounds.
Let me try another.
At this point, Mayor Karl Dean's relationship with the fairgrounds — the property and the people who most associate themselves with it — is something like that of a husband who comes home and calmly explains to his wife that he's going to have an affair with a woman down the street. Naturally, an argument ensues. There is shouting. Maybe even tears. And then a few days later, the husband decides to back off. He didn't fully understand how it would look from her end, he says, and so he calls off his plans.
The trouble is, he doesn't move out. His wife doesn't move out. The woman down the street still lives there and, from time to time, will walk her dog by the couple's house. And if the husband glances out the window, or happens to be taking out the trash when she walks by, the wife wonders. Does he still want to do it? Did he just go ahead with it, anyway? Last week when he forgot our anniversary, and last month when he worked past dinner most nights — is he trying to get me to divorce him so he can just run off with her, without the guilt?
The trial and conviction of Kermit Gosnell does not prove that abortions should be illegal. After all, what Gosnell did was illegal and, as William Saletan points out, people like him are extremely rare:
If you go to the CDC’s Wonder database and plug in code P96.4, you’ll find that in 2010, the total number of deaths linked to this condition (“termination of pregnancy, newborn”) was 30. In 2009, it was 42. In 2008, it was 33. In 2007, it was 30. In most of these cases, the fetus had gestated less than 24 weeks—not enough to survive outside the womb. How many of the coded deaths were fetuses 24 weeks along or more? The database shows five in 2007, seven in 2008, and six in 2009.*
When you take into account the percentage of deaths in this group that were also attributed to other factors such as “neonatal cardiac dysrhythmia” or “hypoxic schemic encephalopathy” — roughly 50 to 90 percent — we’re probably talking about two to three cases a year in which the death of a post-viability baby was attributed solely to abortion. And we have no idea from the records whether these abortions were done to save the woman’s life.
But nor does his case "prove" what would become the norm if abortions were illegal. Both sides of the abortion debate act as if Gosnell is just an abortion doctor and we just have to decide if he's the norm now or would be the norm if access becomes more difficult. Both sides are wrong.
Kermit Gosnell is a serial killer. Trying to make public policy based on the actions of a serial killer is foolish. There aren't that many of them. How serial killers act tells us nothing about how the majority of people who have superficially similar traits to them. The BTK Killer was a Boy Scout leader. Should we pass policy treating all Boy Scout leaders like murderers? Or, on account of Ted Bundy, should we make it illegal for good looking men to date, since any one of them might be a danger to women? Or should we ban 20-somethings from living together because of Charles Manson?
Yes, Atlanta Atlanta. The one in Georgia. Yes, I know, who doesn't think of "rednecks" when they think of the home of Emory University and CNN and a $304 billion dollar economy and Outkast and fantastic gay bars and unusual strip clubs? I know the first thing that pops into my head when I hear about a majority African-American city is "Gee, I bet a lot of rednecks live there." I know the list is supposed to be funny, but the biggest laugh has got to be the unintended humor of declaring Atlanta the top redneck spot in the country.
There are other laughs — like Nashville being fourth on the list. I mean, I get it. Our being the new "It City" is annoying. But there's something kind of ugly and pathetic about deciding to knock us down a peg or two by pulling out that old, "Oh, they're all hick bigots down there" slander. Not that Grigson is owning up to calling us hick bigots. No, she's just calling us "rednecks" in jest: "Now, I don’t use this term negatively at all. In fact, thanks to Jeff Foxworthy with his hundreds of 'you might be a redneck' jokes, the term has been adopted fondly, proudly, by these tobaccie-spittin’ folk."
I don't believe I have ever heard an e-mail, but I am not so tech…
sorry i mean this
i am spechless, Kane whom i admire for being an athlete , enter to the…
Will Hedge you're a tool.
The premise is, you know him so he…
I suspect there are lots of Kermit Gosnells out there representing the liberal death cult…