Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Steve Gill: Kill Wikileaks Founder

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Steve Gill
  • Steve Gill
As WSMV reported last night, Steve Gill has issued a talk-radio fatwa on WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange. Angered over WikiLeaks' recent publication of more than 250,000 leaked U.S. Embassy cables, the ever-reasonable talk radio host offered the following thoughts on WikiLeaks and its figurehead:

They should be designated as a terrorist organization, and folks like Julian Assange should be targeted as terrorists. They should either be captured and kept at Guantanamo Bay, or killed.

While the whole episode has undoubtedly left U.S. diplomats with quite a bit of egg on their faces, Gill's response is absurd. First off, if anyone is to blame, it's the people who leaked the information to WikiLeaks. As First Amendment Center VP Gene Policinski told WSMV, "As long as WikiLeaks did not themselves steal data or encourage someone to steal data ... they're probably in the realm of protected speech."

But apparently Gill's philosophy is to shoot the messenger. Ain't it funny how the right-wing "protect the Constitution at all costs" folks are often so annoyed by that pesky First Amendment? (Of course, it's become increasingly clear that most of them wish the Amendments started at No. 2.)

Secondly, while Hillary Clinton has an endless string of painfully awkward dinner parties ahead of her, the leak is more about national embarrassment than national security, as a BBC story aptly put it. And the author of a New York Times editorial found the whole incident oddly reassuring.

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Judson Phillips Would Restrict Voting to Property Owners

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 5:05 AM

I don't think I'm any relation to Tea Party leader Judson Phillips. My Phillipses appeared practically out of nowhere in Michigan in 1828, where we promptly established a tradition of being cantankerous trouble-causers who couldn't get along with anyone — a tradition I proudly carry on to this day. I haven't found any Judsons in the family tree.

Anyway, this other Phillips would rather we return to some of the ways of voting our Founding Fathers had in mind:


"The Founding Fathers originally said, they put certain restrictions on who gets the right to vote. It wasn't you were just a citizen and you got to vote. Some of the restrictions, you know, you obviously would not think about today. But one of those was you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you're a property owner you actually have a vested stake in the community. If you're not a property owner, you know, I'm sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested interest in the community than non-property owners."

I am trying to decide if I feel more vested in Nashville now that I own a house here (well, technically, the bank owns it and I am slowly paying them for it). And the truth is that I don't think so. I loved Nashville so much I bought a home here, yes. But obviously, I loved Nashville so much before I bought a home here that it led me to buy a home here.

I mean, I know this is a frivolous proposal designed to stoke intergenerational antagonism — as if the people who are older and can afford a home are somehow better citizens than the 18-year-olds who are going off to war to die for our country.

But it just seems like one of those knee-jerk things that, if you even think about it for two seconds, falls apart. I guess you're not supposed to think about it at all — just hear it and cheer it or boo, depending on your side.

Well, I'll just take solace that, until he manages to strip the right to vote from women, this Phillips's vote cancels that Phillips's vote out.

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Can You Kill Someone Without Causing 'Horrific Pain?'

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 5:00 AM

At issue in the ruling yesterday that halted Stephen Michael West's scheduled execution is a conundrum: Is there really a humane and constitutional way to kill someone? Jeff Woods, in the CP:

The state Supreme Court acted Monday to stop the executions of four inmates, including one set for Tuesday, to consider whether prison officials have found a way to carry out lethal injections humanely.

The court gave Davidson County Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman 90 days to rule on the constitutionality of the state’s new lethal injection procedure.

The ruling came hours after lawyers for condemned double-killer Stephen Michael West asked the court to stop his execution Tuesday (read article here). They argued prison officials have failed to ensure he won’t suffer horrific pain as he suffocates on the gurney in the death chamber.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Nashville Announces First Official Fashion Week March 29 - April 2

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 1:50 PM

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  • Dylan Reyes/Nashville Fashion Week
This isn't the first time folks in Nashville have held a bunch of runway shows with some iteration of Fashion Week in the name, but this is the first official city-sponsored event, Lexus Nashville Fashion Week*. That's right: Come spring of next year, Music City hosts its own official version of the coastal-inspired frenzy of runway shows, hobnobbing, cocktails and couture, Nashville-style.

Some of you may have just heard a record scratch. But in many ways, the fashion industry in Nashville is just running a parallel obstacle course to that of the local rock scene. Talk to designers, retailers, boutique owners, photographers, local design schools and stylists, and they'll tell you that, just as the rock scene has quietly evolved into a fountain of non-country talent, they, too, have been here for decades doing cool, creative and noteworthy work, most of it without a sequin in sight (though the sparkle-and-glitz indelibly sewn into our heritage is absolutely a part of Nashville fashion worth celebrating in its own right).

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This event, which also raises money for a Nashville Fashion Forward Fund (handled by the Community Foundation of Tennessee, and awarded to a rising local fashion star), will feature shows, events and workshops around the city, and is Nashville's way of reminding itself and announcing to the country at large that we have a high concentration of talent hustling away on the reg, from photo and video shoots to underground fashion to one-of-a-kind couture. Think of the event and its sponsors as the Music Business Council for fashion — a way of advertising yet another layer of our creative cultural cache.

We'll post more details as we get them, but we hope to see the week shaping up to incorporate authentic Nashville style — from the local and regional designers who use the South as inspiration to the high-end boutique owners who only stitch for country stars, and a little bit of everything in-between.

*Full disclosure: SouthComm, which owns the Nashville Scene, is a media sponsor for the event.

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Joe Rehyansky: Making Tennessee Proud and by "Proud" I Mean "Embarrassed"

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Part-time Hamilton County Magistrate Joe Rehyansky wrote a "joking" proposal for Tucker Carlson's The Daily Caller in which he suggested banning gay men from the military but letting lesbians serve so that they could give "straight male GIs a fair shot at converting lesbians and bringing them into the mainstream."

Just in case you're thinking, "No, he's not really suggesting that male GIs should be allowed to rape female GIs," he went on: "It fell to men to swing through the trees and scour the caves in search of as many women as possible to subdue and impregnate — a tough job but someone had to do it."

For some reason, The Daily Caller has removed the calls for our troops to turn on each other in order to correct the women, but not before folks saw it.

Great. You know, there were a lot of terrible stereotypes about Tennesseans, but I just don't think we had "they like to rape women into conforming" as one until last week.

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Frank Niceley Has to Take a Moment to Let the Little Lady Know She's Won Because She's Cute

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 7:38 AM

Frank Niceley. Good God Almighty, what kind of insecure jerk do you have to be to run to the media after a Republican victory the likes of which this state has never seen, after just seating Beth Harwell as the most powerful woman in the state's history, to undermine your fellow Republican with this "she just won 'cause she's cute" crap?

Not the voting record? Not the college-professory brain? Not the two-decade political career? Not her ability to build a coalition?

No. She's "good-lookin' " and women like her.

There you go. As far as Niceley is concerned, Harwell's accomplishments can all be distilled down to this: Since some folks want to fuck her without causing other folks to get jealous, Harwell can have some power.

Crap like this makes me wish the Republicans would bring back the duel.

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View from the Fairgrounds: Goodbye Expo Center, Hello Antioch!

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 5:20 AM

H/T: Steve Haruch.

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View from the Fairgrounds: A Sampling of Racetrack History

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 5:10 AM

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View from the Fairgrounds: A Sampling of Racetrack Noise

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 5:00 AM

H/T Steve Haruch.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bringing Some Light to Black Friday: The Community Foundation's Giving Card

Posted By on Thu, Nov 25, 2010 at 5:00 AM

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I don't know about you, but gift cards always seem like empty gifts to me — like, "Here, this is like money that you have to spend at this one store only, which, hope you like Home Depot." In last week's Holiday Guide issue, we Scenesters tried to steer you toward merriment and gifting of the socially conscious and non-crappy sort.

I wrote a bit about volunteer opportunities at Room in the Inn's incredible Campus for Human Development, while also previewing some particular areas of need for local charities around the holiday season. The good people at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee told me they'd be debuting their new Giving Cards the week of Thanksgiving, and they just announced they're now available at the CFMT website.

The concept is simple, but brilliant: Buy one, just like any gift card, and the person you give it to can donate the balance to the 501(c)(3) public charity (or charities) of their choice, anywhere in the country. They have a variety of designs to pick from, but the cards can also be customized or branded in bulk. Not only is the Giving Card tax deductible for you, the conscientious buyer, it doubles as a good deed and a good present. Full CFMT press release below:

Continue reading »

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