Because Pith sits at an inter-dimensional nexus of information and gamma radiation, we get emails. Some of those emails are good. Some of those emails are bad. Some of them are ugly (probably the gamma radiation). Yet a precious few are the kind never meant to see the light of day — the kind of seemingly innocuous tripe that feeds into the bowels of institutional bigotry, flecked with partially digested chunks of delicious Christian-fried goodness.
Regarding the latter bunch, we received an email today written Monday, July 30, by a legislative aide to Republican state Sen. Jim Summerville (of gay bullying legislation and "dogs at large" fame) asking fellow staffers to get their orders in on time for tomorrow's group lunch.
The cuisine du jour? Chick-fil-A!
And if you act now, Sen. Summerville will personally pick-up and deliver your steaming-hot, batter-dipt proxy for self-righteous intolerance in person!
Pierce Greenberg reports over at The City Paper that members of the Nashville chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People are disappointed with federal Judge Kevin Sharp's decision in a controversial Metro schools rezoning lawsuit.
Sharp's ruling — which coincidentally came on the same Friday that the state board of education permitted charter school Great Hearts Academies to open its first facility in the tony wilds of West Nashville — found that Metro didn't intend to segregate students in 2008 even though the policy they implemented causes de facto segregation "in effect." As far as intent is concerned, the legal analog here is manslaughter versus homicide: The former charge can be chalked up to negligence, whereas the latter denotes premeditation. Either way, somebody got got.
In response, Music City NAACP members pointed out the obvious — that fundamental inequities remain and are not addressed — as Greenberg reports:
“I understand the decision that was made ... but what they missed in this and what is missed in the opinion and the discussion that is taking place is that they have failed to recognize the kind of inequities that continue to exist,” said Rev. Sonnye Dixon, pastor of Hobson United Methodist Church in East Nashville.
“We continue to have places where we’re not getting the employment opportunities. So this was just one symptom, one group of people who cried out and said ‘We’re sick and tired of it.’... My fear is that if this community doesn’t continue to recognize this institutional racism that continues to treat a certain group of people as if they are somehow on a plantation, that those who continue to suffer will at some point raise up.”
Plaintiff Frances Spurlock, meanwhile, has indicated to media that she plans to appeal the case — which could easily find itself on a Supreme Court docket in due time, because Tennessee education issues are just that awesome.
Mothers, lock up your daughters. Husbands, lock up your wives. Anderson County Sheriff's Department, lock up your emotionally insecure misogynists who think Mitt Romney is prowling the Facebooks.
Claxton, Tenn., man Lowell Turpin, 40, was charged with domestic assault relating to a July 22 incident in which Turpin mistook a post from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on his girlfriend's Facebook wall as something more than banal campaign season's tidings from the 30-something apparatchik tasked with running his/her candidate's profile page.
From Knox News:
He suspected his live-in girlfriend of planning an affair, and when he saw a picture of a man he didn't recognize on her Facebook page, it set him off, according to reports.
Lowell Turpin "angrily demanded to know who the male was," an Anderson County Sheriff's Department incident report states.
The answer, his girlfriend told him: presidential contender Mitt Romney.
Upset at the woman's "attempting to communicate with friends through her Facebook account," Turpin jerked her laptop computer from her grasp, smashed the machine into a wall, and then hit her in the face with his fist, according to reports.
The 40-year-old Turpin remains in the Anderson County Jail, charged with domestic assault in connection with the July 22 incident in Anderson County's Claxton community.
The woman told a deputy that Turpin "has been violent toward her multiple times over several years."
A review of Rep. Diane Black's publicly disclosed private investments suggests that the congresswoman, a longtime and vocal critic of President Obama's health care reform bill, will stand to reap the benefits of the very legislation she rails against.
According to data provided by the Center For Responsive Politics, a sizable chunk of Black's assets are in health care companies that would ostensibly benefit from the spending generated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The range of Black's health care investments from that period were $5,017,000 to $25,080,000, out of a total of $16,534,054 to $75,761,000 worth of total investments as of 2010 (the last year such data is available). Among the medical companies Black has invested in — including those that will most likely enjoy a windfall from the ACA — are Baxter International, a manufacturer and marketer of "products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions," according to its website; Dendreon, a cancer drug manufacturer; and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, a biochemical company specializing in the "potential of new peptide hormone drug candidates and the creation of novel and groundbreaking therapies for the treatment of diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic diseases," to name a few.
With the exception of her husband's toxicology screening firm, Aegis, the aforementioned companies are likely poised to gain from the influx of roughly 30,000,000 new potential patients brought onto insurance rolls by the ACA. For example, Amylin has a page on its website titled "Healthcare Reform: A New Opportunity in Diabetes," that includes descriptions of how some of the money provided by the bill would be spent by the company to further its treatment of diabetes.
Given that there's a hotly contested election just two days away, the campaign of Black's primary opponent, Lou Ann Zelenik, naturally has something to say about it, after the jump.
The goal is simple: Let's affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick Fil-A on Wednesday, August 1. Too often, those on the left make corporate statements to show support for same sex marriage, abortion, or profanity, but if Christians affirm traditional values, we're considered homophobic, fundamentalists, hate-mongers, and intolerant.
Hey, if the shoe fits, Mike. Tangentially, I’m not sure where he finds “those on the left” making “corporate statements” supporting abortion and profanity (“Fifteen minutes will save you fifteen percent on car insurance, and while you’re at it go terminate your fucking pregancy”?), but let’s overlook that for now. With just one shopping day left until C-f-A-AD, we need to answer some of the big questions people have about l’affaire d’chicken.
As her friend Kristin Whittlesey puts it:
She's gotten it all cleaned up, but there's a gaping hole where her living room ceiling used to be, and the threat that any other ceiling in her house could suffer the same fate at any time. Replacement and repairs are all coming out of her own pocket, and estimates so far are in the $2,000-$2,500 range (total cost — includes new drywall, paint, cleanup costs, etc.).
So Whittlesey and Aunt B.'s many fans are banding together for a benefit. It'll be 5 p.m. Aug. 18 at one of Pith's favorite hangouts, East Nashville's amazing new coffee parlor Barista at 519-B Gallatin Ave. Betsy will read ghost stories from her book A City of Ghosts — need Halloween gifts for anyone? — and proceeds from a bake sale will go toward her home-repair expenses. So will an Indiegogo account established here in her behalf.
If you love Betsy's Pith posts, stop by and help her out. And if you hate every word she writes with every fiber of your being — well, chip in anyway to leave her a "snotty, weeping mess." She'd probably do the same for you.
In one traditional form of pornography, from the Victorian “A Man With a Maid” to the more recent “Fifty Shades of Grey,” a young woman is initiated — sometimes uncomfortably — into the mysteries of adult sexuality. In the end she is, at some level at least, grateful for the new horizons that’ve opened up to her.
Well, we still have that. But let’s face it — porn has gotten pretty boring.
The sex lives of many average Americans today would shock Grandma. And the depiction of sex in popular media has reached the numbing-point. A 2012 issue of Cosmo would’ve seemed obscene in most places 50 years ago. To most moderns, it’s just dull.
I recently had occasion to spend months looking at porn produced between the turn of the century and 1939 — and let me tell you, if Glenn Reynolds thinks our pornography is more shocking or obscene or mind-numbing than what our grandparents or great-grandparents had available to them, it's because he has no idea what our grandparents and great-grandparents were looking at.
In some ways, yes, we might call our elders more "repressed" than we are, but because they were more "repressed," things we don't in any way, shape or form think of as erotic took on for them incredibly lascivious overtones. Bike riding? Using the typewriter? Holding oranges? A woman reading a book, especially if there's a little dog present? All apparently lead directly to masturbation. Two priests in the presence of a nun? Just pray there's not a donkey in the background, because you are going to need therapy over where the next images in the series go.
But I guess if Reynolds is spending all his time on the stories where "a young woman is initiated — sometimes uncomfortably — into the mysteries of adult sexuality. In the end she is, at some level at least, grateful for the new horizons that’ve opened up to her" — in other words, on stories where a young woman is raped by an older man, he probably did miss out on all the stuff that is one or two or three or seven people all having a great time doing things that would make most of us blush.
But that seems to me to be more about what turns Glenn Reynolds on than what turned his grandma on.
As The City Paper's omnipresent Metro beat reporter Joey Garrison reported Friday, the state Board of Education voted to overturn an application denial by the Metro school board and approve Great Hearts Academies.
The Phoenix-based charter provider has plans to open a school on White Bridge Road in West Nashville. It was twice rejected by the Metro board.
If you're keeping track, the state has now nullified a local anti-discrimination ordinance, passed by the Metro council, and overturned a local decision to deny a charter school application, after concerns were raised about its student diversity plan. (It's worth pointing out, however, that while Mayor Karl Dean said the state should have respected local government with respect to the anti-discrimination ordinance, he actually asked the state to overturn the local body's decision on Great Hearts.)
As Garrison noted on Twitter Friday, a charter school, the merits of which were debated for months in Nashville, has now been approved unanimously by the state board after 18 minutes of discussion.
In The City Paper this week, it's a full court press on the storm surrounding the Department of Economic Development's international director Samar Ali. She's a native Tennessean, a graduate of Vanderbilt Law School and, also, a Muslim. Perhaps you've heard of her by now.
Ali has been showing up in national headlines ever since several county Republican Party chapters adopted resolutions criticizing the governor for hiring someone whom they allege has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Read the piece, and the accompanying reports from Ken Whitehouse and Skip Anderson, for more on Ali, Shariah law, and why the noise coming from Williamson County and elsewhere seems — to put it diplomatically — plainly wrong.
Conservative radio talk show host Steve Gill joined a list of longtime GOP leaders in decrying what he called a "smear" against Ali, during an appearance over the weekend on This Week with Bob Mueller. Above, a clip from his appearance.
So, we're not the only ones who find the ongoing feud between Diane Black and Lou Ann Zelenik ... interesting. Both Politico and Mother Jones are out with pieces on Thursday's rematch.
With what may well be the lede of the year, Mother Jones writer Tim Murphy dives deep into the race that "has it all." His piece is a whistlestop tour through the whole catty saga, hitting Zelenik's obsession with the Murfreesboro mosque, the lawsuit that followed the last Black-Zelenik showdown, and former Zelenik staffer, fellow Shariah-spotter, and proud owner of a new super-PAC Andrew Miller's financial carpet bombing of the race on Zelenik's behalf.
The Politico piece is more focused on Miller, his money, and the effect it has had on a race that was last won by less than 300 votes. That and, of course, his obvious interest in the threat of Shariah.
A sample, from both, after the jump:
The theme of the bible and the words therein confound the bigot, the sanctimonious, the…
It's simple: Ron Ramsey isn't a Christian so much as he's a Christianist. A Christianist…
The bible is not a secret document. We can read too, asshole. Pretend all you…
You might want to figure out what Jewish Law actually says about the death penalty…
Thanks, Concertina. Are you a Christian?