Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Daily Links: Brains, Fear and Racism

Posted By on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 4:53 PM

It's Halloween, and we have treats (no tricks) for you:

From The Atlantic: Why Do Some Brains Enjoy Fear?

From the Wall Street Journal: "How Not to Be Racist on Halloween"

From Gawker: Beyonce Did Not Photobomb This Perfect Teen

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Frank Nicely: I Don't Support The Secessionist Groups, They Support Me

Posted By on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Frank Niceley
  • Frank Niceley
The Representative from Strawberry Plains will be down at Fall Creek Falls this weekend to talk to a gathering of the Southern National Congress. Seems harmless, right?

Well, Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma) was supposed to talk to them as well. But then he found out — from some groups that called him out — that the SNC is on a list of "neo-confederates" and decided that he would not attend. “I found out they were the wrong kind of freedom group and cancelled when I researched them further,” Matheny said in an email.

Who is the Southern National Congress?

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Bredesen, Cooley Win Latest (And Final?) Round In TennCare Protests Case

Posted By on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 9:43 AM

As a colleague at the Nashville Post wrote last year, before there was Occupy Nashville, there was Occupy the Governor's Office.

From June 20 through Sept. 14, 2005, Karl Davidson and other TennCare enrollees participated in a continuous sit-in demonstration to protest approved amendments to TennCare that resulted in the disenrollment of thousands of TennCare enrollees.

Davidson was one of those disenrolled from TennCare and obviously was not happy about it.

In October of 2007, Davidson filed suit which alleged that, during the June-September sit-in, he and other participants were "regularly harassed and intimidated by then Deputy Gov. Dave Cooley and others 'under the direction and control' of then Gov. Phil Bredesen."

Davidson's suit has been up and down the courts, and the appeals court yesterday dealt the legal challenge what may be its final defeat.

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Apparently 4th and Commerce Isn't Haunted

Posted By on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 5:30 AM

Cherry Street, right above the alley that would become Commerce, from the Sanborn map of 1888.
  • Cherry Street, right above the alley that would become Commerce, from the Sanborn map of 1888.
If there were one spot in Nashville you'd think would be haunted, it's 4th Avenue North, just past Commerce. On the west side, about where the parking garage is, you had the old 145 North Cherry Street where Professor Gilman and his wife manifested spirits for believers and skeptics alike. On the other side of the street, under the Regions Bank building, is the old location of Reverend J.B. Ferguson's Spiritualist church.

The Nashville History blog reprinted an old article elaborating on Ferguson's church:

The site of 146 and 148 was previously occupied by the Church of Rev. Mr. Ferguson. Mr. Ferguson who was said to have been a brilliant orator, and a man of much personal magnetism, was a Campbellite (that is an obsolete word now but it used to be Campbellite, and as this sketch is largely about old names and old people I take the liberty to use it in this connection) but he became a convert to Spiritism or Spiritualism, and most of his flock went with him into the new faith. The church was totally destroyed by fire early one morning, about the year 1857.

Yes, it turns out that, when you tell a Church of Christ congregation that they don't need their Bibles, because they can just ask the dead about the afterlife, not only don't you get to be a Church of Christ minister anymore, you're going to have some difficulty keeping your new church, where you sit around and talk to the dead, safe from the mysterious fires of "you should leave town, buddy."

If any place were going to be haunted, you'd think it'd be a place where the doors between the mundane world and the spirit world were thrown open regularly for decades. But could there be a more ordinary stretch of city street? I went out there this weekend looking for a sign of anything mysterious. Nothing. I asked a person who used to do the downtown ghost tours if they had any stories about 4th and Commerce and she seemed baffled by the idea.

What went wrong? Why didn't Nashville's Spiritualist community create a haunted spot there? History provides us some clues.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Daily Links: Rolando McClain, Pink Poop and the NSA Goes Trick or Treating

Posted By on Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM

The NSA already knows you're reading this blog. You might as well read these links too.

From ESPN: Rolando McClain's self-imposed exile

Smithsonian: Franken Berry, the Beloved Halloween Cereal, Was Once Medically Found to Cause Pink Poop

From The Washington Post: NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say

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#Lamarwatch: The Super PAC Behind Joe Carr Has $25

Posted By on Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 2:46 PM

The super PAC that has been behind Joe Carr's campaign to beat Lamar Alexander has even bigger money troubles than Carr.

According to their filing with the Federal Election Commission, The Real Conservatives National Committee had only $25.26 on hand at the end of September. Their Beat Lamar campaign is organized by Michael Leahy, who is also the treasurer of RCNC.

In the quarter when Carr ramped up his candidacy and Beat Lamar attempted to pull Tea Party elements together behind the state representative from Rutherford Co., they raised just over $14,000 while they spent more than $15,000.

Their primary Tennessee funding came in the form of two conservative activists. Andy Miller, who was behind Lou Ann Zelenik's runs for office, gave $2,500 and Lee Beaman, the auto dealer behind the state's override of Metro's anti-discrimination ordinance, also gave $2,500. Another $5,000 came from Conservative HQ, the northern Virginia-based information arm of Tea Party funder Richard Viguerie.

After organizing in March, Leahy's outfit has raised less than $20,000 this year and spent all of it.

Volkswagen Unionization Threatens Armageddon

Posted By on Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Volkswagen workers think about exercising their constitutional rights.
  • Volkswagen workers think about exercising their constitutional rights.
The state’s business leaders got together to wring their hands over the possibility that Volkswagen might permit its Chattanooga workers to exercise their freedom of association.

If workers organize at Volkswagen, that’ll undo all that our Republican supermajority has achieved in kowtowing to big business, throwing Tennessee into the dark ages, according to the speakers at this Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry conference.

“Tennessee has done a lot of great things creating a business friendly state,” the chamber’s chairman-elect Wes Blumenshine said. “We’re on a roll, and it’s a risky proposition to introduce unionization into the mix here.”

This follows months of the state's top elected officials warning Volkswagen against the god-awfulness of unions.

Back in Germany, Volkswagen executives must scratch their heads over all the anti-union hysteria in this strange land called Tennessee. It’s like something out of the Grapes of Wrath. What’s next? A mob swinging baseball bats outside the plant’s gates?

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Why Don't the Sounds Pay for Their Own Stadium?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Since word leaked in August that a new Nashville Sounds baseball stadium was in the works, some questions have been answered.

Just last week, project planners and backers unveiled more details about what the stadium would look like, and how it would fit into the Germantown and Salemtown neighborhoods north of downtown. Thankfully, Tennessean columnist Gail Kerr has looked into the fate of Greer Stadium's guitar-shaped scoreboard. And while the financial details of the project are yet to be released, Mayor Karl Dean and his administration have said all along that the city would only move forward if the deal made "economic sense" and insisted that the Sounds would have "skin in the game."

There's one question that hasn't been answered, though, if it's even been asked. Why should Metro have any skin in the game. In other words, why don't the Sounds pay for their own stadium?

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State Senate Schedules Two Days for Campfield to Embarrass Himself and the State

Posted By on Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 5:30 AM

Mark your calendars! Stacey Campfield and the rest of the State Senate's Education committee will be holding two days of joint hearings with the Government Operations committee into our state's textbooks.

The AP reports:

The Senate's education and government operations committees are scheduled to hold two days of joint hearings on the Tennessee Textbook Commission beginning on Monday.

Republican Senate Education Chairwoman Dolores Gresham of Somerville said in a release that she wants to avoid what she called "indoctrination" in school textbooks.

This is just the kind of political theater I live for. I wonder what kinds of things they'll make up or misinterpret in order to justify two whole days of hearings? I don't know, but it should be entertaining.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Daily Links: Premiums, Infographics and Siracha

Posted By on Tue, Oct 29, 2013 at 4:22 PM

We here at Linx Central are a democratic bunch (little "d"): We've got health care, food and Saturday Night Live for you ...

From Wonkblog: The Health-Care Trilemma: How Obamacare is changing insurance premiums

From Wired: 25 amazing food infographics

From CNet: Is Google building a floating data center in San Francisco Bay?

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