2005/03/31

Way to go Curtis!

This is old news, but it refers to And they call the rodeos?
commercialappeal.com - Memphis, TN: Local

And they call them rodeos?

Ever hear of hot-dog rodeos, hog-dog rodeos or hog dogging? These are defined as blood sport events in which trained dogs fight wild hogs. Still with me? Disgusted? I hope so. The following editorial is from The Commercial Appeal. There is a ray of hope though. Read on.
End barbaric "rodeos"
March 30, 2005


As grotesque as it might seem, cheering crowds are gathering at arenas across the South to watch large, ferocious dogs chase feral pigs until the squealing swine are
caught and brought down by what's left of their shredded, bloodied ears. Families in the grandstands are enjoying the show.

This in no way resembles a fair fight. The pigs in the so-called hog-dog rodeos have had their tusks blunted and are helpless against pit bulls and other muscular breeds set loose on them. It's not a question of whether the dog brings the hog down. It's how fast. There is, of course, a lot of money on the line.
Bills in the Tennessee General Assembly would outlaw hog-dog rodeos. Sponsored by Sen. Curtis Person, R-Memphis, and Rep. Brian Kelsey, R Germantown, the legislation would add hog-dog contests to a list of banned activities that includes dog, cock, bull and bear fights. Hog-dog rodeos are spinoffs from boar hunting, which is popular in East Tennessee and where most of the opposition to the legislation will emerge. Some opponents regard such bans as the leading edge of a campaign against sport hunting, although the legislation specifically excludes training dogs for hunting and law enforcement purposes. None of the opponents can offer any reasonable rationale for what goes on in hog-dog rodeos. The practice has already been determined to be illegal in such traditional hunting states as Louisiana, Texas and Florida. Animal cruelty statutes elsewhere in the South are being tested to find out if they can be brought into play.

In Tennessee, the General Assembly should not hesitate to pass this bill. Hog-dog rodeos have no resemblance to sport. There is no excuse for allowing this barbaric practice to continue.

2005/03/30

Hip-hop conference becomes heated

Did you hear the one about the guy who attends a fight and a hockey game breaks out? No? How about the one about attending a fight and an awards program breaks out? Haven't heard that one either? Try this one. You attend a conference of how women are protrayed in hip-hop and a fight breaks out? Well, it was nearly a fight. Anyway, click on the following link for more info. MSNBC - Hip-hop debate focuses on images of women

So long, Sivad

2005/03/29

RE: Lo and Behold

Ford Sr. Repaid $70,000 Loan
Records Show Children's Palace Repayment
By Marc Perrusquia

March 29, 2005

Harold Ford Sr. produced records Monday showing he repaid a $70,000 loan from his brother's federally funded day care agency.


Ford repaid the December 1998 loan 16 days after getting it from Children's Palace Learning Academies, a nonprofit overseen by his brother, the late County Commissioner James Ford. (Full Story)

Take Victor Crump, for example...

As usual, Wendi makes valid points.

Thomas: Maybe Right Woman's Love Could Have Steered him Away from Crime
By Wendi C. Thomas

March 29, 2005

Every time I see a young black man's mug shot in the paper or on TV, I'm hit with the same unsettling thought.

He could have been some black woman's husband.

Take Victor Crump, 18, who confessed last week to two
robberies.


In his booking photo, you can see the tattoo on his neck, the fuzzy
cornrows, a brown sweatshirt.


I see a handsome young man, one who with a crisp shirt and a nice tie, rebraided hair, a solid education and different circle of friends, could have matured into a good husband.


If he's found guilty, he deserves prison time, not a wife. (Full Story)

Rev. Jesse's in the House

Somehow, I knew it was just a matter of time. The Rev. Jesse Jackson is weighing in on the Terri Schiavo case. First Michael Jackson, now Terri Schiavo.

Mar 29, 7:23 PM EST
Rev. Jackson Prays with Schiavo's Family
By MIKE SCHNEIDER,
Associated Press Writer

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (AP) -- As Terri Schiavo entered her 12th full day without food or water, the Rev. Jesse Jackson prayed with her parents Tuesday and joined conservatives in calling for state lawmakers to order her feeding tube reinserted. (Full Story)

2005/03/28

Misplaced Priorities

Geo-Greening by Example
By
THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: March 27, 2005
The New York Times

How will future historians explain it? How will they possibly explain why President George W. Bush decided to ignore the energy crisis staring us in the face and chose instead to spend all his electoral capital on a futile effort to undo the New Deal, by partially privatizing Social Security? We are, quite simply, witnessing one of the greatest examples of misplaced priorities in the history of the U.S. presidency. (Full Column)

Ever heard of Easter Monday?

Actually, I hadn't heard of it either until a few days ago. So work with me here. This is an official teaching moment.

On the Monday morning after Easter, African-American families have been gathering at the Smithsonian's National Zoo since before 1900 for an Easter egg hunt. Check out the Easter Monday article from the museum's March From the Attic column. Interesting read.

So, what's new?

2005/03/27

Lo and Behold

With all the press concerning brother John Ford's problems, it's not unexpected that something about Harold Ford Sr. would eventually make the news. It seems that two years after Harold Sr. retired from Congress he received a $70,000 loan from brother James Ford's federally funded non-profit child care, Children's Palace Learning Academies. Interesting, no?

Was it all on the up and up? Did Harold Sr. repay the $70,000 "loan"? Who knows? James certainly isn't talking. For more info click on Ford Sr. Got $70,000 from Day Care in today's CA.




2005/03/25

Must Read

Picked this up from MSNBC's First Read.


Remember when BC'04 tied Kerry to Whoopi Goldberg after Goldberg turned the
President's last name into a sexual reference at that "Hollywood-style New York"
fundraiser? The Terri Schiavo case is immeasurably grave and tragic. We raise the Whoopi incident only to point out that in politics, when you share a stage with passionate activists, you can be affected by the review.

What's going on with the Schiavo case now, and whatever may happen as it nears its seemingly more and more inevitable conclusion, may affect how the public views congressional Republicans, the President, and the GOP.

Figuring that out, however, will take time and patience. We don't know that the new Gallup poll showing Bush with his lowest approval rating of his presidency, 45%, is because of the Schiavo case. It may -- or, may also -- have to do with Social Security, the economy, gas prices, and/or the war. And to the extent that it is because of the Schiavo case, it may inch back up later on. (More)

Undeclared?

Harold Ford Jr.’s fundraiser at the Hilton on ‘Ridgelake Boulevard Wednesday
night was a big-time social event at one level and a serious real-world enterprise on another. Though the invitation (signed onto by 80 sponsors!) bore the words “Releect Harold Ford," the event was fairly universally seen as an effort to build a kitty for the 9th District congressman’s long-expected U.,S. Senate race in 2006.
(Full story)


All this and Ford Jr. hasn't officially declared that he's running for the Senate yet. Interesting. Wonder why? Maybe he's thinking, should I run. Should I not run. Should I run. Should I not run. I know. Throw a fundraiser. I'm running for reelection to the House anyway. Whatever I do, I'll need the money.

One more thing, there's real interesting quote at the very bottom of the story. Go read.

Something More to Think About

SECAUCUS— The e-mail arrived over a week ago. It asked me to stop telling the “lie” that Terry Schiavo was brain-damaged. When I replied politely that independent physicians had concluded otherwise, the e-mailer wrote back.
She called me a “Nazi.” (Full blog)


Just pulled this from Keith Olbermann's Bloggermann. Terri Schiavo's fate is no longer an ethical dilemma. It's purely political and emotional. Also, eliminate Terri Schiavo and both sets of family from the equation. Then ask yourself, who really gains if the Bush administration gets it's way? Think of the precedent that would set.

Why Ham?

There's one aspect concerning Easter observances that has puzzled me for quite awhile now. Why ham for Easter? I mean, I like ham well enough, but why is it the meat of choice for Easter feasting?

So I asked my wife (who, coincidentally, is a great cook). She didn't know. I asked friends. They didn't know. I even asked Leslie Kelly, writer of the Whining and Dining blog for the CA. She didn't know. But she did have suggestions for wines to go with the "Easter" ham. (By the way, according to an email from her, she's having sushi in NYC for Easter.)
The only alternative left was to track it down for myself. Here's what I found.

What would Easter dinner be without ham? This type of pork is popular throughout the world. The custom of serving ham at Easter goes back as far as William the Conquerer, who served it along with such things as gammon and tansy pudding.

The custom of eating ham around Easter actually goes back before Christianity, and had a practical origin. According to Imponderables author David Feldman, at the beginning of spring fresh meat was not readily available. Pagans would bury fresh pork legs in the sand by the sea during the fall and winter. The pork was cured by the constant "marinating" of the salt water. Come spring, the preserved meat was cooked over wood fires. Slaughtering pigs in the fall would produce perfect spring hams. Others believe that ham became traditional because the pig is a symbol of prosperity in many cultures.

So now we know. Hmmm, hammm.



This is a Must Read

2005/03/24

Bartender, how 'bout a drink for me and my little friend

I really have a problem with this one. It seems that our Tennessee lawmakers have done it again. The Senate has passed legislation that makes it legal to carry a concealed handgun into a business that serves alcohol. There is a catch though; the carrier can't drink. The new law, if passed would forbid it.

Oh yeah, they won't drink. Nah, they wouldn't dare. Would they? Nah.
(Full story)

Rock Throwing....

And for Wendi C. Thomas' take on the rock throwing see Ford's Rock Pile Speaks Volumes.

And it Gets Better and Better

"P.S. Those of us who live in glass houses should not be the first to throw stones."

Yep, that's it. That's the line that did it. It was a postscript that State Senator John Ford included in a letter to the Senate Ethics Committee this week. Some of the members of said committee felt that Senator Ford was making a threatening statement. Now why would anyone ever think that Sen. Ford would threaten someone?
Two committee members said last week the phrase concerned them -- one of them said as a possible "veiled threat" against the committee's inquiry into Ford's
consulting activities.

Senator Ford of course claims that his postscript was misinterpreted and attempts to explain what he really meant.

"What I meant is that even though others may throw stones at us and although we may live in these pseudo glass houses, we should not throw stones at each other. That's all. It wasn't meant to threaten anybody. I was kind of taken aback that anyone would think that," Ford said. (Full story)


And the Beat Goes On

State Sen. John Ford's connections to TennCare contractors is still being questioned, and the senator still claims that he has done nothing wrong. For more info go to Ford Linked to OmniCare CEO.

2005/03/23

Never Assume

At this point, I think we all can agree that the Terri Schiavo case is a mess. Tragic, but none the less a mess. One that could have been avoided if her wishes had been put in the form of a living will. Telling someone is all well and good, but put it in writing. That way, there's no doubt. Never assume anything.

Then there's this from Newsweek:

First of all, this is not a fight about a feeding tube in a woman in Florida. This is a fight about the political power of the Christian right. The argument from Bishop Sgreccia is like saying, “Tom Delay just said, ‘In America we never stop feeding tubes'.” That doesn’t make it true. The fact of the matter is that feeding tubes are removed every day in hospitals around this country. We solved this question medically in the United States in 1984 when the American Medical Association said that patients who are terminally ill and/or in a persistent vegetative state, it is ethically acceptable to remove all medical interventions, including artificial nutrition and fluids. That’s the official statement of the American Medical Association. (Full Story)

Robert Randolph

Got an email from a friend today with the line-up for this year's Beale Street Music Festival. Nice line-up, especially Sunday. Among the draws (for me at least) is Robert Randolph and the Family Band. Randolph is a R&B/Gospel pedal steel player. That's right, pedal steel. Ever heard of Sacred Steel?