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BenQQ's Back!

Thanks to the readers asking about MPN. Some mildly missed my little missives, but none sorely. Well, I was on my big writing project most of the year. My novel, HYPNOGOGUE, a Southern Gothic Horror Tale of Demonic Revenge" that examines generational retribution, is finished. So now I can return to MPN guilt free, except for content.

-- BenQQ!

Memphis Pix News
a kind of photo journal
6025 Stage Rd. # 191
Bartlett, TN USA 38134
Buy pictures through the MPN What's Doin' Memphis Events section, the editorial picture sales page or by contacting MPN direct. Contact us for exclusive Memphis Pix News What's Doin' coverage of your event.
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Political symbols may backfire, or at least be absurd: case in point- Obama's "Lincoln Bible"

(3.2.13) Remember when President Obama took the innaugural oath on the same bible on which Abraham Lincoln reportedly took his? It was ahother gaga moment for the media but it came out the actual bible used, according to Lincoln biographer Harold Holszer interviewed on C-span this morning, was that of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney for his swearing in ceremony on the Supreme Court. The symbolic problem? Taney voted with the 7-2 majority in favor of the slave owner in the 1857 Dred Scott case. This is really not news, but it just goes to show what can go wrong in using political symbolism. If its bad, you can create another conversation you'd rather not be part of. Consider...

It didn't make any difference, according to Taney, African Americans, whether free or slave, were not citizens. So Scott had no right to bring suit in federal courts. Wrote Taney, "In regard to the issue of Scott's becoming free when he moved to the free State of Illinois,the laws of the State in which the petitioner was currently resident, namely the slave State of Missouri, should apply."

If Dr. Holszer's side remark is correct that staffers at Obama's request "scurried" around looking for Lincoln's bible but instead came up with the infamous Taney's, then the legitimacy of the symbolism is torn assunder not only by the obvious. The Dred Scott decision unleashed a storm of protest against the Court and the administration of President Buchanan, which supported the decision. The justices' plans to settle the issue of slavery backfired as Republicans (my emph) charged that a "slave power" conspiracy existed to the highest reaches of government.

So now the Repubs can have a point in claiming, in the ongoing battle of who wants to use him the most, The Great Emancipator as still their own. Even more to the point is Obama's, and most politicians', penchant for using living background props as symbols, such as children, patients, soldiers, police officers, teachers, blue collar workers, crime victims, and assorted common folk for inferred approval of his policies. Symbols have a way of backfiring, just as Taney's bible does upon reflection. But, of course, that doesn't occur without the media observing with an eye for irony.

Memphis Media

Woodward is too old so forget what he says-what's left of a defense from Obama's friends

(2.28.13) No doubt you've heard the threat issued by the Obama administration against legendary reporter Bob Woodward. The iconic reporter recently said Obama's threat to stop military deployments because of budget cuts was "madness." Then Woodward said he called the WH to raise public questions about Obama's Comments on the sequester. Well, that got Gene Sperling's, WH Economic Advisor, underwear all knotted up and he sent the now infamous email back to Woodward saying he would "regret" it. Aside: how would he "regret" it? A broken leg perhaps? Getting kidnapped? A letter bomb to his office? A recently severed horse head in bed? A dead cat hanging off his porch? he'll never eat dinner in this town again?...stop! My point: Obama's Chicago politics are never far behind his self serving machinations. But, like all single issues, others branch out that are as revealing as their mother.

It seems the left's media machine has turned on Woodward with an ideological vengeance, some saying he is too old to be coherent, according to Tonya J. Powers and cohosts on WREC 600am Memphis Morning News. Plaudits to her and/or the show generally for bringing it up. First, at a reported age of 69, Woodward is at the height of his powers and experience. Second, for Obama's allies to exploit the last remaining vestige of socially accepted discrimination-age-is an outrage. They might as well allege he is "too white" or "too successful," which of couse would be socially unacceptable. But age, it seems, is fair game, as it still is at proverbial water coolers just about everywhere.

So where are the organizations supposedly working on behalf of older persons, such as the AARP (that is, formerly, the American Association of Retired [my emph] Persons)? Even a simple statement to cool it over age rhetoric would remind us all that it is not fair game within any debate.
Whipping it up. (2.23.13)

The Memphis Flyer demands at gunpoint on its Feb. 21 cover, "CAN ANYTHING BE DONE TO CURB GUN VIOLENCE IN MEMPHIS?" Yes, I answer, "ARM AND TRAIN THE LAW ABIDING CITIZENRY TO PROTECT THEMSELVES." Then I instinctively step aside while standing at a Kroger magazine distribution stand in fear of that perspectively positioned Glock gun barrel pictured on the cover of the MF just might leave a quarter inch hole between my eyes. Who has seen that journalistically exploited image personally? I have, except the pistol was dangling from the thug's hand, shaking like a rattler ready to strike, while he asked from the driver's side of a Jeep, "Do you niggers want to die?" I'm not black first of all and I thought it best not to chastise him for his abuse of language. I didn't want to die, second. I gave him my billfold, containing the last official vestage to Southern California, my SoCal drivers license. That really pissed me off but I thought it best at the time to consider that loss the least of my immediate issues.

But back at Kroger, I just wanted some chicken to prove to a date I could cook stuff in the most liberal of interpretations--you know, the way journalist cling on to a singular event and make it a plural.

Does Obama read the CBO reports? Does anybody in Congress? If you didn't catch the CBO Director...

(2.19.13) Rhetorical questions. After all, a president should never let the facts get in the way of ideology. Besides, if Congress doesn't read bills, why should he take time from constant campaigning to even scan mere committee reports? Fair's fair, afer all.

But the machine clogged on today over C-Span as Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf, said in his biennial report before both Senate and House Budget Committees, "By 2023, if current laws remain in place, debt will equal 77 percent of GDP and be on an upward path. Such high and rising debt would have serious negative consequences: When interest rates rose to more normal levels, federal spending on interest payments would increase substantially. Moreover, because federal borrowing reduces national saving, the capital stock would be smaller and total wages would be lower than they would be if the debt was reduced. In addition, lawmakers would have less flexibility than they might ordinarily to use tax and spending policies to respond to unexpected challenges. Finally, such a large debt would increase the risk of a fiscal crisis, during which investors would lose so much confidence in the government's ability to manage its budget that the government would be unable to borrow at affordable rates."

Could anyone make it any clearer?

Obama wants to push through new programs that sound great and historical but shackles everything from responding to national defense emergences to lowering taxes. For those of us who cared to look before the election, we saw the writing on the wall and now the hand is moving again. His second amendment limitations and expensive health care restructuring, comes to us both at the cost of individual privacy and larger government. Now we have his over-the-top rhetorical "War on Inequality." (BTY, since spending $16 trillion in current dollars since 1964, the War on Poverty really worked out well, didn't it? And don't even go to the War on Drugs.) Add to that ambitious add ons to tax payer funded programs that don't work anyway and we realize we're in a heap of, well, heap.

His ideological disengagement to business development does more than anything else to holding back finding solutions to our now massive human need. Post election, he now chooses to squeeze out the dwindling value of the last dollar to institutionalize an American dependency class.

We don't need a war on inequality; we need a war to rebuild the economy into a competitive robust job generating engine that will reach into every household in the nation. He never thought of that and instead has piled on more deficits at the worst possible time. Glad he wasn't around when they were planning D-Day.

"Who amongst us doesn't enjoy a draft beer?"
The burden of this president's personal desire of a historic legacy on everyone else

(2.14.13) How is it that we have gotten to the point of watching a guy on television announce he will be spending our money on programs and plans that by and large people don't care about nor need? In effect, he said I'm doing it and if you don't like it, I'm doing it anyway with executive orders (that is, bypassing the balance of powers provided by our constitution) has grown in number over any of his predecessors. EOs prove you just can't use one if you are an imperial president, but you must pile on one after another until you are satiated with a smug self satisfying fullness. I am right. You are wrong. And that's the way it is in my Chicago politics. By the way, my EOs regarding gun control will do nothing in the reduction of gang murder mayhem in the streets of my hometown nor anyone else's urban city. Thank you, mass media, for giving me another pass. (continue)

Do sports dumb us down? How about everything else?

photo Wikimedia Commons--there's no public domain of NFL cheerleaders cheering! The government needs to do something about that. Cheerleaders, football, fast motorized vehicles and TV. Do we get "dumb downed" by all the stimuli? This piece actually tries to answer that with stats but if you just want to see the links to the action packed spreads of glorious NFL cheerleaders, continue to the end. Putin may try to imitate them, but he can never match the budget or brains of the pure capitalism driven NFL.

(Super Bowl Sunday, 2.3.13) The hyper edgey and independent radio talker Michael Savage used to say--probably still does but I haven't heard him as much since WREC 600am replaced his show with the white bread Wall Street Journal News evening show matching their virtually identical morning feed--sports "dumbed down" America.

Well, let's face it, would you rather watch the Super Bowl instead of thinking what to do about, say, our growing and uncontrolled deficit that pays for continued government growth (not even counting social security, Medicare and Medicaid) that is tied to the also expanding yet unsustainable national debt of 16.4 trillion with a now 72% GDP ratio? Hey, shall we play until it reaches 100 or more?

Hell yeah! Just show me the babes, get out the beer and high fat comfort foods and turn on the wide screen. Its bread and circus time! Let's get down and dumb! continue

Senate committee mistakes Hilary for Mother Theresa

(AM/1-23-13)You would have thought the Senate committee on Benghazi had mistaken her for Mother Theresa this morning, judging by the laudatory, procedural questions posed by all of the Dems and some of the Repubs. Now, we all know procedural things have already and will change as a result of the "Benghazi tragedy," but her answers did not do much to clear, to me at least, a president that appears to have skipped out of duty to head to Vegas for a fundraiser while the attack was still hot.

  • Clinton said she did not select Janet Rice to do the talk show circuit to tout a video caused the death of state department staffers.
  • Her answers posed other questions that she most probably is not in a position to answer:
  • Then why did Obama pick a lower level Rice, instead of her, to do the video song and dance on the Sunday morning talk shows?
  • Did he believe such a PR tactic would assuage the outrage of our embassy coming under attack by an enemy he had previously declared defeated?
  • Did the president opt out of a military response to maintain a position that he had defeated Al Quaeda, thus forsaking any hope of rescuing our embassy staff?
  • Why didn't the president intervene forcefully to defend the embassy and the lives of Americans therein given the fact the Senate report on Benhazi states:
"U.S. government security personnel who were based in Tripoli had deployed to Benghazi by chartered aircraft after receiving word of the attack, arriving at the Benghazi airport at 1:15 a.m. They were held at the airport for at least three hours while they negotiated with Libyan authorities about logistics. The exact cause of this hours-long delay, and its relationship to the rescue effort, remains unclear and merits further inquiry (my emphasis). . .The team from Tripoli finally cleared the airport and arrived at the Annex at approximately 5:04 a.m., about ten minutes before a new assault by the terrorist began, involving mortar rounds fired at the Annex. The attack concluded at approximately 5:26 a.m., leaving Annex security team members Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty dead and two others wounded."

Was the president aware of this and if not, why not? If the former, what course of action did he choose?

Questions are buzzing around like flies over Mississippi road kill in July. Let's see if the House has the cajones to poke it with a stick this afternoon.

The Terminator

(1-21-13) When I watched the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, with all its rhetorical throwbacks, marching bands, singers and Carl Sandburg like poet I thought of this: The scene from the Terminator movie where Michael Biehn is in the police station and he is trying to get them to understand: "He cannot be reasoned with. He cannot be stopped. He will not stop till he kills you and he will not stop until you are DEAD!" (Way loose quote.) Fittingly enough, he is talking about the character portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who later terminated the economy of California as a free spending governor.)

As I listened to our President, a sinking feeling came over me. He said little that was reassuring. Sure, I want equal rights for everybody, but the glory days of fighting against the Man are over, Mr. President. Attacking guns, discrimination against the LGBTs, so called voter suppression is an easy sell to the followers that put you in office with the help of a biased news media, Hollywood and tv comedians. But you said precious little about what? THE TERMINATOR, the economic terminator.

The terminator of economies, along with companies, careers, livelihoods, self identity, towns, businesses, thus weakening our nation's defense, making us cripplingly beholden to China, draining entitlements and destroying the middle class. This is The Terminator and he is coming for our country and its kids' security. He is coming for us.

Did Obama Abandon Them?

It had died down by New Year's Eve that thing in Benghazi on 9/11 where four Americans were calling for help as Islamic fascists were invading US territory. It was reported they fought for hours and had, at suicidal effort, painted the target where drones could strike apparently expecting their government to protect them. As they reportedly drenched their weapons in their own blood, surely they thought, "It won't be long now. They'll get here." We never showed, but it looks like we could have. continue

Convulsing with laughter, drowning in tears

(1/13/13) First comes the discovery of a "protection of second amendment gun rights" tucked away in the Patient Protection and Affordability Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Second, as if that wasn't news worthy itself, Biden at nearly the same time played like he was in charge before his committee of nodding heads to do something about gun violence.

CNN last week fingered none other than Harry Reid as the one who slipped it in as a bone to the NRA to keep them quiet during the debate about Obamacare. Apparently it worked.

At least we now know Pelosi was right. By darn, you do have to vote for these bills before reading them! And this one is a document that just keeps on giving. Twists. Turns. Surprises abound! What else are we going to find among those two thousand pages? Government secrets of UFO's? The solution to Kennedy's assassination?

But the sheer irony of it all makes me digress. Imagine, Obama and the crew think gun rights and the second amendment are the most important thing since chicken choking for Sunday dinner down here in the South. He even put it, the provision, not the chicken, in his signature legislation. continue (with links to the provision and act.)

Another newspaper publishes names of gun owners

A Gannett newspaper publishing in Westchester County, New York became another disseminator of what could should be considered private information when it recently published local names of gun owners under the doctrine of freedom of information and "service to the residents and businesses." We will recall the Memphis Commercial Appeal pulled the same stunt Feb. 2009. The paper defended itself against the ire of gun owners, as well as citizens who saw a rank invasion of privacy, by asserting names and addresses of registered gun owners was available public information. Perhaps if the giggles around the newsroom subsided long enough to see promoting such information so expediently to criminals, even liberal heads would have paused. Oh, yes. The state data base also listed the birth year of the registrant, thus affording criminals more recon on Midsouth homes they want to target.

A Mysterious Bed Head Discovered in Woods
available image
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Kommie Kat Mourns: Now Hugo is with Vlad

(3.7.13) In memoriam to the passing of the great Venezuelan communist leader Hugo Chavez, beloved by his party aparatchiks and Sean Penn, Kommie Kat meditates in reflection to the workers' God Vladimir Ilych Lenin. Though he robbed billions from his grateful people and did God knows what to his opponents, the mass media called him, like, "lovable" and all but lionized him as a revolutionary hero, Comrade Hugo courageously shut down the press that criticized him and did God knows what to his political opponents. Reportedly, his last words were, "I don't want to die," no doubt thinking of the years of unlimited power and endless money he would not get to bleed into his foreign accounts. Kommie Kat can relax. We're sure a similar true believer will find plenty reason to carry on the glorious revolution.

But his memory is not lost to Kommie Kat. Instead of waiting for May Day, we have rolled out the famous capture of our lefty feline worshipping Vlad in some sort of stupefied political state, not unlike the worshippers who still attend the Church of Obama. You can remember to. Just click the pic and you will go to an assortment of Leninist wares with Kommie Kat--from refrigerator magnets to framed pictures. You, to, worker peasant, can worship.

NOT LIVE NOW--The Great Filibuster against presidential fiat to send in drones to kill you without warrant nor due process while you sit in a cafe in Memphis

(3.05.13) "...realize when someone tells you America is a battlefield, that the battlefield is here, they are telling you your rights don't apply," said Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), leading a filibuster now live (as of 1614 hours) in the Senate. And thus the Obama administration has taken yet another one of those steps of no return (unless you don't believe there's a slippery slope on the bluffs of executive power) that gives him the authority, according to Eric Holder before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, "to use drone strikes to kill Americans on US soil."

"It is an affront to the constitutional due process rights of all Americans," said Paul in the Senate hearing prior to launching his filibuster with a group of Democratic and Republican senators. It was said in the fili that it finally took four times to get a definite "no" answer from Holder to the repeated question of whether the president can kill someone on American soil sitting in a cafe presenting no eminent threat.

That left the filibustering senators decidedly inconfident of future abuse of not only (though Paul did not say it) this president, but for presidents to follow, not only in this particular area but in the outright destruction of constitutionally mandated balance of powers.

It's the Tea Party stupid

(3.5.13) No surprise politicians are now vilifying the only effective grass roots tool to emerge in the last few years to control government spending-the Tea Party or parties. Rep. Jim Hines (D-Conn) said repeatedly on C-Span this morning both Dems and Reps are afraid to work together to manage government spending because the Tea Partiers will be all over their ass (my wording). Suddenly the sequestration lets everybody know both parties have failed America, both are willing to saddle oppressive generational debt on its children and reduce security, the latter the nation's first obligation. Almost embarassing as his effort to convince us a video caused Benghazi, is his most recent orchestration of cabinet members sent out to boo-hoo the public into thinking their precious progrms were collapsing around them. Another crass manipulation that is sure to backfire. Good.

More people are reaching the realization that while some may experience pain, the great majority of these so-called cuts will be absorbed into the endless, redundant, ever folding fat of government. Robert Levinson, a Bloomburg government analyst, said (following Hines in another program segment) sequester cuts mostly impact big items like ships and planes and services on the small end. But guess what? The government can cut back on its defense contracts without breaking them. So instead of ordering ten advanced fighter jets, it can order eight. Get it? It ain't that hard. He said even Republicans are not making noises that the military can be trimmed.

Anyway, sequestration is just the beginning. It is the little dog that has pulled back the curtain exposing the Oz of Obamaland. The lesson unintentionally provided by Obama himself is that painful cuts are better than no cuts at all.

ARGO, but is that Ben's piece?

(3.03.13 by Papi LoQuacious, Kulture Kritik)
By now everyone knows that ARGO won the Academy Award for best picture of the year. I have viewed this film on my DirectTV and it is best viewed with a drink in hand.

Now, I liked it overall. That Ben Affleck is not a very good actor-few if any nuance-and I kept wondering if that was his hair? But Alan Arkin and John Goodman are always entertaining. Since the film is not a deep character study or expose on the politics of 1970-80s Iran, dont be surprised that the Iranians and the hostages are never really shall we say , “fully embodied” but rather one dimensional presentations. (All the Iranian revolutionaries are US educated.)

Film built to last action 15 minutes or so when the hostages were trying to slip out of the country disguised as a film crew scouting for locations in rebellion torn Iran-- but hey this is a true story.

Tension is high at airport as the hostages plan to board and flee by airplane assisted by CIA operative Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck). Cleverly slipping by the Iranian guards, boarding the plane and just as Air Canada lifts off the landing field is swarmed by Iranian police. I doubt this truly happened – a little tooo Hollywood and little tooooo reminiscent of THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY.

Overall a B+ not great material-dont want to see if again - but ok. Best picture material? Well it did make Hollywood look awfully good. Does Ben Affleck wear a piece or what?
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(2.26.13 Kulture Kritik)
OMG Robin is back on GMA-so now we have to listen to her fears, her hopes, how she overcame all that illness, how her co workers were there for her-ughughugh! So in the search for news I switched to the TODAY show because after all Matt L is a better journalist than most morning talkies. SO now I a waiting for a story on how death is REVERSIBLE. Some doctor spent 90 minutes in Heaven.

OH and I noticed some people in the media thought M Obama on the Academy Awards was inappropriate although for different reasons than me-at least some one noticed! (below)

2013 Academy Awards--maybe as good as the ghost hunting shows on cable and some other notes...

(9.25.13 by Papi LoQuacious, Kulture Kritik) Every year the film industry gathers together to slap itself on the back and put on a big big show for all the little people.

This year some disgusting host sang a song about the female best actresses showing their breasts in their performances. The only disapproving glance came from Charlize Thezon in the audience.

House of Pi seemed very popular. However I did not see this film because I dont see films wherein the animals usually dont survive the humans.

Didnt see Lincoln either because of casting and I don't need a history lesson. Why is 40 year woman played by a 70 year old actress? Why? Likewise didnt see Quentin T's abortion either...Didn't see Argo because Ben Affleck films always come up missing something. He is just not that good..Didnt see Les Mis because musicals always suck.

Silver Playbook-or something like that- would like to see because David O Russell is a very talented director but the subject matter is about some handicapped mood shifting man who fines love in an odd place. Please.

Missing from the list-SKYFALL, best film of 2013. Perhaps it wasn't Democrat enough. They couldn't even get any of the old stars who played Bond to show up. Highlight of broadcast Adele—fantastic.

Oh and please having the first lady give the best picture award –how embarassing. Little salute to the President's big hollywood supporters like Ben Affleck and George Clooney. This movie is about something that happened 30 years ago in Iran. I think Iran was a situation brought on by the failing policies of a Democrat admin (Carter-- we love the Shah). In only my opinion, the better subject is how a poor nation rose up against the most powerful nation on earth and said get out of my country! Interesting that an industry which has harped about keeping politics and free speech separate from government, ie McCarthy witch hunts, chose to include the government in their private party. Well what if the President decides movies are toooo gun friendly,huh?

Maybe next year we will see a film about how the President of the United States wanted to be in Las Vegas with his Hollywood pals for steak and potatoes while Americans begged for aid as they bled to death for 7 hours while under attack by terrorists. Title: "My Worst Day by Barack Obama."

(2.11.13 Memphis,TN) May I assist you? We have to admit this near lifesize standup instore display of the First Lady of the United States modeling a popcorn top was a drop jaw step stopper. We doubt this is Walgreen's corporate advertising but sheer genius from an on-the-ground staffer nonetheless. In fact, having an on-the-ground relationship with his core constituencies is how her husband won the election. Perhaps Romney should have had a standup at something like a Mercedes-Benz dealership. Never mind. The display was photographed in April at the Walgreens store at Perkins and Summer.

Immigration reform, the unwanted makeover

(1/29/13) When Republicans are just dying to be liked and the Democrats are thirsting after a whole new source of votes so they can swing the country ever further left, the commentariot have now come together in a true kumbaya moment over "comprehensive immigration reform." continue

Danny Glover Explains the Second Amendment
at MLK A&M breakfast

(1/19/13, sent by college professor as Web tip) Apparently citing no sources to support his historic theory the Second Amendment was written so slave owners could defend themselves from slave revolts and Indian uprisings, actor Danny Glover presented a world view stretching from global warming to capitalism at a talk in recognition of Martin Luther King at Texas A&M University Thursday. It was as if an emissary of Hollywood was sent to slather upon an apparently uncritical and young audience its liberal weltanshuang. For Glover, that seemingly fulfilled a rhetorical need to connect one wide proposition to another without any logic whatsoever.

All the more embarrassing, one would think, was Texas A&M's President Bowen Loftin's clueless introduction of Glover as heralding "a great day in Aggie land...on this very special morning of reflection and insight." He went on in liberal self flagellation about his university's lack of diversity. He could have included its lack of critical thinking as well.

Here's Glover's assemblage: "Within the Occupy Movement you saw enormous things happening. You have the reimagining of democracy. This whole discussion, even if it was a discussion of the articles that established this country, you know, you know, the constitution and the bill of rights and all those things (inaudible). We talk about the second amendment, the right to bear arms. I don't know if people know the genesis of the right to bear arms, um, um, the second amendment comes from the right to protect..." (two words unintelligible) " protect themselves from slave revolts and by uprisings from Native Americans."

With his status as an "Academy Award winning" if not plain old "Hollywood"--both always a pass to get media coverage--actor, Glover first got notice by railing against New York cabbies and now at university lectures where he wanderingly tries to deconstruct American guilt, Oliver Stone style. (But Stone was largely coherent.) Some mass media organ had to have covered it, but I didn't see it. Anyway, the Texas Aggie Conservatives, apparently captured the video of Glover's talk. An interesting conservative university Web magazine posted it with a story by Timothy Dionisopoulos. Good to know there is some rebellion to left orthodoxy from students.

Hard to find a place to park at the Agricenter gun show in Memphis

Obama will be against some of his own in new gun regs

(12/22/12 Agricenter Memphis) While left wing media rang the gun control bells soon after the Newtown massacre, midsoutherners flocked to the gun and accessory sales spectacle at approximately three times the normal attendance rate, according to a number of vendors.

I saw a young couple in which husband was advising wife on what to buy and retirees, sportsmen and long haired gun toters who, visually at least, challenged you to try to pry their guns from their cold dead fingers. Wouldn't think of it.

The very makeup, wide age, race and socio-economic range of the crowd itself crossed all demographic boundaries. Never had I seen a more mixed crowd and they had all come together, blacks well included, in part because their president had started babbling about more gun control. Where else would you see this much cross cultural connection at one event? You don't need a "Protect My Gun from Government Seizure" rally. Just hold a gun show and Obama voters to motor cycle gangs to boy scouts with their dads will show up in apparent unison. Rich irony that hopefully is a pause for Obama voters who might become suspect of more government regulation. Perhaps they would extrapolate that to other areas as well.

Coursing through this gun show culture was a feeling of government encroachment and big media bias. Surprised to see a John Birch Society booth that was handing out a pamphlet that read with a graphic, "'If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--forever'-Orwell's 1984."

One NRA representative at an organization table said he would never speak to the media because he was always consistently misquoted. The most consistent theme among comments was the alleged illiteracy of TV reporters in discussing firearm categories.

Our takes, links and blurbs

(2.28.13) Odd: Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of Ring movies, and Fran Walsh have produced another documentary on the West Memphis Three, West of Memphis, about which the reviewers, according to the, "...miss a dangerous hypocrisy at the heart of the film." The article here

(2.25.13) Hollywood/Obama Pipeline: Radio talker Michael Savage did not know Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein did not direct Silver Linings Playbook. Regardless, in familiar form, he went on to berate the picture about mental illness for making America weaker while admittedly knowing nothing, literally, about it. Anyway, Weinstein reportedly hired an Obama campaign vet to get Silver Linings Playbook an Oscar, according Tonight on his show Savage said Weinstein set up Michelle Obama's inroduction of the best picture category. a Savage feed

(2.20.13) Detroit Bailout? With unemployment at 18% (and that doesn't count those have given up, strung out or are hit by age discrimination) a Detroit councilwoman is asking for a bailout for the city, asserting Obama should reward Detroit for overwhelmingly supporting him. This is what happens when you turn your country into an entitlement nation: Taxpayer dollars are siphoned away to what effectively is forced charitable contributions. Memphis is not there yet, but with hihger property taxes generated by the predicted increased expenses of the school merger, perhaps Mayor Wharton should ask for one, as well? Hmmmm? Previous: School Consolidation or How Memphis Finally Became Detroit on the Mississippi? Scroll down to sign.

(2.19.13) Death from above. It was reported on one of the networks that Some Russians in the town when the meteor hit thought they were under a US missile attack. Others thought God was sending them a sign. One as improbable as the other but you can't beat that old fashioned cold war propaganda.

(2.17.13) Steve Cohen's deleted tweets. When Steve Cohen (D-9th District, Memphis and Shelby County) personally tweeted to his now revealed love child, Victoria Brink, a 24 year old bikini model, during Obama's State of the Union (not that we would not have sought relief as well), was tracking. They claim all of his deleted tweets are posted. Some reveal a hidden sense of humor such as when he asked "Are Shelby County election officials moonlighting as NFL referees?" Media say this is Victoria Brink's account on twitter that appears to be his daughter, a beautiful and vivacious young woman who tweets at one point, "At the Peabody hotel about to watch the Peabody ducks march! Can't wait!" and "Getting ready to go to Memphis, Tennessee tomorrow! So excited!" We can definitely see a resemblance. More wonderfully, here are some pics now circulating as hot.

The Sunday morning news shows

Just as Susan Rice was dispatched to the Sunday morning talk shows to call the the Benghazi attacks a response to a video, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough continued the rote talking point defensives. He doubled down on Obama's refusal to answer congressional questions as to what he did immediately in response to the attacks. McDonough said they had already provided "ten thousand pages" of information. He deflected those hard questions to what the administration will do in the future to protect Americans and "will not put up with it" if not nor will he allow it to be turned into a "political football." Slippery and outrageous: On the contrary, Obama's political strategy of avoiding the recognition of Al Queada as a military threat resulted in the attack.

Meet the Press, NBC- McCain turned the tables on a smirking David Gregory when he demanded to know if Gregory was even interested-a clear professional insult-in the what, when and why of the Benghazi attacks. McCain said there was a list of still unanswered questions, like
*Why has not Obama released some 70 emails to Rice before she did her infamous talk show circuit after the attacks?
*Why didn't they interview the survivors immediately after?
*Did he pick up the phone and call Libya during the attack?
*Did he hesitate because he did not want Al Qaueda to be perceived as still a viable military threat?

Face the Nation, CBS-host Bob Schieffer. McDonough said the White House has a contingency immigration plan that would allow illegal immigrants (our term) to become legal citizens with the four pillars Obama previously outined: Continue to strengthen U.S. border security, (Schieffer did not ask why that has been so hard up till now), crack down on employers who hire illegal workers (ditto), offer a path to earned citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States and reform the current legal immigration system.

Free Speech, a British designer,
and the Klan in Memphis

(2-16-13) CNN ran one of those weekend filler stories Saturday about the image rehabilitation of British fashion designer John Galliano, who you may recall, was found guilty by a Paris court in 2011 for "casting public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity." continue

(2.4.13) Donald Trump announced on his regular Monday phone interview on Fox and Friends he was filing suit today against Bill Maher for not paying him $5 million. Maher made the offer in January last year to pay $5 million to Trump's favorite charities if he released his birth certificate and proved that he was not the "spawn" of his mother having sex with an orangutan. The Donald takes himself too seriously.

(2.3.13) The Daily Mail features work of Memphis Commercial Appeal photographer Alan Spearman on Chris Dean, Obama's introducer at Booker T. Washington High School Commencement Ceremony. In its head "The Memphis Obama didn't see: Student who introduced the President at graduation reveals gritty reality of the projects where he grew up plagued by drug addicts, prostitutes and poverty." Obviously referring to Obama's upper middle class background, the story reads, "What the commander-in-chief did not know when shaking hands with the eloquent 18-year-old is that the boy standing in front of him was born and came of age in a violent, crime-ridden part of South Memphis that has nearly consumed him." We don't know how the writer knew Obama specifically did not know that, but Spearman's "unflinching" photographs of the "teeming underbelly of South Memphis" elicited a wide range of comments from readers.

Kriner Cash buyout
What's in YOUR parachute?

(1/11/13) For a city school district where most residents make a fraction of his salary (over a quarter million a year) and can't even imagine his buyout, Superintendent Kriner Cash's golden parachute billowed wide and generously yesterday, thanks to the Shelby County Unified School Board. Sure, there may have been legal reasons, maybe even fairness reasons, but for a city to be stuck with over-credentialed "educators" with a high price tag who have delivered next to nothing in results is a bad joke that keeps on giving, given that there's not much to see in the way of results during his past four years. The buyout amount: $140,000 with some BS work stipulations. Add to that $17,000 for "legal expenses."

Then the final kick in the pants: rank and file workers get no severance. It's reported teachers and staff will probably get no severance as well unless the board requests it.

Why this multi-headed hydra was not cut into smaller pieces to experiment and creatively deliver education that produced revolutionary results is typical of urban systems dominated by local politics and driven by big money dumped into a bottomless pit for bloated staff. Next step: a pretentious ballyhooed "search" for the next superintendent (will a qualification be he or she have to be black as at least one of the school board members proclaimed in the last search?) Suggestion: how about hiring an apolitical hard-ass administrator who has really turned an urban system around?

With gargantuan uncontrollable systems like the former MCS and now its even more ginormous mutated version, if I were a parent with a kid in the Memphis school system, I'd be looking for a charter school or to another city not still bound by clueless rhetoric of the 60's.

You Can't Say THAT! You've Got to say THIS!

Once again the media are, predictably enough, beside themselves. Once the NRA's Wayne LaPierre suggested schools should have trained armed protection, you would have thought they planned and executed the Newtown Massacre. They couldn't say that! They had to fall in line and ask forgiveness and get slapped around by the likes of Lawrence O'Donnell who screamed, "Here is the lobbyist for mass murderers, the only lobbyist that mass murderers have..." Presumably, Mr. Lawrence is aware of not one NRA member who is a mass murderer but several, lest his employer, MSNBC, certainly would see a certain lack of "journalistic" integrity and dispose him of his job. contine

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