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Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Hi folks...can't stay on long...just wanted to let y'all know that I finally got my links up (as you can plainly well see on the right hand side of the page, thank you very much!). As I e-mailed Bubba, I'll get this Blogger thing down yet!

Another giant has left us: Maynard Jackson, the first black mayor of Atlanta. He was one of the ones who helped make Atlanta Atlanta, at least the Atlanta that's become the mecca/place to visit for a new generation of African Americans.

More later...gonna fix me a big chocolate shake, now!

Monday, June 23, 2003

Yes, I've been away...but I'm back....and with a new template, can'tcha tell! However, I can't seem to provide any links, because the stinkin' "editme" link on the right side of the page is all bollixed up! Crap! I'm trying to do what our fearless leader told us to do and keep up with our posts so we can stay on the RTB (remember, I actually applied for membership). And I really, really, really want to...but as I said previously, my posts will be occasional until we upgrade our ISP connection (or unless I go to the public library, where I am right now). So please, Bubba, please...have mercy!

Enough of that...let's go to press! Guess what the Supreme Court did today: gave the country a split decision on affirmative action! Without getting into the nuts and bolts (which is probably on every blog out there by now), they said yes to the University of Michigan's law school admissions policy, but gave a thumbs down to the undergrad admissions policy, which gave extra pionts for race. In what appears to be a trend, Sandra D. was the swing vote when it came down to the law school policy:

“ `The (Constitution’s) Equal Protection Clause does not prohibit the law school’s narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body,' O’Connor wrote. "


And believe it or not, I'm okay with the decision to strike down the undergrad policy. From what I've read (and I admit, I didn't know about that policy, and didn't know it was being reviewed by the high court), it appears U of M may have gone a little too far in trying to bring about diversity (something which is NOT a dirty word in my dictionary, thank you!). I'm going to do a little more research and get some feedback from other sources. But let me say this: my generation and the one immediately preceeding me have been the main beneficiaries of affirmative action. It's gotten us into colleges that in the past wouldn't have taken us in....gotten us in the doors of many industries/professions that were unreachable in the generations before us. Before the modern day Civil Rights Movement, blacks were generally limited to being skilled/unskilled laborers, as well as teachers, lawyers, and doctors (thanks to Howard University and Nashville's own historic Meharry Medical College). There were the occassional architects (here in Nashville, it was Moses McKissack and sons, later passed on to the women in the family), as well as entrepreneurs (barbers, etc.). But since the advent of A-A, so much as opened up to us: we're now engineers, astronauts, salespeople, corporate executives...you name it. Would those opportunities have opened up without A-A? Hell yes, `cause black folks got it goin' on! But -- and this is strictly my opinion -- affirmative action just opened those doors FASTER.

There's one other thing about A-A...something that touches me on a more personal and emotional level. When I first arrived on the campus of U-T Knoxville in the early 80s, my father was driving me around campus, looking for my dorm. My great aunt was in the car with us, sitting in the front seat. As we drove past all those fine buildings, my father said to my great aunt, very softly and reflectively: "You know...my taxes have gone to support this institution for years, and it's only now that me and mine can reap the benefits." (Emphais mine.)

So when you folks who are against affirmative action (and against high taxes, as well) rail and scream about the system, I hope you take my father's words to heart. And if you don't...well....

ppppppppppppfffffffffffftttttttttttttt! (That's supposed to be the sound of what they call a "raspberry", if you didn't know.)

More later.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Hey folks!

I am ashamed of myself: while waxing poetic on the recent deaths of David Brinkley, Gregory Peck and Hume Cronyn, I neglected to mention the passing of a local legend: Cornelius Ridley. Coach made state history in 1966 when his Pearl High School won the TSSAA state basketball championship -- the first integrated tournament in that organization's history. (I believe he also won five other titles in the segregated era, but I can't find the info.) Read this tribute to him by Tennessean sports writer Joe Biddle, which includes a quote by one of Coach Ridley's former players. A true hero.

Damn...damn, damn, damn. Sometimes I feel like the Tennessee Titans take two steps forward, and three steps backward. That damned salary cap! He's one of my favorite players -- does anybody remember the In Godfrey We Trust slogan? GM Floyd Reese says he doesn't like restructuring contracts to free up money, because it pushes off financial burdens to future seasons, leaving cuts as primary options. Crap! Well, maybe they've got someone to take over (I'm hearing Frank Chamberlin and Rocky Calmus), but this is has become an awful trend for the Titans over the past few years. We've gotten rid of so many -- so many -- key players over the last few years, especially on defense, which lead to the absolute debacle of the 2001 season, and the 1-and-4 start of last year...dingbust!

Ya know, much of life is all about how we perceive things. A co-worker was telling me today that people in her department treat her as if she doesn't know what she's doing...despite the fact that she's been there more than a decade. Now, many conservatives believe -- will up and down swear -- that much of mainstream media is liberal...such as Dear Mister Hobbs, who has this to say about a Al Gore's reported efforts to help start a new television outlet that would present more liberal viewpoints. (BTW, nice picture, dude!) Here's an interesting comment:

"In Gore's loss-addled mind, news is "objective" if it leaves out the viewpoint of roughly half the country."

Now when I was growing up, it seemed to me that whenever they had black folks on the news, the only thing they talked about/showed were black people always in trouble, in prison, or just goofing off (I remember seeing a story about a historically black college in East Tennessee -- Morristown College, if I remember correctly -- and they showed the students hanging out on the "yard" listening to a big boom box.) And anytime they talked about the black community, we were either searching for "the next Martin Luther King, Junior" or that the black men weren't around to raise their children. But that "perception" was totally opposite from what I saw around me every single day: married couples of all ages raising children, buying homes, going to work...including my own mother and father (still together after 40+ years). So what outlet could I turn to to get a different viewpoint from how the mainstream media was portraying my community?

[There was an outlet for African Americans who came along during the early to mid 20th century: the black press, including Ebony Magazine (during it's first 20-30 years, when it was the size of the old Look Magazine -- not now that it's half the size of the old format -- and an editorial shell of its glory days). And for black movie audiences who wanted to see more than Stepin' Fetchit and the like, there was the groundbreaking work of this man.]

So like I said, it's all about perception . I perceived that the mainstream media always presented black folks in a bad light...conservatives perceive that mainstream media is liberal (to which I say bullshit: for if the mainstream media was always liberal, they wouldn't have always presented black people as nothing more than criminals, etc.) But as there was a black press to counter give the black community a different image of itself during the days of segregation, etc., now there's Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the gang to counter the so-called liberal media.

Bye for now.


Monday, June 16, 2003

Hi, ho, Big Daddy here....how was the weekend, folks?

Well, the big event I was trumpeting just a few weeks ago came and went...and it wasn't what we all had hoped for. As the story and picture shows, the crowd was awfully sparse, and it a sudden thunderstorm literally rained on our "parade," cutting the whole thing short. Those of us in attendance were terribly crushed by the turnout and the shortened rally, and feared the worst from the media...for example, things like this from my friend Mister Hobbs.

But now after seeing some of the coverage, I don't feel so bad. Granted, the turnout was small...but the reports I've seen and heard noticed the determination of the people who were there. Then I went to the discussion boards at www.algore04.com and www.draftgore.com, and the response was pretty positive. (Sadly there was also a lot of "screaming" between the forum participants...and that's somethin' that's gotta stop.) And none other than Judy Woodruff gave the rally a brief mention during today's "Inside Politics" . So all it takes is just a few steps to begin a long journey.

Well, on to other topics. A memorial service was held in Arlington National Cemetary for one of this nation's greatest heroes and patriots: Medgar Evers. And guess who was among the dignitaries?

"Among those scheduled to attend are U.S. Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., and U.S. Reps. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Chip Pickering, R-Miss."

And he was there, folks...I saw the footage on CNN. As Dear Mister Hobbs would say -- hehehe. Nothing more need be said.

Justice came to to Texas today: 12 people -- from one small town -- convicted of drug possession were set free after four years in prison -- all based on the lies, damn lies and untruths of an undercover cop.

"Coleman claimed that that he bought drugs from the defendants, but he worked alone and used no audio or video surveillance. No drugs were found during the arrests, and little or no corroborating evidence was introduced in court."

The 12 were among 46 people who were convicted because of this dirty rat bastard. Thirty-nine of them were black....thirty nine. I heard a fine report on NPR's All Things Considered by Wade Goodwyn about the scandal....this is truly a must "listen." (Note to rest of press: please, instead of focusing all your attention on sensationalist stories like Laci Peterson, concentrate on stuff like this, will ya?)

So, everything is going just swimmingly in Iraq, huh? Then what about all this?

U.S. arrests dozens in Iraqi sweep

And the soldiers we've got over there?

Anxious and Weary of War, G.I.'s Face a New Iraq Mission

Yep...it's all going according to plan...especially when it comes to finding those WMDs.


Sigh....

Finally, another giant passes gentle into that good night: Hume Cronyn died yesterday at the age of 91. He was a true legend, someone who could appeal to generations of audiences, from Lifeboat and People Will Talk (a personal fave) to Cocoon and 12 Angry Men. He was one of the best...and the lady he was married to for more than 50 years was no slouch, either. Another who will be missed.

Bye, y'all.

Friday, June 13, 2003

It's Big Daddy, back in the blogosphere again! How y'all doin'?

Since I've been gone, the world has lost two giants: Gregory Peck and David Brinkley. As an old movie fan, Mister Peck was one of my favorite actors -- some must sees are Gentlemen's Agreement, Twelve O'Clock High, Spellbound, and Cape Fear (co-starring another of my personal favorites, big bad Robert Mitchum.) And of course, we can't forget his Oscar-winning performance in To Kill a Mockingbird -- and in the "Where Have You Been Catagory", one movie I haven't seen. (Gotta find that DVD!) (Dear Mister Hobbs has a nice eulogy for Gregory Peck, and links to another blogger who has a nice post about Mister Peck's early days as an actor. Good stuff.)

As for David Brinkley, he was from an era when reporters simply reported the news -- and that's ALL people wanted from their reporters, without all the freakin' noise that's cluttering up the airways now. And he, along with Murrow and Cronkite, were the pioneers of the new medium -- and a time when the "suits" pretty much left the people producing the product (whether news or entertainment) alone. That's a time I wished I grew up in...but with the advent of the internet and blogging, maybe this is "my" moment.

I'll check in later.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Hi folks...I'm baaaaaaaaaaack! For what it's worth, anyway.

The missus and I spent a quick weekend here. We had a pretty good time...at least she did, considering she was the big winner at the slots. Now for those who haven't been in Tunica, the casinos themselves are located in Robinsonville, which is a few miles north of the town. Unlike Vegas, the casinos are not set up in a "strip" but are grouped in clusters. We ventured into the town on Saturday, visited the town museum (a very nice, interesting modern museum that deals with the town's rich history and culture) and took a trip around the town square. Later that night we went to Clarksdale and visited the Ground Zero nightclub. The club was cool, but I warn you, the trip down Highway 61 at 8 o'clock at night is damn scary, because there's no lights along the way. (I thought I was going to run into the very devil that Robert Johnson sold his soul to at the Crossroads.)

A quick thank you to Susan Nunes for adding me to her blogroll. And a belated "hello" to my fellow RTB inductees, rushlimbaughtomy, smokyblog, alphapatriot, frankcagle, and resonance. And scroll down the current page for the newest members -- Tennessee is taking over the blogosphere, y'all!

I know this is a short post, but I wanted to check in in case I was missed (hey, I heard that snickering in the background!). I've been a little on the fatigued side, and that hasn't been very conducive to blogging (at least for me). So hopefully I'll check in with you guys tomorrow...take care

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

P.S.

Oops: when talking about Oliver Willis, I said he was "an early supporter of this cause"...without linking to the cause. My bad.

Here's the cause right here. And of course, that was before the December announcement.

Bye bye, y'all!!!!
Folks, I create my posts on the "BloggerBasic" page, and I haven't found a way to create a blogroll...so here are a few of my favorite bloggers (separate, of course, from the RTB)
:

Josh Marshall (by far the best damn journalist in Washington)
Oliver Willis (the first African American blogger I ran into, and an early supporter of this cause)
Susan Nunes (a Nevada teacher who is damn funny and smart, and appeals to my love of "profane" humor)
Daily Kos (one of the best political web sites on the `net, and the inspiration for him and him)
Eschaton (Middle C on the Mighty Casio, baby)
Democratic Veteran (someone who knows what being in the military is all about)

An honorable mention goes out to Tom Tomorrow, who's cartoon runs in the Nashville Scene . It was through him that I started my adventures through Blogdom (or the blogosphere, or whatever we wanna call it), and it was because of him that I've lost a lot of sleep and tied up a lot of hours on our phone line reading blogs. So thanks Tom...I guess.

And I'd like to give a special mention to a "A Soul Sistah Single Mom and Her Two Main Squeez" out in Oaktown. Nothing political, just an online diary about a woman trying to make it through everyday life. Go read her, and all the others I mentioned.

Hello, folks! I've been away for the past coupla days, due to the fact that I was quite fatigued. But I'm back...if it's worth anything...

And that leads me to today's topic! I've gotten in my first blogosphere "tiff"...with none other than fellow Nashvillian Bill Hobbs. After nailing me for having "less traffic than a Chick fil-A on a Sunday," he again calls one of my favorite bloggers, Jeanne D'Arc an idiot for her post in which she lays the responsibilty of the looting of Iraqi nuclear sites on the Bush Administration. I think she's right, because it was the Bush Administration (starring Rummy, Wolfie, and Cheney), who invaded that country, and had the responsibility of protecting those sites...especially if they were so worried about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, since that's why they went there in the first place. That's the point Jeanne is trying to make, and the one that Dear Mister Hobbs is ignoring.

Then he takes another shot at my man Al Gore: "When a politician he likes makes a political statement it just can't be politically motivated. " Dude, again, Gore didn't make a "political" statement when he came out against the proposed uranium plant in Trousdale County. Our fellow RTB member Barry made that exactly that point in his post of May 29 (scroll down on his page...sorry, I'm not sure how to link to specific posts). Sigh....oh well.

But Bill -- of course I get "less traffic than a Chick fil-A on a Sunday" -- I just got here, dude! (Gotta admit, that shore was a funny line!) But thanks for the inbound links, homey! Aw, shucks, big guy -- let's put all this aside and get together one day -- I'll treat ya to a super large Mocha shake at the ice cream parlor/coffee shop of your choice. Oh, and one other thing: HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And that's coming from a fellow Gemini (my birthday is this week as well). We really oughta get together and celebrate!

How does Chick-fil-A sound?

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Hi folks! Today was a good day: my church choir sung at the dedication ceremony of the new Answer Bell at the Tennessee Bicentennial Capitol Mall state park. And ya know, that's the same place where another event will take place. And that leads me to this....

My fellow Rocky Top Brigade member Barry points out to a very nasty post by my fellow Nashvillian -- and raging conservative -- Bill Hobbs. In the post that I have linked to above, our Dear Mister Hobbs as a whining, "past-his-political-prime tree-hugger" for coming out against the proposed uranium enrichment plant to be built in Trousdale County. (He links to the article of Mister Gore's oppostion in a recent edition of The Tennesseean.) Hobbs calls it a cynical ploy by Gore to try and keep his name in the headlines, since he's outpolling all the declared Democratic candidates. But Barry, in refuting Bill, points out that the article mentions that Gore still owns a home in his native Smith County (which neighbors Trousdale), and has "been a champion for environmental services - dating back to his Senatorial days and beyond."

But here's the winning quote from Barry (in my opinion):

"Like so many other pundits, he believes any headline in which Gore or Clinton is mentioned or quoted is a blatant, calculated bid for political relevency. It doesn't really matter what the story says, as long as any former political adversary reemerges into the public eye, it must be solely politically motivated."

Touche! Long before Bill, Barry, or I, or anyone began this blog adventure, Al Gore was speaking out on issues ranging from the environment, to nuclear arms, to the information superhighway -- which, if it didn't exist, NONE of us would be here (that includes you, Dear Mister Hobbs). And stop right there before you bring up that "he claimed to have invented the Internet" bullshit. He never, never said that...if you want proof, go here.
And I'll tell you this, my dear readers: historians will be talking about Al Gore's accomplishments and service to his nation long after all of his critics -- including Dear Mister Hobbs -- are dead and turned to dust.

Now after all of that, some credit to Bill Hobbs: he mentioned those recent polls that shows Al still at the top of the heap of all the declared candidates. THANKS BILL!!! (But I'm not letting you off the hook that easy...your calling Jeanne D'Arc an "idiot" in one of your posts was nasty and low-fuckin'-down. She's a very thoughtful, careful, intelligent, smart writer...but she just happens to be on the left side of things, so that's why who had to rip her like that, huh? Like I said in a comment over at SKB you're cold...and on top of that, you have no manners. You can disagree with someone without name calling...oh, but I forgot...conservatives don't behave like that, do they?)

Oh, and Barry...hallelujah and praise to you for coming "out": a Scotch malt whiskey may be nice -- but a soda fountain malt is nuthin' but pure Heaven!!!!!!! (P.S. I like chocolate!!!)

I forgot...I was supposed to talk about the cause. Well, it's pretty damn simple: we're trying to get Al back in the race! Either by trying to convince him, or by drafting him. And check out the website I linked to above, for info about Gore, all the "myths" about him, and where he stands on the issue.

Talk to y'all later!

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