Tennessee legislature makes it legal to mix guns & bars

The politicians in Tennessee must think the state suffers from overcrowding. How else to explain the recently passed bill allowing handguns in bars and restaurants.

Democratic Sen. Doug Jackson, the main sponsor of the bill, said state Safety Department records show handgun permit holders in Tennessee are responsible.

guns-booze-296x300 Sans booze many people are considered responsible. Perhaps the good senator thinks the bill addresses the issue because while you can bring a gun into a bar – it is still illegal to consumer alcohol while carrying one. So only the designated driver can pack heat? Who gets to enforce this one? Because the only way you’re going to know that part of the law has been violated is when you find out you have a drunk armed guy to deal with.

Kind of redefines what it means to order a shot at the bar.

Supporters no doubt point to the fact that  the new law still allows owners to ban weapons from their establishments. But I have to wonder how many bar and restaurant owners are going to think people are going to want to go to a joint that has to post a sign reading, “No guns allowed.” Either you’re a namby pamby who thinks the place has a problem with guns or you’re cowboy-wannabee who doesn’t want to go anywhere his pistol isn’t welcome.

Hmmmn, how about “No shoes, no shirt, no Smith & Wesson, no service.”

I would love to know A) What problem this was supposed to address?; and B) What kind of condition Tennessee is in that the legislature would make passing this bill a priority?

OMG – here is a truly sobering fact: Tennessee is the 37th state to adopt such a law.

Question: Is it legal to bring guns to AA meetings?

I write this as someone who actually has no problems with people owning guns. While I do not own any myself, during a six-week summer vacation with the US Army I actually learned one the lesser acknowledged facts of life: Machine guns are fun. I can say with no false modesty that I have killed my fair share of skeets. My problem is not with guns it is with a basic fact of the human condition: People are stupid. If everyone were as diligent and responsible gun owners as either SFC Big Brother Collateral Damage or the population of Switzerland (there is literally a sub-machine gun in the home of nearly every adult male in the country) then I would have no problem with NRA’s guiding policy of “Guns for babies.” But until then …

(PS, thanks the Tennessean for the graphic.)

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German pol says unemployed should catch rats

rat4

Especially fitting as we approach the end of the Year of The Rat.

“Especially people who usually collect bottles could get one euro for every dead rat,” Henner Schmidt, head of the business-friendly Free Democrat party in the Mitte district of Berlin, told Berliner Kurier newspaper this week.

Instead of paying per rat, they should pay by weight. Imagine the payoff for bringing in Herr Schmidt? Or Mr. Madoff?

In his defense, “Lassen Sie sie Ratten essen!” doesn’t really sound all that much worse than “Lassen Sie sie Kuchen essen!” (A/K/A “Laissez-les manger le gâteau.”) Still not nearly as good as “Permetta loro di mangiare formaggio!

UPDATE: Now the Italians (or at least the Milanese) are saying, “Lascili mangiare il caviale!”  Customs inspectors in Milan seized 40 kilogrammes (88 pounds) of beluga caviar last month from two couriers travelling from Warsaw, Corriere della Sera newspaper reported. Prosecutors will hang on to a sample of the prized sturgeon eggs worth a total of 400,000 euros (557,000 dollars) for the investigation, while the rest will be given to charities to give to the poor.

Ill gov. arrested for trying to blackmail a newspaper

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (pronounced: U-r-kid-ing-me) and his chief of staff have been arrested  for trying to shake down various people and institutions. While the lead in the news is how it is related to naming a successor to our president-elect, what really got me is this:

According to a federal criminal complaint, Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in the sale of Wrigley Field. In return for state assistance, Blagojevich allegedly wanted members of the paper’s editorial board who had been critical of him fired.

OK, so the risk for an elected official doing this sort of thing is what will happen if the press finds out about it. Don’t really have to worry about that “if” in this case, do you Rod?

As someone who grew up in Chicago and then Rhode Island (Motto: We’re not as corrupt as Louisiana but we’re trying), I am curious to know if there is a corruption index for government in the US?

UPDATE: The interwebs is democratizing satire: For bid on eBay: 1 Ill. Senate seat, slightly worn

ANOTHER UPDATE: TOTALLY BIASED LIST OF MOST CORRUPT STATES: Louisiana is the most corrupt state in the nation. That’s according to an analysis of government data released today by Corporate Crime Reporter. Louisiana (1), Mississippi (2), Kentucky (3), Alabama (4) and Ohio (5) are the top five most corrupt states in the country, according to the analysis. Rounding out the top ten are Illinois (6), Pennsylvania (7), Florida (8), New Jersey (9), and New York (10). Corporate Crime Reporter looked at the 35 most populous states in the nation. (The fifteen states with population of under two million were not included in the analysis.)

No list that doesn’t have Rhode Island in the top 5 is worth its palm grease.


What do Democrats and Cubs fans have in common?

…they assume that something will go wrong until proven otherwise. Great line by Nate Silver over at fivethirtyeight.com.

Despite its unabashed (and clearly announced) pro-Democratic stance, this site is my source of information about political polling. They survey all the polls, weight them for a number of factors and come up with results that to my eyes are the best out there.

Georgia GOP congressman describes the Obamas as “uppity”

So much for Republican minority outreach efforts.

[Georgia Republican Rep. Lynn] Westmoreland was discussing vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s speech with reporters outside the House chamber and was asked to compare her with Michelle Obama.”Just from what little I’ve seen of her and Mr. Obama, Sen. Obama, they’re a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they’re uppity,” Westmoreland said.

Asked to clarify that he used the word “uppity,” Westmoreland said, “Uppity, yeah.”

And suddenly the hockey mom/pit bull with lipstick is the sensitive one.  (BTW, I did think the lipstick line was great.)

Well, he must have figured they weren’t going to get any of the African-American vote anyway so let’s insult women, too.

Covering O’Biden or McCan’t conventions a giant waste of media money

The political conventions are perfectly timed this year, serving as a perfect antidote to the just finished Munich Beijing Potemkin Olympics. Whatever their many moral faults, the Olympics weren’t boring.

This year I became entranced with field hockey. That was fun to watch. Not as much fun as Usian Bolt, but nothing is as much fun as watching Bolt. The fun couldn’t even be spoiled by the commentator kvelling about how if Bolt had just really focused when he won the first two gold medals he really could have done something. A) He won the damn races going away, so shut up. B) He showed plain old fashioned joy while doing it, so shut up.

The only thing that could have made these games better would have been if NBC had dedicated one channel to a constant live feed of the complete lack of activity in the officially sanctioned protest sites. Oh wait. One other thing could have made this better… any sign of moral cojones on the part of the athletes. Dudes & Dudettes this is the 40th anniversary of Tommie Smith & John Carlos simply raising their fists in salute during the Mexico City games. Yeah, they had to put up with a feces storm the likes of which I can’t imagine. But they never had to wonder about their own integrity. I wish one medal winner had had the courage to receive his or her award with a piece of tape over his or her mouth. That’s all it would have taken. It’s not like you were being asked to stand unnarmed in front of a tank. My self-righteousness is unjustifiable. I participated too. I watched the damn things.  I wasn’t even willing to sacrifice changing the channel, who the hell am I to ask others to do anything?

But I digress …

Now our dusk to dawn interlude of strange and interesting sports and moral peregrinations is about to give away to O’Biden vs. McCan’t. At a time when the press is bleeding money it is impossible for me to understand the amount of money that is spent covering two events with practically no news value whatsoever. I have been told there will be some 4,000 15,000 (thanks Tim!) members of the media covering each convention. 4K people spend a week hoping one person — any person — makes a mistake by straying from the script.

It would be tougher — and more interesting — to cover a house fire. (Actually I’ve never covered a pre-scripted event, so maybe they are tougher than they look. I have covered fires. I know those are tough.)

And just a note to the O’Biden team — WHO THE HELL DOES A MAJOR NEWS RELEASE ON A SATURDAY IN AUGUST? Any bump from the announcement is dead by the time Monday rolls around and people start paying attention again. It almost looks like you didn’t want the pick of The Human Wind Tunnell to get much play.

Suffice to say, we will all be well and fully informed watching whatever snippets The Daily Show and Colbert Report decide to run.

Just as idiotic as the resources spent on covering the conventions is the importance given to them. It will be banner headlines everywhere when Obama gets the official nod but I have no idea why. I always thought news was supposed to contain … well … news. It would be amazing if anything that happens at either confab rises to a level that justifies putting them above the fold on the front page. (Note: This is jargon from back in the time when dead trees were kings of the media world. Above the fold means the news is important enough to be on that prime piece of real estate first seen by the consumer. Below the fold means it is important but still on the bottom of page one and therefore on the side of a folded paper away from the consumer. Anyone wishing to learn more useless newspeak from back when mastodons roamed the media should email me. -30-)

I’d vote for a Yellow dog no matter the party

FAIRHOPE, Ala. – One of the candidates in the race to become Fairhope’s next mayor is considerably more hairy than the rest. He also has twice as many legs and a constantly wagging tail. Wille Bean Roscoe P. Coltrane is a 7-year-old yellow Labrador retriever whose owner has taken a satirical poke at politics by launching the pooch into the race.

If elected Willie Bean will not be the nation’s first canine mayor, nor its first Labrador one.

In 2004, Rabbit Hash, Ky., elected Junior Cochran, a black Lab, as mayor. It was the second canine elected to lead the small Northern Kentucky town, according to the town’s Web site. The first was a mutt named Goofy Borneman, according to Laurie Lamblin, a resident and employee of the town’s historic general store.

A moment of silence is in order.

Mayor Cochran (“Mayor Junior” to his many friends) died two months ago.

During his time in office the mayor served as mascot for the Northern Kentucky Women’s Crisis Center’s pet protection program, helped raise money at benefits by manning kissing booths, was the subject of a 2006 TV special on Animal Planet, and in 2004 he helped dedicate an Underground Railroad Memorial in the town. I’ve known mayors who’ve done far less.

All water dishes will remain half-filled during the official period of mourning.

BTW, in 1986 Lajitas, Texas, elected Clay Henry, a beer-drinking goat, as mayor. Boston also had a beer drinking goat as mayor at the time, his name was Ray Flynn. Wait. He wasn’t a goat.

Excuse me, I do believe I may be moving to Rabbit Hash.

PS: Headline explained here.