Letter from the Editor 

In a post earlier this week, the irreverent national political website Wonkette.com labeled the Tennessee state legislature "the world's stupidest imaginable governing body." (See this week's cover story for more on the subject.) Wonkette has taken several (well-deserved) shots at our lawmakers in recent months, but this latest insult came on the heels of the news that several of Tennessee's GOP lawmakers had decided to sign on to a lawsuit demanding that President Obama reveal his birth certificate.

Frankly, it is hard to imagine a stupider and more pointless course of action for supposed adults to undertake. Obama provided a copy of his birth certificate online in June 2008, and it was judged authentic by Hawaii state officials. His birth announcement was in the Honolulu paper in 1961. His mother is American (which makes him a citizen if he wasn't born in the U.S.). State health records list his birth. Do these wackos really think that in 1961 there was a plot afoot to fool the American public 47 years later?

It comes as no surprise that one of the signees is Representative Stacey Campfield (R-Wacktown), whose inability to get a single bill passed in his four-year tenure is exceeded only by the ludicrousness of the bills he has proposed. These include bills to issue death certificates for aborted fetuses, to deny birth certificates to children born of illegal immigrants (who are American citizens), to prohibit classroom teaching about the existence of homosexuality, to allow faculty to carry guns in classrooms, and to allow any veteran to carry a gun at all times, to name just a few.

And speaking of guns, it hasn't been a good week for The Commercial Appeal, which posted the state's searchable database identifying the name, address, and birth date of those with concealed-carry gun permits. After a storm of protest, much of it misguided (several gun-friendly websites posted the names and addresses of Commercial Appeal employees, the great majority of whom had nothing to do with management's decision to post the database), the CA removed the permit-holders' addresses and birth dates from its site but kept the list of names. That half-measure assuaged no one, drawing criticism from those in favor of keeping the posting (you weenies!) and those opposed to it (you fascists!).

The lesson: Aim carefully before shooting yourself in the foot. Twice.

Bruce VanWyngarden



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment



News Blog

Fight Over Forrest Statue Isn't Over

Fly On The Wall Blog

Remembering the "Miracle Child" Robert Raiford

Memphis Gaydar

Bathroom Bill Halted in TN Legislature

News Blog

RIP Robert Raiford

News Blog

Memphis Pets of the Week (March 23-29)

News Blog

'Modern' Retail Center Coming to Midtown

Memphis Gaydar

TEP: Laws That Target LGBTQ Community Could Cost State Billions

News Blog

Pop-Uppers Wanted on Main Street

News Blog

A C Wharton's City Hall Portrait Unveiled


More by Bruce VanWyngarden

Readers also liked…

  • Have Yourselves an Angry Little Christmas

    In the 14 years I've been the Flyer editor, I've gotten lots of hate mail. It mostly used to come in envelopes filled with pages of scrawled handwriting. I read them and put them in the wastebasket, chalking it up as a natural by-product of writing for a liberal paper in the conservative South. Lately, the angry folks have switched to email, and it comes in waves ...

    • Dec 10, 2015
  • The Winds of War

    "Nice little trees you got there. Be too bad if something were to happen to them." — Nicky "Big Panda" Flacco, Memphis Zoo press secretary ...
    • Jan 21, 2016
  • On the Road

    "I can't believe it's not Buddha." — frustrated monk "I'm trying to be Zen about it." I hear this phrase, now and then. It's often used as a way of saying, "I'm trying to control my emotions." But "trying to be Zen" is an oxymoron. There's no trying to be Zen. You're here now. You're already enlightened. The trick is realizing it. Which is hard.
    • Apr 7, 2016
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation