Every day seems to bring fresh servings of foolishness from our elected representatives in Nashville. A few weeks back, Representative Joe Towns and Senator Ophelia Ford sponsored a bill making it a misdemeanor for any person to knowingly wear pants below their waistline. I understand the intent. We've all been exposed, ahem, to this fashion crime. But I say these charges just won't "hold up" in court. Besides, anyone charged with this crime could hire a good lawyer and get off with a "suspendered" sentence. Heh.
Equally misguided is the recent bill sponsored by Senator Paul Stanley of Germantown, which prohibits county health departments, city councils, or local governing bodies from enacting any ordinance requiring restaurants to provide nutritional information for their customers.
This is classic hypocrisy from those who often laud the virtues of local government over the evil Big Brother state. Nashville knows best, they're saying. Why should Tennesseans have the right to know what they're eating?
And, of course, no recap of the goings-on in what national political website Wonkette.com called "the world's stupidest legislative body" would be complete without recounting the latest nonsense on guns.
Simply put, our legislators are kowtowing to the gun lobbies and the 3 percent of Tennesseans who have concealed-carry handgun permits. The result: We are no longer allowed to know who holds a permit, since the legislature has made that information a state secret. And said permit-holders will soon be allowed to carry guns in parks, restaurants where alcohol is served, and late-night bars.
The most ludicrous recent development was a debate last Monday on whether to allow guns in the state Capitol. Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey was all for it, citing an NRA release that "handgun permit holders are more responsible with their firearms than off-duty police officers." This bill will pass, I guarantee it, and very soon, no less than 34 of our legislators will be packing heat in Legislative Plaza. For "protection," no doubt.
The obvious question is protection from whom? Some pistol-packing fat guy with his pants hanging below his waist? Themselves?
Or is that redundant?
(such a sky and such a sun
i never knew and neither did you
and everybody never breathed
quite so many kinds of yes) — e. e. cummings
Time moves in one direction, memory in another. — William Gibson
This week, an old friend sent me a photo of myself, circa 1978. In the picture, I was thin, long-haired, and standing barefoot on the porch of an old farmhouse where we lived, just outside of Columbia, Missouri. It was a shock to see it. I don't remember my friends and I taking many photographs, and I didn't remember this moment ...
I just finished a book called Bettyville. It's by George Hodgman, who grew up in Paris, Missouri, near my hometown, then went to the University of Missouri school of journalism in the 1970s. After graduation, he went off to New York City and became an editor at various magazines ...