First off, allow me to clarify something from my last column here that some people misunderstood. In reference to the Occupy Wall Street protesters, I originally wrote, "While I agree with the protesters and hope they keep it up, wouldn't it also be great if they could find employment with the Peace Corps and be even more constructive in making the world a better place?"
Well, it got edited a little bit and some people thought I was saying the protesters weren't constructive or making the world a better place. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love what they are doing. I wish they had come out in those numbers to protest the Iraq war and now the war in Afghanistan. What I meant was that it would be great for the protesters who are unemployed to be able to have JOBS making the world a better place so they could also make a living again and not be broke. I hope this makes more sense.
Now, I have never been one to kick a guy when he's already down, and I hate to see anyone arrested for anything because the American criminal justice system is so profoundly flawed (don't even get me started). But I can't ignore the irony of state representative Curry Todd of Collierville getting arrested in Nashville last week on charges of possession of a handgun while driving under the influence. According to police reports, he was driving 20 miles over the speed limit and weaving and had a loaded pistol between the driver's seat and center console of the car. Of course, Todd is best known as the man who pushed through the legislation making it legal for Tennesseans to take loaded guns into bars — as long as they don't drink.
Exactly why that law made sense to anyone with an I.Q. higher than that of a cabbage is lost on me. Why do people go to bars? Uh, I would say to drink. And why would anyone even want to walk into a bar with a loaded gun and just sit around drinking iced tea? What would be the purpose? I can see that if someone wanted to use the gun to commit a crime it might be a good thing for the criminal. It never made the slightest bit of sense to me and still doesn't and never will, and the very man who got the law passed is allegedly the perfect example of why it shouldn't have. You can't buy that kind of justice.
But again, I'm not harping on him because he did this last week. You never know what someone is going through in life and apparently his divorce had become final that day and I'm sure he regrets all this mess, but I just hope he learned that people do drink and carry loaded guns in bars and that it's NOT a good idea. Maybe he will do the right thing and work as hard to repeal the law as he did to shove it through the legislature. If not, then people should start complaining.
And they ought to keep occupying. When President Obama gave his fabulous speech this past Sunday at the dedication of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., he said that Dr. King would have approved of the occupy movement and I agree. But did anyone else see Aretha Franklin wandering around in the background for about five minutes before being called up to sing on stage? She looked lost, poor thing. But she did a great job and the dedication was awesome. And how awesome is it that the memorial is now there? SOME progress has been made. And having a black president for the first time and having him speak at the dedication was one of the most beautiful things in the world.
I wish Dr. King was still with us because there may never have been the aforementioned Iraq war, given what he was doing to try to stop the Vietnam war when he was murdered. All of those trillions of dollars could have been put to such good use here in the United States and I firmly believe that would have offset even the corporate greed and corruption that were going on at the same time and we wouldn't be in this economic mess. I know. I'm a broken record. But that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.
The rain is coming down, slow and persistent from a low gray sky. It soaks the grass, fills the gutters, and falls hard on the flowers left on the Beale Street sidewalk outside of B.B. King's club ...