Did anyone smell that odor in the air in Memphis last week? Smelled kind of like bull feces? Was it a raw sewage backup? Rotting garbage leftover from the storm? And there seemed to be a layer of slime in parts of town. Oh, wait a minute. I forgot. For some inexplicable reason, someone let Attorney General John Ashcroft come to Memphis to speak. To speak about his so-called Patriot Act. You know, the one that allows the government to hold suspects of crime in detention for unlimited amounts of time with no legal representation at all and no contact with family. Now, that s what I call Patriotic. Forget the Constitution (and how sickening was it the other day when W. unveiled the newly restored Constitution, something he ignores on a regular basis?). Ass, I mean, Ashcroft also spoke about the Patriot Act s Section 215 law that allows the FBI to monitor our personal records regarding what we read. He says no one should get in a huff about that one, either. He also talked about crime being down, thanks to him. I guess he hasn t heard the statistics about this group of people: 29 have been accused of spousal abuse; 7 have been arrested for fraud; 19 have been accused of writing bad checks; 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses; 3 have done time for assault; 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit; 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges; 8 have been arrested for shoplifting; 21 are currently defendants in lawsuits; 84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year. Nope, those are not the statistics from a prison group. Those people, friends, are members of congress. All this, and they still won t pass a law to keep you from going to jail for smokeing a little pot. But back to Mr. Ashcroft. Let s forget the FACT that the man looks like Ray Bolger all puffed up from alcohol poisoning. He used to and maybe still does make his staff have sing-a-longs led by him during morning meetings. Why do I get the feeling this man dresses up like Little Red Riding Hood and watches gladiator movies on the weekends while he taps into our personal e-mails? One politician, perhaps, summed up Mr. Ashcroft best. In a speech earlier this year to a press corps, which, for some reason, got little or no coverage in the press, our own Congressman Harold Ford Jr. ended his remarks by saying, and I paraphrase, There s one man who wanted to be here with me tonight to speak to you, Attorney General John Ashcroft. But if you have something you d like to say to him, just talk into the centerpiece on your table! Well, said, I d say. And now here s a brief look at some of what s going on around town this week. Tonight s Mid-South Fair concert is by le Cracker. Mutant Space Bats of Doom, Staff, Tim Prudhomme, and The Grundies at Young Avenue Deli. At the Caravan tonight, there s a show by , And Then Again, and one of Memphis hottest new bands making their debut live show, Hopes Like The Hindenberg. And the master of the blues, B.B. King, is at the club that bears his name tonight and tomorrow night.