The Rant 

The Dalai Lama, "Turn Away the Gays," Sochi, and Michael Sam

click to enlarge Dalai Lama - JOACHIM ECKEL | DREAMSTIME.COM
  • Joachim Eckel |
  • Dalai Lama

So this is all really, really random and probably won't make a bit of sense because I am just having one of those weeks, and nothing going through that frightening place that is my mind seems to be connecting in any way. So. I say, really? China actually threatened the United States that it would retaliate in some way if President Obama met with the Dalai Lama, which he did last Friday. Don't they have anything better to do? He seems like such a nice, cuddly guy and is always smiling. The government of China is really that pissed off about this? I wonder if my friend and city Councilman Myron Lowery is still hearing from them about the time Dalai visited Memphis to be honored by the National Civil Rights Museum, and he fist-bumped and exclaimed, "Hello, Dalai!" That is still one of my favorite stories and will always gain Lowery my vote. And when Obama met with the Dalai, it made a huge difference to meet with him in the White House Map Room as opposed to the Oval Office. What is up with people?

My favorite part of the "Turn Away the Gays" bill first presented by Republican state Senator Brian Kelsey of Germantown, who took his name off the bill once everyone pointed out how idiotic is was, is that it was geared toward same-sex couples. But no one ever made mention of how the couples would be identified if they, say, for some inexplicable reason, waltzed into a Cracker Barrel for lunch or dinner. Would they be screened like passengers at the airport? Have the irises in their eyes scanned like foreigners coming into the United States? Would the hostess have to ask all people, "Y'all ain't gay, are you?"

None of this bill ever made any sense at all. And poor guy; I bet he wishes he had never even mentioned it. I'll actually give the guy credit where credit it due. There is another bill he is sponsoring, and from what I can tell it comes up for a vote (or however they work those things) this week: It's bill SBO276, and this is how it reads on Kelsey's website: "Criminal Procedure - As introduced, authorizes court restoring a person's rights of citizenship following conviction for a crime to also grant a certificate of employment restoration; prohibits a licensing entity from denying license application based solely upon applicant's past criminal record if person has been issued a certificate of employment restoration; provides certain immunity to employers who hire a person who has been issued a certificate of employment restoration."

Okay, correct me if I'm wrong (imagine that), but it looks like Kelsey is trying to help out convicted felons once they have paid their debt to society and see that they are not discriminated against in the job market, which is one of the main reasons for inmate recidivism and is just not fair. So I think that's a good thing. But I can't figure out why Kelsey's trying to help out convicted felons while trying to take away the civil rights of people who haven't committed any crimes, just because they were born homosexual. What is up with people?

All I know is that if Kelly English's offer still stands to host a fund-raiser for anyone who will run against Kelsey in the next election and that fund-raiser is going to be at English's Restaurant Iris, I might be the first to throw my name on the ballot. Man, that place has some good eats. And speaking of "the gays" and chain restaurants, one of the best stories to come out, pun intended, in many months was the one about Michael Sam, the University of Missouri college football star, who, well, came out and would be the first openly gay football player in the NFL, if he is drafted. Apparently, he had come out to his teammates some time back but told his father via text message only shortly before going national with it. His father's reaction: He told the press he was at Denny's eating dinner and was so upset he had to leave and go to Applebee's to have some drinks!

OMG, no one could have made that up. I wonder if he was going to have to top all that off with some cream cheese-canned fruit-whipped cream-and-gummy bear pancakes at IHOP. Had to leave dinner at Denny's to hit the cocktail lounge at Applebee's because his son told him he was gay. What is up with people?

And finally, the Sochi Olympics. Finally, as in finally they are over. They've been over less than 24 hours as I write this and already the mainstream media are scouring Rio de Janeiro trying to drum up ratings for the next round of Olympics that are to be held there in 2016. Ugh. Summer Olympics and a presidential race. I think I'm going to have to reserve my seat at Applebee's now. Come on, Mr. Sam. I'll meet you there.

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