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Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:27 AM
Number of posts: 6,442

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Explore the cozy relationship between Tennessee lawmakers and a corporate interests group

Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press

Indeed, as Republicans have enlarged their majorities in the Tennessee General Assembly, ALEC has become more ingrained in the culture of the legislature and its legislation. Eighteen Tennessee lawmakers billed just over $53,000 to taxpayers to attend ALEC conferences in 2014, not counting lawmakers who traveled on ALEC "scholarships" or other means, according to expense records on the legislature's website.


Criticism has accompanied ALEC's rise in power. Several national groups, from centrist to liberal, including the public interest group Common Cause, have attacked ALEC's blend of ideology, corporate partnership and attempts to pass legislation of its own.

"They make their decisions based on politics and contributions rather than on best practices or best solutions to problems," Tennessee state Rep. Joe Armstrong, D-Knoxville, said when he quit ALEC three years ago. "Their agenda has become very self-serving and very partisan. ... It's extremist."


Ketron also said that Tennesseans were front and center at the ALEC conference. "We're doing things right in Tennessee and they're looking at us. From bills to anything we're doing in Tennessee, they want to follow us."

Read more: http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2015/may/06/alec-lets-legislators-bring-model-bills-back/302615/

Yes, follow the state that ranks among the bottom of most measures of quality of life.

Something I wonder about Indiana Law

I've been wondering this.

The Indiana Law gives businesses and individuals the ability to refuse service to someone because of the business' or individual's religious views.

The Federal Civil Rights Act guarantees all people the right to "full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin."

So, here's my question. What if someone follows a religion that allows for gay marriage? The Presbyterians do, the Episcopals do, the United Church of Christ does, other religions and denominations do. So, say that someone is a member of one of those denominations that does allows gay gay marriage, and someone refuses them service for a gay marriage (the wedding cake), isn't that business that refuses violating the religious beliefs of that customer (that allows for gay marriage) and violating the Civil Rights Act?

Powerful video


Nation’s Top Teacher Drops Resignation Bomb: “I Can’t Drill ‘em and Kill ‘em”

That was near the end of the 2013-2014 school year, so for her to announce her resignation the following year, nowhere near retirement age, is astonishing and enough to make the greater majority of people to say, “what gives?” In the speech below, she will tell you exactly what gives.

But more than that, this speech is utterly heart wrenching because it erupts in tears of another kind.

Earlier this month, Starr was merely to provide information at a Lorain County Education Forum about PARCC testing as it relates to special education students. PARCC is the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, a coalition of states that is using the test to drive Common Core by assessing students (and teachers) to see how “up to par” they are on the new, fast-paced and nonsensical programming.

What is even more insidious, is that special needs students have been left out of the mix to fall by the wayside. By that I mean, while they are normally allowed to have helps for their disability (like having the test read aloud), they are not allowed any such thing with PARCC. Which means that PARCC is acting outside and above the law with a “survival of the fittest” standard. Starr demonstrates the irony of all the children becoming “left behind” in this new system.

Attorneys for gay Mobile couple ask federal court to sanction Mobile County probate judge

Source: Mobile Press-Register

With windows at the marriage license department in Mobile County remaining closed for more than 2½ hours Monday, attorneys for a lesbian couple asked a federal judge to hold Probate Judge Don Davis in contempt.

The lawyers, Christine Hernandez and David Kennedy, at first urged patience as Davis huddled with lawyers to figure out how to respond to conflicting court orders from U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. "Ginny" Granade and Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.

With Davis refusing to make a decision one way or the other, the office remained closed to couples seeking marriage license but eventually opened to people wishing to record deeds and conduct other business.


The two couples who filed lawsuits in Mobile - Cari Searcy and Kim McKeand, and James Strawser and John Humphrey - were at Mobile Probate Court early Monday. It was Granade's ruling in those two cases last month that paved the way for Alabama to become the 37th state where gay marriage is legal.

Read more: http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/02/attorneys_for_gay_mobile_coupl.html

These are the couples who brought the case in the original ruling.

Girl Scout cookies for troops overseas

If you would like to donate a box or more of Girl Scout cookies to our service men and women, I've got a proposition for you.

My seven-year-old daughter begins taking orders for Girl Scout cookies today. They are $4 per box.

Send me a private message that you would like to send a box. Send as many as you would like. Send me $4 per box and she will organize them and package them up and I will pay for the shipping to the troops overseas.

You can pick a flavor (but not thin mints or tagalongs, if they go to the desert the chocolate would melt), so from Trefoils (short bread), Savannah Smiles (lemon), Samoas (the coconut and caramel ones), the new Ra-rah-Raisins (outmeal, raisins, yogurt chunks), or Do-Si-Dohs (Peanut butter sandwich). If you would like to put a note on the box, you can write it on a post-it note and send it to me and my daughter will put it on for you.

This is a way that for four bucks you can help the Girl Scouts and send a thank you to a service man or woman. And if you want some for yourself she is prepared to make you a special offer of five boxes for only $20 and free shipping.

This is a heart breaking story

I don't want to put a damper on anyone's day, so please only read if you are ready for a heart breaking story.

This shows how important the need is to protect the rights of gay and lesbian families.

They painted the walls in two small rooms. Black and orange for the little boys. Mint green for the girl. They pasted stickers of motorcycles and butterflies. They bought a rubber ducky for the bathtub.

And they promised each other that they would give the children all they could, kisses after bedtime stories and toys to unwrap on Christmas morning and warm arms when the past, the nightmares, crept into their little minds.

In the northernmost part of Georgia, Candice Dean and Jamie Chambliss knew that people would reflect on their Bibles when they saw them — two women in love — and scorn. But they assumed that churchgoers would turn a blind eye for the sake of the children.

Now the doors to the children’s rooms stay closed. Toys gather dust. Pictures are hidden away.

The full story is here: http://projects.timesfreepress.com/2014/11/emptyarms/index.html

Just for context, to help understand the community setting, here is a story some may remember from five years ago:

Jesus Christ Ferguson

They are firing rubber bullets in to the neighborhood now into people's houses

that stream is dead. Other's here: http://www.mediaite.com/online/watch-live-ferguson-residents-protest-michael-brown-shooting/

star wars clone wars

we've been watching the sixth season (well, the 13 episodes they made before Disney bought Lucas and pulled the plug). We just finished the arc with fives and order 66. I thought that was a great story line that really added to the overall story. So I'm glad for the extra episodes. But I wish that somehow they had occured before the Ahsoka Tanno series that ended season 5. I really wish that the last episode of season 5 had been the series finale, that these episodes from season 6 had occurred before, I get the impression that Filoni wasn't sure about a season 6 and wanted to make sure that Ahsoka was wrapped up in a way to avoid order 66.

help with server conundrum

This isn't a tipping question. Let me say I always tip well. And I'm a friendly person and joke with servers and have good interactions.

And this is probably just me and it is my problem.

But it creeps me out when the server puts their thumb in my plate. Like last night we took the kids to a casual chain restaurant. I got a salad, and it came in one of those casual chain restaurant salad bowl/plates, and the server is gripping it by the edge with his thumb just hanging in my salad.

It creeps me out.

Is it just me?

Is there not another way that they can carry those things? I think it is because they are carrying so many plates all lined up on their arms.

Could they just use a tray? Put the bowl with a plate underneath?

But the conundrum is this. How can I communicate that? I tipped the guy a little over 20%. I'd be aghast to say anything. Is there a way to communicate that its creepy to me and I wish they wouldn't do it without being a jerk? Without getting the poor guy in trouble? I know he's just doing his job and I appreciate that.

Is there a way to communicate that?

I need to crow

a lot of people won't get this. Maybe no one will.

I'm 45 and have bought a new car once before in my life. A ford. We had a hard time when the economy crashed and we've been trying to get back on our feet for the past six years.

We got to a point where our family is going to need a new vehicle. I've usually had used, and honestly that makes a lot of sense to me, but my wife and I were talking about a getting a new one for reliability rather than putting money in an old one.

So we were going to try and see what we could do.

Last Saturday we were planning on going to volkswagon and trying to get a passat.

Now, this is a big deal for us. My wife has had four saturns in a row. Right now she has a plastic sided made in Springhill vue. I've had three Fords, an oldsmobile and a pontiac.

We live in Chattanooga. But we lived in Michigan for the first eight years we were married and buying an American-American car was always important to us. We see it as a part of being American. I know that people have different attitudes about that and that is great, but it is our point of view. No worries.

So, we were pretty sure that the volkswagon plant here in Chattanooga was going UAW and we were going to get a "foreign" car that was made here in Chattanooga. For us that was a statement that it was it made here locally, and I've always only wanted American cars, but since they were going UAW we were going to do our best to get one to support them.

This vehicle will mostly be my car and my last four vehicles were trucks but I was talking myself into it.

Then last Friday night they voted it down. It was a surprise because they had always been leaning pro-UAW and VW wanted them to do it.

We didn't go to the VW dealership for the test drive last week.

We talked about it and decided we didn't want one.

Today we went to the ford dealership that sold us our last two used cars. To see what we could do.

They gave us a great freaking unbelievable deal on a new car.

They sold us the ultimate F-U republicans car that I can think of.

A ford C-Max. We bought a hybrid! A tree-hugging hybrid! We bought a new hybrid. That was built in DETROIT FREAKING MICHIGAN by UNION working AMERICANS.

For the same price a base Passat would have cost.

F-U TENNESSEE GOP!!!!!!! F-U and your "look what the unions did to Detroit" BS. That's me tooling along throwing you a bird.
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