Tag Archives: Tennessee

Memphis theatre pulls Gone With The Wind after complaints that it is racially insensitive

Last time a movie was playing that I didn’t like, I chose not to go see it. Today’s SJWs are such demanding, sensitive snowflakes.

And does that mean that Hattie McDaniel’s family needs to return her Oscar for participating in this insensitive movie?

From Daily Mail: ‘Gone With The Wind’ has been pulled from a Memphis theater after patrons complained the 1939 Civil War classic is racially insensitive.

The Orpheum Theatre Group made the decision after patrons took issue with the screening of the movie starring Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara on August 11.

‘As an organization whose stated mission is to ‘entertain, educate and enlighten the communities it serves’, the Orpheum cannot show a film that is insensitive to a large segment of its local population,’ the theater’s operators said in a statement according to News Ch. 3.

The classic motion picture revolves around the life and hardships faced by Scarlet O’Hara during the war. It was based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book with the same title, by Margaret Mitchell.

The movie depicts the relationships between slaves and owners and has been previously criticized before for its portrayal of black slaves.

Hattie McDaniel, who portrayed a slave called Mammie, became the first African-American woman to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role.

Racial sensitivities hit a fever pitch after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, NC ended in bloodshed when a woman who was protesting the rally was killed by a car that mowed into a crowd of people.

The white supremacist groups held the ‘Unite The Right’ rally to protest the potential removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a 2,308-seat venue.

People had strong reactions to The Orpheum’s decision to pull ‘Gone With The Wind.’

One Facebook user wrote: ‘We have literally lost our minds in this country! Let’s just erase all the history so we can rewrite it! Not me. I want to see every movie, book, statue, tribute, monument, memorial, and site of every concentration camp to ensure these horrors never happen again. If you don’t teach and learn from our past you will be destined to repeat it!’

Another asked if Wizard of Oz would be next as ‘it might offend “little” people.’

What has recently been deemed offensive enough to erase has expanded well beyond the Confederate statue of Gen. Lee in Charlottesville.

The ever growing list of things people find offensive enough to banish now includes various statues of Christopher Columbus, to a statue of New York colonist Peter Stuyvesant.

The general removal of Stuyvesant’s name, which covers two neighborhoods in New York and a high school, have been debated.

 ‘Gone with the Wind’ is the latest piece of history under attack. 

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

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State laws expand concealed gun rights to college campuses, public facilities

second amendment2

Shannon Watts hardest hit.

From Fox News: Laws allowing concealed guns on college campuses took effect Saturday in several states, including Georgia and Kansas. In Tennessee, concealed guns may now be carried in a broader range of public buildings and bus stations. And in Iowa, permit holders are now able to carry concealed guns in the Capitol.

Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association Institute of Legislative Action, described 2017 as another “successful year for gun rights.”

The new laws continue a pattern of the expansion of gun rights in GOP-controlled states.

The firearms policies are among scores of laws that took effect Saturday, along with the start of the new fiscal year in many states. Some of those laws continue a recent trend of states taking the initiative to fix aging roads and address the drug overdose epidemic.

The gun laws reflect divided public preferences, highlighted by a recent Pew survey that found people nearly evenly split on whether gun control or gun rights were more important.

In Kansas, college students expressed mixed feelings about the new law. “A couple of my friends decided that they were going to go somewhere else, because it kind of freaked them out,” Elena Mendoza, who will start school at Johnson County Community College in the fall, was quoted as telling the Kansas City Star. “Most of us were like, if someone has access to a weapon, they can use it either way.”

Chris Gray, a Johnson County Community College spokesman, said that some students are concerned about the impact of the law. “Generally speaking, people do feel very safe and always have here on campus,” Gray told the Star. “There is that fear of the unknown. What is going to happen?” Gray said.

Johnson County Community College student Nick Serum, 20, believes the law will make the campus more secure. “Does it make me feel safer? I’d say yes,” Serum said to the Star.

Cale Ostby, 27, a Wichita State University student, said that many people in Kansas have concealed guns, and that the concept is nothing new. “It’s insane that I can carry everywhere else except school,” Ostby said.

A voter-approved gun-control initiative prohibiting people from possessing ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 bullets was to go into effect Saturday in California. But it was blocked by a federal judge, who said it would have made criminals out of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens who own the magazines. A similar law passed by the Democratic-dominated Legislature also is subject to the preliminary injunction.

For decades, the National Rifle Association pushed for state laws allowing people to carry concealed guns with permits. Having succeeded nationwide, gun-rights advocates now are gradually expanding where those weapons can be taken. Yet even some of the new laws contain exceptions.

Georgia’s law allows people with concealed handgun permits to take their weapons into classrooms but not dormitories, and college sports fans can pack weapons while tailgating but not inside stadiums.

A Tennessee law allowing guns in many local public buildings, bus stations and parks can be voided if authorities instead opt to install metal detectors staffed by security guards.

Concealed guns are now allowed at college campuses in Kansas as a result of a 2013 law that applies to public buildings lacking heightened security such as metal detectors and guards. A four-year exemption for universities expired Saturday. But in a setback for the NRA, a law that Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is allowing to take effect without his signature will make permanent a similar exemption for public hospitals and mental health centers.

In Iowa, the new law allowing permit holders to carry concealed guns in the Capital prompted the state Supreme Court to ban weapons in all courthouses statewide.

Gun rights advocates lauded the laws expanding the circumstances in which people may carry an arm.

Advocates for greater gun regulations also are pleased with the results. On Thursday, Democratic-led Hawaii became the third state to enact a law requiring notification to law enforcement when people prohibited from owning guns try to obtain them anyway.

“This was an excellent year for killing bad gun-lobby bills,” said Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “The bills that the gun lobby did get through, in many cases, we helped to water those down.”

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Unintended consequences: California’s travel ban may trip up intercollegiate athletic teams

unintended consequences

Way to punish the athletes and guarantee diminishing alumni donations. Brilliant move California…

From SF Gate: California’s newly expanded ban on state-funded travel to states that discriminate against LGBT people could trip up intercollegiate athletic teams in the coming years — not only by restricting where they may play, but how they tap new recruits.

As of Thursday, state employees — including those at the University of California and California State University — are banned from traveling on the public dime to eight states. The shunned states often appear on college teams’ travel schedules. They are: Alabama, Texas, Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and South Dakota.

“In terms of recruiting, under current California law our coaches would be restricted from using state funds to travel to affected states,” says a statement issued Friday by the Cal Athletics Department.

On Friday, a day after state Attorney General Xavier Becerra expanded the list from four to eight states, his office told The Chronicle it had received a request for a legal opinion on whether the ban applies to “athletic team staffs” at UC and CSU. His office did not respond when asked who had made the request.

Each of the states in the ban has enacted a discriminatory law since June 26, 2015, according to Becerra, such as preventing adoptions and foster care by lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people (South Dakota and Alabama) or allowing school clubs to restrict membership on that basis (Kentucky). In Texas, a law that passed June 15 prohibits the state from “taking adverse action” against religious caregivers, which critics say gives them too much power over the welfare of LGBT children.

California’s travel ban took effect in January and specifically includes the two university systems. But it also exempts them from the ban to fulfill any athletic contracts they entered into with schools in the affected states before Jan. 1. That helps many major college athletic teams — for now — because they set their travel schedules with other schools sometimes years in advance.

But the exemption does not apply to collegiate postseason contests, where teams that do well could find they are headed for one of the states in question.

Eight sports are scheduled to have their top-tier NCAA regionals or championships in states affected by the travel ban within a year: Texas, Alabama, Kentucky and North Carolina. The most notable is the men’s Final Four basketball championship, to be held in San Antonio.

The others are men’s and women’s cross country, women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s indoor track. Championships for lower-tier schools, including many in the CSU system, also are scheduled for some of the states included in the ban.

When California’s ban took effect in January, the Cal athletic department issued a statement saying: “Our intent is to support our student-athletes in their right to participate in NCAA postseason competition should they be assigned to a restricted state.”

But it’s not clear how they could do that, short of raising private donations to support not only travel costs, but also salaries for coaches and staff, and potentially insurance.

Meanwhile, Cal had been in preliminary talks for a men’s basketball series with the University of Kansas in January, when the travel ban that included Kansas took effect. “Cal got back to us and told us the state ban would prevent it,” said Jim Marchiony, a spokesman for KU athletics.

On Friday, Cal issued a new statement affirming its support of “equity, diversity and inclusion,” adding: “We have an obligation and firm commitment to remain compliant with California law.” The statement also said Cal will fulfill any contracts it signed with affected states before January.

Cal’s baseball team is signed on to play in the Frisco College Baseball Classic in March in Texas. The contract for the event, which features Texas A&M, Baylor and Louisiana Tech, was signed two years ago, former Bears head coach David Esquer said.

At California State University, several campuses have major sports teams, including Cal State Fullerton, San Diego State, Long Beach State, Fresno State and San Jose State.

The news that Texas is now included in the travel ban has made some sports fans nervous at San Jose State, and Lawrence Fan, spokesman for campus athletics, has been fielding questions — mostly about whether the San Jose Spartans will be able to play its scheduled football game at the University of Texas in September. Fan tells them not to worry. The contract was signed in September.

Nevertheless, CSU is taking a close look at the expanded travel ban and will consult with the attorney general if needed, said Toni Molle, spokeswoman for systemwide Chancellor Timothy White. However, she said, “The CSU fully intends to comply with the law, and we will not be using any state funds to pay for travel expenses to any of the banned states.”

Ricardo Vazquez, a spokesman for UC, agreed. But he said, “There have been instances where UC sports teams or researchers attending conferences have used nonstate funds to travel to the states on the list.”

Vazquez did not reply when asked for examples.

At UCLA, spokeswoman Liza David said the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics receives no state funding, but said that UCLA is “committed to promoting and protecting equity, diversity and inclusion.”

DCG

Pajama Boy approved: Half of high schools do away with class rankings ‘so as not to destroy teens’ confidence’

valedictorian meme

Raising a generation of special snowflakes.

From Daily Mail: At many American high schools, the graduation-day tradition of crowning a valedictorian is becoming a thing of the past. The ranking of students from No. 1 on down, based on grade-point averages, has been fading steadily for about the past decade.

In its place are honors that recognize everyone who scores at a certain threshold – using Latin honors, for example. This year, one school in Tennessee had 48 valedictorians.

About half of schools no longer report class rank, according to the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Administrators worry about the college prospects of students separated by large differences in class rank despite small differences in their GPAs, and view rankings as obsolete in an era of high expectations for every student, association spokesman Bob Farrace said.

There are also concerns about intense, potentially unhealthy competition and students letting worries about rank drive their course selections.

Among those weighing a change is Lancaster High School in suburban Buffalo, where students are leading an exploration of replacing valedictorian-salutatorian recognitions with the college-style Latin honors of summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude.

The principal, Cesar Marchioli, said he’s neutral on the issue, though he feels for the 11th-ranked student who falls just short of the recognition awarded to the top 10 seniors honored at the annual banquet.

Graduating Lancaster senior Connor Carrow, 17, has pressed for the switch to Latin honors since his sophomore year, well before landing just out of the top 10, at No. 14, while serving as student union president and playing varsity lacrosse and hockey.

He said it’s a better fit with the school’s collaborative and cooperative ideals. ‘You’re striving for that (honor) personally, but you’re not hoping that you’re better than these other 400 people next to you,’ said Carrow.

The view was somewhat different from the No. 1 spot occupied by Carrow’s classmate Daniel Buscaglia, who also played saxophone in several performance ensembles and volunteered in his town’s youth bureau.

While he doesn’t oppose the change, Buscaglia expects the competition in high school, although it was mostly friendly, will help him at Cornell University in the fall.

Elsewhere, commenters have peppered news websites with disparaging comparisons to giving ‘participation trophies’ to avoid hurt feelings, while supporters point out the often statistically insignificant differences that separate students.

Rankings still play an important part in aspects of the college admissions process. There are scholarships for the top-ranked students, and the number of top students at colleges is factored into college rankings.

Class ranks are also credited with improving diversity at the University of Texas, where a law guaranteed that a school’s top 10 percent would be accepted into a public university.

Colleges are adjusting to the increasing number of applications arriving without class rank, though many applications still ask for it if available.

Even so, students’ individual grades and the rigor of the curriculum they chose tend to weigh more heavily, said Melanie Gottlieb, deputy director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. ‘More and more schools are moving toward a more holistic process. They look deeper into the transcript,’ Gottlieb said.

Wisconsin’s Elmbrook School District has for several years ranked only the valedictorian and salutatorian, and only then because the state awards scholarships to schools’ top two graduates, according to Assistant Superintendent Dana Monogue.

The change has been accepted by colleges and community alike, Monogue said. ‘We are encouraged by any movement that helps students understand that they’re more than a score, that they’re more than a rank,’ she said.

Tennessee’s Rutherford County schools give the valedictorian title to every student who meets requirements that include a 4.0 grade-point average and at least 12 honors courses. Its highly ranked Central Magnet School had 48 valedictorians this year, about a quarter of its graduating class.

The day rankings came out at Hammond High School in Columbia, Maryland, students were privately told their number – but things didn’t stay private for long. ‘That was the only thing everyone was talking about,’ said Mikey Peterson, 18, who shrugged off his bottom-third finish and will attend West Virginia University in the fall.

A spokesman for the Howard County, Maryland, district said schools recognize their top 5 percent so students can include it on college applications and hasn’t considered changing.

‘There was a big emphasis on where you landed,’ said Peterson’s classmate Vicki Howard, 18. ‘It made everything 10 times more competitive.’

Peterson’s mother, Elizabeth Goshorn, said she can’t walk into his school without hearing good things about her affable son, but worries about how rankings can affect a teenager’s confidence. ‘It has such an impact on them as to how they perceive themselves if you’re putting rankings on them,’ she said.

DCG

Hillary supporter Justin Timberlake could face up to 30 days in jail for taking a selfie in the voting booth

Considering that Timberlake supports Hillary, he may not be the brightest bulb. We should at least be grateful that he’s not offering blowjobs to anyone voting for Hillary.

justin-timberlake

From Daily Mail: Tennessee officials are investigating Justin Timberlake after the singer took a selfie in a voting booth. 

In a photo posted to his Instagram account on Monday, the 35-year-old celebrity stands in front of a ballot machine and makes a scrunched up face.  The caption reads: ‘Hey! You! Yeah, YOU! I just flew from LA to Memphis to #rockthevote !!! No excuses, my good people! There could be early voting in your town too. If not, November 8th! Choose to have a voice! If you don’t, then we can’t HEAR YOU! Get out and VOTE! #excerciseyourrighttovote.’

Taking a photo or recording audio in a voting booth is a crime in Tennessee, with a penalty of up to 30 days in prison and a $50 fine. 

After the picture was posted on Monday, a representative from the Shelby County, Tennessee District Attorney’s office told TMZ that Timberlake’s actions are ‘under review’.  The Tennessee law banning ballot selfies was passed last year and so far no one has been prosecuted for violating it.

An official for the election board where Justin voted told TMZ that the hitmaker should be lauded for calling on his more than 31million followers to vote. 

justin-timberlake-and-hillary-clinton

Timberlake and his wife Jessica Biel hosted a $33,400-a-ticket fundraiser for Hillary Clinton last spring.

Laws nationwide are mixed on whether voters are allowed to take pictures of themselves in the act or of their ballots – ‘ballot selfies’. Federal judges have struck down bans on selfies in New Hampshire and Indiana, and rules have been changed in places like California and Rhode Island, but in many states it’s still a violation that carries potential fines or jail terms.

There are laws against sharing any photo of your ballot in 18 states, while six other states bar photography in polling places but do allow photos of mail-in ballots.

Critics say such regulations have not kept up with technology and are confusing for voters and election workers. Some states that ban ballot selfies or have moved to block them cite concerns the photos could harm the integrity of the voting process by encouraging vote-buying or coercion, though some acknowledge there’s no evidence to support those fears.

DCG

State lawmaker planned to profit from tax hike, prosecutors say

Demorat Joe Armstrong

Demorat Joe Armstrong

From Fox News: As Tennessee lawmakers raised cigarette taxes to 62 cents per pack in 2007, one veteran representative wanted even more, saying it “should have been a dollar.”

Prosecutors say that was part of Rep. Joe Armstrong’s elaborate scheme not to raise revenue or curb smoking rates but to line his own pockets. He’s accused of failing to pay taxes on money he made — more than $300,000 — by buying tax stamps at the old rate and selling them at the higher one.

Armstrong’s attorneys said at his federal trial Tuesday that he isn’t corrupt, but simply a victim of his accountant’s poor advice.

The indictment against Armstrong alleges he devised a scheme beginning in 2006 to profit from the cigarette tax hike planned by then-Gov. Phil Bredesen, a fellow Democrat. Armstrong was by Bredesen’s side when he toured east Tennessee to promote the 42-cent increase as a way to raise education funding and said at the time it should have been as much as $1 per pack.

According to the charges, the longtime legislator from Knoxville borrowed $250,000 to buy tax stamps through a wholesaler at the old 20-cent rate and then sold them at a profit after lawmakers more than tripled the tax in 2007.

His attorney, Gregory Isaacs, argued in court that there was nothing illegal about Armstrong making money off the purchase of the cheaper tax stamps. In fact, Isaacs said, he had every intention of paying taxes on the profits. Isaacs blamed Armstrong’s accountant for failing to turn over money he gave him to the Internal Revenue Service.

“Joe did what a lot of Tennesseans did,” Isaacs told the jury. “They’re going to try to get him convicted for listening to his longtime accountant.”

Prosecutors argue that political considerations drove Armstrong, who was then the chairman of the House Health Committee, to conceal his role and withhold the taxes. “He couldn’t be seen to be getting money from Big Tobacco,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Dale said. “Show Mr. Armstrong that he’s not above the law,” Dale urged the jury.

Isaacs responded that the government’s case hinges on the testimony of Charles Stivers, the accountant who filed the lawmaker’s tax returns. Isaacs said Armstrong had paid Stivers the money to cover the taxes, but that the accountant had pocketed that amount instead of paying the IRS.

According to Stivers’ plea agreement, the return on the purchase of $250,000 worth of tax stamps was $750,000, and he agreed to a 15 percent cut for funneling the proceeds through his bank. That 15 percent cut would have covered Armstrong’s tax burden, Isaacs said.

The longtime legislator wasn’t alone in taking advantage of the lag between when the tax hike passed and when it took effect. State officials saw a $9 million surge in tax stamp sales during that four-month period.

Earlier Tuesday, prosecutors succeeded in excluding the lone African-American potential juror from the trial over what they called “race-neutral reasons.” District Judge Thomas W. Phillips agreed with prosecutor Charles Atchley’s argument that the 68-year-old retired caregiver had been “disengaged” during jury selection and that she would have had difficulty following a complex tax case. “I have to have good jurors on this case,” Atchley told the judge. Isaacs had argued that his client, who is black, deserved to be tried by a jury of his peers and there was no legitimate reason to exclude the juror.

Armstrong became Knox County’s youngest commissioner in 1982, and was first elected to the state House in 1988. A former president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, he is tied with two other lawmakers as the longest-serving members in the lower chamber of the Tennessee General Assembly.

Prosecutors said they expect to wrap up their portion of the trial by Thursday, which is also when Tennessee holds its primary election. Armstrong faces no Democratic opponent, but his political future hinges on the outcome of the trial.

DCG

When are you moving back to England, Piers Morgan?

Piers Morgan in Burger King Flame Fragrance Advert

CNN’s insufferable British prig Piers Morgan is infamous for his threat to deport himself from the United States if we don’t enact gun-control laws: “If America won’t change its crazy gun laws … I may deport myself.”

Morgan also proclaimed that our Constitution and Bible need to be amended.

Morgan was one of four candidates for NewsMax’s “Worst Media Bias of 2012.” In September 2012, Morgan fawned over Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who had called for Israel to be wiped off the map. Morgan asked Ahmadinejad, “How many times in your life have you been properly in love?” Ahmadinejad responded, “I’m in love with all humanity. I love all human beings.” To which Morgan gushed: “That might be the best answer I’ve ever heard to that question.”

On Wednesday, Morgan had a fiery debate with Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield (R), in which Morgan was bullying and kept interrupting Campfield when the senator was trying to answer Morgan’s questions.

At one point, Campfield said, “Now that gun control has failed, Piers, I’m wondering when are you going to move back to England. Because everyone in Tennessee is dying to know.” (1:20 mark)

Well said, Sen. Campfield!

The Internet is all abuzz with headlines calling Campfield a “moron” and an “idiot.” Perhaps you might send him a “thumbs up.” He has a blog “Camp4u” where you can leave him a comment.

I like what he wrote on April 23, 2013:

Thought of the day.

How come no one ever says its liberals who are bitterly clinging to their gun control and secular humanism?

H/t Doug Giles and Newsbusters.

~Eowyn