Friday, November 19, 2010

Murfressboro Mosque Circus makes The Economist.

The Murfressboro Mosque story has made the news all over the world including the prestigious Economist magazine. The Economist article offers no special insight but presents a factual summary of events.

This trial has brought publicity to Murfressboro and Tennessee that we did not need. It has tarnished the image of Tennessee almost equal to the Scopes monkey trial. The only thing that could have made it worse is if the judge in the case had not followed the rule of law and had ruled in favor of the plaintiffs.

I am sure that many others observers share the view of one reader who left this comment on the Economist website:

Ahh Tennessee, birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan, what a welcoming and inclusive club of reasonable, well-intentioned people. I sure am glad that the international community can look upon America and see our greatness and the strength of our democracy at work in Tennessee. Bravo Tennessee, keep representing the best America has to offer, I'll be sure to wave hello as I pass over this backwater flyover state.
The plaintiffs are threatening to appeal the case. On what grounds, I don't know. This has already cost Rutherford County over $50,000 and probably much more in damage to the good name of Rutherford County, Murfressboro, and Tennessee. This is not going to help with MTSU student recruitment or business recruitment. If I were the CEO of a large firm looking to relocate my corporate headquarters, I would probably mark  Murfressboro and maybe Tennessee off my list. I hope this circus does not have a return engagement.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

chancellor sticks to law, First Amendment applies to Murfreesboro and mosque must can be built

Judge denies request to stop work on Murfreesboro mosque
By Stephen George, City Paper, Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 3:53pm

After a trial that stretched more than two months and devolved into what many spectators called a circus that garnered international attention and ridicule, Rutherford County Chancellor Robert Corlew denied plaintiffs' request for a temporary injunction Wednesday afternoon.(link)

Comment: Thank God this circus is over and thank God we still have freedom of religion in America.

If chancellor sticks to law, Murfreesboro mosque must be built
by Gail Kerr, The Tennessean, November 17, 2010

Now it's up to Rutherford County Chancellor Robert Corlew III.

Will this end up being one of his finest hours, ruling that a Murfreesboro mosque can be built — whether he personally likes it or not — because it legally met all local planning and building criteria?
If he is an impartial member of the judiciary who follows the rule of law, instead of a rogue judge who makes it up as he goes, then the mosque will get built. You may disagree with that. If you think judges should be activists who reinterpret the law as they see fit, based on the political winds of the day, you'll love it if the judge rules against the mosque. (link)

Comment: Amen. I agree and could not have said it better. I am glad this circus is leaving town. I just hope the Judge rules for the rule of law. I am embarrassed an appalled that there are so many local "conservatives" opposing property rights, opposing the Constitutional First Amendment  right to Freedom of Religion, advocating big government and judicial activism. I am not that kind of conservative.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Is that a bomb in your pants or are you glad to see me?

Ever since 9-11 flying has been no fun. I remember the good old days, when you did not have to arrive an hour or two early, when your loved ones could walk you to the departure gate and be there at the gate to greet you when you returned, when there were no baggage searches or removing of your shoes or pat downs and you could carry your toothpaste, shampoo, aftershave, a pint of bourbon and a Swiss army knife.

Now, The Transportation Security Agency has rolled out new rules that require full-body scans, which can see through your clothes and leave nothing to the imagination. They can detect nipples and pubic hair and tell if a man is circumcised or not. If one does not want to be seen virtually nude by strangers one can instead opt for the body search. The new body search will not be a gentle pat down using the back of the hand but a real search with groping of the breast and the groin. There will be a good ole squeeze to see if what is there is all that should be there.

Now, I am not that modest of a guy. I am not going to mortified if someone sees me naked. And, if it was an attractive women doing the search I might even opt for the search instead of the scan, but I think it will be men groping men and women groping women. I will put up with the indignity of the nude scan because I really am not bothered by my own nudity and if some guy gropes my groin I am not going to freak out.

Many people are however going to be uncomfortable with this. I would bet that nude pics of celebrities will find their way to the Internet. With people being human and technology the way it is, I just do not believe all those nude pictures will be kept secure.

Will this make us more secure? Probably. Is it worth it? That is a judgment call. One should not just assume that because it will make us more secure, that it is worth it. There is a trade off between security and safety, and convenience. As individuals and as a society we have to decide the proper balance. Sometimes the trade off is not worth it.

I remember when the interstate speed limit, in an effort to save gas, was reduced to 55 miles per hour. I didn't like it. I could not drive 55. People objected and the government argued that the lower speed saved X number of lives. The number of lives saved by driving the slower speed limit was simply not worth it as far as I was concerned. Some people find that statement abhorrent but in reality we all accept a certain number of deaths for our own convenience.

You often hear people say about expenditures for safety or inconveniences for safety, "if it saves just one live it is worth it." I don't think anyone really believe that. It sounds nice, but people don't really believe it. Driving 55 saved lives. Driving 35 would have saved even more. Drive 5 MPH and we could end all highway deaths. What is the magic number at which the additional saved life is not worth it. For me it was 74MPH.

The new security measures will probably make us safer. It we all had full body cavity checks and all flew naked, and could take no baggage with us we would be safer still. Like I said, I am not going to be that bothered by these new regulations but there are still some modest people in this country who are going to be very offended. This is much like the speed limit. The higher level of security may not be worth the cost.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Conservative candidates needed to run for Metro Council.

In Metro's 40-member Council there are about 10 "good" council members. One of them, Jim Gotto, got elected to higher office and his seat is an open seat. Some of the good ones, like Robert Duvall, have a target on their back and the liberals are going to do all they can to defeat them. We need to help Robert Duvall and other conservative keep their seat.

Several of the "good" councilmen are term-limited out and unless we have other good candidates to run for those seats, they could be lost to liberals. The good news is that some of the most liberal council member are  also term-limited out of office and those seats could be won by conservative candidates if we have good candidates. Some of the liberal Council Members who are not term-limited out of office could be vulnerable and need to be challenged by strong conservative candidates.

To find out who has already declared for election and to read The Tennessean's take on the August 4th Council race, follow this link.

If you are thinking about running, if you are a conservative, have integrity, care about Nashville, and think you have the skills that would make a good council member , I would like to meet you and share what I know.  I served in the Metro Council for two full terms and part of another term and won an election against overwhelming odds. It does not have to take a lot of money to run for Metro Council if you are willing to work hard. I would be glad to meet with you, give you some advice and connect you to other people who may be able to help you.  Contact me.

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