Saturday, March 26, 2011

Drinking Wine in Turkey

I love wine. I like to drink it of course, but I also like reading wine labels, I like visiting wineries, and I like reading wine reviews. I keep reading Frank Southerland to see if he can top “dusty tomatoes stems” in describing the bouquet of a wine.

I have been a serious wine drinker for probably twenty years. When I say serious, I don’t mean expensive. Most of my wine purchases are in the low-end price range. I simply can not enjoy plunking down $40 for a bottle of wine. Did I tell you that I am frugal? Luckily I know a liquor store that carries discount wines. These wines must be close-outs or overstock. They always carry wine priced at three bottles for $10.99. They always have a good selection of wines like Crane Lake, or Hardy’s, or Cato Negro and several other decent wines at this price. Occasionally however I will find a wine from some obscure French AOC or a Chilean wine that is fantastic. They may only have one case of that wine and it may never be stocked again. To visit Colonial Liquors is like a treasure hunt. You never know what you may find.

For many years my wife and I took a vacation every year. Enjoying new wines was a major part of our vacation experience. There are local wines all over Europe that never get exported. They drink all they produce. On a Greek island, we fell in love with a wine that was grown and produced on that island only and the wine was cheaper than coffee.

One year we travelled to Turkey for out vacation. We had an absolutely wonderful time and fell in love with Turkey. Knowing Turkey was a Muslim country and knowing of the Muslim prohibition on alcohol, we did not expect to have much wine in Turkey. Our first evening in Istanbul, we went out to eat and were pleasantly surprised to find a wine list at the restaurant at which we ate. I assumed that Istanbul, being such an international and cosmopolitan city, tolerated wine but did not expect to find wine in the other parts of the county. Once leaving Istanbul, we did not fine wine served in restaurants in those cities that were not tourist destinations. We just accepted that we would be without wine for a few days.

It was in Iznik where I had another pleasant surprise. Iznik is a lovely town that is the center of the Turkish tile industry. Turkish tiles are a work of art and Iznik has been a major center of tile production for hundreds of years. We had a modestly priced room that had a balcony on the corner of the building and the balcony overlooked the main cross roads of the city. In our travels we were adventurous and we never planned our accommodations in advance. We were excited about finding such a great room. It looked down on a large tile fountain and there was a lot of people coming and going just three floors down.

We had not had wine in several days. I thought I would go explore the city that first night in town and see if, just by chance, I could find any wine. I did not expect to find any. We had not gone many blocks however until we came to an open storefront convenience market and there in a back corner of this little market was a whole shelf of various wines. We bought wine, cheese, bread and olives and went back to our balcony and drank wine had our picnic and watched the evening street activity below.

This story has a point: In Muslim Turkey in the small town of Iznik, I can buy wine in a convenience store. In Nashville, I can’t. It is time to chance that. For more information visit Red, White and Food.

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The first vote on wine in food stores is happening next Tuesday.

March 24, 2011


It’s four years in the making. The first vote on wine in food stores is happening next Tuesday.  

The Senate State & Local Government Committee is scheduled to hear testimony about wine sales in food stores and vote on our preferred bill, SB 0316. The committee meeting will start at 10:30 a.m. in LP12 at Legislative Plaza.  

This vote is a big deal—an affirmative vote gets the ball rolling through the rest of the legislature.  

We need to show the nine committee members how much consumer support there is for wine in food stores by filling the room with as many Red White and Food members as possible. If ever there was a time to show your support, that time is now.  

We’d love to see you at the hearing. If you work downtown, please consider taking an early lunch. Our bill is the first item on the agenda, so the vote should be over by 11 a.m. Here’s a Google Map for Legislative Plaza. Parking is available at the Sheraton on 7th and Union or other nearby lots. Please plan to arrive by 10 a.m.—a Red White and Food team member will be outside Legislative Plaza on the corner of 6th and Union and can direct you where to go.


We understand that many of you have jobs or other commitments that make it difficult to attend in person. You can watch the live streaming video here starting at 10:30 CT Tuesday. In the left-hand column, click “State and Local Government.” If you can’t watch live, it should be archived on the site.   We’ll also tweet during the hearing, so follow @RedWhiteFood for updates.


If the bill is voted out of committee, it will go to the full Senate for a vote. A House committee will also have to hear testimony and vote before it would go to the full House.  

If the bill is not voted out of committee, there’s still hope. Our sponsors have introduced other bills that would allow wine sales in food stores.  

We’ll send a follow-up e-mail after the vote to let you know what happened and what the next steps are.


We’ve worked hard for this moment for four years. But none of this would be possible without the support of you and the thousands of Red White and Food members who have contacted legislators.  

Thanks for everything you’ve done so far—we’re getting so close to the day where we can buy a bottle of wine where we buy our food.  


You can connect with us at any of the following:  

Don’t forget that you can also reach us by e-mail any time at  

Thanks again for all your support.

A toast to success, Red White and Food Team

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Tea Party Choices: Purity of Principle or Maturity of Method

Excellent post. What is the right balance between pragmatism and ideology? How can the tea party win friends and influence people? Will the tea party overreach and self destruct? How do we best advance the cause? Rod

By Ken Marrerro, Blue Collar Muse

I was listening to some Tea Party leaders recently. They were unhappy some Representatives had not yet made their position on a bill public. They decided to find out those positions and if a Rep was voting “wrong,” to threaten him with a primary challenge.

Disagreements, even among allies, are inevitable. How we handle them defines our relationship’s future. In the aftermath of successful influence in 2010′s elections, some Tea Party activists are choosing coercion over cooperation. (link)

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Friday, March 25, 2011

CNN Spotlights Murfreesboro and Mosque 7PM Sunday Night

Murfreesboro is making worldwide news again on Sunday night (3/27/2011). CNN is broadcasting a special at 7:00 o’clock local time (Central) that is titled “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door. Does freedom of religion mean freedom from suspicion?”
Preview at

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Law's Sponsor (Me) Warned in '88: 'We're Poisoning Our Kids'

(For some reason this video is slow loading. If you do not see the video below, click on the post title above and it will load.)

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1988 law designed to protect school children from radon unenforced

By Ben Hall
Investigative Reporter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Metro Health Department has launched a program to test every Metro school for radon.

That testing comes after NewsChannel 5 Investigates discovered that Metro had failed to follow a 1988 law designed to protect school children from radon, a naturally occurring gas known to cause lung cancer.
The Health Department and Metro Schools both claim they did not know the law existed.

But former Metro Councilman Rod Williams said he cannot believe city officials apparently forgot or ignored the ordinance that he sponsored.

Ordinance 88-526 passed the Metro Council and was signed by the mayor back in 1988.  Williams was a passionate advocate for making sure Metro schools were safe from radon.

"Some in Metro want to bury their heads in the sand and hope that radon will go away," he said as he spoke for the bill in 1988.

"We're poisoning our kids." (link)

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Congrutulation to Senator Bill Ketron....

for rewriting his anti-terrorism bill know as "Material Support to Designated Entities Act of 2011" by removing all of the unnecessary antagonistic rhetoric, mean-spirited attach on the Islamic religion and pandering to anti-Sharia nut jobs. I support the bill. 
Here is the original bill. The amended version is here.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Nashville Schools Test for Radon After 20-Year Delay

Twenty years ago while serving in the Metro Council I led a campaign to require Metro to test schools for radon and bring schools with excessive levels of radon into compliance. The bill I sponsored passed and was signed into laws by the Mayor, but now I discover that the law was conveniently forgotten and never enforced.

Radon is a deadly orderless, colorless gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America. It is much more deadly than second-hand cigarette smoke. Devloping children are at greater risk than adults. The Nashville region has much higher levels of radon than most regions of the nation due to the composition of our shale.

It is my view, that since children are forced to be in school, the government has an obligation to provide a healthy environment for them.  I am outraged to discover that twenty years later, we are still exposing our kids lung cancer in unsafe buildings.

Chanel 5 news is reopening this story. I am interviewed in future segments of this story. 

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Report from West Nashville Summit: "Like" our Facebook Page

by Matt Nemeth

Thanks again to everyone who attended our meeting Saturday. We were pleased to see Ted Welch at our event! He has always been kind and gracious and certainly showed that to us again. We thank him for all that he has done for Republican causes!

Eric Golub was our speaker who came all the way from Los Angeles to speak to us. He is the author of numerous books including Ideological Bigotry. A self described Jewish conservative comedian, Eric spoke about the current state of our nation in an informative manner which mixes fact with humor. He certainly provides a unique perspective on our state of affairs and is not shy in his disposition.

You can read the wonderful writing at Eric's blog here:

Also, as I announced, we are trying to expand our communication capabilities for the breakfast summit. To do so I have created a Facebook page. Please click here and press the "Like" button. Let's try to get the number of Likes as high as we can get!

Again, thank you for your time and your involvement in local politics. I look forward to seeing everyone next month!

Take Care,
Matt Nemeth

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