Local WIN: Letter to the Editor

One of my favorite insanity troughs, as most readers know, is the comments section for the online edition of local future-gerbil-bedding Kingsport Times-News. These halls of bad grammar, ALLCAPSRANTINGS, mind-blowing bigotry, and proud ignorance have been depressing me as well as providing me with mockery fodder for several years now. Unfortunately, one of the perfectly reasonable conclusions that one may draw after perusing said embarrassment is that we, the locals, are overwhelmingly incredibly ignorant bigots whose grammar, basic reasoning, and life skills are so poor, it is a wonder we managed to crawl over the meth labs, trampolines, outhouses, spitoons, and fatheruncles to get to the computer.

Nay, Gentle Reader. It is not so. There are many intelligent, thoughtful, and civilized people in these parts. I have even *met* some of them via the Kingsport Times-News comment section (Celeste!). But lest you disbelieve me, and think (as I sometimes fear) that these parts are chock-full of naught but Fox-watching omniphobes, I present this awesome Letter to the Editor and our Local WIN:

Why hasn’t Obama fixed leak yet?

Published June 2nd, 2010

It is appalling that Barack Obama has not geared up and gone down and capped the leaking BP oil well. Everyone knows he could have already if he weren’t intent on stalling to try to make the poor, honorable oil industry look bad, and it wouldn’t have happened in the first place if he were doing a better job personally inspecting the offshore oil drilling adherence to safety regulations as he should have been in his spare time. Instead, there have been weeks wasted with only dozens of engineers, scientists, oil industry experts, and government officials helplessly flailing around without his supervision trying to come up with ideas on how to cap the mile-deep leak, while except for two measly presidential visits, Obama has been impeding their progress by coldly staying out of their way and sadistically denying the Gulf Coast states governors access to the ultimate scapegoat symbol of the evil federal government they love to ridicule.

Or, that’s what I think I was told to think by most of the people getting on TV “news” shows because they’ve got something — anything — whatever to say. I assume it’s true, and I don’t owe any intellectual royalties on it.

Ron Dingus

Kingsport

Ron Dingus – you, sir, are truly a pie-worthy Local WIN.

Ron Dingus - This Pie Is For You

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Apathy v. Racism

What follows is, more or less, a comment I posted on the now-epic Tea Party and Race post.  I am turning it into a separate post (1) because I think it is a conundrum worth exploring and (2) that comment section may be a bit unwieldy at this point.

…As for the federal Civil Rights Act and expressions of malcontent with said Act… well, my opinion is that intent only matters to a certain degree – at some point you have to address results. In other words, one can philosophize all day long about the nobles ideas behind one’s opinion, but noble ideas don’t trump results.

So, if the ‘noble idea’ that you are espousing is no federal governmental intrusion, but a lack/repeal of federal gov’t intrusion would result in some state’s infringing upon the basic federal rights of some of the citizens, you don’t get a [total] pass [on the actual results of the implication of said idea]. This kind of ‘let them eat cake’ mentality simply doesn’t work in reality.

It’s all well and good to say that people should not shit on each other; but I think we all have to agree (or maybe just those of us in certain areas) that *if* the federal government were not “intruding,” our kind would not be welcome. And by “our kind” I mean whatever particular group/belief/etc that is pilloried for simply trying to exercise the same rights as everyone else.

And don’t get me wrong – I still hold a serious thing for Libertarianism. We were very close for a long time, and even though we have parted ways, I would like to think that we are still friends. I just realized that it wasn’t me; it was everyone else. As I moved through education and from the service industry to the professional industry, I realized that but for federal protection of federal rights, those rights would be utterly meaningless.

And if we allowed a “patchwork” approach on nationwide interests like public education, we would only see the poor states get poorer and less educated while the rich got richer. And we would not be a Union in any sense of the word because we would self-segregate faster than you can say the Pledge of Allegiance.

… I should make it clear that I do not think [a person is] a racist; I don’t think [their] position is racist, and I don’t think [their] statements can be interpreted as racist [simply because they are advocating a stance that the Federal Gov’t has no business enacting legislation regarding civil rights].

I think there is a space between racists and people actively advocating for equality, though. And while I don’t believe in a my way or the highway/you agree with me or you are a racist approach, I *do* believe that people in the middle should be aware that sometimes their stance encourages and supports a status quo that is not equal for all people. Again, this doesn’t mean that they are racist, but it may mean that something they support – for whatever reason – will likely have a disparate/unfair impact on people who are already generally in a weaker bargaining position.

If I Would Have Known You Were Coming, I Wouldn't Have Eaten the Whole Damn Cake.

Local WIN

Well folks…

When I clicked on the link, I was sure I’d found our next Burning Shame Award recipient. However, after peeping his mugshot and reading of his completely understandable defense, I totally changed my mind and realized that this story is, 100%, hands-down balls-out Local WIN.

Just. AWESOME.

A Church Hill man has been charged with indecent exposure after allegedly running nude through a Kingsport grocery store, wearing only a rubber mask on his face.

The man was arrested at a nearby Hardee’s, where he reportedly asked employees for clothing before hiding in the bathroom. Police say the suspect admitted to the incident, citing, “he was bored and didn’t have anything to do.”

A report from Kingsport police identifies the man as Daniel R. Lee, 22, of 612 East Main Boulevard, apartment A, Church Hill. He allegedly walked into the IGA grocery store, 3006 North John B. Dennis Highway, at about 9 p.m Friday.

Police say he was, “wearing only a rubber mask.”

Store personnel told police that Lee ran around the store exposing himself to several customer and employees. One member of the staff attempted to run Lee down as he left the store, but was unable to catch him.

However, according to the police report, the employee did nab a woman that accompanied Lee. She is identified as Katelyn M. Trent, 18, of 1849 1/2 Forest View Drive, Kingsport. She allegedly claimed Lee was her boyfriend.

The report says police located Lee in the bathroom of a nearby Hardee’s. Restaurant employees told police he entered, “wearing only an orange hoodie, ” and was, “attempting to cover himself up and asking for any piece of clothing.”

One male employee gave Lee a pair of basketball shorts, according to the report. Police found Lee in the bathroom, wearing the shorts and orange hoodie.

“Daniel advised me that he did run through the IGA nude because he was bored and didn’t have anything to do,” reads the officers report.

Lee was charged with indecent exposure, arrested and transported to the Kingsport jail.

So, Daniel R. Lee, this one’s for you, dude.

Hells YES

ETSU Health Care Forum TONIGHT

Tonight ETSU is hosting a Heath Care Forum at the ETSU Culp Center Forum, from 5-6:30 pm.  The panel will consist of:

  • Former Congressional Representative David Davis, founder of Shared Health Services
  • Dr. T. Watson Jernigan, local Ob/Gyn
  • BCBS Vice President Calvin Anderson
  • Heidi Davis and Mike Clark for College Dems
  • Ryan Mills of College Republicans
  • Aubrey Childress from Public Health Student Association
  • Tracey Alice Berry, local attorney

So this should be interesting. I hear the attorney is a crazy pro-reform socialist liberal.  Be there or be L7…

People Over Profits

Burning Shame Award: Misogyny Loves Company

This week’s Burning Shame Award is a truly a tag-team effort and goes to Mr. Harvie Christian for his asinine comment to an asinine Letter to the Editor in the online edition of the KPT-TN written by one Charlton Rhinehart of Kingsport, Tennessee.  The letter, a lament on the the possible loss of DADT , is bad enough to garner the award one its own merit:

The military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy is one of the last laws against gays to end. Originally, all states had laws against gays, some as much as the death penalty. But those days are done, and anyone who thinks we can still turn back is out of touch. However, what is destined to happen if allowed is that government will be promoting gays. At Capitol Park in Sacramento, Calif., a memorial reads, “In honor of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender veterans killed in action.” Why couldn’t a memorial for all veterans be suitable? We are not honoring their service, but their lifestyle. Many sinful acts are legal, but none are promoted by government yet. Gays will soon have government-backed holidays, scholarships and recognition. Homosexuals are not a minority deserving special treatment, but a group by choice. It is one thing to not discriminate against a lifestyle, but to promote is intolerable. Homosexuality will remain objectionable to much of America as long as there is freedom of religion. For government to go beyond tolerating to promoting would be devastating. But without serious opposition, it is destined for all America.

Rhinehart waxes rhapsodic for the good ol’ days, you know, when you could kill a gay.  And now, as if not being able to kill the gays isn’t bad enough, we might actually start giving them “special treatment.”  I presume by “special treatment,” he means not killing them. No – I am sorry, he means not discriminating against them. Because not discriminating against the Gays is the same as promoting them?  And by Jesus we have a God-given right to hate the Gays! WTFB? [“WTFB” = WTFbigot?  i just got tired of writing it out all the time].

So yes, the original letter is shitty enough. But then our man Harvie fucking takes it to the hoop of insane omniphobia.  He sees Rhinehart’s homophobia and religiously-justified hate and RAISES HIM A TRUCKLOAD OF MISOGYNY.  Check this shit out:

“What ever happened to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”? Just wondering.”

Man got married and women were given equal rights. That is what happened to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To solve the unemployment in the United States all we have to do is insure the male workers are making sufficient salaries to support their families and send the woman back home where she should be working doing her job keeping the house clean, doing the everyday chores, and properly brining up her kids. If the women were taken out of the work force then all those jobs would become available to men and the unemployment problem would cease to exist. This is highly unlikely to happen though since women will never be satisfied in their God given role now that they have tasted the freedom to work outside their home and not take care of their kids. Why do we have so many messed up kids in the world today? Simply because motherhood has gone out the window. Women are willing to work for a lesser salary than men so the companies are happy to hire them and keep the salary’s of the men down. This feeds itself because the men do not make enough to support their families thus forcing the woman to go to work. It is all greed of the big companies and the owners of these big companies are generally conservatives. Now back to the original story about the promotion of homosexuality. That has been taking place since at least the late 60’s and early 70’s when gays were first encouraged to come out of the closet. I doubt the number of homosexuals has increased that much in percentage to heterosexual people but they just don’t live in day to day fear like they once were forced to. Being a homosexual is not a lifestyle choice. You are either born as a homosexual or you are not. Regardless of what lifestyle the homosexual lives he or she is still a homosexual. I would think that we should encourage homosexuals to be true to their lifestyle because then they would not reproduce and no reproduction should logically cut down on their numbers considerably. Homosexual men don’t go out looking for relations with straight men because in order for a relationship to develope between a straight man and a homosexual man the straight man would have to be sexually attracted to the gay man and by definition that would make the straight man gay. I would think that straight men would be more acceptable of gay men because by being gay the homosexual is not in competition for the females. Since Jesus never got married or had relations with a female and always surrounded himself with men and taught them to be fishers of men in today’s society he would be considered homosexual.

Strangely, Harvie goes on to acknowledge that homosexuality is not a choice, but then advocates to simply breed it out of existence.  Again, WTFB?

So Harvie and Charlton, our Burning Shame Award goes out to you. You ought to be ashamed.

The Lady's Not For Burning



Ham of Excellence

HOE

It is time – indeed, well past time – for us to acknowledge another example of Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence.   Our latest HOE is a tireless advocate for truth, compassion, and understanding. In fact, I do not think he stops to eat or sleep in his drive to bring enlightenment and kindness to our very, ummmm enlightenmentally-challenged area. Oh yes, people – in addition to being a HOE, this person is also a local WIN and we are very, very lucky to have him around.

I present to you the latest recipient of the SLF Ham of Excellence:

The Reverend John Shuck of the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton.

This man has not only challenged my thinking on what organized religion can do (i.e., something other than judgment, inadvertent wrong, and outright evil), he shows just what good we can attain if we have the balls and conviction to be unconventional and honest. Did you ever think you could walk into a southern church – hell, any church – and hear a sermon on “Better Living Through Evolution?”  How many ministers do you know who are active in PFLAG? When was the last time you saw your preacher at a pro-healthcare reform rally?

Now, my opinions on what Jesus is/was about are based pretty much entirely on Jesus Christ Superstar. I like the whole ‘do unto to others’ thing. And the idea of sticking to an incredible unpopular (and fatal) viewpoint because you *know* in your heart that it is the right thing to do is really fundamentally cool. But the Jesus in my mind would probably be heartbroken if he saw and heard some of the shit that was/is done in his name. However, I usually keep these opinions to myself because (1) I am not a Christian and (2) most Christians seem to be just thrilled with the status quo.

So imagine how amazing it is to meet someone who truly embodies what Jesus is supposed to be about. It’s enough to make a southern female lawyer think about going to church. Which, as someone who has never gone to any church/temple/religiousgathering in her entire life and is fairly certain said building will erupt in flames should she enter, is a pretty big freaking deal.

So, thank you John Shuck for existing. You sir, are truly a Ham of Excellence.

Random Awesomeness

Random Awesomeness – the LOCAL edition!

Click here to read about the story of Project Hannah. Hannah is about the sweetest person you will ever meet. And the Finches are wonderful people doing kindness for no reason other than they know it was the right thing to do.

Total WIN.

Pie-Worthy

Burning Shame Award, Part II

Well, it was bound to happen. TF has been toppled from his/her throne of crazy. Check out the following back-to-back comments by the cleverly-named “Your Funny” in response to a local paper’s alarmist bullshit about Islam:

“or nuke-em all and let God sort-em out”

Your Funny | 12/8/2009 – 8:30 AM –

“time for us to deport all finatical muslims who believe we are all infidel’s and should be be-headed,close and tighten our boarders,and stop these oil-wars.Afghanistan: Hope we get out of their.!! since war and invasion is all they know.The British tried to settle Afghanistan,the Russians tried,neither could do it. don’t know if we can either..”

Your Funny | 12/8/2009 – 8:27 AM

The Lady's Not For Burning

STAY KLASSY!!!

Adventures in Local Bigotry: Burning Shame Award of the Week

At first I was going to blog this as the Fail of the Week. But then I realized it is only MONDAY. And I also realized that it just isn’t fair to the rest of the world to let East Tennessee carry all the Fail. So, in honor of East Tennessee’s commitment to keepin’ it klassy, I would like to introduce you to my new award category:

THE SFL BURNING SHAME AWARD.

Which is based on this charming photo:

The Lady's Not For Burning

And of course, our first winner comes fresh from the comments section of the online Kingsport Times-News.

Today’s topic – Muslims. Or muslin. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between a human and a bolt of cloth. Tough times – thank goodness we have the Kingsport Times-News – solid bastion of impartial journalism – to let us know:

Tennessee activists warn churchgoers Muslims are trying to destroy America

A belief that Muslims are out to destroy the American way of life is gaining a foothold in some Christian and Jewish circles in Nashville. The movement spreads its message through films, books and the Internet. Its sentiment: Islam is an evil religion rooted in hatred and nurtured by violence. Some churches have gotten involved, hosting viewings of movies that alert Jews and Christians of the perceived dangers worldwide. One film, produced by a local filmmaker, warns that a second Holocaust is imminent if Americans do not stand united politically with Israel.

Now, Kingsport just ran the above text with a link to the real article Is Islam a Threat to America? The full article ran in the Tennessean and, despite the HORRIBLE title, the Tennessean showed pretty clearly that the people and groups behind this bullshit are a bunch of freaking crazy political whackjobs who don’t know what the fuck they are talking about.

But leave it to the ever shitty Kingsport paper to give a short blurb that totally misses the mark and makes this lunacy seem both legit AND homespun-awesome. And basically suggests that its readership get on board. Which, let’s be honest, most of the readers of said shitty paper don’t need any further encouragement, but still… Call me old-fashioned, but I think it is nice when a newspaper tilts more towards “informative” than “persuasive.”

But at least one commenter did not need any persuadin’ on the matter. Let me introduce you to TF, the first-ever recipient of the newly minted SFL Burning Shame Award:

Yes I have spent 3 month with the Muslins and have had 7-8 in my home and had contact over the last 12 years on a weekly email, one told me ” if Michelangelo was around in my life time I would kill him for making a naked statue of my David ” and he was as serious as could be. That is the main reason they hate the US people is because of our life style and same in Europe. They birth about 5 times as many babies as all other religions and that is how they are going to take over in time to come. You need to wake up and get to know your maker!

STAY KLASSY TENNESSEE!

Random Awesomeness AND Fail of the Week: Local Edition

Hey readers! We got ourselves a twofer! First, a FANTASTIC letter to the editor of the Kingsport Times-News – below is the text of the full letter. This is my pick for Random Awesomeness of the Week:

Jesus isn’t the reason for the season

Published December 2nd, 2009 |

Christmas originated as a celebration of Christ’s birth. Really? Christians spend most of their time, money, and energy trying to honor Christ. Really? Children identify Jesus with Christmas, not Santa. Really? Adults fret over not giving Christ enough praise, not gift debt. Really? Decorated trees represent the life Christ offers. Really? Historical facts suggest Jesus was born in December. Really? People rarely experience post-Christmas blahs or depression because they spent their time focusing on the Savior! Really?

Over 1,500 years before Christ’s birth, people celebrated winter solstice festivals around Dec. 25. Their focus was on their respective sun gods (Mithra, Saturn, etc.). It was only during the fourth century that military and religious leaders began strategically slipping Jesus into the yearly winter shindigs. Jesus became a token add-on, an afterthought, a pawn used to achieve their goals of controlling the masses. This would be like us declaring from now on going clubbing will represent our fight against world hunger.

Discovering that Jesus is not the reason for the season confused me. Some of my greatest memories revolve around Christmas as a child. Perhaps not all is lost. Christ was big on love, family, and friends, but also on honesty. Maybe some of our Christmas traditions wouldn’t continue to insult Him if we’d stop publicly insisting it’s all about Him while privately doing everything but focusing on Him. As counterintuitive and as religiously incorrect as this may sound to Christ followers, if we participate in holiday traditions maybe we should leave Christ out of it, rather than pretending He is the catalyst. He deserves better.

Mark Johnson

Church Hill

Kudos to you, Mr. Johnson.

And, of course, an online letter to the editor such as this is bound to gather some uber-fails of comments. Without further ado, I present you the SFL Fail of the Week:

I’m not even touching this one. Amazing that people call us morons because they cannot except the simple premise of a Son was born of a virgin, HE died on a cross at the hands of man to save all humanity, and HE’S COMING AGAIN! BUT, you can believe in something so stupid as environmentalism, carbon footprints, the ice is melting, and the big bang theory, Darwinism, and other such myths. Betcha believe in big foot and the abominable snowman too. You people just amaze me. So you know what, you keep believe in all the falsehoods and leave me and my Christian Christmas alone. If you don’t want to celebrate it, then stay by yourself in your cold old dirty apartment and leave me alone! MERRY CHRISTmas!

This has it all: first, the pretend superiority of “I’m not even touching this one.” Then we move on to the reverse-insult. Then some ALLCAPS proselytizing!!! Then some more nastiness for the MORANS who believe in science. Then a little offensive defense – STAND FOR CHRISTMAS!!! – some weird insults, then, of course, the mandatory  reference to !!!!!CHRIST!!!!!!!. signed, ResQLady B

Get a grip, anonymous harpy.

More of MY PERSONAL reasons for the season:

Birds are nice

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