A Question

So, everybody’s complaining because, if they take money from the government, they’re now going to be limited to a $500,000 salary and can’t cash any stocks until after the government is paid back.

“We’ll loose all our best minds!”  They complain.

And here’s my question.  Am I misunderstanding the direness of the economy or do they really not get that these “best minds” have nowhere to go?

Good News

Rep. Jeanne Richardson is trying to get “gender identity added to the hate crimes statute.  I’d be glad to see this anyway, but I’m doubly glad to see it considering the situation in Memphis.

Oh, I know, “But B., just yesterday you were saying ‘fuck “intent.”  “Intent” doesn’t count for shit.  It’s the results of your actions.'”  (That’s right, I did just use the dreaded triply-embedded quotation mark.  I don’t even know if that’s legal, but I think I pulled it off masterfully.)

So, I’ve given this some thought.  Can one run around being all “I don’t care if his intentions were good, what he did was fucked up and that’s what counts” yesterday and today be all “If you intend to harm someone because of her gender identity, that should up your sentence.” and not be a hypocrite?

The answer is, “I don’t know.”

It doesn’t feel, from in here, like a contradictory position, because those feel like two very different uses of the word “intent.”  In the first case, “intentions” are just vague feelings and in the second case, “intentions” means your purpose.  If you intended for everything to work out well, that’s relying a lot on luck and your best wishes.  But if you intend to show those queers a thing or two, you have a purpose to your actions and that purpose is a problem for the whole community.

And it seems like considering the latter is appropriate.  The statute has a whole list of circumstances under which the status of a person’s victim would enhance his sentence–children, developmentally disabled people, firefighters, police officers, and so on.  I don’t see why adding people who don’t conform to gender expectations to it is any big deal.

(Though, interestingly enough, I bet you guys didn’t know this little bit was in there:

The defendant intentionally selected the person against whom the crime was committed or selected the property that was damaged or otherwise affected by the crime, in whole or in part, because of the defendant’s belief or perception regarding the race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, or gender of that person or the owner or occupant of that property; however, this subdivision (17) should not be construed to permit the enhancement of a sexual offense on the basis of gender selection alone

Emphasis mine.  Because god forbid we not see rape for the hate crime it is.)

Anyway, I don’t know.  I could be trying to argue for a distinction that isn’t there.

I’m still glad to see it.

Ha, Well, I Wonder What This Bodes?

So, a bunch of progressive bloggers decided yesterday to hold a fund raiser today with the modest goal of raising $1,000 by Friday evening.  Like I said this morning, $1,000 doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you look at the bare-cupboard of the TNDP coffers, it’s quite a bit.

Well, they got their $1,000 after lunch, today.

So, they set a new goal of $2,000 and 50 contributors by Friday evening.

I just looked and they are three contributors and $12 away from hitting that mark right now.

Listen, I said it before and I will say it again.  Money talks.  If we want Tennessee politicians to listen to us, we have to prove that they have to.  This has been an effective lesson.  I don’t know what it means (you know, because I don’t know anything about politics), other than that the ground is shifting.

A few folks can decide yesterday to do something and accomplish it today.  Ta da.

I don’t know what to make of it, but I’m tickled as shit to see it.

Ha.  I don’t know.  I wish I were privy to the talk on the Hill today.  I wonder what they’re saying about it.

If you can contribute, please do.

Isn’t There a HIPAA Issue Here?

I was reading and snickering, as I do, because I am evil and I suck etc. etc. etc., at Say Uncle’s post about gun owners wanting a right to privacy when two things occured to me.  One–I don’t have a gun.  As easy as it was for folks to map all the Prop 8 donors, it would be just that easy for them to map all the gun owners in Tennessee.  At first, this seems fine.  What do I care?  I don’t have a gun.

BUT, I don’t have a gun.  If all the gun owners’ houses are mapped, by process of elimination, all the non-gun owners’ houses are mapped.  Is now a good time to remind people that I have a dog, who eats babies just for fun?  Who can take down a 200 pound man just by looking at him?

I actually don’t think that I want people to easily find out that my house is unarmed.

But, two is a bigger issue, I think.  If, in order to get a gun permit you have to reveal things like whether you have had any kind of psychiactric problems or drug or alcohol addiction.  Okay, fine.  But can the government turn around and release that information to the general public?  Isn’t that a HIPAA violation?  In other states, I could see that it might not be, but the state of Tennessee is a healthcare provider through TennCare and, as a healthcare provider, they have to keep a person’s medical records private.  So, even if it’s legal to release the names of people who have guns, how are they able to release what clearly seems to be medical information?


I am of many minds about this.  Here they are.

1.  I think it’s a fantastic idea for liberal Tennessee bloggers to throw our weight around a little and see what comes of it.  No, a thousand dollars doesn’t seem like a lot of money, but when you consider that the TNDP has, maybe, $20,000 to its name right now, we’re now talking 5%, which is nothing to sneeze at.  So, hey, if you’ve got a little money, throw it that way.

2.  But the more I think about it, the more pissed off I am at the TNDP.  I think the TNGOP are a bunch of ignorant vaguely corrupt full of themselves blowhards, but who has been at the center of almost ever single political shenanigan in the ten years I’ve lived here?  And I have yet to hear anyone talking about what the Democrats are going to do to change their ways.  And I am not over the “Obama cost us the election” nonsense that serves to protect them from any self-reflection.  I don’t support that nonsense.

3.  And then there’s this.

Party veterans are snorting at the naiveté. It’s like something out of a Disney movie, they say. When you wish upon a star … As one of our many anonymous insider sources observes, “These kids just don’t get it. They actually think all they have to do is turn on their computer and the money will start flooding in. If you’re Barack Obama or Howard Dean, you can raise money online. If you’re Andy Berke or Kim McMillan, you can’t. They’re going to find that out.”

And I think now you see why, even though I most certainly don’t support the Democrats, I’m encouraging you to give money to them, through the internet, unsolicited, even if you only have $5 to give, because we need to scare the shit out of guys like that.  Because the only way the Tennessee Democratic party is ever going to get its act together is if they are afraid of losing donors.  So, some new folks need to step up and be donors that they’re afraid of losing.

Edited to add: Oooo.  See R. Neal.