Democratic Leadership Continues to Advance the Cause of Picking on Children

As if kids in our state don’t have enough problems (today we learned that half of all U.S. children will go on food stamps at some point), the Democrats continue their efforts to make fun of the fatties. First there was Andy Berke, wanting us to run around knocking the cake out of fat kids’ hands, and now we’ve got Phil Bredesen basically standing before a bunch of Important People talking about how self-evident the problem of fatties are.

Seriously, it’s bad enough that the State Democrats have decided that they should be free to voice their disgust towards fat people in public and to try to codify that disgust into public policy, but that they want to pick on fat children is beyond the pale.

But it makes sense. I mean, are you going to go up to some 300 lb armed redneck and tell him you find him disgusting to look at and you want him to start showing a little more self-restraint?

No, of course not. Democrats may be patronizing, sactimonious asshats who maybe ought to take a look in the mirror (Governor Bredesen) before casting stones, but they’re not stupid.

Pick on people who can’t fight back, like kids. It’s much safer that way.

Here’s an idea. Bring back recess. Put sidewalks in our cities so that kids can move around their neighborhoods without fear of cars. Make our neighborhoods safe enough that parents can let their kids outside without fear. Feed kids school lunches that are actually cooked on-site with fresh ingredients. Make sure that kids can regularly get to doctors. Encourage parents to let their kids roam some.  And then mind your own god damn business.


Kids are fat for all kinds of reasons and you can’t tell those reasons just by looking at them. The Butcher always gained a lot of weight right before he hit a growth spurt. If you saw him one month, you’d have called him fat. If you saw him the next, you’d have seen him three or four inches taller. I was fat because I had an undiagnosed condition. Some kids are fat because they’re being molested and they’re trying to make themselves unattractive to their attackers. Some kids are fat because their parents lost their jobs and they are scared and depressed. Some kids are fat because they’re fat. And some kids are fat because they are living Eric Cartmans.

You cannot tell by looking at them. And making fat the problem when it is often a symptom of some underlying problem, just makes you an asshole. I mean, seriously, you’re going to tell the little boy who’s being molested that he needs to lose weight so that he doesn’t cost the state money?

Jesus Christ.

You’re not entitled to live in a world surrounded only by people you find pleasurable to look at.

And this strategy of picking on children?

At the least, it’s unbecoming.

Oh, TNGOP, Is It Truly Do As You Say, Not as You Do?

If you believe that handgun permit records should be sealed, then why are you using them for your mailing lists? Did you forget that you wanted them sealed? Do you think that gun owners meant that they didn’t want anyone but you to know who they were?

Just how exactly do you justify this to yourself?

One wonders.

The Internet is Going to be Trouble for Some Folks

As a preface to this post, I’ll just say that I have been unable to let go of something that happened when I was over at Casey’s thing in East Tennessee.  Some kid asked me a question, which I might have kind of punted the answer on, but in the course of asking the question, he revealed that there was a local high school whose mascot was the Rebels.

Talk about having your history stripped from you. Wow. Not that there weren’t Confederates in East Tennessee, but giving kids in East Tennessee a cultural narrative in which they and their people were Rebels?

You just wonder what’s going on there. And you wonder if there’s ever a point when those kids take a step back and say, “Hey, what am I being trained to believe about myself?”

I’ve been having a good laugh over all these state Republicans. At the same time you have Jimmy Matlock crying about how tired he is of everyone crying “racist” whenever folks want to get together and talk about states’ rights, you’ve got the Republican gubernatorial candidates getting together to talk about who is the biggest advocate for states’ rights.

And a girl wonders, just what the heck do they think “states’ rights” means?

This is, again, some bullshit about not being taught the truth about history. I know that, even in posting this, I’m going to get some giant crybabies going on about how their ancestors were not fighting for the right to own slaves, but for states’ rights. But the truth is that the Civil War was indeed about slavery, the Confederates were indeed fighting for the right to own slaves, and that was indeed the crux of the rights they wanted the states to be able to preserve, wishes of the federal government be damned.

This is just the truth. It is what it is. And any Confederate you would have asked would have told you that.

And here’s the thing–it’s not redeemable. You’re never going to take “states’ rights” and redefine it into something that makes the position your ancestors took justifiable. But it’s okay. People in the past did shitty things. Just like people in the present are doing shitty things. Our kids and grandkids are going to look at how we are and roll their eyes that we were so stupid and blind about stuff that we cannot even begin to imagine is a problem.

That’s just life. You don’t get to descend from angels. None of us do.

But here’s the thing. At least the Confederates knew which way to aim their guns.

These states’ rights folks? Who knows what the fuck they want, because they don’t know what the fuck they want. I mean, really, less federal government interference?  Come on, Tennessee Republicans, I love you but are you really going to let someone like Stacey Campfield decide whether food is safe enough to be sold in Tennessee? You really want Susan Lynn deciding when your unemployment ends?

Here’s the thing, right or wrong, everyone else in the whole damn world who learns anything about Tennessee and the American South (if they do) has learned that “states’ rights” is shorthand for “we will violently enforce white supremacy.” Fair or unfair, that is the truth. So, while you’re busy trying to redeem your ancestors by trying to make “states’ rights” mean something noble and respectable (though clearly what this will be has not yet been well-thought-out), everyone else in the rest of the world is still going by the old definition.

“Fine,” you say, “fuck them.”

Okay, then where are you going to work? What big international corporations are going to bring their businesses to a place with a strong States’ Rights governor, when they think “states’ rights” means “your non-white employees might not be safe here”?

Jimmy Matlock is right that words have meanings and “states’ rights” has a pretty specific one that we’re busy trying to pretend doesn’t exist.

But here, conservatives, let me throw you a bone. Today over at Andrew Sullivan’s a rural reader from upper New York writes in, a letter that could have been written by many of your constituents. The circumstances in rural New York are very similar to the circumstances in the rural Midwest, which are very similar to the circumstances in rural Tennessee–jobs that aren’t coming back, drugs that aren’t going anywhere, problems that seem to have no solutions. This reader blames it on high taxes. But we’re seeing the same thing here and we don’t have high taxes.

Conversely, no one in upstate New York is clinging to states’ rights.

Your rhetoric is marginalizing you, even among people who are your natural allies. And whether or not you want to be perceived as racist, when you use terms that have a long history of racist use, you will be perceived as racist. I wouldn’t care–work out your own shit with your dead people however you need to–except that it affects the rest of us in Tennessee, too, when you scare off people with money to put into the state.

If your three priorities are jobs, the economy, and getting to say “fuck you” to the rest of America, you need to be clear that two of those goals are incompatible with the third.