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This issue opened on 4.22.2010 | Previous Issues

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Earth Day? A Slight Historical Correction
Memphis Radio Wars - Ferguson Out, Clarksenior In, Thaddeus Rules
Wha? Can't Taste at the BBQ Festival? |
New! Scroll Down for Animal Adoptions

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(Posted Thurs. April 22, 2010, 10:43 am)
I always hated the know it all that rained on everybody else's parade so let me say right now its perfectly OK to have an "Earth Day" celebration when, where and how you want, but wouldn't it be 'more better' to celebrate it on the "real" first recognized "Earth Day" when there is an exact equal amount of light and dark on the Earth, creating a miraculously precise cosmological balance across the entire planet?

This happens on the March Equinox, or the first day of spring, and for a microsecond on that day, the Earth has an exact equal amount of light and dark perfectly symbolizing its unity and cohesion. John McConnell, with whom I worked in California and New York with volunteers at the United Nations, created and launched the first Earth Day in San Francisco in 1969.

He has been a single, one man army, meeting and proselytizing for the logic of peace well before then. But it was on the Equinox that the idea hit him that was later picked up in cities around the world. Please visit this Spring site I created with a link to the first and original noncommercial Earth Day. The link is at the bottom of the paragraph top right.
Like to respond? Write me, Benqq

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Tennessee has pending medical marijuana bills.
Group claims Obama has stopped DEA actions against marijuana stores.

image-President Obama Lighting Joint (Posted March 2, 2010) Above, public poster

Let's just say the local angle here is that criminal marijuana laws are still on the books in Tennessee but there is an active medical marijuana bill proposed by two Shelby County lawmakers, according to the state legislature Web site.

Sponsored by Sen Beverly Marrero (R-Dist. 30, Shelby Cnty) and and Rep Jeanne Richardson (D-Dist. 89, Shelby Cnty), SB0209/HB0368 Medical Marijuana Act of 2009 authorizes the medical use of marijuana for persons with a terminal illness or injury.
Under this bill no physician may be punished for having recommended marijuana to a terminal patient for medical purposes and the criminal provisions relating to the possession and cultivation of marijuana would not apply to a terminal patient or to the patient's primary caregiver.

The bill was referred to the Health and Human Resources Committee on Feb. 11 last year, then assigned to the Public Health and Family Assistance Sub-Committee and never voted on. It can be considered again this year.

According to Procon.org 14 states have legalized medical marijuana in addition to California: Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Regarding the image to the right, as posted today by
TMZ , the White House "disapproved" of using the President's image for commercial purposes, in this case a photoshopped image of the president lighting up a cigar sized gonja on the group's poster celebrating his first year in office.

The group claims Obama has stopped DEA actions against marijuana stores selling for medicinal purposes and will hold a "marijuana party" this weekend in Los Angeles.

Keeping at least with our celebrity theme thus far (see story below) TMZ posted dozens of pictures at their link above of Hollywood stars allegedly toking it up: Daniel Day Lewis, Kid Rock, Naomi Campbell, Zoe Saldana, Amy Winehouse, Robert Blake, Julia Roberts, Lily Allen, Steve-O, Charlize Theron, Josh Brolin, Guy Ritchie, Paris Hilton, Robert Patterson, Cypriss Hill, Billy Joel, Kevin Spacey, Willie Nelson, Ben Foster, Snoop Dogg, Joss Stone and others.

Respond to BenQQ
The Commercial Appeal's Strange Disconnect to Its Own Story
Is the CA being played for chumps in the West Memphis Three, Alice in Wonderland and celebrity star power story
that's all wrapped in one irresistible pitch?
By BenQQ, (Posted March 1, 2010)

We don't get it. That big, fat 4 column screamer on the front page of Sunday's The Commercial Appeal that presented little to a seventeen year old case except celebrity involvement. In fact, it is the only newspaper story I ever read that cites itself as representative of the problem, even referring to itself in the past tense, as if death of a story couldn't come too soon.

If actor Johnny Depp did indeed "provoke" CBS "48 Hours Mystery," as the article says, to cover the "West Memphis Three," did he not do the same to the CA, which the story admits in strange disassociation about itself at the end, saying Depp's promotional activities, "in turn, prompted articles such as this one--all while making the rounds to promote his latest movie, 'Alice in Wonderland'." I thought this must be like a drug rehab meeting for journalists covering celebrities where public confession is part of the therapy.

If what was buried in the last five paragraphs was its purpose--that media coverage in the "West Memphis Three" are driven by celebrities--you've got to ask why the CA placed a four column, eight inch deep title graphic with the likes of Winona Ryder, her former fiance' actor Johnny Depp and musician Eddie Vedder to cover just about all the front page of yesterday's The Commercial Appeal (our's was the Bartlett edition).

Now, we don't think most celebrities are any more or less smarter than average readers when it comes to processing information. They can bring attention to injustice and want, but there can be a problem when they "get behind" a cause: they frequently don't know what they are talking about.
(cont'd above)

Let's remember the Hollywood elite that proclaimed the innocence of cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal, fugitive Roman Polanski (which has created something of a backlash even among themselves in Hollywood) and none other than convicted mob killer John Gotti.

And, in the big CA story on the West Memphis Three, we are sorry to report there is little new, except alleged DNA found on one of the victim's bodies and resurfaced claims from previous coverage of incompetent defense.

This may or may not be sufficient for a retrial. Depp and his colleagues have every right to make the case. The Commercial Appeal, on the other hand, has a responsibility to keep celebrity involvement in perspective.

The story reeks of Hollywood public relations machine origination. While first criticizing celebrityhood in the story, it then, ironically enough, gets suckered into it.

And because the case is now a national cause celebre'
(of, may we add, Hicksville vs. the self proclaimed cognoscenti?), we think a little more clarity from our local media and being less impressed by star power would be in order.

CA, take it from someone who's lived and worked in Hollywood for 25 years: don't let yourself get played for chumps.

Respond to Benqq

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