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From Willie Herenton to women and pet owners: drop dead!

Gladiator Willie responds to a reporter's question
(posted June 10, 2010) by Ben "Benqq" Harrison
Its got to be true. I saw it on TV! Local journalists are called into a room with congressional primary candidate Willie Herenton and left gasping and frozen
behind their mics and cameras. Its a display that has the uncomfortable edges of a man revealing too much about himself: his smoldering resentments he can't leave behind, his demons that rise up unexpectedly at the oddest moments. (cont. above)

Herenton, in a pugilistic management style he'd foisted on the city previously, resembles a Roman gladiator thrusting a sword through his successor, media and anyone else who's a problem and not a toy in his sandbox.

From what I saw, he talked to them like a principal enjoying his power over misbehaving students, lecturing in that condescending pontificating style until one of the little miscreants rolls a marble under his chair, causing the principal to lose it, revealing what's really behind the suit.

The marbles that apparently most rattled The Principal were questions from WREG reporter Mike Matthews about the scandalously inept rape crisis center and the criminally involved Memphis Animal Shelter. In an uncontrolled dramatic outburst only equalled by a defendant on Law and Order, Herenton revealed his attitudes toward women, animals and the law in a breath taking exchange with the reporter.

Saying in time-bomb ticking faux patience that he had already answered that question, the former director of the Memphis City Schools went on to add more to the point in a jaw dropping bombast that would garner front page news if it were a conservative speaking the obverse: "I don't give a damn" about the rape crisis center or the animal shelter and these were items "peripheral" to larger issues. He went on to announce there were "real" issues in America but didn't name any. Uh huh. How about some content regarding those crises, Mr. Herenton? Respond | previous related story (scroll down when there)
Next: Herenton's Radio Guy Dishes the Muck
Ready for the Arizona-Tennessee Mexican Diaspora? Here's AZ Immigration Bill 1070 as Written
posted Thursday May 20, 2010   By Ben "BenQQ" Harrison
Now that we as a nation officially genuflected to Mexico this week and our president all but high fived President Felipe Calderon when he openly chastised of the U.S. for allegedly "violating" the human rights of his countrymen with Arizona's recent anti-illegal immigration law, perhaps we should read it. And that includes Tennessee lawmakers, as well. In Arizona, cross border Mexican migrants number to nearly a half million. There too millions have been spent (without a breath of acknowledgement from Calderon) in education and health care for the same migrant population whose rights he believes are being violated. He's not the only one. I heard some protestors emotionally call Arizonans "Nazis" without, of course, establishing not even a difficult comparison.      (cont. above)
So I'll stretch to give them one: Don't be surprised if AZ 1070, which extends and supports federal immigration law among state agencies, creates a "Mexican Diaspora" to adjacent states, including Tennessee. Our state currently has only about 100,000 undocumented workers out of a population of 210,000 foreign born residents, according to a 2007 report of the Tennessee Comptroller to the Treasury.

Arizona's law won't stop the Rio Grande Express but will divert it westerly and easterly. Tennessee will have two ways to go: either institute a state income tax in order to add health, education and social service resources to accommodate the undocumented or enforce its own anti-immigration bill 729 that can shut down a business for hiring illegal workers. The TN law does not go as far as authorizing state enforcement as Arizona that has a much larger illegal immigrant population. Here's the full law
Charlotte Bergmann picture
posted Friday May 14, 2010
by BenQQ    It was just a taste of what had gone before and what
was to come in spades for local pols--community meetings of supporters and those few curious enough to venture out to actually "meet" a candidate in a "meet and greet" event this past Wednesday. Preceding her, Timothy Price, Senior Advisor, said to the group of mostly older and all white conservatives that never numbered over 30 for the entire evening, the time was right for Bergmann. He noted the anger from conservatives, propelling upsets in long held Democratic strongholds and possible new trends in local voting that portended positive signs for Bergmann.

Bergmann is the first Republican candidate I've heard to actually use the news of riots in Greece as a warning to what could happen in the U.S., if conservative Republican values were not restored in the Senate. In a brief talk she hit upon the health bill that took away consumer choice, fiscal conservatism, spiraling taxes, national security, job growth predicated on economic growth and even presented the historical irony of a black woman advocating states' rights. The group took it all in, quietly approving.

The meeting was hosted by Sheila Zaricor-Wilson, owner of Master Design, where you'd see art on the walls and hair styling equipment in the adjacent room. It was the kind of intimate gathering candidates mined for volunteers and donations, which the affable candidate did with good humor. Pictures  (MPN May, 2010 file)

Charlotte Bergmann

U.S. Congress
Tennessee 9th District
Primary: August 5

previous posts on this topic

Memphis "Radio Grizzly" Sues

Former KWAM radio talk show host Thaddeus Matthews is reportedly claiming $350,000 punitive and $150,000 compensatory damages for alleged breach of contract with the station. But, perhaps way more interestingly, Matthews alludes to a concerted effort to keep him off the air by "power brokers" opposed to his abrasive politics.

This was a recurring theme on his show when I listened preparing for last month's article on Matthews and Ferguson. But should Matthew's claim be so quick to dismiss? Something keeps it hanging on for me.

So here's my thought...
Maybe its just my experience of working in LA for about 20 years, but I find Memphis a company town where the status quo hangs on like a fog that won't lift. Perhaps that's why we have permanent politicians that get elected on name recognition only. So when a guy comes along and goes about offending people over the air, especially the powerful and wealthy, who are mostly white in a predominantly black town, then the soft "go along get along" polite southern culture wants to reject it like a foreign element in a blood stream.

(cont. above)
original article
by Ben Harrison
Respond about this piece for publication.
There might be something bigger at work here than just a conflict between businesses, politics and personalities. Let's imagine this scenario: a group of business men (and let's add in a few women, as well, considering the offender) get together and decide to bring their advertising revenue and influence to altar a talk radio lineup, that is, create a media tool more suited to their business goals. He offended enough of them LOL.

So, if a group of "power brokers" got together and decided to take Matthews off the air to replace him with, by comparison, a conservative Republican more likely to do their bidding, we should be concerned, very concerned. In fact all media should watch Matthews' case to see if his on-air comments that "some people" want to get off the air is valid. Even the allegation should make consumers of media think about the "marketplace of ideas" in Memphis and what kind of choice they actually have.

And that, my friends, is the issue, not what you think about Thaddeus. Every business has a right to hire and fire any employee at will. Radio stations are no different. But no media person should be fired because some business cabal finds him or her offensive or unfriendly to their interest. If Thaddeus' allegations are shown out, it becomes a different story. Regardless, Memphis now has a modern day black vs white, liberal vs conservative, Democrat vs. Republican, business vs. unfettered (if not free) speech "radio drama" that is sure to get it national attention if Thaddeus can work the media the way he worked his radio show.

Real Poli/Real Fed Up
Where Realpolitik Meets
the Last Straw

by Benqq

Has Ms. Kagan Experienced This?

Elena Kagan is a perfectly good and acceptable nominee to the Supreme Court, as nominees go by this particular president. But now we're going to have to hear about her wonderful credentials from a wonderful career and, by inference, how you, the working schmuck, have neither. Just trust us. You may be struggling to pay the taxes on your house, to keep the last remaining bit of insurance, to struggle through a crappy job, but they, the ones who are given virtual lifetime appointments in the guise of political office, blithely hop along (with their first cousins in Big Media) like the Easter bunny in a spring garden.

Now, I recently crawled around my computers desperately trying to get my network back up with Earthlink before a conference call began with a company that required you to attend a "training seminar" (which really was only an overly complicated process to justify their new computer program) before you would be eligible to do business with them.

After an hour trying to understand the foreign accent , another "tech support" casually tells me that my ISP system itself was down. A simple first check could have prevented my having to experience the chaos of unplugging, replugging, resetting and reinputting passwords and numbers--at their "guidance."
(cont. above)

It's not only my ISP. It's every company now. And hiding behind the fine print of billing, the endless hours of trying to resolve issue after issue, the sheer drain of pursuing fairness in a transaction and the time and struggle it takes to change providers all conspire to create new profit centers for big companies. You are manipulated digitally to squeeze more payments and fees from you, I believe, as never before. And its all legal.

So I wonder: has the new Supreme Court nominee ever experienced that? Why wouldn't that be a qualification as much as knowledge of the law? I mean there once was a day when Supreme Court members didn't even have to be lawyers. Just be able to make common sense decisions that were good for the country and the average Joe that lived in it--not for corporations and insurance companies, etc. that want to take as large a piece out of you as possible while manipulating technology to get yet another one over on you. And with digital, that's easier than ever.

Oh, but I'm sure our congress people will ask that in confirmation hearings.


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