Burch: March madness, Tennessee style

Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

March madness is a good thing when the NCAA basketball tournament kicks off, but when Tennessee politicians are madder than March hares, things can get a lot darker, quickly.

Last March, Tennessee’s wild hares tried to pass an anti-evolution bill. In March 1925, they came up with the Butler Act, which led to the famous Scopes “monkey trial.” This March, more anti-gay and pro-gun legislation looms.

Tennessee has become a national laughingstock, the constant foil of late-night comedians’ one-liners. There were only three Stooges and their pratfalls were intentional. But Tennessee seems to have an unlimited supply of stumbling, bumbling legislators who might be called the “Kings of Unintentional Comedy.” These Tennessee stumblebums include:

Sen. Stacey Campfield, who recently reignited the “Don’t Say Gay” madness with a new Senate Bill 234 that would require school guidance counselors to rat out students who have questions about homosexuality, by reporting back to their parents. Campfield’s new bill has been called “Don’t Say Gay on Steroids” by Chris Sanders, chairman and president of the Tennessee Equality Project. Campfield is on record as saying, “The act of homosexuality is very dangerous to someone’s health and safety.” But heterosexual sex is not without serious risks. So why single out homosexuality, except out of sheer bigotry? Campbell is such a national laughingstock that his New York high school is considering removing his picture from its hall of fame. Perhaps it should start a new hall of shame instead.

Rep. Curry Todd, a prime mover of the “Guns in Bars” bill, not only was arrested for driving drunk with a gun in his possession but also he was recently accused of living rent-free in the home of a prominent lobbyist.

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn remains a poster child for gun mania. She recently opined that gun control laws are not needed because killers can use hatchets and hammers. That’s like saying we don’t need speed limits because someone may still drive faster than the law allows. Blackburn’s absurd “logic” may well end up causing Tennessee children to die. Any sane person capable of rational thought knows that we need speed limits and gun control laws, if we want to protect our children. Then, because some people will undoubtedly ignore the laws, we need to enforce them to our utmost ability, using fines and jail terms to achieve the highest degree of compliance possible.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey backed the latest bit of legislative madness, the new “Guns in Trunks” bill, which was just passed the state Senate. Ramsey pushed for a quick vote on the bill because he “didn’t want to be talking about this in March or April.” More March madness.

House Speaker Beth Harwell is also on the record as wanting a quick resolution (i.e., speedy passage) of “Guns in Trunks.”

In support of the bill, State Senator Mark Greek parroted the standard NRA lunacy that, “The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

The bill’s sponsor in the state House of Representatives, Jeremy Faison, says the new bill should pass unchanged within three weeks, “Lord willing,” as if God is as nutty as the NRA.

Gov. Bill Haslam has said publicly that he favors not changing Tennessee’s gun control laws. But has also been quoted as saying that he favors letting employees keep guns in their trunks even if their employers wish otherwise. Democrat Mike McWherter recently accused Haslam of flip-flopping on this very important issue. The NRA seems to agree that Haslam is wishy-washy on guns, giving him a B- grade in a Tennessee class of mostly straight-A students.

If Haslam is another Tennessee stumblebum, at least he has enough sense not to seem like an advocate of full-speed-ahead, unmitigated madness. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for many of Tennessee’s leading political lights. They seem to be intent on never passing up an opportunity to quickly sign more sheer stupidity into law — full speed ahead, and damn the torpedoes.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

100 Comments on this post:

By: bfra on 3/8/13 at 10:07

yogi - Face it! You don't even have enough sense to make a good reply, even when you try using someone else's words.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 10:12

By: yogiman on 3/8/13 at 10:03

And if you do have a brain in your skull, why don't you try to use it?

Not having any brains yogi, how would you know?

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 10:14

By: yogiman on 3/8/13 at 10:06

Pore fella, I bet that takes a lot of his time.

It is poor fellow, you dumb-ass.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 10:17


A good come back from yogi, is like anything else from him. A waste.

By: yogiman on 3/8/13 at 2:29

If you was intelligent enough, old enough, and country enough, you might know what 'pore fella' was/is.

But I understand, you ain't that smart.

By: yogiman on 3/8/13 at 2:30

If you was intelligent enough, old enough, and country enough, you might know what 'pore fella' was/is.

But I understand, you ain't that smart.

By: yogiman on 3/8/13 at 2:31

Sorry, I just wanted to make sure you read it.

By: Mike Burch on 3/8/13 at 2:43


I try to stay out of other people's personal lives, but when someone uses a word like "underclass" to describe other people, one has to wonder if they entered the modern age through some sort of time warp. Who talks like that?

The Nazis considered Jews and other non-Aryans to be the "underclass" but of course it was the Nazis who were the beasts.

White confederates considered people with darker skin to be the "underclass," but of course they were the ones who lacked any class at all.

It is a shame to hear people who should know better engaging in the same bizarre rhetoric.

By: Rasputin72 on 3/8/13 at 3:40

Mike Burch.....All negroes were not considered underclass. Just the ones that met the criteria for underclass whites.

I think the same holds true today. The stigma of underclass runs rampant through the Negro community because a larger percentage of the population meet that criteria.

We do not have any african/americans at my club in Florida or Nashville nor have I found that any have applied. I am on the membership committee in Florida. If an african/american is sppnsored for membership and is in the societal standing as our other members. I will make sure that he or she or the family gain acceptance.

Underclass is a defintion for the behavior and lifestyle of a group of people and has nothing to do with race in my mindseye.

By: bfra on 3/8/13 at 3:49

Raspy - Still crass but NO class! mindseye ? ? ?

By: Rasputin72 on 3/8/13 at 4:12

Bfra ......Minds eye is probably a phrase that is foreign to your culture. I would not give another thought. Try concentrating on having a positive balance in your checking account. On second thought try concentrating on having a checking account.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 4:23

By: yogiman on 3/8/13 at 2:30
If you was intelligent enough, old enough, and country enough, you might know what 'pore fella' was/is.

But I understand, you ain't that smart.

The proper way to have answered this yogi would have been as follow.

If you were intelligent enough, old enough, and country enough, you might know what “pore(hole) fella (sic)” is.

But I understand you are not that smart.

Being old does not relate to being intelligent, yogi. However you are a prime example of an older person turning inward and acting as a two year old with a temper tantrum.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 4:24

Mike as you may already understand that Raspy has a very over rated but not an accurate opinion of himself. He was raised in a lower income neighborhood of West Nashville, but far from being a Ghetto as he likes to say. I remember him saying things like that to lift the sympathy of others. The truth was that he was raised by his grandmother after his mother left him with her to rise. I’m not sure what ever it was about his father.

He also would substitute words for eating out at the Krystal Burger as the country club. Playing miniature golf was on the links. Getting a ride with a friend was being chauffeured. He even related to being in jailed as living in a gated community. Thus our Princess Raspy, live in a make believe world.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 4:30

Raspy old boy I have said this once and I will say it again, since it went over your head the last time. Not to mention myself, that there are at lest two on this board that makes $100,000 to $150,000 a year and one that makes $250,000 a year. However none of them makes a pompous-ass of themselves bragging about their wealth as you do.

By: dargent7 on 3/8/13 at 4:35

"Underclass"? Insulting?
Remember Ross Perot calling people, "you people"?
Imelda Marcos saying, "taxes are paid by the little people".
Or, Romney, "the 47% of Americans who won't take care of themselves...".

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 4:36

Oh and one other thing I remembered. Riding the City Bus he called the limousine. LOL

By: bfra on 3/8/13 at 4:40

Raspy would do better if he could even remember what he posted. Liars need good memories & Raspy missed that boat.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 4:46

It has been his failing in the time I knew him, bfra. It was always funny to watch when his mark would catch him in some lie.

By: bfra on 3/8/13 at 4:49

Nemo - As usual, his envious comments are good for a laugh!

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 4:54

It is getting late and I must be on my way to dine out to night.


I have got to do some shopping for dinner. Tootles as Raspy would say. LOL

By: bfra on 3/8/13 at 5:02

Nemo - Have a good evening!

By: Rasputin72 on 3/8/13 at 5:05

NEMO..........You must be given credit for two accurate assesments of me. I was born poor and I am a pompous asshole.

I was interested in knowing that you consider someone making 100 to 250,000 dollars a year as wealthy.

I in turn consider you as one notch above underclass.

I must admit that my pompous attitude is fed by the underclass comments made by you and ypur other five human excuses.

By the way, who is your favorite rapper?

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 6:35


There is no need to give credit Raspy old boy, everyone here(with the exception of yogi and bud) knows you as pompous-ass.

As for the money amount, I was only explaining to your unsophisticated brain, that the people of this board make more that you have given them credit for. However I think the reverse is true for you…old boy.$50,000a year must seem a lot for you. And I consider you to of no class, Raspy old boy.

There is a dumb-ass white boy that tries to rap at onetime, but failed miserably. Cool R. C. Jr. was his handle. Other than that Rap is not a form of music that I care for.

By: Loner on 3/9/13 at 5:47

Good morning Nashville...thanks for the feedback, Mike Burch....it's a crisp 27F, clear and calm Saturday morning here, on the Erie Canal. It's supposed to hit 60F tomorrow, it's gonna feel like a tropical heat wave...motorcycles will be out....LONER, the big yellow thumper, will be out there too...shaking the cobwebs off....a taste of Spring....just a tease, of course; it does not get really warm around here until the middle of May or later.

I may fire up the DJ-5 today, (the postal jeep), and take it for a spin...I keep it off the roads during the winter months...too much salt used here, eats the frames....that jeep is my pride & joy 4-wheeler....my festivals and camping out vehicle.

Remember, set your clocks ahead tonight...Daylight Savings Time is about to kick in....Old Man Winter is on the run!

By: yogiman on 3/9/13 at 8:06

A little study before you religious Bible experts go to church tomorrow.

There are 30 books of the Bible in this paragraph. Can you find them? This is a most remarkable puzzle. It was found by a gentleman in an airplane seat, on a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu, keeping him occupied for hours. He enjoyed it so much, he passed it on to some friends... One friend from Illinois worked on this while fishing from his john boat. Another friend studied it while playing his banjo. Elaine Taylor, a columnist friend, was so intrigued by it she mentioned it in her weekly newspaper column. Another friend judges the job of solving the puzzle so involving she brews a cup of tea to help her nerves. There will be some names that are really easy to spot. That's a fact. Some people, however, will soon find themselves in a jam, especially since the book names are not necessarily capitalized. Truthfully, from answers we get, we are forced to admit it usually takes a minister of a scholar to see some of them at the worst. Research has shown that something in our genes is responsible for the difficulty we have in seeing the books in this paragraph during a recent fun
raising event, which featured this puzzle, the Alpha Delta Phi lemonade booth set a new record. The local paper, the Chronicle, surveyed over 200 patrons who reported that this puzzle was on of the most difficult they had ever seen. As Daniel Humana humbly puts it, "The books are all right here in plain sight." Those able to fine all of them will hear great lamentations from those who have to be shown. One revelation that may help is that books like Timothy and Samuel may occur without their numbers. Also, keep in mind, that punctuation and spaces in the middle are normal. A chipper attitude will help you compete really well against those who claim to know the answers. Remember, there is no need for a mad exodus; There really are 30 books of the Bible lurking somewhere in the paragraph waiting to be found. God Bless.

Note: Osee is a vraiant spelling of Hosea

Author: Howard Culberson, Southern Nazarene University

Have fun!

By: Captain Nemo on 3/9/13 at 10:07

Good morning Loner. It is sunny and warm here today. I hope you have a nice little ride in the DJ-5.

By: Loner on 3/9/13 at 10:54

Just got back from the Rochester Farmers' Market...I like to go there on Saturday mornings....very hip crowd.... hipsters, hotties, buskers, hawkers and gawkers....I love that place.

I'm just now going out to crank the DJ-5....my new US MULE vanity plates have not been mounted yet...the old plates are still on there....I may get stopped by fuzzy bear...I want to re-paint the machine before putting the shiny new plates on...if I get stopped, I'll show the man my new plates, still in the mailing envelope...I'll tell him that the mail is so slow, I just now got them; haven't had time to mount them...nobody would doubt that.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/9/13 at 11:08

In the short time you were going Loner; we are now experiencing cloudy conditions. So goes the weather in Nashville.

By: Rasputin72 on 3/9/13 at 4:37

NEMO.......I must admit that I enjoy offending you. My question about your favorite rapper was not intended to be offensive. I was just interested in obtaining more insight into your culture. I must admit however I was surprised by your answer. I thought rap was the music of choice for african/americans?

By: Captain Nemo on 3/9/13 at 6:38

Raspy old boy it does not take much to amuse a simple mind like yours. However I am perplexed as to how you come to the conclusion that I was offended. All I stated was; “There is a dumb-ass white boy that tries to rap at onetime, but failed miserably. Cool R. C. Jr. was his handle. Other than that Rap is not a form of music that I care for.”

I suppose that your yogi like brain would mismanage logic and reality with fantasy. The key wording should have been a dead give away… (Rap is not a form of music that I care for.) I will try to explain to you if it is possible, that I was not offended in any manner, other that your claim to be of the human species.

Now if you are going to keep fishing for my identity, I would suggest that you get a fishing license and a better net, than these puny attempts of yours.

Now tootles for now, old boy.

By: Ask01 on 3/10/13 at 7:41

Good morning Captain Nemo.

I must say I admire you for even addressing our resident trolls, thereby acknowledging their pitiful existence. I just scroll past their nonsense to read comments interesting and educated people contribute to the discussion.

I can tell from reading your and other posters responses one troll is still obsessed with birther nonsense while the other remains trapped in a fantasy world, unable to confront the reality. Keep up the good work. The Dubious Duo seem in a state of constant confusion. (Engaging the unarmed in a battle of wits would usually be regarded as unsportsmanlike, but these two, like annoying gnats, deserve to be swatted by a superior mentality.)

Getting back to the topic of political March Madness in Tennessee, the pinnacle of madness must be that someone would consider Governor Haslam presidential material.

On the other hand, if a party needed someone to act as a spineless figure head, easily manipulated and supremely malleable, this might not be such an ignorant pick. Just wind him up and don't forget to put your money in.

I'm just glad the rest of the states can't, or at least have not yet considered, starting a petition to kick Tennessee out of the Union. (Can a state be disowned for extreme ignorance and foolishness? I hope not.)

By: Rasputin72 on 3/10/13 at 8:28

NEMO.............I have no interest in knowing your name. Your idenity is obvious. You are unsucessful, uneducated, unsophisticated, and one notch away from underclass.

By: Rasputin72 on 3/10/13 at 8:49

ASKOI...........One of the principal benefits of being financially sucessful is not having personal dialogue with people like you.

I am as amazed at your view of society as you are of looking up your ass every day.

By: yogiman on 3/10/13 at 10:07

Well, Ask01,

Call me any kind of "troll" you wish. It's hard to understand a person like you, based on your posts. You seem to be a reasonably intelligent person but you are exposing your ignorance too much.

Tell me, how can a person accept someone as their president when they have to idea who in the hell he is? You don't know his legitimate name; you don't know his place of birth, you don't even know is he has ever been an American citizen. Yet you readily accept him as your president.

But by his autobiography he sure as hell isn't a natural born citizen. Perhaps you can identify him for the rest of us.

For some odd reason (to you), I want to know who in the hell is taking my money and spending it.

By: yogiman on 3/10/13 at 10:21

A few thoughts you anti-gunners should comprehend on your gun arguments:

We defend our President... with guns.
We defend our Congress... with guns.
We defend our Governors... with guns.
We defend celebrities... with guns.
We defend sporting events... with guns.
We defend jewelry stores... with guns.
We defend banks... with guns.
We defend office buildings... with guns.
We defend courts... with guns.

But you think we should not defend ourselves... with guns.

By: bfra on 3/10/13 at 10:54

Ask01 & Nemo have really got ole Raspy riled this AM. I'll bet he jerked his head out of his ass and yelled "WAAAAAT THIS". They got me pinpointed!

By: yogiman on 3/10/13 at 11:04

I'd say they have you pinpointed since you're 'right in line with them', bfra.

By: yogiman on 3/10/13 at 11:09

Question 'Obamaites': What's the difference between God and Obama?

Answer: God doesn't think he's Obama.

Which one do you worship the most; God, or Obama?

By: bfra on 3/10/13 at 11:18

OMG yogi can't you ever come up with an original thought or retort. Quit showing that you are totally ignorant in ALL subjects.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/10/13 at 1:14

By: Rasputin72 on 3/10/13 at 9:28
NEMO.............I have no interest in knowing your name. Your idenity is obvious. You are unsucessful, uneducated, unsophisticated, and one notch away from underclass.

Raspy old boy you are such a hoot. You have tried to raise my anger, by insisting that I am some guy named Rat Nemo…something. You also wanted to know if I like Rap, or if I was someone from a Pacific island. Yet you say you have no interest in knowing my name.

However for some unsuccessful, uneducated, unsophisticated, person as I, has the knowledge of your identity and true worth and you don’t even know who I am. That makes you the dupe.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/10/13 at 1:22

By: Rasputin72 on 3/10/13 at 9:49
ASKOI...........One of the principal benefits of being financially sucessful is not having personal dialogue with people like you.

I am as amazed at your view of society as you are of looking up your ass every day.


For some who say that he not having personal dialogue, with people like you and I…suer has a lot to say to us. LOL

Raspy has the same genetic code as yogi, with his head up his butt.

By: bfra on 3/10/13 at 1:22

Nemo - Yep! You have got ole Raspy in a tailspin. TeeHee! He might sometime realize, his fantasies go over like a lead baloon. Anybody, with good sense, can see right thru his pipe dreams.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/10/13 at 1:25

You are not as smart has me yogi, so shut up. LOL

By: Captain Nemo on 3/10/13 at 1:30


He has not done so in 40yrs, so I have confidence that he will not change ever. I can almost predict his ever move. LOL

Got to go for now. I hope you are having a great weekend.

By: bfra on 3/10/13 at 1:46

Nemo - Thanks, I am. You do the same.

By: yogiman on 3/10/13 at 5:04

It seems Chicago proves it is stupid for law abiding citizens to not have guns.

The number of people murdered in Chicago in 2012 was 500

The number of fatalities in Afghanistan in 2012 was 309. The service men in Afghanistan had weapons to defend themselves, the citizens of Chicago did not; which proves gun control does not stop violence.

Source: Chicago Police Dept. 12/28/2012

Maybe they should pretend Chicago is a branch of Afghanistan and pretend the law abiding citizens are service members stationed there.

By: yogiman on 3/10/13 at 6:21

"I'm against having a 'king'. Having a monarch is what we fought the American Revolution over.

And someone who wants to bypass the Constitution, bypass Congress... that's someone who wants to act like a king."

- Rand Paul in a comment regarding your majesty Barack Obama.

By: yogiman on 3/10/13 at 6:24


Ronald Reagan: "Government is not the solution to every problem, the government is the problem."

Barack Obama: "Government is the solution to every problem."

Question: Which one is right?

By: yogiman on 3/10/13 at 6:33

Our Constitution is a 44 page document including the index and amendments that has been accepted in the 225 years the Constitution has been in effect.

Just wondering: How many thousands of pages of laws has our government passed to control us?

By: FaceBook:Emmett... on 3/11/13 at 9:15

It's always entertaining to read the rants of this nincompoop Burch.