Burch: Thanks & giving

Thursday, November 24, 2011 at 11:31pm
By Michael R. Burch

Now that another turkey day has arrived, it seems like a good time to think about thanks, and giving. Like most Nashvillians, I have a lot to be thankful for. And I believe that giving something back is one of the best ways to show true gratitude. So here goes:

I am very thankful for local charitable organizations, and I hope we can all find ways to give back, through them, in the spirit of the season. If money is short, why not offer time or goods?

I am very thankful for southern hospitality, and I hope to give back by exhibiting it myself as often as possible. I’ve lived in England, Germany and states from the East Coast to the Midwest to the West Coast, and I’ve never met people who were friendlier than Nashvillians.

Having seen half my subdivision underwater during the Great Nashville Flood, I am very thankful to know that Tennessee truly is the Volunteer State. An insurance adjustor who helped people in our neighborhood file claims said that he had never seen such cooperation anywhere else. In fact, he said that he liked what he saw so much that he was thinking about moving to Nashville himself! Volunteers give of themselves, expecting nothing in return except the warm glow of a job well done, and the smile or relief on someone else’s face. Tennesseans are known for such giving, and rightfully so, in my experience.

I am very thankful for Nashville’s mothers, who could probably teach the angels a few things about love, compassion and selfless sacrifice. I hope we will all remember to give back by thanking our mothers and wives for their wonderful, giving natures.

I am very thankful that I live in a country that was able to overcome its racist past by electing a multi-racial, multi-cultural president. Regardless of what President Obama does or doesn’t accomplish, his election was a landmark moment for the United States and the American people. Hopefully in the future we will judge not only our children, but also our politicians and presidents, by the content of their character, not their race, creed, age, sex or sexual preference. I hope to give back by exercising my rights to vote, speak freely and dissent, when necessary.

I am very thankful for the many courageous young men and women —black, brown, red, yellow and white; gay and straight; Christian, Muslim, Hindu, atheist and agnostic — who enlist in our military to serve and protect their country. I hope to give back by striving, to the best of my ability, to keep them from being placed in harm’s way on false or highly dubious premises. I will give even more thanks when they are all safely home, and don’t have to risk their lives, health and mental well-being when it’s not absolutely necessary.

And finally, I would like to thank anyone who takes the time to read my articles, because I really do appreciate them giving my words their time and attention.

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Michael Burch

94 Comments on this post:

By: Captain Nemo on 11/25/11 at 10:08

Loner Construction Company. Lol


By: Loner on 11/25/11 at 10:11

Did you appreciate the flying buttresses, Ben? Makes for cavernous internal space.

By: Captain Nemo on 11/25/11 at 10:11

Got to go see you later and I hope yesterdat (sic) was good for you as it was for me.

By: Captain Nemo on 11/25/11 at 10:11

Tell Loner your military record yogi or is that just a fabrication too.

By: BenDover on 11/25/11 at 10:14

Loner big into straw construction these days... so our soldiers serving now are mercenaries loner?

By: Loner on 11/25/11 at 10:17

Personally, I do not care to hear about anyone's military record, unless it is germane to the discussion....If somebody claims to be a vet, I believe them...if they are lying, they will have to live with themselves.

See ya, Captain Nemo....I gotta run soon myself...all those bargains out there! And it's sunny! I may take the big thumper out for a crisp ride.

By: BenDover on 11/25/11 at 10:17

I do very much appreciate your architectural and construction prowess Loner.

Here's a neat article:


By: BenDover on 11/25/11 at 10:18

Enjoy the day, my friend. Envious of the ride... to be sure.

By: BenDover on 11/25/11 at 11:08

Cool pic, nemo. Have a great day.

By: yogiman on 11/25/11 at 11:15

dumba.., and you others also,

You should read a quote by Dr. Edwin Vieira from an article he wrote in December 2008 regarding a obvious fake birth certificate shown by Barry Soetoto, aka Barack Obama, before he was "sworn" into office in January 2009:

"If Obama is not a "natural born citizen" or has renounced such citizenship, he is simply not eligible for "the Office of President" (Article II, Section 1, Clause 4). That being so, he cannot be "elected" by the voters, by the Electoral College, or by the House of Representatives (see Amendment XII). For neither the voters, nor the Electors, nor the members of the House purport to "elect" Obama, he will be nothing but a usurper, because the Constitution defines him as such. And he can never become anything else, because a usurper cannot gain legitimacy if even all of the country aid, abets, accedes to, or acquiesces in his usurpation.

"If Obama dares to take the Presidential "Oath or Affirmation" of office, knowing that he is not a "natural born Citizen", he will commit the crime of perjury or false swearing (see Article II, Section 1, Clause 7). For being ineligible for "the Office of President", he cannot "faithfully" execute the Office of President of the United States", or even execute it at all, to any degree. Thus, his very act of taking the "Oath or Affirmation" will be a violation thereof! So, even if the chief justice of the Supreme Court himself looks the other way and administers the "Oath or Affirmation", Obama will derive no authority whatsoever from it.

"Third, his purported "Oath or Affirmation" being perjured from the beginning, Obama's every subsequent act in the usurped "Office of President" will be a criminal offense under Title 18, United States Code, Section 242

"If Obama does become an usurper posturing as "the President", Congress cannot even impeach him because, not being the actual President, he cannot be "removed from Office on Impeachment form and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" (see Article II, Section 4)".

Now.., do you not remember the "goof" made in swearing the "Oath or Affirmation" when being "sworn into office"? Was that a "boo boo" or an intent? If it was a simple boo boo, why wasn't it corrected then..., instead of "re-swearing" the next day which no one heard?

Keep your "love" for this man if you wish. Time will tell. I hope you "lovers' don't have any children or grandchildren to be thrown into their "One World Government".

By: Loner on 11/25/11 at 11:31

Yeah, but watcha gonna do when the cows come home...they gonna eat you outta house & home, Ben.

And then there's the bugs in the bales problem..in AZ, maybe, in NY, I dunno...the bales would act as moisture sponges, unless they were hermetically sealed in PVC, or something like that...I'm no architect...just surmising.

But my "straw cathedral" is built from the quarry stones of veracity and cemented together with the mortar of reason.

By: dargent7 on 11/25/11 at 11:39

yogi @11:15am: You're obviously just "cuttin' 'n pasting" from some other psycho-nutz web sites.
535 Men & Women in Congress, HALF are lawyers, ALL have read the US Constitution, and NO ONE has drawn up Articles of Impeachment against Obama?
No one? Half of all Republicans hate his guts, like they did Clinton.
They had Clinton Impeached for a dialance with an Intern, yet won't go after Obama?
Therein lies the truth: you are so full of shit.

By: yogiman on 11/25/11 at 11:52


The biggest thing that worry's me now is the fact that the majority of congress are lawyers and they let this happen to begin with.

Unless you are "in the ball game" with them, you should bed worried like hell, too.

I simply posted a statement made by Dr. Vieria. Check him out on google, or any other site on the internet. The man is not a damn fool like you think.

And you make the comment none of them have "drawn up Articles of Impeachment". Go back to school, dargent7. He can't be impeached because he is a usurper in that office, not a legally elected official.

By: bfra on 11/25/11 at 11:58

d7 - That doesn't even come close to what the unpatriotic loon that goes by "yogi" is full of! Vultures eat that and I'll bet they wouldn't even touch that scum, unless, think maybe that is their mama.

By: yogiman on 11/25/11 at 12:14


It's hard to understand how so many "adults"(if you are one) in this nation are as stupid as you and so many of your fellow posters on this site. What did they teach you in school? Of did you even go?

You sure didn't learn how to read the Constitution to understand what it means.

By: Loner on 11/25/11 at 2:20

Ben asks, "...our soldiers serving now are mercenaries loner?"

I would say so, Ben. Let's look at some relevant facts.

In 1949, an enlisted man with the rank of E-3 (PFC in the Army) with over 2 years service was $102.90 per month.

In 1967, an enlisted man with the rank of E-3 (PFC in the Army) with over 2 years service was $179.70 per month.

In 2011, an enlisted man with the rank of E-3 (PFC in the Army) with over 2 years service is $1,838.70 per month.


I'm no statistician, Ben, but it looks like a soldier's pay has increased by 1800%, since 1949.

Average wages per year, in 1949, was $2,950.00.
Source: http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1949.html

The national average wage index for 2010 is 41,673.83.
Source: http://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/AWI.html

The avg. yearly US wage has increased about 1400%, the wage for a US soldier has increased about 1800%...please correct me, if I am wrong., Ben.

This data would suggest that today's soldiers are the highest paid in US history and are probably the highest paid soldiers in the world. But, does this mean that they are "mercenaries"?

Here's the MW definition of the term:

Definition of MERCENARY : one that serves merely for wages; especially : a soldier hired into foreign service.

I suppose that our soldiers and the security privateers (Blackwater etc.) are working for US interests and US interests alone. But when I read how much our lawmakers have taken from the Israel Lobby, I wonder in whose service these people actually are.

When I see that our forces have been concentrating on securing the realm, in the ME, to make the world safe for apartheid Zionism in Palestine, again, I wonder in whose service these historically well-paid people actually are.

When I see Uncle Sam waiting for his marching orders to come from the Israel Lobby, as we are now doing vis-a-vis Iran, I wonder who is fighting for whom.

By: BenDover on 11/25/11 at 2:33

Wow loner. I was willing to let that gaffe of yours die on the vine, it being Thanksgiving and the holidays and such; but you bring it right back up again?

Who p*ssed on your freedom fries this morning?

By: Loner on 11/25/11 at 2:36

To be fair and Balanced, let's do some more math:

In 1949, an E-3 with over 2 years in the service would earn 12 x $102, or $1,234 per year....meanwhile, the avg US wage at the time was $2,950.

A soldier, back then earned about 41% of what the avg. US wage was...less than half the national avg.

Today, an E-3 with over 2 years in the service earns: 12 x $1838 = $22,064 per year, or about 52% of the national average.

It can be argued that soldiers then and now are underpaid...but things are looking up, in the soldiering business.

Back to you, Ben.

By: Loner on 11/25/11 at 2:38

"Gaffe"? I do not see where I made a "gaffe" here today, please be specific.

By: yogiman on 11/25/11 at 2:38

How long will we currently maintain the "United States of America as our nation? An interesting article I read brings the question up. The sad thing is you should be able to now see it coming, but don't because you don't want to acknowledge it and understand it.

I have heard for decades about this democracy countdown. It's interesting to see it in print and may God help us, not that we deserve it.

I'm sure you people can't understand it, but I'm not pro, or con, regarding either of the major parties of our nation. I'm only repeating facts that have been determined as facts by our fellow citizens.

The biggest question now is: How long do we have as our current nation? Look back in history about the time of our original thirteen states adopting their new Constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier.

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.

"A democracy will continue to exist up only until the time that the voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.

"From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years.

"During those 200 years,. those nations always progressed through the following sequence:
1. from bondage to spiritual faith;
2. from spiritual faith to great courage;
3. from courage to liberty;
4. from liberty to abundance;
5. from abundance to complacency;
6. from complacency to apathy;
7. from apathy to dependence;
8. from dependence to back into bondage."

Professor Joseph Olson, of Hemline University School of Law of Saint Minnesota, pointed out some interesting facts on the 2000 Presidential election: The map of the territory won by the Republicans was mostly the land owned by the tax paying citizens of that area.

The voting citizens of the territory won by the majority of the Democrat voters encompassed those citizens living in government-owned housing and living off various forms of government welfare.

If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to the millions of illegal aliens in our country today and they vote, we can kiss our nation goodbye by the 2016 election if they don't accomplish it by the 2012 election.

By: Loner on 11/25/11 at 2:43

I stand by my 10:08 post, Ben....Chafe? perhaps. Gaffe? No way.

By: BenDover on 11/25/11 at 2:43

So that 11% is the mercenary spread loner? Dude... that's pretty low. People b*tch at me for pointing out teachers make comparable wages and benefits for a 10 month work contract and want to go on and on about their service and sacrifice. Now you're twisting the balls of young men who made the commitment to put their lives on the line for their country?

By: BenDover on 11/25/11 at 2:50

Let's change the topic back to straw castles or Gilligan's Island or something friend. Something in the air here is really stinking and there's no dog to blame it on this time.

By: Loner on 11/25/11 at 3:03

How bad has the corruption gotten?

Total Campaign Contributions Received by Andrew Lamar Alexander: $6,328,010, in just this past election cycle.

Total Campaign Contributions Received by Bob Corker: $18,395,206, in just this past election cycle.


You can check on what your TN Reps got on that site too.

Using the same source, let's look at NY:

Total Campaign Contributions Received by Chuck Schumer: $16,487,633, in just this past election cycle.

Total Campaign Contributions Received by Kirsten Gillibrand: $24,633,032, in just this past election cycle.

How can our republican, constitutional democracy survive for long, with the special interests trumping the public interest, by way of outlandish cash "donations" to federal lawmakers?

And in the Citizens United case, the USSC decided to let even more money into the system, by declaring that corporations have personhood and are thereby entitled to free speech, in the form of unlimited legal bribes to politicians.

We are doomed, IMO...unless there is genuine campaign finance reform real soon.

By: BenDover on 11/25/11 at 3:13

Well loner when you've got 536 people in this country with their thumb on $4,000,000,000,000 a year to spend what do you expect?

You yank 25% of the GDP out of the economy of course there will be people who gather together to try to get their grubby hands on some of it and others who gather together to try to get some of what was taken from them back.

The 16th amendment is to blame for upping the stakes so drastically. These gods on earth to whom we pay so much homage were not created out of conservative policy.

By: Loner on 11/25/11 at 3:18

Ben resorts to hyperbole: "Now you're twisting the balls of young men who made the commitment to put their lives on the line for their country?"

Spare me the Jingoism and flag-waving, please.

I support the troops, I disagree with the mission from time to time....I disagree with the notion that our soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors should be fighting to make the world safe for apartheid Zionism in Palestine, for example.

The Israel-Palestine conflict rekindled the same dark forces that drove the disastrous crusades...now it's a global holy war, at Israel's behest....and to secure the world's energy reserves, for exploitation by Western developers and marketers and for the benefit of Western consumers...those are the "good reasons" and the "real reasons" for the current and oncoming wars.

Pardon me, for not singing Yankee Doodle, Ben..but I too smell something shitty...Holy War is shitty business....so is the oil business.

By: yogiman on 11/25/11 at 3:25


That should tell everyone to work toward getting the 17th Amendment repealed. The minute a "congressman" goes into office, they start running for re-election. That seems to be more important than representing the people. After all, that's what we pay their staffs for. Campaign money should be restricted to come only from the citizens.

For the President's office, only from American citizens. For the Senate, only from the citizens of the state they are gong to represent (using the term represent loosely) and the House only from the citizens of the District they are going to "represent".

Corporations do not deserve to spend their stock holders money at the "officers" determination. And surely no money should be allowed to be taken from a foreigner.

By: BenDover on 11/25/11 at 3:25

Loner skips the opportunity to squirm out and goes on assault.

You called our soldiers mercenaries and further went on to defend your position loner. Let's leave it at that rather than obfuscating with your shirt-pocket holy war rant and then lighting a match to the ambient methane.

Now, as I suggested... Ginger or Mary Ann?

By: Loner on 11/25/11 at 3:30

Ben, do you honestly believe that things were more honest, democratic and righteous, back when there was no federal income tax?

You and Yogi must be tuning into the same right-wing talk shows....Yogi also blames the 17th Amendment for a lot of our present woes...do you also long for a return to the days before the people elected their US Senators...back when state party bosses decided on who to appoint to those powerful positions?

By: Loner on 11/25/11 at 3:35

Actually, Ben, at my age, Natalie Schafer, as Eunice "Lovey" Wentworth Howell, is looking pretty hot...I'm no pedophile...I'm a senior citizen with standards & taste.

By: BenDover on 11/25/11 at 3:35

I believe government was in check before the income tax, loner... and on a very sustainable trajectory.

By: BenDover on 11/25/11 at 3:37

Lovey was hot but certainly not up to GILF standards... for me anyhow. Mary Ann was my choice... and anyone who gets busted sending Gilligan some primo herb must be someone you'd support, right?

By: BenDover on 11/25/11 at 3:39

She's like a Hippie Chic poster-child.

By: Loner on 11/25/11 at 4:00

Mary Ann was hot...and the maryjane was top grade too...so I hear.

Ben wrote: "I believe government was in check before the income tax, loner... and on a very sustainable trajectory."

Ben, that could be a case of, post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning. Things were more sustainable and "in check" before the 16th Amendment was passed, therefore, if things are now less "in check" and sustainable, it is because of the 16th Amendment? Sorry, I'm unconvinced.

By: BenDover on 11/25/11 at 4:08

There's no way the cost of the federal government would be 25% of the GDP today without the income tax loner.

By: Loner on 11/25/11 at 4:10

Lovey as GILF...things quickly have deteriorated on this board...as they should, I suppose. At times, I tend to get serious about world events...dammit, I need my meds!

Check this out, Ben....is President Obama a reneger?


While federal agencies have long targeted Californians who blatantly reap illegal profits in the name of medicine, or who smuggle marijuana across state lines, the Justice Department said in 2009 that it would NOT normally pursue groups providing marijuana to sick patients, in accordance with state laws. (Emphasis mine)

and this:

But at 6 a.m. on Oct. 13, federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents with assault rifles and chainsaws raided Mr. Cohen’s property in the oak-covered hills north of Ukiah, cutting down the 99 hefty plants, 6 to 12 feet tall, that were meant to provide marijuana for 1,700 members.

Obama is a reneger!

By: BenDover on 11/25/11 at 4:18

He's probably just trying to distract from giving the Mexican cartel all those guns in the gun-walker fiasco. Holder needs some smoke to distract from the blood.

By: Loner on 11/25/11 at 4:33

We agree, Ben, the AG, Eric Holder sucks.

By: Loner on 11/25/11 at 4:37

Ben, I'm getting a left side bar Google ad for the Arab Lounge"Meet your Arab Princes", the ad says.

By: BenDover on 11/25/11 at 4:45

I'm getting Daymar Institute... "get the education you need."

By: Loner on 11/25/11 at 4:47

How does Google know our individual needs, Ben...magic...witchcraft....what is it?

By: Loner on 11/25/11 at 4:48

Ben needs an education, Loner needs an Arab squeeze? Well that's half right.

By: BenDover on 11/25/11 at 5:11

Have a nice weekend, lone one... see you on the flip-side.

By: Granpa1 on 12/7/11 at 4:21

Mr. Burch,

Below, you shall find both a creed and a remark substantiating "sexual preference" is a failure of character. Fortunately, the community itself is corrosive to its own purpose when you drag things such as the below out into the light of day. It was not Martin Luther's intention to give tacit approval by his character comment, to a community that would shanghai it for both licentious and incontinent behavior.


"The Overhauling of Straight America"

"And when we say talk about homosexuality, we mean just that. In the early stages of any campaign to reach straight America, the masses should not be shocked and repelled by premature exposure to homosexual behavior itself. Instead, the imagery of sex should be downplayed and gay rights should be reduced to an abstract social question as much as possible. First let the camel get his nose inside the tent--ONLY LATER HIS UNSIGHTLY DERRIERE!"

"Our next indirect step will be to advertise locally on behalf of support groups peripheral to the gay community: FROWZEY STRAIGHT MOMS and dads announcing phone numbers and meeting times for "Parents of Gays" or similar gatherings."