On Leadership

I’m fascinated by the spectacle that the Shelby County Commission has become lately. Now that a chancery court judge has ruled, Henri Brooks gets her seat back, because apparently, the county attorney isn’t the correct party to determine whether Commissioner Brooks was actually a resident of the district she was elected to represent.  And now, the commission is going to take up the matter again, as Commissioner Ritz is expected to present another resolution on the matter.

Where do you live?

Where do you live?

Personally, I don’t think the Commission should waste another second on this.  If Commissioner Brooks did not live in District 2 when she was elected, or moved out of the district after she was elected, then she should admit that.  Based on the way she’s responded to questions about her residency so far, I don’t see that happening.

If the Commission continues to deal with the issue, it will take weeks for that body to make a decision, then respond to the fight Commissioner Brooks will mount against any negative decision.  By the time all that works itself out, her term in office will be over.  So, it’s almost a moot point whether Commissioner Brooks or Commissioner Ford live in the districts they represent.

The disappointing thing from my perspective (as a registered voter in Shelby County), is the sense of arrogance and entitlement that some of elected officials have.  It’s almost as if they believe they are doing us a favor by serving in office – instead of the actual fact that we’ve done them a favor by voting for them.

Again, if Henri Brooks feels like she doesn’t owe anyone an explanation, that’s her prerogative.  Will I take that into consideration when voting for a Juvenile Court Clerk?  Yes, I will.  The rules dealing with residency are spotty in Tennessee.  If the Republicans in Nashville wanted to do something of value, they would stop passing you-can-carry-a-gun-anywhere laws and tighten up rules on residency, requiring anyone running for office to prove where they live before taking office.  As far as the current commission, because there are questions, how difficult would it be for every member to offer some sort of evidence that they legally represent their district?  That proof could be an address on a tax return – because lying about that would be a federal beef – I hope no one’s arrogance would rise to the level of mucking with the G (quoting Sean Connery in “The Untouchables”).

While I do think all this noise is a lot of noise – here’s the bigger point.  Once this issue resolves itself, and a lot of these people are off the commission, there’s still a risk that someone, sometime, could have a problem with some vote the commission took on some issue.  And because there was a question of residency – two questions, actually – a critic could certainly use that as a legal argument to go to court to overturn some decision(s) made by the commission.  So if any member of the commission is serving illegally, and knows that – they may have poisoned important work affecting every resident of Shelby County.  That would be their legacy.

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So, what’s going on with you?

I won’t start out this post by noting how little I’ve posted in the previous year (it was once, by the way). It’s not that I’ve been too busy to post, because that hasn’t been the case. And it’s not that I haven’t had anything to say, judging from all the stuff I’ve posted on Facebook (Facebook – now the home for old people everywhere! Want to share information and be fairly sure your kids won’t see it? Put it on Facebook! Think I’m kidding? http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57572154-93/why-teens-are-tiring-of-facebook/)

I did have a few milestones in 2013.  Right before the end of last year, I bought a new car.  Paid cash for it (nice feeling). I do miss my old Celica.  13 years, 130,000 miles. I traveled, spending a week in Jamaica with my true love, as well as my sister and her husband. All-inclusive resorts are the way to go.


Wastin’ away again…



Ready to run

I got fat in 2013, pushing the scales at 250+, but I also got thin, using the aforementioned Jamaica vacation to lose some weight (a lot of walking around) – and another weight loss contest at work helped me burn off another 30 pounds. But I’ve got to be careful – I’ve lost 90 pounds in 3 contests at my current job – which means I’ve gained back the weight twice. Don’t want to do that again. The big payoff for getting into shape was going to be running in a 5K for St. Jude in December. Who knew an ice storm would shut down the race? It also shut down work for a day (I don’t feel bad about that at all, to tell the truth). But I have tried to stick with the fitness, getting my money’s worth out of the treadmill I bought a couple of years ago.


I also got to see the family at Thanksgiving and Christmas. My nephews and niece continue to grow up too fast. I guess that’s the way it goes when you only see them once a year. Just so you can see how we’ve changed, one photo is Mom and the kids from November and the other one (which is hanging on my mother’s wall) is from 1967 or 68. I’m still very cute.







I’m going to try and find more to talk about this year. No point in having a blog if it doesn’t getting blogged on, right? Anyway, there’s a mayoral race coming up, the city is trying to work itself out of a pension mess, the suburban cities are starting their own school systems and they’re trying to sell the baseball team and the ballpark (Maybe we can get Bass Pro to put an annex in at AutoZone Park).


Look – someone still reads the paper!

And hey – you keep reading – and I’ll keep writing.

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Has It Been That Long?

I clicked a stray link in a document I have saved on my work computer and it took me to one of my old blog posts.  Frankly, it’s been long enough since I’ve blogged regularly, that all my posts are “old” posts.  Anyway, that got me clicking back through the history, where I learned that it’s been 4 years and 5 days since my original blog post, made shortly after FedEx decided it no longer wanted my company.Image

My former employer is going through another resizing, although this time it offered long-term employees the opportunity to take buy-outs, instead of involuntary separation that I went through with 2,999 others back in 2009.

I was lucky – in the midst of a recession – I was only unemployed for 2 months.  I remain gainfully employed, I’ve been able to pay off some bills, the mortgage is covered, and I even bought a new car.  Interestingly, I’ve probably produced as many videos for FedEx in my new job as I did when I was in the company’s video production unit.  But I usually turn to UPS for my shipping needs.  Okay, I’m holding a little bit of a grudge.

It’s funny how things work out.  Several members of my family spent their careers working in state government in Ohio.  Me, I wanted the adventure of a career in the news business.  One of my younger brothers, and his wife, had been in their jobs long enough to retire from them – while they’re young enough to enjoy it.  I’ve moved around so much that I’ll probably be spending my retirement asking if you want fries with that.  I do still hold out hope that either PowerBall or MegaMillions will come a’calling.

Getting older bites – as those of you who are getting older already know.  Things slow down, you don’t move as fast – or as pain free as you used to.  But things aren’t all bad.  I may owe the IRS some money, but I’m refinancing the house, so I’ll come out ahead.  And, I’ve got a trip to Jamaica planned for August.  The only thing I have to do now is get down to Speedo weight!

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.  Which goes to show that I was really focused on other things in 2012.  Maybe I’ll actually blog in 2013.  We’ll see.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Time for a Change?

ImageYou have to wonder: why are some people so convinced that the president is so… evil. It certainly seems that way when you listen to some of the conservative voices in our land. Give a guy 2 wars and the worst world economy since the Depression – while spreading rumors that he’s Hitler, or the Antichrist, or a socialist, or a communist or a Muslim (after complaining about his Christian preacher) or not from this country (even though the state he was born in released an official copy his his birth certificate – people aren’t satisfied because the document says “certification of live birth”).

What has all this given us? The Associated Press is out with a poll that suggests that a majority of Americans now like black people less than they did before. A former Republican governor (John Sununu) says, on camera, that Colin Powell is supporting President Obama because they’re the same color – then having to backtrack when people complained. I’m like most people – I’ll slow down when I drive past a car accident because I’m curious to see what happened. But I don’t know that applies to Donald Trump. The government, in the form of the State Department, which issued a passport, the Social Security Administration and the IRS, which gladly takes the president’s taxes; have accepted Obama as a naturally-born American citizen for decades.  And I really doubt that Harvard would have allowed him to be editor of its law review merely on the basis of affirmative action – since putting an unqualified person in that role would have hurt the university’s reputation for years.

ImageHas the president solved the nation’s problems?  No, he hasn’t.  Has the Republican-controlled House of Representatives offered workable solutions – or have they spent more time and effort opposing the president in an effort to stymie his plans?  If both sides had met in the middle – without the “our way or no way” influence of the Tea Party – would we be better off than we were four years ago?  I think even the most strident Tea Partiers can answer that (and if they are honest, their answer would be the same as the answers that sensible people would give).

On that note, when Gov. Romney makes the point that he can reach across the aisle to engage Democrats in Congress, I wonder whether he’s really aware of his record in Massachusetts.  Several outlets went back and counted; 844 vetoes.  That’s a lot of reaching across the aisle – to slap down Democratic legislation.  And they reached back across the aisle, overriding 707 of those vetoes.  As Frontline noted, Romney cooperated with the Democrats in the Massachusetts Legislature to create a “legacy” issue for a presidential run – RomneyCare.  His bad luck that he had to turn his back on his own effort when he was forced to go “full conservative” during the GOP primaries and first weeks after the conventions.

And do we need a “businessman” in the White House?  Didn’t Mr. Bush have an MBA and a background as a “successful” businessman before turning to politics?  Business people have to turn to experienced government hands to navigate the halls of power.  If Romney turns to the same type of people that Bush turned to, isn’t it likely to have similar results?

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