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: Rasputin72 on 3/8/13 at 1:54

One must give Burch credit for trying to change the culture that discriminated against him as a youth.

It probably will not occur until later in his life but the birthrate of the underclass will ultimately give him some satisfaction.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 3:49

Another morning with Rasputin promoting himself. If he should ever tire of himself he will just die. lol

He forgets his dismal birth of low class and as he calls it, " living in ghetto". Yes old Raspy loves his fantasy.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/8/13 at 5:44

Raspy loves mooching off the less fortunate then insulting them. A real class act, huh? I'm sure he had no problem mooching off his grandmother's SSI. How pathetic that his main source of entertainment is to come onto this site and insult people he doesn't know and just make a general ass of himself.

By: bfra on 3/8/13 at 5:57

Raspy does standup for & defends yogi. Holds true, "birds of a feather".

By: gdiafante on 3/8/13 at 6:15

Burch sums it up well...who knew that Tennessee was the land of nuts? It's interesting to me that they want to push the idiocy known as "guns in trunks" as is, when the business community has serious reservations.

Think about it, this bill reverses the current law that allows businesses to prohibit the possession of weapons, in trunks or otherwise, on their property. WTF?

Republicans are batshit crazy.

By: HoundDog on 3/8/13 at 6:21

In Tennessee, the inmates truly are running the asylum.

By: Loner on 3/8/13 at 7:08

Good morning, Nashville.

Another fine Friday morning and another mighty mission-related missive from Mike Burch. Mike's mission is to expose lunacy in high places and once again, he has found plenty of material to work with in Coonskin Cap Country.

It is hard to imagine a more asinine law than the proposed law, sponsored by Stacey Campfield; the law would require public school guidance counselors to alert the parents of any student who is GLBT inquisitive. I think that Stacey is still angry over the fact that his parents gave him a girl's name....he must have been bullied. He could be a closeted gay....methinks he doth protest too much.

The guns in trunks legislation is another excellent example of legislative lunacy....with guns legally kept in the trunk of any disgruntled worker's car, out in the company parking lot, the number of workplace shootings should substantially increase....the pissed-off worker will no longer need to go home to get his weapon, that "cooling off" period has been removed, the gun(s) will be right there, in the company parking lot. Was this law supposed to attract new businesses to locate here? Pure lunacy.

So, Curry Todd, the drunken-driver-gunner is literally in bed with a high-profile lobbyist? And Scott Desjarlais won re-election, in spite of his gun-in-mouth stunt and the abortion flap? And Jeremy Faison, says the guns in trunks bill should pass, “Lord willing”. Pure lunacy.

These looney lawmakers and their insane legislative proposals seem to follow the lunar cycles....in the state capital, on nights with a full moon, the howling must be deafening.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/8/13 at 7:16

You got that right, HoundDog.

By: yogiman on 3/8/13 at 7:19

51 facts you Obama admirers should want to check.


And there's more.

By: Loner on 3/8/13 at 7:29

Let me propose a new law for the Volunteer State:

The Text: "Every state legislator is hereby required to wear a Bowie Knife, in a genuine buckskin sheath, on a knife-belt, with a Silver Belt Buckle bearing the image of the Great Seal of the State of Tennessee, while in the Legislative Chambers or acting in any official capacity."

This Bowie Knife law will accomplish two goals...it will honor Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett's buddy, the creator of the famous blade and it will instill a sense of security and well-being in the minds of Tennessee's troubled lawmakers....they can also use the knives to cut the BS and get on with the real business of fair and honest governance.

By: gdiafante on 3/8/13 at 7:35

Loner, just wait, I'm sure someone is writing that bill as we speak.

Where is the "guns in church" bill? Nothing says Christianity like packing heat in God's house...

By: yogiman on 3/8/13 at 7:37

Well, Loner,

I was thinking about inviting you down to get acquainted with Tennessee but I think you had better stay in Nuyawk. You'll be safer there.

By: Loner on 3/8/13 at 7:42

We got the Rasp doing his class-envy schtick and we got Yogi doing his usurper schtick....it's a sort of boring annoyance that one begins to rely upon, in a sense, these regular troll droppings are a useful gauge for judging normalcy on any particular day here on these NCP boards...so far, things look normal....and here, nuttiness is quite normal....nobody here is without sin...we all have our own particular idiosyncrasies....it's part of the human condition....We all share the same home: Planet of the Loonies.

By: yogiman on 3/8/13 at 7:45

I hate to say this, gdiafante, but I've read (twice than I can remember) where a "gun packer" saved many lives in a church when a murderer came in looking for"'easy to kills".

And by the way, have you heard of what's going on with that Colonel at Fort Hood who killed those 13 soldiers and wounded 35 others while shouting his Muslim oath, in a "no gun" office?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/8/13 at 7:45

yogi, tell me about "italianizing" your sentences again.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/8/13 at 7:46

Once again, yogi "heard about" something. No link, no facts.....just the ramblings of an old fool.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/8/13 at 7:46

It was probably another chain email that he received.

By: Loner on 3/8/13 at 7:49

Guns in churches is an excellent idea, Gd. All it would take is one motorcycle backfiring as it passes by a church full of Christian gunners.... a shooting frenzy could erupt....like a mega circular firing squad inside the House Of God....Darwinian.

I think that a guns in cemeteries law would be a good idea too...how many more zombie attacks must we endure, before we are allowed to defend ourselves...with the high-caliber, full-auto stuff? Enough is enough!

By: yogiman on 3/8/13 at 7:54


Us Loonies don't want to disappoint you Obama fans. That's why I keep trying to educate you on the subject. I'm beginning to wonder if you even have the brain you think you have. A
Here's an exciting post:


By: gdiafante on 3/8/13 at 8:00

I like "guns in cemetaries". There should also be "guns in hospitals", "guns in psych facilities", "guns in nursing homes"...

By: govskeptic on 3/8/13 at 8:06

Just another Friday Editorial of the Yogi-Mike Burch variety where one hat says
"All Republicans bad" and the other hat speaks of "Usurper and birther" bad.
Solutions and editorials of serious problems require more thinking than just
a few jabs at the low hanging fruit

On a more serious note, I will point out that the current "Guns in Parking Lots"
bill that is actually moving forward permits the employers to Post the no guns
allowed for their property, and can be enforced by firing said violators. It also
protects the employer from civil suit liability if events occur with guns on their
property by employees. This came about through Speaker Harwell & the Governor.

By: gdiafante on 3/8/13 at 8:10

Yeah, love the critique, gov. Haven't heard that before...**cough - bigpapa**.

I'm glad they changed the bill, but that just makes it less dumb rather than completely ridiculous.

By: Loner on 3/8/13 at 8:11

I wrote a tune about Pistol-Packing Pastors a few years back, Gd. It's a troubling phenomenon...these Preppers...the End Times crowd...they all but took over AM radio, now they are taking over the FM band....they are on shortwave radio too...and on the net.
I call those folks, "Armageddon Expediters"...they want to expedite the Second Coming....so they support the Jewish State concept, claiming it's Biblical Prophecy fulfillment.....that sort of thinking seems to permeate the Grand Old Party in general...Jesus is coming, so screw Mother Nature and forget about the UN and World Peace, it's Un-Biblical.

By: Loner on 3/8/13 at 8:17

That makes sense...you fire a guy for having a loaded gun in the trunk of his car...how many of these fired workers will then open the trunk and open fire?

Policing a no guns in trunks policy is problematic....a determined scofflaw will do as he/she pleases....isn't that what the NRA preaches?

By: bfra on 3/8/13 at 8:18

Claude King - sang Wolverton Mountain has died at age 90. Great Song!

By: Loner on 3/8/13 at 8:22

The proposed, "No Guns In Buns" legislation, currently being crafted in the TN Legislature would outlaw the single-shot, butt-plug gun...this is in response to demands from both the homophobic and gun-control constituencies.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 8:38

Speaking of Curry Todd’

When state Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, said he saw nothing wrong with living rent-free in a Nashville house owned by a lobbyist, who regularly worked on legislation that passed through a House committee Todd once chaired, he demonstrated a pathetic disregard for ethical conduct by a legislator.


By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 8:39

The Guns in the Cemeteries…that is a good one gdia

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 8:39

Shut up you moron.

By: yogiman on 1/26/13 at 3:13
dumba$$, you couldn't even pass a spelling test, let alone a test of intelligence.

Want to try one? Check on google or bing and take a test.
By: Captain Nemo on 1/26/13 at 3:33
I took the test yogi and a made a 100.

By: yogiman on 1/26/13 at 7:30
I feel so humiliated, dumba$$, to get beat by an idiot as ignorant as you.

Your own word says I am smarter than you, yogi.

By: gdiafante on 3/8/13 at 8:43

That was Loner's, nemo.

How about we just issue guns to newborns, like getting a SSN. Then, we change our Pre-K program to include gun workshops. By the time the kids get to 1st grade, they're a qualified weapons expert.

I pity the fool that tries to shoot up a Tennessee elementary school...

Of course, the kids will be dumber than rocks, but they can handle a gun...kinda like the adults in TN are now.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 8:48

The gov is right to point out that the Speaker and the Governor are both intelligent in their reasoning in tacking on to this bill it is an employer rights to keep guns from their parking lots. Maybe there will be a bill to let such employers the rights to search cars in parking lots to make sure employees don’t have any guns in there cars.

By: govskeptic on 3/8/13 at 8:55

Capt Nemo: Glad you brought up the Todd's rent free housing. We all know these
donation to lawmakers on all levels are out of control throughout
this country. Todd should be required by the IRS to pay both Federal
and Social Security on this as Income, and the Lobbyist should have
to pay like taxes as to an employee. Far too many of these type
incidents are out right bribes or pay to play and would be criminal
indictable offenses to all outside elected officials. Disgusting everywhere
but never seem to change.

By: Mike Burch on 3/8/13 at 8:56


Thanks as always for the comments!

By: yogiman on 3/8/13 at 8:56


I'll have to give you credit for one thing, dumba$$. You seem to have a good memory in that you've memorized every word, word for word, on your constant posting of your idiotic comment about you being smarter than I.

I thought you could take a joke when I comment you was smarter than I, dumba$$. Sorry, my mistake, you're actually too dumb to understand it.

By: yogiman on 3/8/13 at 8:57


Aren't you an adult, gdiafante? Or are you an over aged minor mentally?

By: Mike Burch on 3/8/13 at 8:58


In my opinion, people with class would not use the term "underclass." You make people sound like untouchables, simply because of the circumstances of their birth and/or wallets.

By: Mike Burch on 3/8/13 at 9:00


Some of the worst homophobes have turned out to be homosexual themselves. So one has to wonder if some Tennessee legislators are protesting too much because they're hypocrites.

By: yogiman on 3/8/13 at 9:02

An interesting article: What do you all think about 60,000 Border and Customs Agents being put on a 14 day furlough starting next month? Is that a plan to open the borders for 14 days?


By: gdiafante on 3/8/13 at 9:04

Is that a plan to open the borders for 14 days?

LOL...just when I thought yogi couldn't possibly be any dumber or out of touch with reality...

By: yogiman on 3/8/13 at 9:07

What reality are you "talking" about, gdiafante, your minority mentality?

By: gdiafante on 3/8/13 at 9:19

Sequestration you insufferable twit.

By: bfra on 3/8/13 at 9:21

Mike - Raspy has never shown any class in any comment he has put on the board. Very "crass" but no "class"!

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 9:25

By: yogiman on 3/8/13 at 8:56

I'll have to give you credit for one thing, dumba$$. You seem to have a good memory in that you've memorized every word, word for word, on your constant posting of your idiotic comment about you being smarter than I.

The buffoon is complaining about my “constant posting” LOL

By: bfra on 3/8/13 at 9:27

Nemo - yogi is actually dumb enough to think you memorized that posting. How stupid can that dumbass be?

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 9:35

Mike when I first met Raspy some years ago, the poor boy lived in poverty and off his grandmothers SSI. When she died, he started mooching off friends and family. He has bounced from one place to another, and then moved to living off low self-esteem women. I have heard that he has kept company what men, but that is only second hand knowledge.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 9:37

bfra, yogi has no concept of reality. Nothing knew on that front.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 9:38

By: yogiman on 1/26/13 at 3:13
dumba$$, you couldn't even pass a spelling test, let alone a test of intelligence.

Want to try one? Check on google or bing and take a test.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/26/13 at 3:33
I took the test yogi and a made a 100.

By: yogiman on 1/26/13 at 7:30
I feel so humiliated, dumba$$, to get beat by an idiot as ignorant as you.

Your own word says I am smarter than you, yogi.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/8/13 at 9:40

By: yogiman on 3/8/13 at 8:56

I'll have to give you credit for one thing, dumba$$. You seem to have a good memory...

This is because I have a brain and you have crap between your ears.

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

No, I'm not complaining , dumba$$, I get a good laugh our of it.

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

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

Do you mean he isn't smart enough to memorize it, bfra? Are you saying he has to copy it every time he posts it? Pore fella, I bet that takes a lot of his time.