Burch: Republican hit list

Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

Should Nashvillians applaud when Tennessee Republicans strive earnestly to “protect” us with bills that discriminate against gays, Muslims, Hispanics, teachers, students, union members, pregnant teens, the poor, the elderly and other people on their ever-expanding hit list?

After all, most of us don’t fall squarely in the Republicans’ bulls-eye — or at least not yet.

Will Nashvillians be “safer” when gays don’t have the right to work or marry, when Muslims don’t have the right to worship freely, when Hispanics can be pulled over without provocation because they “look wrong,” when teachers are denied the right to bargain collectively, when students are denied the right to the best possible education because teachers can make more money working as waiters, when union members have to accept whatever pay and benefits their employers deign to offer them, and when the poor and elderly are no longer such financial burdens to the rich and powerful?                    

Will Nashvillians be “safer,” really? Or are we risking our own rights and freedoms when we strip other people of theirs?             

And what happens if we’re next on the Republicans’ hit list of “out of favor” minorities? What will happen to atheists, agnostics, free-thinkers, Hindus, Buddhists and people who believe the government should stay out of their bedrooms? One we allow bigoted moralists to dictate how everyone else should live, how will we avoid descending into the fanaticism and fascism that once led to the downfall of Weimar Germany?

Today we may be reasonably “safe” if we’re not gay, Muslim, Hispanic, poor or elderly. How truly wonderful it is to be part of the majority in a democratic nation! But a true democracy does not allow the majority to strip minorities of their rights and freedoms. As soon as that process begins, it can easily avalanche, as it did in Germany and other nations where the “chosen few” gained absolute or near-absolute power. Then people who had been in favor found themselves suddenly out of favor, without the protections of just laws and courts.

Which is the greater danger to Nashvillians: the “danger” of treating all law-abiding citizens as equals, or the danger of creating ever-expanding classes of “out of favor” citizens who are considered “criminals” or “problems” in advance, due to guilt by association?

Quite obviously, the second danger is the only true concern, because some rich, powerful moralist or bigot might decide that we are “too different” and therefore “dangerous,” even though we’ve done nothing to harm anyone else.

So when gays and Muslims march for equal rights, in effect they’re marching for our rights to remain free and equal, in a true democracy that does not unfairly favor the majority over any minority. If we want to protect our personal rights and freedoms, we should join them, before it’s too late. 

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

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Buddists | gays | Hindus | muslims

106 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 4/22/11 at 4:40

With the frequent endorsing letters we've seen published on all these issues over
the recent months, I suspect the author of "All things literary" has a front row
reservation with appropriate signage! Marching for rights or voting for same that
all can enjoy is one thing. Constant protesting for "Special Rights and Privileges"
in order to belong within the Celebrity/New World Crowd has become very
tiring to many of us that wish to remain outside that suspicious circle!

By: dargent7 on 4/22/11 at 5:05

Too large of a paint brush for me.
Should "gays" have equal rights in the workforce? Human rights? Civil rights? Yes.
Should they be allowed to legally get married? No.
Before we allow the building of mosques on every street corner, we should find out who the Imams are, what Shari'a Law is, exactly, and where the money is coming from.
The USA is still fighting the "war on terror" in the Middle East and that's where the money originates.
As far as Hindus and Buddhists...I've yet to see ONE in 4 years.
There's not a single temple I'm aware of.
Muslims are the ones blowing themselves and everyone else up in the Mid-East and I want to know, why? And why should I embrace them here in America?

By: house_of_pain on 4/22/11 at 5:30

d7, why should gay people not be allowed to marry?
Also, Blanket & I were wondering if you were serious about meeting for drinks after your church thing. When & where? Nemo won't be joining us.

By: Loner on 4/22/11 at 5:37

Good morning, Nashville!

I agree with Mike Burch, the Tea Party addled Republicans do represent a serious threat to the liberties of all Americans; ironically, these born-again theocrats claim to be striving for more freedom and more liberty for everyone, and less government intrusion into people's lives.

Mike's missive identified some of the dangers. Sadly, the Democrats are also in bed with the faith-based voters. Junior Bush set up the faith-based initiative and Barry Obama increased its budget. Obama is not an official atheist, if he secretly is, he's too smart to admit it....they'd lynch him on the White House lawn.

I expect that we will see chubby-cheeked mega-pastor Rick Warren vetting the 2012 Presidential candidates; like he did in 2008. Both presidential candidates and the VP's will don the required yarmulkes and pray at the wailing Wall in occupied Jerusalem, that act of fealty has been required for decades.

We are sliding into Judeo-Christian theocracy. Holy Wars Suck.

By: Loner on 4/22/11 at 5:40

Drinks? Now we're talkin'....and a couple of doobs? I may have to lay rubber and head South....will there be dancing girls?

By: dargent7 on 4/22/11 at 5:51

House: I'm definitely going to Mass on Easter Sunday.
Regardless of gD's take on, "praying to God is the same as talking to a tree...", notwithstanding.
I think the service is at 11:30am, as of yesterday, it wasn't posted on their marque.
If "Neighbors" is OPEN, we should celebrate Easter there. Probably CLOSED on Sunday's, anyway.
If not, then Star Bagel.
Let's drum up a crowd today.
Oh, and "gays" should live together, adopt, but not a legal marriage.
Next thing you know, they'll want Scientology to be considered a real religion.

By: house_of_pain on 4/22/11 at 5:51

Loner, we could probably convince Blanket to do a little jig, after a few Jell-O shots.
Heck, d7 might even be able to give us a snake-handling exhibition...

By: house_of_pain on 4/22/11 at 5:53

I wouldn't mind checking out Neighbors, or McCabe. I'm not into coffee after noon.

By: yogiman on 4/22/11 at 5:55

You obviously aren't a Republican, Mike. Everyone in this nation is equal to all rights as long as they abide by the Constitution and the justified rules of law. When they ignore the Constitution, or refuse to abide by our laws, they have given up those rights.

A sad part of the issues today is our so-called government is ignoring it.

Does anyone know why the police of our border states have been have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens entering our country?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 4/22/11 at 5:58

Is Neighbors even open yet? I don't know that McCabe opens that early on Sunday. And yes, I might even do a jig but only if d7 does some snake handling, in which case house should leave the rats at home....

By: dargent7 on 4/22/11 at 6:02

As Ambassador of Sylvan Park, let me tell you McCabes isn't OPEN on Sundays.
"Neighbors" won't be either.
So it's Star Bagel. House can get a frappachino or any other gay drink available.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 4/22/11 at 6:02

what about freedom of religion? free speech?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 4/22/11 at 6:04

dargent, i was looking forward to a Bloody Mary after Easter mass.....lol

By: Loner on 4/22/11 at 6:04

Speaking of oppressed minorities, what about the human and civil rights of Cannabis smokers? Neither major political party wants those folks stinking up their tent.

Candidate Obama talked like a liberal when he ran for the presidency. Since then, he dispatched AG Eric Holder to California, to lobby against Prop, 19, which would have legalized Cannabis use in California. Thanks in part to Obama's efforts, the proposal was defeated.

When it comes to a one-size-fits all nationwide drug policy, both major parties are in agreement...absolutely no states rights on reefer....it's federal law that the left and right both embrace.

Meanwhile, millions, perhaps billions of US dollars are going into the hands of the drug gangs and other unsavory types as this ludicrous prohibition continues.

By: Loner on 4/22/11 at 6:15

Has anyone invited the NCP Webmaster to the Misfits Kordial Koffee Klatch? Nels Noseworthy was the Webmaster, last I knew. I don't hurt to brown nose the host, IMHO. Of course, some professional distance between host and parasite may be a good thing, I dunno.

BN dancing a jig? On the table top...or on the pole?

By: house_of_pain on 4/22/11 at 6:16

Guess I'll bring my flask. No rats, though...they refuse to be seen in public with me.

Right on, Loner.

By: yogiman on 4/22/11 at 6:17

Loner,

As a retired 'old man', you may remember many of the drugs that could be bought across the counter in your childhood. But then the 'government' decided they knew more than the common man what was best for them and started issuing orders (I mean laws) on the 'ill effects' of hose drugs.

The 'government' has made many 'financial' determinations since then.

By that I mean the vast majority of their votes have been bought; for 're-election contributions'.

By: house_of_pain on 4/22/11 at 6:21

All NCP-related personnel & posters are welcome to join us.
Our tastes may be discriminating, but the group is not.

By: dargent7 on 4/22/11 at 6:23

House: Remind me to tell you about my experiences in "rat lab".
"But your honor, she was 16 going on 21...."
I'll comb the area for bars that are OPEN on Easter. But, being this is the south, don't hold your breath.

By: Loner on 4/22/11 at 6:26

There is hope for Yogi...he sees that the special interests, not the public interest, are being served. He sees the link between campaign cash donations and services rendered by the government in return for the support.

By: Loner on 4/22/11 at 6:32

You don't need no steenking bar...do like House, pack a flask...for Star Bagel, I'd pack some Bailey's Irish Cream or some good coffee liqueur....of course, that scheme is fraught with risk, but that's what makes it so damn delicious....like smokin' in the Boys Room.

By: dargent7 on 4/22/11 at 6:36

Loner: William Williams is the go-to guy now at TCP.
He wrote me once to say he liked my submissions, and I was young and good-looking...well, young.

By: house_of_pain on 4/22/11 at 6:40

I'd like to check this place out. It's right there, in the curve.

http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/47/1443799/restaurant/Sylvan-Park/The-Local-Taco-Nashville

By: Loner on 4/22/11 at 6:42

Did you all read where another Republican Senator is about to bite the dust, due to moral turpitude?

Yep. This time the Senator Hypocrite Award goes to Nevada's John Ensign. Apparently he was shtuppin' a top aid's wife and then gave the guy some sweetheart business deals, as "restitution" for having balled his old lady. The Ethics Committee got wind of it.

The Democrats still control the US Senate and the ethics panel nudged the GOP Senator towards the exit. He was going to ride out the storm until 2012 and then retire with dignity. That's chutzpah.

By: yogiman on 4/22/11 at 6:42

I appreciate you correcting that statement, dargent7.

By: house_of_pain on 4/22/11 at 6:46

Saw that on the news, Loner. It's a shame that I'm not even surprised anymore.

By: Loner on 4/22/11 at 6:47

Go to the go-to guy, Darge...submit yourself....do it for the collective good.

I'd invite Mike Burch and Ladydragyn too, but I'm not runnin' the shindig-pow-wow.

Lent will be over Darge...you can go back to your old ways....like everybody else.

By: house_of_pain on 4/22/11 at 6:49

Did everyone see this?

http://nashvillecitypaper.com/content/city-news/senate-approves-school-voucher-program-states-largest-cities

We're circling the drain down here.

By: global_citizen on 4/22/11 at 6:52

"But a true democracy does not allow the majority to strip minorities of their rights and freedoms."

I generally agree with the article and applaud the writer. But it seems that almost everyone today needs to be reminded that America is not, in fact, a true democracy. It's a constitutional republic. And it's that constitution that protects the rights of minorities and limits what government is permitted to do. For instance, the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

We have a democratic form of government, but that does not make us a "true democracy". And we should all be thankful for that. For in a true democracy the majority, by definition, does prevail even to the detriment of the minority.

By: BenDover on 4/22/11 at 7:47

Wow Burch... you peal that onion down to the level that tastes best to you on every topic don't you.

By: BenDover on 4/22/11 at 7:51

I think the voucher system only applies to low income kids and they only take 1/2 of the money for the students and leave the other half of the money is left in the public school without them having to educate that student. It's a pretty reasonable solution for low income kids trapped in failing schools with no promise of improvement, house.

By: dargent7 on 4/22/11 at 7:53

BenD: Burch is a bleeding heart liberal...so, what?
Could be worse. How about a dyed- in- the wool "Christian Conservative Republican".
Now there's a triple negative.

By: Loner on 4/22/11 at 7:53

Global_Citizen spreads Global baloney! More EIB echo chamber. The masses truly are asses....his line of reasoning is, with all due respect, a contrived crock of sh*t..

Rush Limbaugh and the FOX pundits have been waging war on the words "democracy", "democratic", "democrat", "Democratic" and "Democrat" for the past few years now. Their strategy seems to be simple enough, if they can denigrate, stain and/or delegitimize those words, they can defeat the ideas that those words represent and defeat those who value those ideas.

It's an old trick, now modified by the power of modern mass media and mass communications. As evidenced by Globalist's regurgitated mini-rant, the trick is working like a charm.

While crapping on all things democratic, the right-wing talk-show gurus and their followers are simultaneously talking up all things republican. The , "republic", "Republic", "republican" and "Republican" are being imbued with enhanced and additional virtues these days.

The idea is laughingly simple: Republican Party = Good. Democratic Party = Bad.
The fact that so many Americans have accepted this cretinous crap as the Living Gospel is not a laughing matter.

By: Loner on 4/22/11 at 7:55

S/H/B: "The words, "republic", "Republic", "republican" and "Republican" are being imbued with enhanced and additional virtues these days."

Mea culpa.

By: BenDover on 4/22/11 at 7:56

Mr. Burch seems totally ignorant of the trend sweeping Western Europe right now. It seems he hasn't heard yet that wide-spread unchecked multi-culturalism is an absolute failure and is destroying the likes of France, Denmark, Germany and [soon to be] England.

By: Loner on 4/22/11 at 7:58

House, I left the following post on the School Vouchers story:

Will Muslims be able to send their kids to a local Muslim Madrassa (religious school) and get a good fundamentalist education on the TN taxpayer's dime...just like the Christians and Jews will be able to do, if this ridiculous bill becomes law?

Will the local "Branch Davidian-types" also be able to get in line for the generous taxpayer aid to their ministries?

Will the Papists elbow all the other Christians away from the feeding trough? This could get ugly.

What about the faith-based home-schoolers...are they invited to this feeding frenzy too?

The battered walls of separation, between church and state, are crumbling in Tennessee. Hopped-up Judeo-Christian zealots, with pitchforks and torches, are taking control of the statehouse...soon the purges will begin.

All this Christian fundamentalist Creationism and these faith-based agenda items are what the Tea Party is really all about...it's about Judeo-Christian theocracy in America. It's not at all about extending and expanding our personal freedoms and liberties. On the contrary, the GOP-Tea Party monster is anti- women's rights , anti-GLBT rights, anti-union, anti-federal government, anti-Hispanic, anti-Islamic, anti-secular and anti-science.

Although mostly "anti-", the Tea Party /GOP agenda is pro-gun, pro-states rights, pro-business, pro-death penalty and pro-Israel....not necessarily in that order. They would have us believe that Jesus of Nazareth was also very much in favor of those agenda items. Of course, that's heresy.

The original Boston Tea Party patriots dressed up as American Indians, then boarded those ships and threw the British tea into Boston harbor. It was a shabby ruse that did not fool anyone. Flash forward to today.... the Tea Party charade has been exposed and revealed in Tennessee...take a good look at the ugly features of who and what is behind the mask of freedom.

By: girliegirl on 4/22/11 at 8:02

Loner, I was a participant of every TEA Party rally, and never once did anyone say that they were "anti-gay"....but they did say, NO ONE has more RIGHTS than you. And under the watch of the Dems, women became 2nd class citizens again. Nothing but hard working citizenry is behind the mask of the TEA Party. But hey, believe what you want to believe, right? :-)

By: Loner on 4/22/11 at 8:04

Louis Farakhan (and maybe Rev. Wright?) should set-up a bunch of Nation Of Islam schools and Christian Black Liberation schools, for those poor black kids stuck in those failing, secular-humanist, government schools...face it, those black kids won't be welcome in the white Christian schools...black-white segregation is the main reason those Christian schools exist.

By: BenDover on 4/22/11 at 8:06

Loner must you continue day by day to dwell in the 60's?

By: dargent7 on 4/22/11 at 8:08

BenD: The USA is $14.3 trillion in debt, mostly to China. We are bankrupt as a nation. Have no money to spend. Credit rating is downgraded.
Yeah, sure, Capitalism works just fine.

By: dargent7 on 4/22/11 at 8:11

Girlie: Under the Dems, women have become 2nd class citizens? You nuts?
The Tea Party? Lead by the likes of Bachmann, Palin, O'Donnell? No sex, no sex education, no abortion.....
Join the Repubs then. They'll embrace you with open arms. Right where you belong, pregnant, barefoot, and in the kitchen with an 8th grade education.

By: BenDover on 4/22/11 at 8:16

Well, darge... if The Obama, unchecked by the Democrat controlled congress, hadn't blown the TARP repayments and hadn't ratcheted up year over year spending such that we're an extra $1,000,000,000,000 in debt every year over where we were during the peak of the Bush war supplementals then we might be in a little different situation right now.

It's not capitalism that failed. It's Obama's remedy to capitalism that has failed.

By: dargent7 on 4/22/11 at 8:24

GW Bush inherited a budget surplus. A balanced budget.
He handed overr to Obama a $9. trillion deficit.
"Keeping America Safe" doesn't cut it.

By: Loner on 4/22/11 at 8:24

Thank you, girliegirl for reading my comment and responding. I appreciate your anecdotal evidence and first-hand account of what goes on at a Tea Party Rally. So, you believe that GLBT's want more rights than what you yourself enjoy...please list these special rights that you claim they are demanding?

These Tea-Party Targeted Americans want equal rights, not special privileges.

You call the Koch Brothers...and now Donald Trump the "hard-working citizenry" behind the Tea Party mask of freedom? I hate to say it, you have been duped, girl.

It's OK; we have all been suckered at one time or another in our lives....like the rest of the masses, I too have often been one of the asses....but now, I strive to be a good hominid.

By: Loner on 4/22/11 at 8:27

By: BenDover on 4/22/11 at 9:06

Loner must you continue day by day to dwell in the 60's?

Ben, at least I'm stuck in the 1960's...down your way folks are stuck in the 1860's.

By: Loner on 4/22/11 at 8:37

Doctor Dover says, "It's not capitalism that failed. It's Obama's remedy to capitalism that has failed."

Oh yeah? Here's a snipett from yesterday's Wall Street journal:

"The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 52.45 points, or 0.42%, at 12505.99, its highest close since June 5, 2008."

Here's the source:

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110421-717357.html

Hey, if that's "failure", how does Doctor Dover define "success"?

By: house_of_pain on 4/22/11 at 8:40

Ben, I have a problem with using tax dollars to give any one student an advantage over any other. No child is more "deserving" than another. I don't care for the way the current system works either. An equal dollar amount should be spent on every child, no matter the child's, or parents', situation. Equal opportunity, dammit.

By: BenDover on 4/22/11 at 8:51

Darge... have you really looked at the numbers? Clinton started a $4.3T and ended at $5.7T. Then the .com bubble burst, the election uncertainty dried up the VC money, Enron and WorldCom flopped, We had the 9/11 attack, two wars and numerous unprecedented natural disasters. At the end we're at around $9T in debt, yes... but there was a $700Billion dollar receivable from the TARP payments extended to prevent a run on the banks that has since been repaid. Counting the TARP repayment that Obama and Co. blew to get Harry Reid, et. al, re-elected; that gets us back to a Bush $8.3T net or an added $4.6T on Bush's 8 year watch. Since we're at $14T+ now that means in just over 2 years Obama has racked up about 20% more debt that Bush did in all 8 of his years; that with the promise of year over year $1.5T deficits to come for the foreseeable future.

What is up with this mass hysteria that excuses everything Obama does on the premise that Bush was as bad or worse? This guy has RADICALLY changed our country for the worse in a little over 2 years and nobody seems to notice.

By: Mike Burch on 4/22/11 at 8:54

Hi everyone,

As always it's nice to see everyone exercising their freedom of speech. Best to do it while we still have it.

I used to be a Republican. I left the party when it became obvious that the Republican party is now fueled by bigotry and religious fervor. Those ingredients led to the downfall of Weimar Germany.

Religious fanatics will never be happy with other people being free to believe and act as they prefer. If the Republicans succeed in deny equal rights to gays, Hispanics, Muslims, teachers and union workers, it is obviously that they will find new targets and new reasons these "too different" people are dangerous and need to be treated differently than the "chosen few."

Then one day if you're not a fundamentalist, you will be a second- or third-class citizen, at best. Our children will be taught in school that the fearsome God of the Bible is the only God anyone can believe in, and that human beings go to "hell" if they choose to think for themselves. When children are brainwashed with fear at an early age, it is very hard for them to escape their brainwashing. I know because I grew up in an Evangelical Christian family.

The danger is very real, and if we care about children we need to take a stand now. The real issue is not gay marriage or the construction of mosques. The real issue is whether we and our children will be free, or under the thumb of bigoted fundamentalists who want everyone to be and act like them. The fact that they are nasty and irrational should give us pause.

Mike Burch

By: BenDover on 4/22/11 at 8:56

Having twice as much money spent in a demonstrably bad way is better than spending 1/2 as much money in a way that is proven to have better results for the child? Why should the families be trapped into keeping their child in a failed system when they can opt to pull them out and at the same time leave more money in the system to help better educate the other children?