For the last two days, my daughter has been singing "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" from the musical The Sound of Music. Apparently she has to sing this song at a school event.
So how do I solve the problem of having this annoying song stuck in my head as I’m about to go off to work?
The Tennessean’s lead editorial agrees with Tennessee’s decision to end the illegal alien drivers license program:
In the long-term, Tennessee’s decision on the driver’s certificate issue would be greatly helped by the adoption of a sensible federal immigration policy.
There is very little state government can do to address the problem — except to ask the state’s congressional delegation to tackle the issue at its root. It should make that request vigorously.
Donna Locke addressed the same issue in a letter to the editor (second item).
I actually think the driving certificates are a good idea — for legal noncitizens only. The driving certificates can be retained and should be issued to verified temporary-visa holders and lawful immigrants who aren’t citizens — not to illegal aliens. Illegal aliens should have no driving privileges in this country.
I’ve been a legal alien in other countries, and I was required to pass a local driving test and have a valid license. But I was also required to be there legally for those licenses to be valid. It’s not that difficult to set up a program that keeps legal aliens legal on the road.
A Scottish distiller announced plans to revive production of the world’s most potent Scotch.
The Bruichladdich distillery on the Isle of Islay, off Scotland’s west coast, is producing the quadruple-distilled 184-proof or 92 percent alcohol spirit "purely for fun," managing director Mark Reynier said.
Whisky usually is distilled twice and has an alcohol content of between 40 and 63.5 per cent.
Bruichladdich is using a recipe for a spirit known in the Gaelic language as usquebaugh-baul, "perilous water of life."
In 1695 a traveler to the distillery had this to say of the potent and perilous whisky:
"Two spoonfuls of this last liquor is a sufficient dose; if any man should exceed this, it would presently stop his breath, and endanger his life."
Not to mention, that if it did kill someone, the undertaker didn’t require any embalming fluid to preserve the body.
Here are three items coming to us via Knoxville and KnoxNews‘ Michael Silence:
Robert Johnson, a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, veteran of the First Gulf War, and current thoracic surgeon, found himself on the no-fly list.
Meanwhile, someone who probably should be on the no-fly list, Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, a "former ambassador-at-large for the Taliban, is now studying at Yale on a U.S. student visa."
Finally, given those two bureaucratic blunders, let’s look at some government power potentially being given to bureacrats closer to home:
[Tennessee] Lawmakers from both parties have introduced a flurry of bills to restrict government from using eminent domain to seize property and turn it over to private developers.
One of the bills introduced has this restriction:
Before land can be condemned for an industrial park, the joint committee bill would require "good faith" negotiations to buy the land before condemnation. Also, the government condemning the property would have to obtain a "certificate of public purpose" from the state Department of Economic and Community Development.
So if a property owner won’t sell, then the government just has to go before a commission to get "Official Proof" in the form of a certificate, that the intended use is a public purpose?
Just because a committee of bureaucrats says that it’s a public purpose, doesn’t make it so. It’s kind of like the "wizard" giving the tin man a "testimonial" declaring a pocket watch to be a heart.
I used to frequently see bald eagles when I was stationed at Fort Monroe, Virginia. We lived on a tidal marsh off the James River just a few miles upstream from where it emptied in to the Chesapeake Bay. At high tide I could push our canoe out into the water, which I often did after work with my daughter who was about five at the time.
Caroline and I would go out to check our crab pots into which we had tied turkey necks to lure blue crabs. We’d never catch enough to keep and eat, but it was fun nonetheless to show her how to hold a crab without getting pinched, and how to tell the jimmies, sallies, and sooks apart. Occasionally, we’d even catch one that had just shed its shell, hence a "soft shell crab."
While we were out on the water, we’d enjoy the wildlife around us. One summer we were visited nearly every evening by a pair of otters that played near the dock where we kept the canoe. There were also plenty of egrets, herons, geese, and of course, ducks of every variety.
However, most stunning of all were the bald eagles. There was a nesting pair on the creek, and another one or two immature ones. The immature birds, because they hadn’t yet developed the tell-tale white head and tail feathers that bald eagles get about their fifth year, were often hard to distinguish from the ospreys which also lived in the area.
But there was no mistaking a mature bald eagle whether perched nobly on a dead tree, or soaring high overhead its realm.
Yesterday I thought I saw a bald eagle. Unlike the turkey vultures I so often see circling over road kill, this large black bird soared in a straight line from north to south, barely flapping its outstretched wings. I watched until it disappeared from sight, as it took me back to my days near the Chesapeake. It was majestic whatever it was, but surely, it wasn’t a bald eagle.
Well, maybe it was.
Larry Daughtrey on State Senator Douglas Henry’s apparent attempt at a tenth consecutive four-year-term:
"If he has no opposition, as seems likely . . . "
Voters in Memphis may have the opportunity to vote for an all-Ford ticket this year. Joining Harold Ford Jr. in the U.S. Senate race, Ophelia Ford in the Tennessee Senate race, and Joe Ford Sr. for County Commissioner, will be Joe Ford Jr., who on Friday filed to run for the 9th U.S. Congressional District.
Joe Ford Jr. said he has not sought Harold Ford Jr.’s endorsement or counsel.
Something tells me that cousin Harold isn’t pleased by this news.
Continuing the illegal immigration theme . . .
The Belmont College Republicans will host U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo next week. Tancredo will speak in the Maddox Grand Auditorium in the Beaman Student Life Center on Friday March 3, from 1:15 to 2:45. For more information contact the Belmont Republicans.
(Note: Don’t necessarily construe this announcement as an endorsement of Representative Tancredo’s beliefs. While I’m definitely anti-illegal immigration, I wish we’d drastically increase the amount of assimilated legal immigration. Regardless, this should be a spirited and timely event, particularly in light of the UAE-port controversy and the Governor’s decision to temporarily suspend the illegal alien licensing program.)
A just-released TDOT press release looked promising:
The Dept. of Safety will immediately halt the issuance of Certificates for Driving to people who cannot prove they have legal presence in the U.S.
Well, duh. The program should have been halted on September 12th, 2001.
However in the second to last paragraph we find that it’s only a temporary suspension of the CDF program.
No CDFs will be issued to anyone between today and March 5th, to give the dept. time to train employees on who is still eligible for the certificates, and what documentation will be required. Certificates will be issued to eligible applicants beginning Monday, March 6th.
Keep your eye on this one as it develops.
Former Representative Chris Newton finally told the truth at his sentencing hearing Thursday:
"We have to recognize that the corruptive influence of money in our legislative process seeks to promote the interest of the few at the expense of the many,"
Two of the biggest players in Tennessee’s "Good ‘Ol Boy" network disputed Newton’s claim.
"I disagree with former Representative Newton," Naifeh, a Covington Democrat, said at his weekly press meeting Thursday. "He said some things that I’ve just not experienced in my 32 years here. Frankly I was a little surprised."
. . . "We are all sorry that that that Representative Newton has that opinion …," said House Majority Leader Kim McMillan, D-Clarksville. "I think the way we do business is the way the people ask us to do business; and that’s to study up on the issues, make informed votes, and move forward."
And by "forward" McMillan means, "back to the old way of doing business surrounded by the corruptive influence of special interest group money."
Unfortunately, the online story doesn’t include comments by Democratic Representative Frank Buck that were in the on-air version. Buck, a long-time and often lone voice in support of stronger ethics reform, said that Newton’s comments were an accurate description of how business is done in the Tennessee Legislature.
Given their ethical track records, I’m more inclined to believe Frank Buck than I am to believe Jimmy Naifeh and Kim McMillan. It’s time for them, and the rest of the entrenched leadership to go.