The biggest challenge resulting from Curry's arrest was the response from responsible gun owners horrified by one of their own publicly stumbling so obviously over a law that he himself wrote and worked to get passed. Mark Walters, an NRA-certified instructor and co-author of Lessons From Armed America, wrote a difficult but thoughtful response to Curry's arrest:
Without a doubt, this is one of the hardest Ordinary Guy columns I have ever written. I like Curry Todd and applaud him for the gains he has made in Tennessee fighting for the rights of all law-abiding gun owners. He has been a guest on [my] Armed American Radio show and I stand by all of his efforts and his years of fighting for our rights....
Let's set the record straight. Rep. Todd has been charged, not convicted. Rep. Todd was accused of driving drunk. Rep. Todd is charged with being in possession of a handgun while intoxicated. Rep. Todd refused a breathalyzer test. Rep. Todd never had a hand on his gun, wasn't waving it around and shooting at street signs while hootin' and hollerin' and weaving down the road. Rep. Todd is innocent until proven guilty.
All of that is true, but none of it matters. Here's why. As law-abiding gun owners, we are and should be held to a higher standard. We have chosen to arm ourselves with deadly force and as a result we have a responsibility to behave accordingly. As not only a CCW [Carrying a Concealed Weapon] holder in Tennessee, but also the man who championed the right to carry in restaurants and bars by reminding the media of our law-abiding statistics, Mr. Todd must be held to an even stricter standard. Put mildly, Mr. Todd isn't allowed to make those human mistakes. Period....
January 2012 Archives
Memphis would revive anyone with a pulse. It is one of America's most underrated cities. On another boxing trip, a few of us ventured out to a blues club where the band stopped for a fist fight during the set and then resumed as if nothing had happened.
We all bought meat raffle tickets to be polite. You guessed it: one of us won. In a working-class black neighbourhood, the white journalists from England debated how to return the Sunday joint without a side order of ingratitude and condescension. It was a night of delirious pleasure.
On that same trip we called in at Sun Studios and listened to an early Elvis acetate down in that atmospheric basement, took a cab to Graceland and paid our respects to Martin Luther King at the Lorraine Motel, where he was assassinated. Beale Street was the regular evening hang-out once the daily task of reporting dire threats from boxers had been completed.
At age 15, Sachs came from Memphis, where he grew up, to spend some time in Park City with his father -- a developer responsible for establishing one of this mountain town's landmark hotels, the Yarrow. That was back when "Park City was a little hippie ski town," he recalls now.
On that trip, young Sachs attended the United States Film Festival -- the precursor to the Sundance Film Festival -- in Salt Lake Ctiy's old Trolley Corners theater.
"I grew up thinking there was something called independent film, which I wouldn't necessarily have had access to if there wasn't Sundance," Sachs said in an interview.
People go online to get windows, doors and all kinds of exotic things; I go online at Corky's to ship barbecued ribs and barbecued pork. Corky's sends you slabs of ribs on dry ice and they send along sauce, the salt and the pepper, and if you want, they send other things. You're better off just sticking to the meat. All you need to do is heat them.
This batch of ribs was a gift from a guy from Tennessee expressly for the Browns to enjoy them during a 49ers playoff run. Even though the Niners fell short of winning a berth in the Super Bowl, they did at least get far enough for the Brown party to enjoy the ribs, which didn't disappoint:
I assume the ribs would have had to have been frozen to wait for next year if we had not made the playoffs. There were 15 or so people and we ate everything.PICTURED: Then-San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown holds up his World Series tickets during a press conference on Oct. 22, 2002. Behind him is then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. (By Paul Sakuma/Associated Press files)
Christine A. Scheller: Is there still more racial integration in Pentecostal churches than in the wider of body of churches?
Estrelda Y. Alexander: There has been an attempt to recapture the racial openness with certain movements. There's what we call the Memphis Miracle, an episode where the divided denominations came together and consciously made an effort to tear down some of those barriers. It's been more or less successful. There's still quite a bit of division. It's not on paper. On paper, there's this idea that we've all come together, but the practicality of it doesn't always get worked out.
The larger issue still remains about the Occupy movement as a whole and its effectiveness. When the weather was much warmer, Americans saw a strong show of force in some cities in favor of Occupy. However, as soon as the temperature dropped, so did the outdoor activity in many cities. With a mission that has not been clearly defined at times, it seems that people have not stuck by some of the protests as planned.
When you drill down into the Black community, we honestly don't see many people occupying a local protest site and sleeping outdoors for economic equality. Occupy as a whole will need to show how they are affecting change for everyday people. Camping out in a tent won't translate into anything meaningful.
PICTURED: Thomas Burrell, far right, leads a rally against a proposed $1.2 billion
settlement over discrimination toward black farmers near the Occupy
Memphis camp. Walter Daugherty, left, handles horses Buck and Pat during
the rally. (Photo by Alan Spearman/The Commercial Appeal)
The athleticism of the performers in the Ballet Memphis is so astounding the Duncan Theatre's director, Mark Alexander, jokes, "Don't try this at home."
"I am extra-excited about the appearance of the Ballet Memphis," Alexander said. "We hang our hat on our dance program and we're off the beaten path in the acts we choose. We like to introduce new companies, and remind people of our Southern roots, so bringing a company from Tennessee just fit."
The Memphis company is among several dance groups booked to celebrate the Duncan's 25th anniversary. More praise for Ballet Memphis:
For more than 20 years, Ballet Memphis has been competing with companies from larger cities with larger budgets. Two dancers in 1986 has grown into more than 20 dancers and trainees, and its $75,000 budget to $3.4 million. And they keep it fresh with fresh faces, fresh ideas, and bringing more fresh works to the stage each season than other national ballet companies.
The Washington Post called the company "fresh and forward-thinking." The Ford Foundation named it a "national treasure."
Joe Swanberg --best known as one of the pioneers in the independent filmmaking movement known as mumblecore -- is releasing a new film online for free next week. It's called "Marriage Material." The film is about a young couple living in Memphis who agree to babysit their friend's 6-month-old for a day. The experience causes them to examine their own relationship and their feelings about marriage and children.Swanberg worked as cinematographer on Audley's 2009 film "Open Five," and Swanberg tapped Audley's unconventional marketing tactics as one of the reasons he is releasing "Marriage Material" at no cost:
4. Kentucker Audley, the star of "Marriage Material," has posted several of his films on Vimeo for free and runs a website, No Budge, that "showcases the new class of no-budget films," so it seemed appropriate to premiere the film this way.PICTURED: Kentucker Audley (left) and Joe Swanberg film a scene for "Open Five" on Aug. 13, 2009, at DejaVu Creole restaurant.
The excitement and consternation over a new name for the merged Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities reminds Robert Hamrin of the old Memphis State University when he lived in Memphis. The school was in an athletic conference with schools like the University of Louisville and University of Cincinnati.
"Many members of the University and community felt that 'Memphis State' sounded like hicksville compared to having a name like 'University of Memphis,'" Hamrin wrote, and that's just what the school became, to much satisfaction. So his suggestion: "How about 'The University of Augusta?'"
(Joseph) Cilibrasi acknowledged in his guilty plea that he stole $75,000 from Stern by pocketing checks he told Stern to write to cover some federal and Missouri state taxes. Stern was hit with tax penalties because the money never got to authorities, Cilibrasi said.
... Stern said in a letter to the court that he'd endured years of tax trouble because of Cilibrasi, whom he'd trusted as a friend but now considers "a con man through and through and a born liar."
Perhaps the hardest-hit Cilibrasi client was Tamara Tunie, the actress who plays the medical examiner on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." Tunie told the court that Cilibrasi, who admitted to stealing more than $1.4 million from the actress, is a "menace to society."
The Memphis Belle, famed Flying Fortress of World War II, is undergoing complete restoration at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton.
... Restoration of the aircraft -- named for the pilot's wartime girlfriend in Memphis -- started in late 2005. When that work is finished in 2014, the aircraft will be displayed in the museum's World War II Gallery.
Visitors can view the restoration in the museum's Behind the Scenes Tours offered on Fridays. For details, visit the museum web site at www.nationalmuseum.af.mil, or call 937-255-4652.
For more details, here is a recent report from the Air Force museum:
Both wings were mated and the landing gear was extended on the Memphis Belle, a Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress that in May 1943 became the first U.S. Army Air Forces heavy bomber to complete 25 missions over Europe and return to the United States.
"The museum's restoration crews have been working long and hard to see that the Memphis Belle is restored to its rightful position as a national icon," said Roger Deere, chief of the Restoration Division. "With these major milestones, the public is that much closer to seeing the aircraft on display once again."
IBM already reports over 2,000 "Smarter Cities" programs worldwide. A leading example is Memphis. The city faced the dilemma of shrinking budgets even while crime -- especially violent crime -- was rising. Though 2,000 officers were responding to more than 1 million calls a year, there was scant time to "connect dots" of incidents and develop strategies.
IBM's solution (working with the University of Memphis' Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice) was to apply "predictive analytics" software to compile volumes of crime records by type, time of day, victim/offender characteristics and more.
Now Memphis has a new Real Time Crime Center that's able to pinpoint and relate crime incidents in seconds, and to predict hot spots and redeploy police officers with high efficiency. Robberies, burglaries and forcible rapes have fallen to their lowest rates in a quarter-century. Several million dollars in savings are being reported. And IBM has sharpened crime tracking and control software it can offer to cities elsewhere.