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Archive for April, 2007


Mmmm… Seldom is political news quite so tasty.

Regina Morrison Newman held the 3rd *not quite* Annual Memphisiana Crawfish Boil at her house Saturday.

Mayoral candidate Herman Morris and his lovely wife were both in attendance, as were District 89 Tennessee House candidate Kevin Gallagher and Memphis City Council candidate Ian Randolph.

Former Shelby County Democratic Party Chairman Jim Strickland and “Save Libertyland” activist Denise Parkinson, both of whom have pulled petitions to run for the city council in District 5 were in attendance as well.

And of course, any time you offer free food, the bloggers turn up— David Holt, his lovely wife Margo, , Steve “The Blogfather” Steffens, and I held down that end of the fort.

For more photos, click here.


*Thanks to Paula Casey for clearing up my confusion about Regina’s name.

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Fact: Exit wounds, without fail, are larger than entry wounds.

Fact: Lt. Ronald Oliver has an exit wound on his chest almost twice the size of the entry wound on his back.

Fact: Lt. Ronald Oliver was facing Philip Workman at the time that a bullet passed through his body.

Fact: Ballistics experts have said that Philip Workman’s Colt .45 was not the weapon that killed Lt. Oliver.

Fact: The other two policemen on the scene, Aubrey Stoddard and Steven Parker, claim that they never fired their guns at all.

Fact: Witness Steve Craig claims he saw Officer Parker fire a shotgun at Philip Workman.

Fact: Philip Workman had shotgun pellets removed from his buttocks.

Fact: If such a story is to be taken at face value, then Lee Harvey Oswald’s “magic bullet” has been surpassed in sheer absurdity. Perhaps there was a second gunman on the grassy knoll across from Wendy’s on that fateful day? Because it is a fact that a bullet fired from a .45 caliber gun does not abruptly turn 180 degrees in midair.

Fact: Prosecutors have tried to explain the discrepancy in bullet wound sizes by claiming that the bullet fragmented inside Lt. Oliver, and that only a small chunk exited through his back.

Fact: Prosecutors have never been able to provide a single X-ray establishing that the bullet fragmented inside Lt. Oliver at all.

Fact: Prosecutors are also inconsistent on whether or not an X-ray of Lt. Oliver exists at all. It would be highly unusual not to have one, as X-rays had been in use for almost a century by the time the crime was committed.

Fact: The state’s case falls apart if the magic bullet theory is disproved by X-rays. For even the felony murder statute to apply, the fatal bullet would have to have come from the gun of Workman or a Workman accomplice.

Fact: Only one witness ever claimed to have seen Philip Workman fire the fatal bullet.

Fact: There’s no indication he was ever at the crime scene.

Fact: His sister refutes the idea that he could have been there and seen it, as she was with him at the time of the murder.

Fact: He had a habit of making up information to feed to police— Claiming rewards was how he supported his drug habit.

Fact: He now claims to have been coerced into testifying.

Fact: With no forensic evidence to back up the state’s case and no eyewitness, the remaining facts of this case do not add up to first degree murder. At best, a case could be made for criminally negligent homicide, arguing that Workman’s reckless crime set into motion a chain of events at the end of which a law enforcement officer tragically lost his life.

Fact: To my knowledge, Tennessee has neither sought nor obtained an execution in a criminally negligent homicide case in its entire history.

Fact: Philip Workman has not disputed that he robbed the Wendy’s restaurant on the night of August 5, 1981.

Fact: Philip Workman has not disputed that he shot Officer Aubrey Stoddard in the arm.

Fact: There are too many things that remain unknown about this case for an execution to be anything short of a travesty of justice.

Fact: You should watch this Sharon Cobb joint and see what Lt. Oliver’s daughter has to say about the impending execution of Philip Workman.

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Condolences

But the just man, though he die early, shall be at rest. For the age that is honorable comes
not with the passing of time, nor can it be measured in terms of years.

The Book of Wisdom, Chapter 4.

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Little Angel

DANIEL SILVA

2003-2007

On behalf of me and my family, I would like to thank all of you for your kindness, your thoughtfulness and the extraordinary support we have received throughout this difficult time in our lives.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).

Daniel was a happy, bright and adventurous little boy who was fascinated by trains and knew no fear. He truly enjoyed living life to its fullest. Like the little engine in the story, “The Little Engine that Could,” he never backed down in the face of challenge, no matter how big or how small. To continue life without him will certainly be a big challenge for us all. However, we gather strength from Daniel’s own joyous life and take on this challenge as he would have done.

We will remember Daniel’s life as a beautiful but brief spark of light that touched each of us with his warmth and blessed each one of us with his love. From knowing him and sharing with him our love and joy, our lives will be forever blessed and his memory will never be forgotten. By having had Daniel in our lives, joy came in the morning, and his joy will always be with us.

We have set a tribute fund at St. Jude’s Childrens Reserch Hospital to honor Daniel’s life and memory. You can make gift to St. Jude by calling 1-800-873-6983 or visiting http://www.stjude.org.

Thank you.

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Briefs

Just a few things I’ve thought were worth commenting on, but perhaps not a full post’s worth:

Mass-Debaters (Say it out loud)
I follow elections very closely. Election Day is my Super Bowl Sunday. Yet even I cannot bring myself to give a damn about a debate that takes place almost a year before the first voters get to chime in on the presidential race. If I had stayed home to watch TV, I would have watched “Smallville” instead.

George Tenet has said that he has been set up as the scapegoat for the Iraq invasion. Duh. It didn’t really help matters when you fell on your sword, effectively giving the president carte blanche to pin it all on you. If you didn’t see this coming, then I understand the current sorry state of our intelligence agencies. Prediction for those who were not clever enough to see this coming: The sun will come out tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun. You heard it here first.

Yes, McCain was a dick.

Thank you, WKNO-HD, for managing to play the wrong broadcast Wednesday night. As I sat down to watch the Bill Moyers show from the other night, I selected it on my DVR playlist only to find out that I had indeed recorded two different showings of “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”— Which is a good show, don’t get me wrong. but I hardly needed two recordings of it! Thank you for being so on the ball that you’ve apparently made “put in the right tape” fall under the heading of skilled labor.

The Memphis Police have found most of the weapons stolen from the SWAT team van. Congratulations! Much of the last two weeks has been spent discussing guns and responsibility, particularly as it relates to the illegal weapons that make their way into dangerous hands when people irresponsibly leave them in their vehicles while they eat dinner. Say— How were those assault weapons stolen again?

And while I’m thinking about weapons— Fuck you too. Conservatives always find an excuse not to talk about the things they don’t want to talk about. Statistically speaking, more people are murdered every day with guns than were killed in the Virginia Tech rampage. So please let me know when the bodies start hitting the deck infrequently enough for you to have the balls to have this conversation.

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In the days leading up to the 2006 primaries, many of us in the progressive blogosphere had a great home away from home called The Cue. It was nice while it lasted, but as often happens when coalitions are formed around one objective, the Cue became less of a priority once those objectives had been met.

Now, we’re doing the same thing again— But rather than just having one objective, we’re going to try and establish a more permanent partnership.

Each of us will still retain our own sites and our own aims. but the “Four Families” of the Memphis Liberal Blogosphere are going to once again have a mutual home away from home.

At least some, if not all members of The Flypaper Theory, West Tennessee Liberal, Leftwing Cracker, and yes, the Freedonian family will be pooling our efforts at Memphis Liberal Blogosphere. We will be joined by Bob at 55-40, Jon Carroll (Formerly Memphis Blue) and hopefully, Vibinc, with more to come later.

I hope this will be a great experience for all of us.

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I think my friend and brother Cracker said it well; No matter who wins this primary, District 89 will be well represented in Nashville. I would be quite pleased if either of them moved into my district and took on G.A. Hardaway.

There’s a little news to report out of both camps:

Kevin Gallagher has launched a new blog called TennIssues. I always like it when a local politician blogs. They don’t have paid staff, so you know you’re hearing their words and their ideas. It’s not quite the same as a US Senator’s blog, where the real writing is likely taken care of by a professional writer on staff.

Even Stacey Campfield, the subject of many broadsides on this site, deserves some respect by virtue of having his views out there to be seen by all.

I was quite surprised to receive a phone call from Jeannie Richardson yesterday. It’s hard to be certain, as I’ve met a good many people on one campaign or another, but I believe this is the first time we’ve ever spoken.

She is a genuinely good person; I’m more than a little jealous of the abundance of riches District 89 seems to have in the candidate department. Spread the wealth, people!

She issued me a standing invitation to her house in District 89, and I’ll be sure to take her up on it soon. She also gave me a reason for the lack of public records tying her to the house in the district that certainly sounds legitimate. I don’t have the means to check on it further, so I’m taking her at her word.

Both candidates have expressed their wishes to me that this campaign remain clean; I can only hope that those who wish to supplant at least one candidate as the public faces of this race will abide by those wishes.

May the best candidate win.

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